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Huawei's Premia 4G costs $99

Strip away a carrier's contract subsidy price, and you realize that smartphones are expensive electronics, often costing $300 for a midrange device and $500 or $600 for premium units. That's why the Huawei Premia 4G, $99 after a $50 mail-in rebate, is such a find.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/ CNET

Hand hold

The Premia 4G's construction is basic, and totally adequate. It won't win points for slimness or style, but but it does have a bright 4-inch display (800x480-pixel resolution) and a slightly rounded back to contour to your palm.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/ CNET

Android all the way

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich flavors the Premia 4G. It isn't the newest version of Android, but it also has the most important features. Huawei has only added a light skin to what is overwhelmingly a stock Android experience.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/ CNET

Back view

A finely pebbled back panel gives the Premia 4G a modicum of texture and grip. It isn't scratchy, but neither does it feel luxe, or even especially comfortable.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/ CNET

Camera action

A 5-megapixel camera and flash grace the back of the phone; it can record 720p HD video. Above the screen, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera handles self portraits and video chats.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/ CNET

Power up

The phone's power button and 3.5-millimeter headset jack sit on top.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/ CNET

Volume control

You'll manage volume on the phone's right spine, where the rocker is relatively short and flush, but still easy to operate.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/ CNET

A final look

Overall, Huawei's Premia 4G offers a great off-contract price for this Android 4.0 handset. However, it isn't my top MetroPCS pick and there are some negative aspects you should know about if you're considering this smartphone. You can read all about it in my full Huawei Premia 4G review.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/ CNET
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