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Boost, Virgin Mobile get first LTE smartphones

Virgin's Galaxy Victory 4G LTE and Boost Mobile's HTC One SV and Boost Force are the first phones for the prepaid carriers to use Sprint's 4G LTE network.

Samsung Galaxy Victory
Samsung Galaxy Victory Virgin Mobile

Sprint subsidiaries Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile finally joined the LTE wave today by acquiring their first devices compatible with Sprint's growing network. Though both carriers carry WiMax handsets, Sprint began phasing out that network in favor of LTE last year.

Virgin's Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE is another member of the company's ever-expanding Galaxy family. Its feature set shows that Virgin continues to up the ante on its smartphone lineup.

Running on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, it has a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 5-megapixel camera with HD video capture, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, Bluetooth 4.0, Samsung's S Beam feature, support for NFC and Wi-Fi, and a microSD slot that can accommodate cards up to 32GB.

The Galaxy Victory is available today online for $299 with Virgin's prepaid service. The handset will arrive at Virgin retailers by the middle of next month.

HTC One SV Boost Mobile

Boost, meanwhile, is picking up two new LTE handsets. The HTC One SV expands to the prepaid carrier from its current home at Cricket. That means we can expect an attractive, premium design (Brian Bennett was a fan in his review of Cricket's handset), and a 4.3-inch display.

It still runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but the feature set shows that Boost also is moving past its entry-level smartphone roots. Inside are a Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.2GHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera, a 1.6-megapixel front camera with 770p video capture, support for Wi-Fi and NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, and Beats Audio integration.

Here again, HTC promises great things about the One SV's camera, though Brian wasn't impressed with the photo quality when he tested the phone previously.

The One SV is $299 without a contract. That's quite a bit less than Cricket's $349.99 price tag, but slightly more than than the $279.99 that Cricket offers with rebates. It will be available beginning March 7.

If the One SV is too expensive for your tastes then you could consider the Boost Force. It has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, which is the carrier's fastest processor to date, a 4-inch touch screen, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a 5-megapixel camera, a 1-megapixel front camera, Wi-Fi, and GPS.

Also going on sale March 7, the Force is $199.99 with Boost's prepaid service.