T-Mobile plans to offer the Samsung Exhibit 4G and Gravity Smart, two mid-level Android devices, on June 22 for $80 and $70, respectively, with a two-year contract.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based carrier said the Exhibit runs on its faster 4G network, which boast speeds of up to 21-megabits per second. It also features a 3.0-megapixel camera and a VGA lens for video chat, and a 1-gigahertz chip for smooth performance during videos and games. It runs on Android 2.3 software.
The Gravity Smart, meanwhile, runs on Android 2.2, and features a slide-out keyboard. What it lacks in speed it makes up for in social networking features like Twitter and Facebook.
Both devices join T-Mobile’s growing slate of Android products, such as the high-end HTC Sensation 4G.
T-Mobile, long known for its cheaper, low-end offerings, is awaiting a pending merger with AT&T. Offering competitive prices is a “win-win” scenario for the carrier. It reinforces T-Mobile’s statement that it will treat AT&T like a competitor until regulators decide on the merger. If the merger falls apart, T-Mobile will still have grown its customer base by offering these new phones, and if it goes through, the wireless carrier will simply be making it even more worthwhile for AT&T by bringing over even more customers.
Since T-Mobile has trailed carriers like Verizon and AT&T, it has a history of wooing consumers with competitive prices. The cheap price tag of a 4G phone, like the Exhibit, compared to the Sensation at $200, is something T-Mobile has made even more attractive by the recent expansion of its 4G network.
It has added 55 new markets, including Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.
Whether T-Mobile merges with AT&T or doesn’t, the release of these new Samsung phones may tempt customers to take one last look at the carrier before committing to another two-year contract elsewhere.
AT&T doesn’t have to keep their prices as low as T-Mobile to stay competitive, and if T-Mobile disappears into AT&T, the prices of these phones may do the same.