You can always count on T-Mobile for wallet-friendly options.
Its latest is the T-Mobile Prism, an entry-level Android smartphone that costs just $19.99 with a two-year contract (after a $50 mail-in rebate). If you're contract-shy, you'll also be able to buy it without a bi-yearly commitment, for $149.99.
The 3G Prism runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread and features a 3.5-inch HVGA touch screen.
We actually heard much more about the Prism from unofficial leaked documents than from what T-Mobile has officially shared. The carrier did say that the Huawei-made device features a 3.2-megapixel camera with digital zoom, and video capture, but the device also apparently comes with a 2GB microSD card installed and a humble 600MHz processor (quite measly-sounding by today's rip-roaring high-end standards).
Of course, processing horsepower usually isn't the top consideration for first-time smartphone buyers who are watching their financial figures, and the mix of features could still satisfy. We'll make sure we get the Prism reviewed as soon as possible.
The T-Mobile Prism will start going on sale at Best Buy first, beginning May 6, and at Wal-Mart on May 9. T-Mobile's retail stores will pick up the starter smartphone on May 23.