The handset will be the first no-annual-contract 4G smartphone to be sold at most Walmart stores.
Network operator T-Mobile USA and Samsung Mobile are offering
the latest budget-conscious 4G smartphone option, the Samsung Exhibit
II 4G. The handset will be the first no-annual-contract 4G smartphone
to be sold at most Walmart stores, available starting Oct. 27, and is
expected to cost $29.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate card with a two-year
service agreement and qualifying voice and data plan. It will go
for $199.99 without an annual contract. The Exhibit II
4G is also planned for nationwide availability with no annual contract
plans as well as two-year contract plans starting Nov. 2, the company
Featuring a 3.7-inch WVGA TFT touch screen and a 1 GHz Qualcomm
Snapdragon processor, the Exhibit II 4G, announced Oct.
26, provides a variety of entertainment capabilities and Web
browsing experiences. The smartphone offers access to TV shows and
movies through T-Mobile TV in mobile HD and Samsung Media Hub. Powered
by Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the device features a variety of Google's
applications and services such as Google Maps and Gmail, plus thousands
of others via Android Market.
Offered in a marine blue color, the Exhibit II 4G makes it possible
to share and take photos and videos via its 3-megapixel rear-facing
camera with flash and video capture capabilities. The front-facing
camera also makes it possible to connect with friends and family via
video chat through T-Mobile's 4G network or Wi-Fi. Additionally, the
device enables users to organize personal and business email accounts,
as well as sync with Microsoft Exchange and Google calendar and
"T-Mobile offers a variety of low-cost service plans that, paired
with America's largest 4G network, provide a compelling reason for
consumers to step up to the benefits of 4G smartphones," Andrew
Morrison, vice president of product management at T-Mobile, said in a
statement. "The Samsung Exhibit II 4G is the perfect device for
consumers desiring a smartphone with robust 4G entertainment and Web
browsing experiences - at a price they can afford."
The latest announcement from the two companies represents a
continuation of a market strategy implemented earlier this year, when
the big-box retailer announced it would launch the Walmart Family
Mobile powered by T-Mobile, a brand of post-paid cell-phone
service that offers unlimited talk and text. Family Mobile is a monthly
plan available without a contract or multi-year commitment. The service
will be provided by T-Mobile over its nationwide network, and was sold
exclusively by Walmart in nearly 2,500 stores starting Sept. 20.
Activated accounts come with a free preloaded 100MB WebPak, which
provides access to the Internet, for every line of service.
In addition, the Family Mobile platform offers a selection of
handsets from not just Samsung, but Motorola and Nokia-including
several phones with Android. Because there are no contracts, customers
are able to upgrade their phones anytime by purchasing a new handset
with no fees or contract commitments.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.