On Thursday, March 15th, last week, Virgin Mobile released the Venture. The Venture is from Alcatel and PCD, or maybe ZTE, depending on who you ask. None of them are well known. The key feature of this phone is the pricing: just $100 for an entry level Android handset.
The specifications are not particularly exciting. The screen is the oddest part of the hardware. It’s just 2.8-inches, but it is a touchscreen. It’s quite odd to put such a small screen onto a phone that is going to end up being Android based. Below the screen, you have your array of usual Android-action buttons: home, menu, back and search. Below that, you have the rest of the surface area dedicated to the keyboard in a BlackBerry-esque fashion.
There is a 2 megapixel camera, which is quite lackluster even coming from the Optimus V, but it has an LED flash which usually, only the higher end phones have. The 512 MB of memory is great, but what’s going to end up using it on a screen that small? In another respect, it’s identical to the processor speed with respect to the Optimus V: 600 MHz. That’s not so great but amusing there isn’t too much crapware, it should suffice.
Clearly, this phone is aimed at those BlackBerry users looking for a little refresh in their lives. The keyboard orientation is perfect for that. The screen size is comparable to BlackBerrys, and of course, if you ever handle one while you’re used to touchscreens, you’ll end up touching it a lot with nothing happening – this phone solves the problem of being compelled to touch the screen.
If you’re coming from another Android phone on the Virgin Mobile line up baring the Intercept, you don’t really need to know this exists. If you’re on that horrible Intercept still, jump ship quickly, maybe to this Venture but preferably something more powerful like the Triumph or Optimus Slider.
If you’re on that Virgin Mobile BlackBerry, well, the BlackBerry or yore is not on the Virgin Mobile website anymore, so it is probably prime time for an upgrade.