Samsung Exhibit II 4G Hits T-Mobile, Walmart

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 said.

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 contacts.

"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.