Phones to avoid
It's no easy task birthing a cell phone, but despite the hard work that goes into designing and manufacturing these handsets, things can go (very) awry. If you've been thinking about picking up one of the following phones the next time you head out of the house, well, you might want to reconsider.
Editors' note: This post was originally published March 9, 2012, and is updated frequently.
Alcatel Authority (Cricket Wireless), January 2013
As this is Alcatel's first attempt at an Android phone, you have to give it points for trying. Unfortunately, with the Authority's glacial processor and dated operating system, let's hope Alcatel will only improve from here on out. Read the full review.
ZTE Groove (Cricket Wireless), November 2012
All right, we guess we can forgive its use of an outdated slang word (at least it's not worse, say, ZTE Daddy-O?). But we really couldn't look past its low-resolution touch screen that you can't even really view well at certain angles. Also not helping are its cheap toylike build and poor audio quality. Read the full review.
ZTE Anthem 4G (MetroPCS), September 2012
What's worse than early-2000s pop-punk band Good Charlotte's song, "The Anthem"? Probably ZTE's Anthem. Not only is it slow, it has an unattractively thick profile, a blue-tinted screen with a narrow viewing angle, and a ho-hum camera. Read the full review.
Huawei Verge (MetroPCS), October 2012
Not everyone needs the most high-tech phone available on the market -- we completely understand that. But that's still no excuse to put out even a mediocre feature phone like the Verge. With its inconsistent call quality, frustrating Web browser, and terrible camera, we say pass this one up. Read the full review.
Pantech Hotshot (Verizon Wireless), October 2011
Although the Hotshot makes decent calls, its laggy processor and unresponsive touch screen proved to be too frustrating. Rather than creating a mediocre hybrid of smartphone and feature phone, it's best to make a solid version of just one or the other. Read the full review.
Compare these phones head-to-head.