Check here when you start looking for the HP.
The iPhone is certainly a good choice but it's not for me. I like have options and I like control over what my device can do. Give me Android and root any day of the week. Battery life is ok. If you want the best battery life look at blackberry... if you don't mind a smartphone way behind the times.
I use Eset Nod for antivirus. I've never had a problem with viruses because I don't click on stupid things and I don't open suspicious emails.
I'd go with Microsoft Security Essentials because its free and it has a lower impact on system resources. Secondly, from my experience MSE appears to be better at doing its job then AVG is.
If your parents are anything like mine, then I'd completely recommend getting a computer as similar to yours as possible. The hours you'll save on phone-tech support issues with them is reason enough. "What button? I don't have a button there. What Menu? The one across the bottom? What Icon? I don't have a blue and yellow one on my desktop!"
that's fantastic advice.
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I also use Virgin Mobile. I have the Optimus V and am more than satisfied with it. If you use the internet a lot, which I don't, you may want to look at the Motorola Triumph ( Motorola Triumph Android Smartphone | Virgin Mobile ) that they offer. I really don't know much about it but it does have a 4.1" screen. The Optimus V is a good phone but the screen is 3.2" and isn't really great for viewing the interwebs.