Android Central

We've spent some quality time the past few days with the Samsung Vitality from Cricket Communications, and we've come away pleasantly surprised. With the Vitality, you've got a mid-level Android smartphone that's light, thin and surprisingly quick. It's running Android 2.3.4 with the stock user interface, with an 800MHz processor pushing a 3.5-inch display at 320x480 resolution. There's a 3.2MP camera on the back. A dual-core, high-megapixel, high-end phone this is not.

But the raw specs aren't the shining features of the Vitality. Can you believe, unlimited everything for just $65?

Youtube link for mobile viewing

No, the shining features of the Vitality are the Muve Music service, and Cricket's all-encompassing data/voice/music plans.

Let's get back to the hardware for a second. The phone itself will run around $200 on contract (update: That's outright -- Cricket doesn't do contracts) when it's released later this month. It's a pretty basic candy bar design, with four physical buttons below the display. The volume rocker's on the left-hand bezel, along with the microSD card. Yes, it's external. No removing the battery. That's a nice touch.

The right-hand bezel houses the power button and Muve button. And that's your first indication that the Vitality indeed is a music phone. The Muve button has two functions. A short press takes you to music play screen, a long press takes you to the Muve home screen.

The Muve Music experience was surprisingly good. I usually prefer to just drag and drop folders onto a storage card and sort things out myself, but Muve does a nice job of presenting and organizing the music that you download to the phone. And the downloading process is simple, too -- just a couple taps. You'll do all your downloading over Cricket's 3G network -- there's Wifi on the phone, but it doesn't work with Muve. While it's certainly not as fast as Wifi, it wasn't horrible, either.

As you'll see in the video above, Muve is an easy-to-use music service. But what really makes it shine is that Cricket's made the billing process as simple as can be. Actually, there is no billing. No per-song fee. You pay $65 a month for unlimited voice calls. And unlimited data. And unlimited Muve Music. And for our money, it doesn't get much better than that.

Samsung Vitality with Muve MusicSamsung Vitality with Muve Music

Samsung Vitality with Muve MusicSamsung Vitality with Muve Music

Samsung Vitality with Muve MusicSamsung Vitality with Muve Music

Samsung Vitality with Muve MusicSamsung Vitality with Muve Music

Samsung Vitality with Muve MusicSamsung Vitality with Muve Music

Samsung Vitality with Muve Music


Reader comments

Hands-on with Cricket's Samsung Vitality with Muve Music


If the economy keeps going the way it is, I think Cricket might be getting more and more subscribers. That is a very good price at $65 for full unlimited.

Boost is full unlimited for $50 and it shrinks over time. You can use any number of music apps. Cricket isn't THAT hot of a deal.

All of these low-cost prepaid services have pretty significant gotchas anyway. All you can eat for a low price always has some fine print you need to read.

The biggest gotcha for Cricket is their lack of coverage. When I left AT&T, I was thinking about Cricket until I saw their coverage map. Basically venture 30 miles outside of any metropolitan area and you are roaming (and paying who knows what type of fees).

No fees for roaming, but they can cut your service if you go use too much, includes 3G data, uses Sprint. For me, the best part of Cricket is that they take phones from other networks (even if the phone has a bad esn on its original network). Boost and Virgin are cheap, but you're stuck with what Sprint decides to release for them. I wish I still lived in an area that supports them, metroPCS sucks, no EVDO. (On the other hand, Virgin works perfectly fine for me).

cricket offers more for the 55 dollar android plan than boost does, and this is with the muve music service as well,65 dollars for all of that is pretty good. The shrinkage is a cool thing though.