Virgin Mobile announced earlier today that it would be bringing the new ZTE Shocker (model number: N800, aka VM AWE) to its lineup of EVDO-powered devices. Rocking it at just $99 without a contract, the specs on the Virgin Mobile AWE might not interested enthusiasts, but the amount of power you get for under a hundred bucks is still worthy of note.
Inside of the phone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor, running at 1.2GHz. Despite being a budget phone, the MSM8630 chipset is capable of some pretty advanced features, including 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second and capturing 3D stills at 12 megapixels. The on-die GPU is an Adreno 305.
It’s unlikely that ZTE has enabled support for all of these capabilities (especially since the rear camera sensor is ‘just’ 5MP), but it goes to show that even low-end phones have catapulted forward in ability. The AWE/Shocker also features a 4-inch IPS touchscreen running at 800×480, 1GB RAM, Bluetooth 4.0 and support for micro-SD cards.
There are a few downsides to choosing a $99 phone, and in this case you’ll only be getting 4GB of storage space built into the device, and it’ll be shipping with Android 4.1, with little chance of ever being upgraded.
The current version of Android is 4.3, with an update to Android 4.4 KitKat / Key Lime Pie expected to drop within the next month.
The phone can be used with any of Virgin Mobile’s three pre-paid plans: a $35 option, which includes 300 minutes, and “unlimited” messaging and data, a $45 option which bumps the minutesup to 1200, and a $55 option, which includes “unlimited” everything.
We put unlimited in quotes, because Virgin Mobile only guarantees 2.5GB of higher-speed data before your connection gets throttled; moreover even if you have a Sprint/Virgin Mobile 4G-capable phone, the service limits adaptive-bitrate video to using just 3G speeds.
The phone is available today from Virgin’s website.