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CNET Top 5: Smartphones that cost a dollar

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CNET Top 5: Smartphones that cost a dollar

4:09 /

If you're shopping for a new phone and you don't absolutely need the latest and greatest, here are five worthy smartphones that can be had for just $1 on contract.

-With new smartphones coming out every month, it's easy to believe that you need the latest greatest model just to keep up, but in reality, there haven't been many big practical advances in smartphones for a while. So, buying an older phone isn't really a bad idea especially if you get a great deal. I'm Donald Bell. And on this top 5, I'm counting down the best smartphones that can be had right now for just $1 on contract selected by CNET associated editor Lynn La. These are all these bagoodies and the most practical way. These are just as good as any of the top-shelf phones of 2013. Starting things off at #5, the Samsung Galaxy S2 on T-Mobile. Now, everyone freaks out about the Galaxy S3, but it didn't just drop out of nowhere. It was the S2 that set the stage with a 4.5 Super AMOLED screen, dual-core processor, NFC, and an 8-megapixel camera. This phone was way ahead of its time for 2011. And one of the only complaints we had about it was that it was too pricey at $230. They fixed that problem. We also wondered why any one would need a phone that's big and now it looks freaking adorable. So cute. At #4, the Nokia Lumia 822. Now, here's the phone on Verizon that just came out a few months ago. It's a Windows phone with good specs. A 4.3-inch screen, 8-megapixel camera, and enough memory support to let you put in 64 gigabytes of additional storage. Best of all, you get Verizon's 4G LTE network support. Now, when this phone came out, we thought it was a little boring for $99, but now that we are seeing it for about a penny, boring is fine. Just treat yourself to a fancy case. An AT&T phone comes in at #3. It's the Pantech. Now, this is the smallest phone of the bunch with an iPhone-like 4-inch screen, but it's using a beautiful Super AMOLED display backed by a dual-core processor and a classic design that doesn't feel as slick and plasticky as some of these other phones. The call quality wasn't so hot, but that AT&T 4G LTE makes up for it especially when you consider that this phone is being offered for just a penny. Personally though, I don't care how much it costs. Anything named Burst is going nowhere near my pocket region. And only slightly less explosive sounding option comes in at #2. It's the LG Nitro HD. This one's also on AT&T. You get a bigger 4.5-inch screen with HD resolution, 1080p video capture, 4G LTE, and a dual-core processor. When it came out in the end of 2011, it was a 4-star top-shelf smartphone that was 250 bucks on contract. Now, it can be had for a penny and it connects to the same internet and gets the same e-mail as any other phone in the room. But just in case you're wondering what spending a little more will get you, here's CNET's top 5 list of the best smartphones overall for February 2013. Now, a lot of these are gonna fall off the list in the next few months, but the satisfaction of paying a dollar or less for your new phone is a feeling that never goes away. Alright. And now, our #1 smartphone pick for cheapskates like me, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Sprint. For Android phones, having that Google-sanctioned Nexus endorsement is a big deal. And more importantly, it means that you get the most up-to-date version of android on here, Jelly Bean. 4.6-inch AMOLED HD display, 4G data from Sprint's now operational LTE network, and even has support for Google Wallet so you can freak out cashiers when you pay for stuff with your phone and tell them all about how you've been sent from the future to prevent a robot uprising. All of that for just $1. Amazing. So there you go. 5 great smartphones that cost less than a sandwich. For all of our latest phone reviews, you can check out phones.cnet.com. For more top 5s like this, head over to top5.cnet.com. I'm Donald Bell. Thanks for watching.

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