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Get a Virgin Mobile Triumph prepaid Android phone for $188

With its spacious screen, fast processor, and impressive feature set, the Triumph puts most other prepaid phones to shame.


When I first encountered the Virgin Mobile Motorola Triumph last July, I called it the best no-contract phone you could buy. And that was when it was priced at $299.99.

Right now, Wal-Mart has the Motorola Triumph prepaid Android phone for $188, plus $2.97 for shipping (unless you opt for site-to-store, which is free). Sales tax also applies.

Unlike a lot of prepaid Android phones, the Triumph pulls no punches in the features department. Granted, specs alone don't tell the whole tale, but they tell a lot. The Triumph features a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 32GB of onboard storage, a wonderfully spacious 4.1-inch screen, a 5-megapixel rear camera, and a front-facing VGA camera for video chats.

All this comes packed into a phone that's surprisingly thin and light. I can't say it's particularly attractive, more of a dull black plastic slab, but the Triumph's got it where it counts.

For one thing, it's fast. I found it just as responsive as the much pricier Samsung Nexus S 4G (which I'd also been testing at the time). Apps load instantly, Web pages scroll quickly, and games play smoothly.

Of course, the real beauty of the phone is that it requires no contract. Virgin Mobile's service plans start at just $35, which includes 300 voice minutes and unlimited data. (But not unlimited 3G: you get that only for your first 2.5GB; after that, Virgin throttles you back to 256Kbps. That's incredibly annoying, but the reality is that few users exceed even 2GB of data per month anyway.)

I do have a couple gripes with the phone itself. First, it runs only Android 2.2, and apparently Virgin has no plans to issue an update. Second, it lacks a dedicated camera button. I've also had less-than-stellar results with Virgin's Sprint-powered network, at least in my area, but your mileage may vary.

Want to learn more? Read CNET's review of the Motorola Triumph. The upshot: it's a four-star phone.

Given that Virgin sells the Triumph for $279.99 and Amazon's price is $209.99, you gotta love walking away with this for $188.

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