Summary: a pain in the @$$
Review: I spent a lot of time looking at phones before I finally decided on this one. It is a pay-as-you-go plan which I thought would come in handy, but in fact it has proven to be a huge hassle.
I didn't find out until after I bought the phone, but time is 25 cents/minute for the first ten minutes then 10 cents/minute beyond that, EVERY DAY. This makes it very expensive when you make short but frequent calls. Also, in order to "top up" you must pay a minumum of $20, which can also be annoying if you have a meager salary like mine.
Ringtones are a pain as well; the phone doesn't come with any and while there are a lot on the virginmobile website, they are $2 each. When you consider the fact that mp3s are cheaper than that, and these ringtones aren't even mp3 quality but crappy 30 second midi clips, the price is just outrageous.
Let's see, the phone is not in color, surfing the net costs money, as well as using the "virgin extras" and even checking your voice mail (though text messaging is free). Also, RECEIVING calls costs money.
Oh, and reception sucks. Speakerphone is useles if you are beyond six inches away from the phone.
On the plus side, it is very compact and cute. Battery life is decent.
This phone is not worth it. It has a lot of neat features, but because its type of technology is still fairly new, there are still plenty of bugs and defects. I suggest looking at something more reliable.
Summary: Extremely pleased with phone and service - A Great Find!!!
Review: I've waited about 4 months or so before writing this review. I wanted to make sure I had ample time to review this product/service properly.
If you're looking for an occasional use phone, and not looking for a phone to spend hours a day on, this is one you should definitely be looking at. You must pay $20 every 90 days to keep the phone active, but when you break it down, that's about $6.67 a month. Compare that to a $34.99 plan from Verizon, that comes out to $45 after all the taxes and fees, and you got yourself a pretty good deal. And another great thing is you keep your balance, you don't lose it. When you add money to your account, your balance just builds and builds. Now and then when i build up a balance, I'll treat myself and just make some extra calls to friends on the other side of the country to chat it up. Oh yeah, no roaming charges, no long distance. Just that flat rate. 25 cents for the first 10 minutes talk time of the day, 10 cents after that. There really is nothing hidden, it's all spelled out really clearly. Text messages are 10 cents to send, but they are free to receive. Your friends and family can actually email your phone from their home computer, and it will arrive to you as a text message. And yes, this is FREE. Perfect for the wife/hubby/kids to kick you off a message during the day like "bring home chinese!".
Like I said, if you want a phone for emergency calls, and calls from the grocery store such as "honey, they don't have peppermint tea, anything else you want me to get instead?" kind of calls, this is for you. Virgin markets this toward the Teen/MTV crowd, but for us somewhat older crowd, this is a great find.
I bought this phone from Best Buy for $89.99 and I got a $20 gift card free with it. The one thing I hear most people complain about is reception. I myself, have never had a problem. The great thing about picking this up from Best Buy, is you can use it for a month, and if the reception is no good where you need to use it, just bring it back to Best Buy for a full refund. So there's nothing to lose.
I use this phone in New York - Rockland County, Westchester County, North Jersey, and New York City. The only place I've had reception loss is in some areas in Orange County. But as long as you're semi-close to a major highway, signal is very good.
The Vox 8500 phone itself is wonderful. It's the smallest cellphone I have ever seen, but calls sound crystal clear, and there is plenty of volume. I dropped the phone once, from pretty high up, on hard concrete. The phone is fine. No damage. It looks like a fragile phone, I was sure something would be wrong with it, but it works like new. NO problems at all.
Extra ringtones are $2 a piece, but normal users won't really care to add any rings to the phone. It's unnecessary unless you find something you really like. I added the Peanuts song (Shroeder's Theme) to my phone as my ring. There are plenty of useful rings that come with the phone, so like I said, no need to buy more rings.
I hope there's nothing I left out. I can't say enough good things about this phone. For casual users, at $6.67 a month, with no extra hidden fees, I'd say this is a phenomenal find.
Just buy the phone from a store such as Best Buy that allows a 30-day return policy so you can try out the reception where you live. If reception is good, and it most likely will be, you win. If it's bad, you take the phone back, get your money back, and no harm done. It's a no brainer!! Virgin Mobile rules!
Summary: This Phone Is Fantastic
Review: I purchased this phone because I needed a cell phone for emergency use only. I got tired of looking for a pay phone when I was out and needed to use the phone plus they are usually very dirty. This phone is fantastic. It has a lot of features and the volume is very clear and adjustable. I use it at home also and have had no problems with interference. The Top-Up feature of $20 every 90 days is great and you can do it over the cell phone or online. It will also give you the date when you will have to Top-Up again. The only con is that you have to buy extra ring tones but I just use the ones that came with the phone. It has ring only or vibrate only or vibrate first and then ring. It has text messaging,a phone book that holds 300 contacts and it's easy to program, plus an answering machine and you can rename the phone's home page. I would highly recommend this phone for anyone who needs a cell phone and does not want to be tied down to a 1 or 2 year plan.
Summary: Audiovox 8500-Small Sweet Little Phone
Review: I recently purchased an Audiovox 8500 Cell Phone and it is sweet. It has a screen that has about 6 different colors available, voice activated dialing, an enormous phone book, and is really tiny compared to most cell phones. The external caller id is a nice feature, and you can answer the phone (depending on how you set it) by flipping open the phone, or by hitting the call button. It comes with only a couple ringtones (you can download more), but it also has a vibrate mode as well. It doesn't include any games, which can be a bummer on a boring day. The only real downside of this phone is that you have to charge the phone more than other Virgin Mobile Phones. I used to have the Kyocera K-7 Rave, and that one definately allowed for more talk time and standby time before I'd have to recharge it. I've had three cell phones, and this is definately my best one so far.
