Jun 10 AT 5:35 PM Edgar Cervantes 22 Comments

Virgin Mobile pledges allegiance to Vanilla Android, not UI skins

Most Android enthusiasts agree Vanilla Android is the way to go, unless you’re an HTC Sense fan. It’s common for users to make the UI one of the most important factors when picking a device, and I know some that wouldn’t even consider purchasing a smartphone with a modified version of Android. Others don’t worry about this at all, since rooting and installing custom ROMs is always an option. But then we’re getting into the whole voiding the warranty deal. Wouldn’t it be nice if phones just came with Vanilla Android? You’ll be glad to hear there’s a carrier out there devoted to bringing the “True Google Experience” to its customers:  Virgin Mobile.

You may recall our surprise at the recently announced Motorola Triumph. It looked like it was going to have pure Android… or at least the images suggested it. Some of us even thought the images with stock Vanilla Android may have been the product of a Photoshop error. Well, it’s no mistake. And it seems Virgin Mobile will try to keep all their Android devices with the “True Google Experience.”

Virgin Mobile USA aims to make available devices that allow the end user to have the freedom to customize the device to their liking. We like to take a consistent approach with our Android portfolio and so we prefer to have the true Android experience loaded on all our Android phones.SpokespersonVirgin Mobile

Very nice to hear, right? Seems almost impossible. Regardless, it’s nice to know that a carrier is interested in keeping Android fans happy. It would be even more interesting to know what the manufacturers think about this.

Those interested in stock Vanilla Android should check out Virgin Mobile. The Motorola Triumph doesn’t sound bad at all. As of now, Virgin Mobile has the LG Optimus V and the Samsung Intercept available. What sounds even better, though, are the prices. Current devices cost $200 without a contract (not bad) and the Triumph will probably cost only a bit more, if not the same. And the monthly plans? They start at $25 with unlimited text, email and data. (No, that is not a typo).

As always, we would like to know what you guys think. So, we created a poll today to see which UI our readers prefer. Please cast your vote and let us know why you made your choice. Is anyone switching to Virgin Mobile for the “Pure Google Experience?”

Via: PCMag

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • http://Website Noriega713

    Stock will always be 1st in my opinion….followed by either HTC Sense or CyanogenMod…Motoblur is just plain crap…TouchWiz, not until they stop looking like IOS.

    • http://Website Samuel

      Honestly i really hate stock android with a passion, its dull, boring, and not enough features, a UI greatly improves the functionality of an android phone. You would need a separate application to do something that could be built into the UI, therefore you would waste more application space. IMO

      • http://Website 4n1m4l

        Most, if not all features made by ui’s can be got by downloading an app… I say let manufacturers handle form factors and let the android open source project handle the os.

      • http://Website Noriega713

        You got your reasons and I got mine…simple as that.

      • http://Website Sergei Brin

        You know nothing about choice and Android. You lose all internets. The end.

    • http://Website cole

      touchwiz doesn’t look like ios, they changed that in 4.0 check out the galaxy s2 to see what im talking about

  • http://Website miui


    • http://Website CallMeMisterr

      MIUI is hot im using it on my samsung vibrant and my HD2 blows the water off anything else :)

  • Adrian

    Vanilla Android is best because other UIs.. Although nice, take up memory RAM and there is usually blOatware from those manufacturers.

    But Google should work a tad bit harder on there UI.

    It would be nice to have an HTC phone with vanilla android . Yum lol

    I think manufacturers should compete hardware wise and forget any effort into UI, unless it is useful things like improving the camera such as HTC does

    (HTC fan…)

    • http://Website Noriega713

      Anyone knows if Google will have the 2.4 UI overhaul, or will it still look like 2.3.4?

  • http://Website Anon

    Vanilla is really easier for everyone involved from the handset maker to the carrier to the customer. The way I see it, if you want a custom rom, you should be able to get it through the android market. The phones should ship with vanilla.

    • AndMac

      hear! hear! yeah!!!

