Phones to avoid (2012)

If you're having trouble choosing a new phone, here are five you can eliminate right off the bat. These are the top five phones to avoid for 2012.

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Not every phone can be great. Sometimes, in the rush to get a phone to market, the final product comes out a little half-baked.

A few weeks ago, CNET's Jessica Dolcourt published a blog post called " Don't buy these phones ." Being the math whiz that I am, I noticed that her list had five phones and I promptly rehashed it to fit my purposes.

Now, these aren't terrible phones. Most are rated between 2 and 3 stars. They work as advertised, they won't fall apart in your hand, and many of them are very affordable. But with so many outstanding phones out there, it really would be a shame to get stuck with one of these.

For a list of highly recommended phones check out CNET's Top 5 Android smartphones and Top 5 smartphones under $50 . Or, just browse our always-up-to-date list of best cell phones.

Read the full CNET Review

ZTE Score M (MetroPCS)

The Bottom Line: Though the ZTE Score M makes satisfying calls, its sluggish processor and network speeds aren’t worth the trouble. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Pantech Swift - purple (AT&T)

The Bottom Line: The Pantech Swift is the most appealing Pantech handset on AT&T with a keyboard, but sufficient flaws keep us hesitant about recommending it widely. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Pantech Hotshot - red (Verizon Wireless)

The Bottom Line: With its delayed touch screen and sluggish processor, the Hotshot's smartphone-esque look is a detriment. It's better to commit to a full-on feature phone or a smartphone instead of a device that overlaps the two. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Samsung Brightside (Verizon Wireless)

The Bottom Line: The Samsung Brightside isn't my all-time favorite feature phone, thanks to its exposed touch-screen menu, low-res screen, and laggy processor, but it is one option for Verizon customers. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Sony Xperia Ion (AT&T)

The Bottom Line: The $99.99 Sony Xperia Ion looks like a good Android deal but its weaknesses make it not worth even the budget price. / Read full review

About the author

Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.

 

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