T-Mobile reveals cheapest 4G phone yet

Posted by Mark Raby

Coming in at just $80 after mail-in rebate, T-Mobile's Exhibit 4G is one of the most accessible 4G devices yet.

The carrier just announced the new phone, and says it will be available in stores by the end of the month.

Customers will be able to pick one up for $130 if they sign a new two-year service agreement, but a $50 mail-in rebate will bring the total net cost down to 80 bucks. That's one of the most affordable 4G phones we've seen to date.

Of course, T-Mobile's 4G network is on the low end when compared to the other carriers. It does still offer substantially faster Internet speeds than its - or any other wireless provider's - older 3G network. However, because its deployment consists of marginally upgrading existing infrastructures instead of building up new structures from the ground up, it can barely compete with Sprint's 4G Wimax network, much less Verizon's blazing fast 4G LTE network.

But it does make T-Mobile a good entry-level 4G provider for budget-conscious consumers. And don't let the price tag fool you. The Exhibit 4G still packs a punch, with a 1 GHz processor, rear-facing and front-facing cameras, and the most recent smartphone version of Android, 2.3, pre-installed.

The phone will also come with a handful of games - Bejeweled 2, Scrabble, and Doodle Jump - out of the box.

When it comes out later this month, the Exhibit 4G will be available in both black and violet.