  • http://Website SocalTeknique

    Ive always been a fan of Vanilla Android specially 2.3 because of the black notification bar but ever since they decided to “fix” the color temperature on my Nexus S AMOLED screen I now rock a custom rom and I’ve never looked back. It looks and feels like stock 2.3.4 but it adds a better camera (both picture and video), sound, tons of features and got my beautiful colors on my screen back thanks to Voodoo sound and color controls. NSCollab rom with Netarchy kernel 3000+ on Quadrant on 1ghz

  • http://www.giquegear.com GiqueGuy

    Android stock will always rock,
    unless your update,
    just left to fate,
    would make you celebrate. (if not too late)

  • http://Website kazahani

    Reasons why contract service is better than prepaid:

    - Customer service. You can actually talk to a real person if you have a problem.

    -Coverage. Contract customers have first priority to services, and if the network gets congested, prepaid customers will be cut off first.

    -Cost certainty. Prepaid carriers change their prices all the time. The contract you sign with a carrier isn’t one way, it binds them to the agreement too. Your rate remains the same.

    -Up front costs. Android phones cost $150 to $300 on prepaid, and then you have to pay for your service up front as well. The cost to get started can easily go as high as $400 after you buy a case or a car charger to go with it. Also, they only offer basic devices. You can get a similar or better device for free on contract. You don’t have to pay anything up front to get started.

    Prepaid is definately cheaper from a monthly bill standpoint, but it’s not worth it to me to spend that much money on an inferior device with inferior service.

    • http://Website J.

      The problem with this mode of thinking is that it allows carriers to dictate the experience to the customer.
      WiFi Tether? Not on a major US Carrier you don’t.
      Side load non-market apps? Not on AT&T
      Any phone, any network? HAHAHAHAHAHA

      As long as we accept subsidies, we accept that the carriers are in control.
      Sure, it’s more expensive up front to get the new hotness, but the end game should always, always be doing anything and everything possible to make the carriers into dumb pipes where I buy a chunk of minutes and a chunk of data and how and where and when and what device I use to consume it is irrelevant.

    • Theresa Barone

      Prepaid is way better and cheaper…the cost of the phone pays for itself from the money you save each month compared to contract carriers….went from paid to prepaid and will never go back…contract carriers are a total rip off!!!!

  • http://Website thesparxinc

    This article was paid by who ? … its the second article i read about this crap.

  • http://Website Chuck

    We have a family plan on AT&T maxes out (5 lines). However, there are 6 of us. So I bought my little bro a VM pay-as-you-go last year. After a few months I upgraded him to the $25/month plan because the previous plan was texting only. I knew he had data but his flip phone was atrocious so he really couldn’t use data. I’m an iPhone man but have been watching this site recently cause I like the galaxy S2 and wanted to keep up with android stuff. Boy am I glad I did. I had no idea VM offered an Android phone. So after reading this article last night I went out and bought the Optimus V for him. So far I’m quite jealous of it ( granted I still only have an iPhone 3G. Used my upgrade to give my dad an iPhone 4 ). The one thing I find obnoxious is constantly using the App Killer app. Both him and I are new to android though so if anyone knows a better way to manage running apps I would love to know!

  • http://Website JOHN

    “I’m an iPhone man but have been watching this site recently cause I like the galaxy S2 and wanted to keep up with android stuff. Boy am I glad I did.”

    That’s an awesome compliment to A&Me

  • http://Website Noel

    Polls like these ought to tell these manufacturers something…we want more virgin vanilla Android devices or at least give the OPTION to turn them OFF so as to indulge in the TRUE VANILLA ANDROID EXPERIENCE.

  • http://Website Nicky

    I’ve been using VM for years and was thrilled when they came out with the smart phone and a $25.00 mth plan. I hardly if ever use any minutes.

    I am a bit sad that the Moto won’t have a keyboard. I do love Motorola over Samsung. I don’t know whether to keep waiting or get the Triumph when it comes out.