Alltel offers the Android-run Samsung Gem for free

The Samsung Gem may not glitter as brightly with Android 2.1 instead of 2.2, but the free price is enough to polish away some disappointment.

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Content strategy | Team leadership | Audience engagement | Tips and FAQs | iPhone | Samsung | Android | iOS
Jessica Dolcourt
Samsung Gem

We caught wind of the Samsung Gem last month, but today Samsung and Verizon's Alltel have made their match official.

The 3G, candy bar Android smartphone sports a 3.2-inch touch screen, a 3.2-megapixel camera, an 800Mhz processor, and Swype on the virtual keyboard. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a load of Google services are also present, as is a microSD card slot.

We're not too impressed that the Gem packs Android 2.1 Eclair, considering that the more advanced Android 2.2 Froyo has been available for over six months.

Still, the rock-bottom price will make up for an earlier OS for some. Alltel's Gem will be free after a $50 mail-in rebate for all new two-year service agreements.