Reliable and affordable smartphones

Let's face it, smartphones can get pricey -- very pricey. But if you're willing to compromise on the latest and greatest in mobile tech, there are some handsets out there that perform well and can fit your budget. Here, you'll find some reliable and low-cost (either on or off-contract) devices that crossed our paths recently.

Editors' note: This piece was originally published on February 19, 2013, and is updated frequently.

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Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

LG Tribute

Not only does the Tribute cost just $80 on Virgin Mobile, run Android 4.4 KitKat and have a 5-megapixel camera -- it is also one of the most elegantly designed, low-budget phones we've seen in a while.

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CNET Editors' Rating
3.5 stars Very good

HTC Desire 510

Available without a contract on Boost Mobile for $100 and Cricket Wireless for free (after you send in a $75 rebate), the Desire 510 is a well-crafted 4G LTE handset with a 4.7-inch touchscreen, a quad-core processor, and expandable memory.

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CNET Editors' Rating
0 stars Not yet rated

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

Samsung's junior-sized version of its flagship handset from the year before is equipped with a nimble 8-megapixel camera, a dual-core CPU, and a bright 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display. At $250 prepaid on  Sprint, it's one of the "pricier" devices on this list, but it's still pretty reasonable.

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Updated:
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CNET Editors' Rating
3.5 stars Very good

Samsung Galaxy Light

For just $30, the compact Galaxy Light for MetroPCS offers users 4G LTE, strong call-quality, and a decent 5-megapixel shooter.

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CNET Editors' Rating
3.5 stars Very good

First-gen Motorola Moto G (4G LTE)

Currently, the original Moto G with 4G LTE is available on several carriers for varying low prices. On AT&T you can get it for $1 after you sign a two-year agreement. If you prefer to go off-contract, it will cost $180. However, Cricket Wireless is selling it for $25 after a mail-in rebate.

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CNET Editors' Rating
4 stars Excellent

LG Optimus L70

Currently selling for $30 and $60 on MetroPCS and Cricket Wireless respectively, the Optimus L70 delivers clear calls, a useful and programmable quick-launch button, and a decent 4G speeds.

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CNET Editors' Rating
3 stars Good

Nokia Lumia 635

The Lumia 635 is a popular phone for the price conscious since it sports 4G LTE connectivity and a charmingly colorful design. The Windows Phone handset runs the 8.1 OS and goes for $168 on T-Mobile, $140 on AT&T, and free on Cricket Wireless after users send in a $75 mail-in rebate.

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CNET Editors' Rating
3.5 stars Very good

Samsung Galaxy Avant

At $230 on T-Mobile, the Galaxy Avant is already a competitively priced Android 4.4, quad-core phone. But at $100 (after users send in a mail-in rebate) on MetroPCS, it's definitely a steal.

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CNET Editors' Rating
3 stars Good

LG Optimus F3

Boasting an impressive long-lasting 2,460mAh battery, a bright 4-inch touchscreen, and an adequate 5-megapixel camera, the compact Optimus F3 can be found at Virgin Mobile for $78 and Boost for $100.

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Updated:
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CNET Editors' Rating
3.5 stars Very good

Where to Buy

HTC Desire 510 (navy blue)

Part Number: CNETDESIRE510NVYBLU
MSRP: $216.00 Low Price: $0.00 See all prices

Where to Buy

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

Part Number: i9190GalaxyS4mini
Low Price: $214.36 See all prices

Where to Buy

Motorola Moto G (4G LTE) - white

Part Number: Moto G LTE White
Low Price: $189.99 See all prices

Where to Buy

LG L70

Part Number: L70
Low Price: $88.87 See all prices

Where to Buy

Nokia Lumia 635 (black)

Part Number: LU625-BK
MSRP: $238.00 Low Price: $69.99
    See all prices
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