AT&T's most affordable 5G smartphone yet starts at an incredibly low price
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UPDATE: As promised, the Radiant Max 5G has gone on sale for AT&T Prepaid customers, costing however $99.99 instead of $89.99 or $179.99. Ma Bell's website is relatively light on information for now, so it's not entirely clear if that price tag is good for both new and existing subscribers and under what conditions.
Interestingly, the same exact phone seems to have quietly started selling at Cricket Wireless too under the Cricket Dream 5G name. The AT&T-owned prepaid operator is currently charging $189.99 across the board, but something tells us substantial discounts are right around the corner for those looking to port in an existing number.
In case you were wondering, PhoneScoop reports the handset is manufactured by FIH Mobile, a Foxconn subsidiary that's built numerous Nokia-branded devices marketed by HMD Global in the past. Oh, and that initially unspecified octa-core processor is apparently MediaTek's Dimensity 700, which is... not bad for this price bracket. And yes, the screen settles for a sub-par resolution of 1640 x 720 pixels, aka HD+. Our original story follows below.
While the top three US wireless service providers may have disappointed their customers with a less-than-stellar 5G network expansion and improvement rate these last couple of years, one thing you must appreciate is how fast and how low 5G handset prices have fallen since 2019.
Of course, the best phones out there are still normally available for around $1,000 (or even more if we're talking the latest foldable flagship), but some of the best budget 5G phones you can buy unlocked or from a major US carrier right now go for well below 400 bucks, which would have simply been inconceivable in early 2020, for instance.
Although AT&T's most affordable 5G smartphone yet looks unlikely to take on Samsung's Galaxy A52 5G, Google's Pixel 4a 5G, or even the OnePlus Nord N200 5G, its pricing structure makes the brand-new 6.8-inch giant quite hard to resist for many of Ma Bell's cash-strapped prepaid customers.
Starting tomorrow, September 10, new subscribers will be able to get the AT&T Radiant Max 5G at an incredibly low $89.99, with existing customers looking at paying an extremely reasonable $179.99 of their own.
That's less than what T-Mobile charges for its cheapest 5G-enabled device, which is the "Un-carrier's" own-brand REVVL V+ 5G, although the same 6.8-inch handset is currently available for free from Metro by T-Mobile with a number port-in.
In case you're wondering, AT&T doesn't appear to be requiring new prepaid customers to meet a similar condition in order to score the Radiant Max 5G at 90 bucks, but unsurprisingly, you will need to activate a new line of service on an Unlimited plan and sign up for AutoPay.
Otherwise, you'll probably have to cough up the "full" 180 bucks, which is also not bad for a reasonably powerful-sounding phone with an unnamed octa-core processor under the hood, as well as a large 4,750mAh battery supporting fast charging and wireless charging, 64 gigs of expandable storage, no less than four rear-facing cameras (including a primary 48MP imaging sensor), and a single 13MP selfie shooter.
Said front-facing cam is housed in a somewhat excessively wide notch, which alongside an unquestionably large "chin" and an unspecified screen resolution likely to circle the HD+ rather than the FHD+ mark, probably explains (at least in part) why this thing is so unbelievably cheap. To be perfectly clear, though, you're still looking at a great bargain here, at least on paper.