On Monday, Verizon announced it will carry its first 4G LTE smartphone to break the $100 price floor.
The Pantech Breakout will hit the market Thursday, September 22 for $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate, bringing it to about half the cost or less of some of Verizon’s key LTE smartphones such as the HTC Thunderbolt or Samsung Droid Charge.
It features some specs found on pricier smartphones including a 1GHz processor, 4-inch display with 800 x 480-pixel resolution and a 5MP camera. Users may also record in 720p HD video and there’s a second front-facing camera for video chat.
The phone runs on Gingerbread (Android 2.3) and it can serve as a hotspot for up to 10 other devices.
GigaOM estimates the Breakout has more than half the functionality of the pricier Verizon LTE smartphones. It guesses Verizon’s plan is to entice more consumers onto 4G, where they will quickly become addicted to the faster speeds.
Verizon is expected to cover 185 million people with 4G service by the end of the year.