Waterproof ZTE Reef with Android Jelly Bean launches on Virgin Mobile for $149.99 contract-free

By Alexandra Burlacu | Aug 22, 2013 12:41 PM EDT

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Virgin Mobile USA has started selling the waterproof ZTE Reef handset for an affordable price tag of $149.99 off-contract.

Sony's recent trend of offering waterproof devices seems to be catching on, and ZTE has a waterproof smartphone of its own. The ZTE Reef is an entry-level handset without any spectacular features, but it is able to resist for 30 minutes in water up to one-meter deep.

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The handset is also running on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is a pretty good selling point. In may not be the latest version of Android, but other entry-level smartphones have even older versions.

"Finally, a smartphone that's not afraid to party poolside. Reef, Virgin Mobile's first waterproof device, features a 4-inchh touchscreen and a 5-megapixel camera with HHD video, letting you capture those cannonballs up close," touts the carrier on its product page.

The ZTE Reef's 4-inch display features a reasonable 800 x 480 resolution, suitable for entry-level handsets. The smartphone also has a 1-megapixel front-facing shooter in addition to that 5-megapixel rear camera Virgin Mobile touted.

Other specs and features of the waterproof ZTE Reef include a single-core processor clocked at 1GHz (manufacturer unknown), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Virgin Mobile ID Packs, Virgin Mobile Feed, and a micro SD card slot allowing for additional memory of up to 32GB. The smartphone also packs a decent 1,650 mAh battery, which should last for up to 9 hours of talk time.

It's obvious that the ZTE Reef is far from a high-end smartphone, but it may be a good fit for first-time smartphone buyers or those looking to get a good entry-level handset for an affordable price, without having to commit to a lengthy contract with a carrier.

The waterproof certification and the Android Jelly Bean operating system are perhaps the strongest traits of the ZTE Reef, along with the low price tag. Contract-free smartphones usually cost a bit more, but Virgin Mobile is keen on making its devices affordable.

Head over to the carrier's website to purchase the ZTE Reef or to learn more about the device. New subscribers who join Virgin Mobile will also benefit from a $70 account bonus for new Beyond Talk plan activation. 


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