I broke my gadget moratorium yesterday to cheer me up. I went down to Virgin Mobile yesterday to pick up a CDMA-based Audiovox Flasher V7 pre-pay camera phone to see what the kids are using nowadays. For $150, you actually get quite a lot, though I'm not sure if it's as good as what you can get nowadays with Seven Eleven and AT&T Wireless selling Nokia 3200's, it's pretty close.
I won't do a full-on review since it's been covered before. You can see a video of the phone at CNet. What I really wanted to do was just have a decent CDMA camera phone in my possesion, without having to have a contract at Sprint or Verizon. This was to test data services, etc., but unfortunately Virgin has walled off their data access. Using the integrated OpenWave browser, you can only get to Virgin's XL portal. Urgh. Do any of my readers know Richard Branson? I'd love to explain a few things to him about opening up data services so that we can build some cool stuff.
You know what would be *really* cool? A smart phone oriented MVNO! Yeah! It would only sell Nokia Series 60 and 80 devices, and would be specifically geared towards data services. Not just an add-on to the current carriers, but a whole carrier dedicated to smart phones. Wouldn't that rock? Instead of being in the minority at carriers which have dozens of phones and barely understand what smart phones do, we'd be the number one customer all the time!
Definitely sign me up to that service when it arrives.