Friday
October 31, 2014

Smartphones 2011: Shop By Budget

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Smartphones 2011: Shop By Budget

Unless indicated, hardware prices reflect the purchase price at press time with a two-year service contract, rebates, and other incentives offered by service providers. Check carriers' Web sites for up-to-date pricing.

Shop by Budget:

 Budget Buyer: Less than $100

Rebates, discounts, special offers, and even refurbished models give those looking for bargains a good selection of smartphones for less than $100, including a few models that are free with a service contract.

Motorola Citrus
Motorola Mobility Inc.
Free with Verizon service contract

This Android smartphone’s key features include a 528 MHz processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 3-inch touchscreen with a virtual keyboard, and a 3 MP digital camera. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible.

LG Quantum
LG Electronics
Free with AT&T service contract

The Quantum runs the Windows Phone 7 operating system. Key features include a 1 GHz processor, 16 GB of internal memory, a 3.5-inch touchscreen, a slide-out mini QWERTY keyboard, and a 5 MP digital camera with 5x zoom. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible.

Samsung Intercept
Samsung
Free with Sprint service contract

This 3G Android phone can be used as a mobile wireless hotspot. Other key features include a 800 MHz processor, 3.2-inch touchscreen, slide-out QWERTY keypad, 3.2 MP camera, and GPS and navigation. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible.

Blackberry Curve 3G
Research In Motion
$49.99 with Sprint service contract

This entry smartphone runs the Blackberry OS. Key features include a 624 MHz processor, 2.4-inch screen, QWERTY keypad, 2 MP camera, and GPS. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible.

Dell Venue Pro
Dell
$99 for 8 GB version with T-Mobile service contract

This Windows Phone 7 smartphone combines a large touchscreen with a slide-out keypad. Key features include a 1 GHz processor, 8 GB of memory, a 4.1-inch touchscreen, a 5 MP camera with LED flash, and GPS. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible. Some Windows Mobile software apps included. 16 GB version available.

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 Mid-Range: $100-200

The largest selection of new smartphones can be found in the $100-$200 range when purchased with a service contract.

Palm Pre 2
HP
$149.99 with Verizon service contract

HP’s latest Palm smartphone runs the webOS operating system and compatible software apps. Key features include a 1 GHz processor, 16 GB of memory, a 3.1-inch touchscreen, slide-out keyboard, 5 MP digital camera/camcorder, geo-tagging of pictures. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible. Wi-Fi hotspot supports up to five devices.

HTC EVO Shift
HTC
$149.99 with Sprint service contract

The touchscreen of this 4G Android phone slides out of the way to reveal a QWERTY keypad. Key features include an 800 MHz processor, 2 GB of storage, 512 MB of RAM, a 3.6-inch sliding touchscreen, a 5 MP camera/camcorder, and GPS. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible. Can serve as Wi-Fi hub for up to eight devices when connected to 4G network at extra monthly cost.

Atrix 4G
Motorola Mobility Inc.
$199 for phone with AT&T contract; $499 with laptop docking station

This versatile full-featured Android smartphone can plug into an optional docking station to function as a notebook PC. Key features include a 1 GHz dual core processor, 16 GB of memory, a 4-inch HD touchscreen with a virtual keyboard, front and rear cameras, and a biometric fingerprint reader. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible. Can serve as a Wi-Fi hub for up to five connected devices with some plans. An optional docking station includes a full-size keyboard and 11.6-inch screen.

Samsung Galaxy S 4G
Samsung
$199 with T-Mobile service contract

This 4G Android phone’s key features include a 1 GHz processor, 16 GB of storage, a 4-inch touchscreen with a virtual keyboard, a 5 MP digital camera/HD camcorder, GPS, and mobile video calling. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible. Can serve as a Wi-Fi hub for connected devices.

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 High-end: More than $200

The most expensive products are either top-of-the line smartphones boasting the latest technology or phones sold in an “unlocked” version, without a service contract.

iPhone 4 32 GB
Apple
$299 with service contract from AT&T or Verizon

This version of the iPhone includes 32 GB of storage. (A 16 GB version is available.) Key features include an A4 processor, 3.5-inch HD widescreen touchscreen, virtual keyboard, front and rear cameras, a 5 MP digital camera/camcorder with LED flash, and GPS with photo and video tagging.

Nokia N8
Nokia USA
$449 for unlocked phone

This smartphone is compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile GPRS/EDGE networks. Key features include the Symbian operating system, a 680 MHz processor, 16 GB of memory, a 3.5-inch touchscreen, dual cameras including a 12 MP camera/camcorder with 2x digital zoom, LED flash, and HD video recording capability, and GPS navigation. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible.

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This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of the products in this category. NAR doesn’t evaluate or endorse these products and isn’t responsible for changes in product info. Prices are the vendors’ suggested retail prices and are subject to change.