Things change quickly in a year, and now you get can a well-featured Android smartphone like the Samsung Exhibit 4G for just $79 with a 2 year contract and $349 without contract. This fairly pocketable and slim phone runs Android OS 2.3 Gingerbread, Google's latest and greatest phone OS, with a smattering of TouchWiz on top. It's a bit more subtle than the Samsung Galaxy S 4G version of TouchWiz, and we like it.
Since the phone costs less than the Samsung Vibrant did at launch and less than the Galaxy S 4G, you get a smaller display and a more basic looking casing. That's not such a bad thing because the matte casing isn't as slippery and doesn't show fingerprints. The 3.5" AMOLED capacitive display is very crisp and bright, and it runs at a crowd-pleasing 800 x 480 resolution.
The Exhibit 4G chugs along nicely on a 1GHz Hummingbird CPU with graphics acceleration, and it supports Adobe Flash 10.3. Camera specs are middling with a 3MP shooter on the rear and a front VGA video chat camera that works with Qik. The phone has the usual Bluetooth, WiFi 802.11b/g/n and a GPS and a microSD card slot pre-loaded with a 4 gig card. As the name implies, it has 4G HSPA on T-Mobile's US bands.
If you're on a budget, this is a lot of phone for the money. Call quality is very good and battery life is solid.
Here's our Samsung Exhibit 4G video review:
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview