MetroPCS’s first 4G LTE smartphone is here

It’s going to be a busy week for 4G fans. Just two days before Verizon launches its own LTE smartphone the HTC Thunderbolt, MetroPCS will beat it to the punch with the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Indulge.

The Indulge is the first 4G smartphone for MetroPCS running over the LTE (Long Term Evolution) spectrum, and will bring 4G connectivity to customers who can’t qualify for a major carrier and/or want to have a budget-friendly wireless plan. The company previously introduced the 4G Samsung Craft, but that was not classified as a smartphone since it can’t run sophisticated apps.

The Indulge, which will be in stores in two days on February 11, comes with Android 2.2 and a 1 GHz Hummingbird processor, as well as a 3.2-megapixel camera.

Although MetroPCS’s plans are very affordable, because it doesn’t deal with service contracts users have to pay a lot of money up front for a good phone. The Indulge will sell for $399.

MetroPCS’s LTE network is available in 13 major US markets, including Boston, Philadelphia, and New York. Using the phone in a non-4G area will drastically reduce performance as it goes down to 2G mode.

The phone will also carry an interesting feature called “virtual credit card,” which will allow users to browse and shop online, and charge purchases to their MetroPCS account as though it was a credit card.

It also comes pre-installed with the movie Iron Man 2, and there’s a 4 GB microSD card included.