Sprint has begun offering a free tablet to everyone who buys a smartphone with a two-year contract. This may seem like a good deal, but like the free printers PC makers used to offer, it comes with a pricey catch. No, you won’t have to buy expensive ink for this tablet, but you will have to pay a hefty monthly fee. The tablet in question is the ZTE Optik, a 7-inch Android device, and to get it, you also have to sign up to a two-year contract for the tablet as well, which will cost you an additional $35 a month.
Here’s a rundown of the ZTE Optik’s specs. This is an Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) device, which means it’s two updates behind the current version of Android. It sports a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, has a 1.25GHz dual-core processor, 16GB of internal memory, and 1GB of RAM. It also has a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing webcam. It is an entry-level tablet.
The deal is available with any smartphone, from the Samsung Galaxy S3 to the iPhone 4S. If you’re with Sprint and preparing to upgrade, then now is probably a good time. Anyone tempted by the deal has until September 30 to take advantage. Sprint is also offering a “buy one, get one free” deal on the Samsung Galaxy S2, which will run you about $100.
The 7-inch tablet space looks to be heating up with rumors of an iPad mini and a new Kindle Fire to join the ranks of the Nexus 7 and the newly discounted Nook. This could be an attempt to shift some old, soon to be forgotten, inventory off the shelves at Sprint. The fact you have to sign up to a separate two-year contract for the tablet definitely takes the shine off, we have to say.
We highly recommend you try out the ZTE Optik for yourself before committing to a two-year contract. We don’t know if any tablet will be worth committing to for two years, especially a ZTE Optik.