-I would recommend a cell phone case of some sort, because that will protect the phone a little better. My last phone I dropped on the ground and scratched it all up.
-I also put a screen protector on the external caller ID to make sure that it didn't get all scratched up either.
-Another recommendation would be to buy a travel charger because you never know when you might need it. I put one in my car the other day. It just might come in handy.
Summary: Most bang for the buck.
Review: I needed a reliable cell phone for car emergencies, but refused to buy an extortionate service contract. There are no contracts of any type with VirginMobile. Prepaid top-ups at $20, $30 or $50 are an automated breeze. The only required payment is $20 every 90 days. However, calls are cheapest at the $50 level.
The sleek VOX 8500 with two GPS options (911 only and full-time), voice-activated dialing, 2-way speakerphone, plus Virgin's comparatively low prepaid rates, solved my problems. Daily call cost: $0.25 for the first minute and $0.10 per minute thereafter. Carrier: Sprint's huge PCS network, which operates on both 800 and 1900 MHz frequencies.
Excluding overseas calls, 411 and text messaging, everything is included in stated costs. I don't use these fee-based services, so they're moot points. No surcharges for long distance, voicemail, roaming, nights or weekends. Virgin's customer service is excellent. Available live 24/7/365 and there's no charge for it when accessed from the cell phone.
The tri-mode, digital phone with dual LCD displays has too many high-end features to enumerate. Its 143-page Owner's Manual can be daunting at first glance, but the manual is well written and easy to use. The phone's only downside is its tendency to distort sound if the volume is fully cranked up.
Co-workers who complain about the high cost of their monthly cell phone bills were shocked when they saw my VOX 8500 and heard what Virgin offered. Other women were especially impressed by the stylish phone, which easily fits into pockets and evening bags. All of them wish they'd known about VirginMobile before taking their pricey plunge. Most of them are getting less for their money.
Summary: Great little phone!
Review: I had wanted a cell phone for years but kept putting it off because I'm really bad at paying bills on time and didn't want to put a lot of money out on a cell phone and have it shut off in a few months. So, I started looking at pay as you go. A friend who was already with them highly recommended Virgin. So, I decided to give it a try and have never regreted it. It's the perfect "emergency" phone. I love the small size, I love only having to top up every three months and getting to keep my minutes. I love knowing that no matter where I am I can always reach my family and that they can reach me. I have had no problems with this phone or Virgin's service. I highly recommend it!
Summary: THA PHONE IS HOTT, But Virgin Mobile....NOT!!
Review: When I got this phone It came with 10 dollars in minutes, which I used up fast. Then you have to continually buy top up cards. I usually would buy a $20 card every two weeks which would come to about $40 a month. Which made me realize...I can get a plan with 400-600 minutes AND Free weekends for $40 so basically its a rip off unless you dont plan on using it much. I do like the phone, its small and everyone likes it. Its easy to use and has speakerphone. Also you can record sounds and use it as your ringtone(which is what I would do instead of buying a ringtone for $2). The phone doesnt have any games and gets boring when you have no minutes. It comes with animated screen savers but there corny and you cant download any. Also the phone gets a little weak after having it awhile so when it rings you miss calls. Bottom line the phone is great but the virgin mobile service sucks
Summary: Nice Phone, Some Problems
Review: I purchaced this phone a while ago (when this was the best phone Virgin offered). Overall, I really like the design of the phone. It's so tiny and the button layout is very good. Virgin's service is very cost-effective, almost the best deal you can get, although it is greatly lacking in features. The biggest problem with this phone is the buggy software. It seems like Virgin just slapped together some software without really testing it much. The phone takes an exceptionally long time to boot up or display the web browser, mostly because of the Virgin Mobile logos that it feels it must display. Some of the ways you have to use the buttons can be annoying. When you are creating phonebook entries, it is very easy to mess up and hit "Ok" to try to edit the name, but end up storing the entry with no name. You then have to go back to do it again. It's little annyances like this that are the only real problem with this phone. Something I like a lot is how LOUD the speaker can be on this tiny phone. The rightones are very loud, and you can hear the speaker phone even in very noisy situations. However, I am now selling this phone, because I want something that has more features. If you are unhappy with Virgin Mobile, try a prepaid T-Mobile. Although it is not advertised, you can buy any GSM phone and pop in a prepaid SIM card. This is what I'm doing with a Samsung 715 camera phone. But, if Virgin is good enough for you, this is a nice phone to have.
Summary: Astoundingly poor service from Virgin Mobile
Review: Virgin's customer service is so astoundingly bad that I believe they HAVE to market themselves to kids so eager to get a phone - ANY phone, that they will put up with Virgin's constantly malfunctioning computer system.
Virgin doesn't have any 708 area code phone numbers available, so get ready to dial 10 digits for every local call.
Get ready to hear, "our system is down right now, you'll have to call back in four hours", or the routine..."I'm not finding any record of your account on my computer"...
I love the pay-as-you-go payment plan, and I really wanted to like them, but...
Summary: Where are the games?
Review: Whenever I get a new cellphone the first thing I get excited about are the games that come equipped with the phone, but the 8500 has no games. I love games on a phone especially when waiting in line or something like that. Virgin mobile, hook up my Vox 8500 with some games. Please!