OK, so it might not be the Galaxy Nexus, but HTC's Wildfire S for Virgin Mobile is a fairly decent smartphone (the carrier's second best option), and it is available off-contract for a fraction of the price of a more high-end handset. Under regular circumstances, the device comes in at just $199.99 without any sort of contract, but from now until Saturday (November 26th), it's half off - $99.99.

Again, that's less than a Benjamin for a fully off-contract Wildfire S, complete with:

  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • WiFi/3G radios
  • Bluetooth
  • A 3.2-inch touch screen
  • A microSD card slot
  • A 5.0MP camera
  • A battery good for 4 hours of talk time/12.5 days of standby

Admittedly, those specs don't quite make for a flagship handset, but then again, it costs under a seventh of the off-contract price of, say, the Galaxy Nexus. A tempting deal, to be sure - hit up either of the source links if you're hooked.

image image

Sources: Radioshack, Best Buy

Jaroslav Stekl
Jaroslav Stekl is a tech enthusiast whose favorite gadgets almost always happen to be the latest Android devices. When he's not writing for Android Police, he's probably hiking, camping, or canoeing. He is also an aspiring coffee aficionado and an avid moviegoer.

  • Richard

    Why can't AT&T do this with the GoPhone? So ridiculous. lmao

  • Dennis F. Heffernan

    Pardon my n00bishness, but would this thing work on AT&T? My mother's iPhone was recently stolen and she might like one of these.

    • DK

      no, they all pretty much run on separate networks.

      AT&T is GSM, Virgin Mobile USA is on Sprint's 3G CDMA network.

      Both T-Mobile and AT&T are GSM, and share the same 2G freq(s), so their phones can be used on the other network's 2G service (but that's not worth doing, as it's super slow).

      • Dennis F. Heffernan

        That's what I thought, but I wasn't sure. I'm still learning to parse the alphabet soup in the radio listings.


  • DK

    not 2nd best phone on VM US.

    triumph is probably best, then the optimus slider, the optimus v, THEN the wildfire S.

    spec for spec, the optimus V beats the wildfire, which is 6 months older, plus it could be picked up for ~$100 now on ebay/radio shack etc also.

  • Ashley

    Well i think you can unlock the phone then get the SIM card for AT&T, then it should work with the AT&T network.

    • DK

      CDMA (only) phones don't have SIM slots.

  • Jesus Otero

    If i were to buy this phone and then try to activate it on Verizon, would they let me?
    Just curious because my mom is thinking about replacing her feature phone.

    • DK

      no, it won't work on verizon.

      Amazon has a sale (for the next couple days) where a bunch of high end android smart phones are a penny when you sign up for a 2 year contract through them. http://wireless.amazon.com/f/pennypincher

      So if her contract has been fulfilled she could re-sign up for another 2/years w/Verizon through Amazon. her current plan might not even have a data plan on it, but smartphonese on verizon require a $30/month data plan, + $40 voice plan minimum.

      If that's doable, I'd recommend either the HTC Rezound, or Motorola Droid RAZR.

  • Some one please reply quickly

    If I buy this phone and try to activate it on T-mobile, is it possible?

    • J

      No. If you check other posts here, DK points out that VM uses's Sprint's network. Sprint is a CDMA carrier, and T-Mobile is GSM. The radios in the phone wouldn't be able to 'talk' to T-Mobile's network & visa versa. It'd be a hardware issue, so there'd be no jailbreaking or rooting to fix it...

      If anything, you might be able to get Sprint to activate it... Though, since technically its already on their network, all it'd help would be to get slightly higher connection priority on a crowded tower...

  • J

    Rather than the whole "If I buy this can I use it on ..." questions... I had a thought of how this could be useful...
    If you're predominantly in wifi blanketed areas, you could spend the $99 to get the phone, keep it in Airplane mode, load Google Voice & a SIP app (and/or maybe Skype &/or other similar apps) and make a VoIP phone. As long as you're in a wifi area, you should be able to make free, unlimited calls, without a monthly bill... And the Google Voice option would also allow free text messaging as well.

    It could be useful for college kids, for example. Most campuses have wifi pretty much everywhere (and if not, depending on the campus's network policy, a $50 router should at least cover the dorm room)... Being a recent grad, I know cash can often be limited, and getting to save $50-70 each month would really go a long way...

    Though, if your campus, like mine, is in a more rural area, it wouldn't work so well going off campus as wifi options would be limited...

    Maybe, you could get it activated on Virgin Mobile's network as a pre-paid/burner type phone... Then if your in the middle of no where & your car breaks down, you could switch out of Airplane mode & call for help....

    • Droider87

      Thanks 4 clearing that up for everyone...shiddd make me wanna cancel my contract wit sprint and do dat...would save >$100 a month smh lol

  • ghost11

    can u apply this on any virgine mobile plan?