The prepaid smartphone market has been heating up for quite some time. What used to be aimed at kids and credit challenged individuals, is now a thriving, smartphone rich environment for those that just dislike contracts. T-Mobile has a somewhat new offering from Samsung in the Exhibit II 4G.
The Exhibit II 4G comes with a street price ranging from $200 to $350 depending on the deals you can find in it. For that decent non-contract price, you get a very adequate 3.7″ WVGA display, a solid 1GHz processor, 384MB of RAM and just over a GB of App memory. You also have an additional GB+ of internal storage for photos, music and more. The specs on the device measure up very well against the big dogs from 2010 and still fair well against the non-dual core offerings out today.
The Exhibit II 4G runs on the T-Mobile 14Mbps verison of their 4G network. Real life speeds vary by location of course, but in our neighborhood, we average about 6Mbps down and 3Mbps up. For a prepaid offering, these speeds top anything else in our area.
The Exhibit II 4G performs daily tasks well, and uses Android 2.3.5 as a base with Samsung’s Touch Wiz interface laid over the top. Touch Wiz does a decent job of staying out of the way of most things, and the few places that it jumps in aren’t totally bad. The calendar, music player and email programs all perform well, and overall the functionality of the device is good.
If we had to pick out one spec that drove is batty, it would have to be the “so 2009” 3MP camera with VGA capture. The camera quality is good with only a small amount of shutter lag. The lag becomes much worse with the auto-focus engaged though. The images also appear a bit under exposed. You can adjust for this by adjusting the exposure setting to +.5 or +1 in the camera app. Video recording works fine, although coming off the WVGA and 720p qualities, VGA just falls short. None the less though, 640×480 is also just great for sharing on Facebook or other mobile site.
Overall, the Samsung Exhibit II 4G is a great, non-contract offering with plans to fit just about everyone. The $30 – 100 minute / unlimited Text & Data deal is tough to pass on for those that don’t talk much. The $60 Unlimited Everything plan is even better for those chatter boxes out there. If you don’t need as much high-speed data, there is a $50 offering that allows you 100MB of 4G data before getting throttled to dialup speeds. You can pick up the Exhibit II 4G for $249.99 at Getsmartphones.info.