Boost, the prepaid mobile brand of the Dish Network, has just unveiled its own super-affordable 5G smartphone. The Celero 5G will be offered for just $279, making it one of the most affordable 5G smartphones available on the US market.
The device is exclusive to Boost/Dish, and gives it an on-ramp to migrate customers to 5G in a super-competitive environment where smaller carriers like Boost have been caught out by supply shortages caused by the collapse of LG earlier this year and the ongoing component shortage that has seen smartphone supply become constrained.
The Celero 5G was custom-designed for Boost and features a MediaTek chipset, a 6.5″ display, 4 cameras, a large 4,000 mAh battery, 4GB of RAM, and 64MB of storage.
The phone will operate on T-Mobile’s 5G network (Boost was formerly a Sprint brand, acquired by T-Mobile when it merged with Sprint before being sold off to Dish). While the Celero 5G does not yet support all of Dish’s unusual bands (i.e., n70), future models will.
The Celero 5G is an example of a usual but effective strategy. Boost, faced with declining subscriber numbers and unable to get enough smartphones from its usual suppliers, went directly to a manufacturer, Wingtech, with its own design. The flexibility shown by Boost and Wingtech allowed the companies to bring to market an affordable 5G smartphone, made more affordable by a special pre-order deal through the month of October that allows customers to get 12 months of free unlimited 5G service with the purchase of the Celero 5G.
The US smartphone market has become highly concentrated in recent years. The introduction of the Celero 5G from Wingtech will bring needed diversity to the market at an attractive price. Other lower-cost 5G smartphone vendors, such as Motorola and TCL-Alcatel, should take note.