Sprint unveiled a new Android smartphone today for the cost-conscious and the Express is a low-range device that is actually a rebranded Huawei U8350 for the low, low price of about $20 for a two-year contract.
It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and has a form factor very similar to that of a typical BlackBerry. You’ll find a physical QWERTY keyboard right underneath the small 2.6-inch capacitive touch screen. Flip it over to reveal a 3.2 MP camera capable of flash and video recording. The Express also has turn-by-turn GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, and 3G hotspot for up to five devices – a very impressive feature for an entry-level smartphone.
Sprint also bundles an interesting feature called Sprint ID, which is the attention-grabber for this phone. Sprint ID is a way to completely customize your phone using different themes called Sprint ID packs.
These packs have pre-selected apps, widgets, shortcuts, ringtones, and wallpapers that all get loaded onto your phone with a few clicks. Some of the packs are designed for brands like Disney, ESPN, and CMT, while others are for ordinary themes like going green. Sprint has 34 of them available on the Sprint ID site, and all of them are free to download.
The smartphone does require a monthly data plan, but if you are looking for savings up front, the Sprint Express is only $19.99 with a two-year contract. It’s available now online and in Sprint retail stores.