Right now, the Galaxy S 4 and HTC One are the two Android devices most buyers are running out to their local carrier and buying. In terms of pure power and features offered, it's difficult for any other phone to compete. Sprint is hoping to change that with the announcement of a carrier-branded phone called the Vital that is boasting some pretty serious specs, and is doing it in a package that only sells for $100 with a two-year contract.

The Vital comes with a5-inch HD 1280 x 720 screen, which is much bigger than those typically found on budget devices. It also comes with a solid 13 megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 1MP front-facing lens.

In terms of technical specifications, the Vital has some pretty serious punch for a budget phone. It features Android4.1.2 Jelly Bean installed, a Qualcomm 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and1GB RAM. It includes 8GB of internal storage out of the box, and the memory can be expanded by 64GB through amicroSDcard. Some other notable highlights include a moderately large 2500 mAhbattery, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, and mobile hotspot functionality.

The device is being built byChinese phone-maker ZTE, but it will carry the Sprint branding. Of course, the carrier already has Samsung and HTC flagship devices, so this just goes further to expand its Android offerings though both high-end phones from the aforementioned companies start at $200 with a new contract.

While this phone is unlikely to attract the hardcore Android fans who want the best of the best, for phone shoppers on a budget who are looking for a device with good specs and a large screen, Sprint's new Vital could be an option worth considering.

By Dave LeClair