What’s more important for you, owning bleeding-edge technology no matter the cost or getting the best money can buy? If your answer is the latter, you might be interested in the ZTE Imperial, US Cellular’s new exclusive phone.

ZTE Imperial US Cellular launches ZTE Imperial: Jelly Bean, LTE and massive battery for just a penny

Right off the bat, I want to warn you not to expect a lot of oomph from this little guy. It’s no pushover, mind you, and actually has a couple of features worthy of a 2013 upper mid-ranger, but on the whole it’s fairly modest spec-wise.

For one thing, the 4-inch display is both fairly tiny and not so very crisp, boasting WVGA resolution (800 x 480 pixels). Meanwhile, the processor is dual-core and clocked at a decent 1.2 GHz, but with no other details known about it we can’t say how zippy it’ll be.

You also only get 4 GB of on-board storage, plus a 5 MP rear camera that sounds… unexciting, to be kind. But here’s where things start to look up – there’s Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out the box. And 4G LTE speeds. Not too shabby, right?

zte imperial US Cellular launches ZTE Imperial: Jelly Bean, LTE and massive battery for just a penny

Well, it gets better, as there’s also 1 gig of RAM and an unusually large 2,500 mAh battery. Paired with a not so great screen and what we think is a mediocre chip, the ticker is likely to last you roughly 12 hours of heavy use between charges, which is downright awesome.

Of course, that winning autonomy has to come at an expense. Namely, bulk. The ZTE Imperial measures an uncomfortable 12 mm in thickness and weighs in at a hefty 154 grams, so it’s anything but elegant.

Then again, fashion is not everything and on the whole the Imperial looks like a bargain for US Cellular’s pricing structure. The carrier asks a mere $299.99 with prepaid plans or $0.01 with two-year contracts. Now I’d like to see you turn down that deal.

Via [The Droid Guy] and [US Cellular]