Virgin MiFi 2200 | Virgin MiFi 3G Wi-Fi | Virgin MiFi Smartphone Release Date Preview and Review

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As far as hardware goes, Virgin have only made aesthetic changes to the original MiFi 2200, not physical. That means you still get a relatively compact, palm-sized device – discretely finished in brushed silver and black – with a single button for power and a microUSB port for charging or using the MiFi as a tethered modem. Inside the battery compartment is a 1,150mAh rechargeable pack; unlike the GSM version of the MiFi, there’s no microSD card slot for using the 2200 as a mobile NAS.

Starter packs for the Wi-Fi modem will run at $199 from Dick Smith, which includes the modem and 1GB, although apparently that data is only for a limited time. It’ll hit other major retailers in December.

The enigmatic reader (only identified by the initials "NS") even went so far as to include some unboxing pictures for our (and your) pleasure. Between this, and Sprint's recent Beyond Talk announcement, it looks like 2010 is shaping up to be a good year for pre-paid wireless.

The Virgin Mobile MiFi unit is a 3G Novatel MiFi unit that will be available on July 28th for $150 online, at Best Buy and The Shack (Radio Shack). Like the MiFi device we reviewed earlier this year, the Virgin Mobile MiFi will share your 3G connection with up to 5 devices; including notebooks, iPads, Eye-Fi cards and pretty much anything with the ability to connect to WiFi.

Virgin is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sprint and uses Sprint's 3G EVDO Rev A network, so I'd expect download speeds around 1 Mbps. The device has 4 hours of battery life while online and 40 hours of standby time, the company said.

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