No LTE, No Problem: Sprint’s $100 LG Viper Goes Up For Pre-Order On April 12

Sprint still hasn’t launched their new LTE network yet, but if a new announcement about a LTE-capable handset is any indication, they’re getting pretty close. Though the existence of a Sprint-bound Galaxy Nexus probably overshadowed it a bit, Sprint has announced that LG’s eco-friendly Viper handset will be available for pre-order beginning on April 12 with a release soon to follow.

There’s no word yet on when the Viper will actually hit Sprint’s sale’s channels, though recent rumors point to an April 15 launch date.

In case the Viper has slipped your mind since January (something I can’t really blame you for), it features a solid if unremarkable spec sheet. We’re looking at 4-inch WVGA NOVA display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, NFC/Google Wallet support, a 5-megapixel rear camera and a VGA front-facer. Sadly, the Viper will only be giving users a taste of Gingerbread, though some of the preloaded apps make the package a bit more compelling — who couldn’t use 50GB of free cloud storage from Box?

The Viper seems destined to occupy that rung below the Galaxy Nexus and the not-yet-confirmed-but-probably-real EVO One, but for $100 (after a $50 mail-in rebate, yuck), it’s a small price to pay for the first crack at Sprint LTE. Or is it? That distinction aside, the Viper reminds me an awful lot of Verizon’s Lucid, another LG device. Both appear to be completely respectable devices sitting at a compelling price point, albeit with a lack of star power.

It’s still too early to pass judgment on the Viper, but with the Galaxy Nexus on the horizon and HTC’s own device getting ready to be officially unveiled, Sprint customers are best off sitting tight for now.