$30 AT&T Impulse brings 4G to the masses

AT&T has just introduced a new Android-powered smartphone that can cater to budget-conscious mobile consumers.

The Impulse 4G will cost just $30 with a new two-year service contract. With an 800 MHz processor and 512 MB of internal storage, it’s not exactly the most powerful Android 2.2 phone, but it isn’t too shabby either.

The phone also has a 5-megapixel camera and a microSD card slot for extra storage space.

One little footnote that should be added is that AT&T’s so-called ‘4G’ network uses a much more basic technology than the 4G services offered by other carriers. As such it is only a marginal upgrade from 3G, and some have criticized the carrier for even using the 4G term.

AT&T is in the process of upgrading its high-speed service to a 4G standard called LTE, which will put it on par with Verizon, but the Impulse does not take advantage of that standard.

Nevertheless, it is a fantastic move to get more people interested in Android and 4G, particularly those who walk into a mobile store and think everything is more or less the same.

It is the latest push from the faltering mobile company to grab new customers after it lost exclusivity to offer the iPhone. It’s actually done quite a good job, securing contracts with Sony, Amazon, and other manufacturers for non-phone devices that connect to mobile data networks.

The Impulse 4G will be available September 18 at AT&T stores nationwide.