CNET Top 5: Phones to avoid
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CNET Top 5: Phones to avoid

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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.

The pace of new phones coming to the market is relentless. To keep up, sometimes carriers and manufacturers let a few duds slip through. In this episode, we're counting down the Top 5 phones to avoid, selected by CNET Senior Editor Jessica Dolcourt. Phones so bad, they make the Microsoft Kin seem like a good idea. Starting off at #5, the Sony Xperia Ion on AT&T. Sony isn't known for making inexpensive products, so the $99 price tag is a hint that all is not as it seems. The OS is stale, the processor limps along, and somehow Sony found a way to make a 12 megapixel camera take bland photos. Next up at #4, the Samsung Brightside, as in "Look on the bright side, at least this phone was cheap." Verizon should actually be paying you to take this monster off their hands. The interface looks like it was designed on a Commodore 64. Feature phones like this are a dying breed, and that's something to be thankful for. At #3, the Pantech Swift on AT&T. This $69 messaging phone is the perfect gift for a teenager, if you hate them. It's heavy, it doesn't even run Android, and the camera on the back doesn't have a flash. I mean, it�s not like teeneagers are known for taking pictures with their phone ...all the time. Also, charging $8 for a game of Tetris. That is criminal. Coming in at #2, the Pantech Hotshot on Verizon. [*pew-pew*] The combination of slow processor and a cheap touch screen make typing and navigation so bad, you kinda have to laugh. Unless you bought one, in which case you're probably enrolling in anger management classes. Now before we get to the worst phone of the bunch, let�s remind ourselves what good phones look like. Here's CNET's current list of the best 5 phones for the Summer of 2012. You can always check out phones.cnet.com for the latest recommendations and reviews. A two-year contract is a long time to suffer with a bad phone, so let us help. Finally, our #1 phone to avoid in 2012 is: the ZTE Score M on Metro PCS. The name is so full of win! Unfortunately, the phone is not. It's full of bloatware, trapped under a really bad screen. The call quality was so bad, it actually hurt. There you go, now you know what phones to avoid. A special thanks to Jessica Dolcourt for putting this list together. For more Top 5's like this, including our Top 5 Android Smartphones and Top 5 smartphones under $50, head over to Top5.cnet.com. I'm Donald Bell, thanks for watching.
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