Virgin Mobile USA announced two brand new Android-powered smartphones today. The carrier will add the LG Optimus Slider and the HTC Wildfire S to its roster next month. While the Wildfire S was first unveiled by HTC in February and has since been sold in many countries, this is the first time that the Optimus Slider was officially launched by any carrier.
The Optimus Slider was supposed to be headed to Sprint, but apparently the Now Network handed it over to its Virgin Mobile subsidiary. That this would happen we’ve known for a couple of days already, and it’s nice to finally have the official details.
So, without further ado, here they are. First up, the Optimus Slider. In some ways, it can be seen as the successor to the LG Optimus V that Virgin Mobile has been selling for a few months now. That was a keyboardless device, and Virgin’s own version of LG’s Optimus One. Successor as it may be, the new Optimus Slider will be sold alongside the Optimus V, so that even if you don’t care for QWERTY keyboards but would like an affordable LG Android-powered smartphone, you’ll still have something to choose.
The LG Optimus Slider has a 3.2-inch HVGA (320×480) touchscreen, a 3.2 MP camera, a full physical side-sliding QWERTY keyboard, microSD card support, a 3.5 mm headset jack, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G, and a 1,500 mAh battery. It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
The LG Optimus Slider will cost $199.99 sans contract, and will be available on October 17 online from Virgin Mobile. On October 31, it will be in RadioShack and Best Buy stores, on November 6 at Target, and on November 13 in Sprint stores.
The HTC Wildfire S is Virgin’s version of the phone that we’ve known for a long while now. It has a 3.2-inch HVGA (320×480) touchscreen, a 5 MP camera with LED flash, a 600 MHz processor, 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS. It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and comes with HTC’s Sense UI overlay.
The HTC Wildfire S for Virgin Mobile will be available at RadioShack in white and at Best Buy in silver. You’ll be able to purchase one on October 23 from either of the aforementioned retailers. The price being asked for the Wildfire S is $199.99 without a contract, just like the Optimus Slider. Strangely, it looks like the Wildfire S won’t be available from Virgin Mobile directly, at least not at first.
So Virgin Mobile has just enriched its smartphone portfolio with two very decent (and nicely priced) midrange Android-powered offerings. That should naturally make you pretty happy if you’re a Virgin customer.
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