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

4:21 /

There are some amazing, first-class cell phones out there. These aren't them.

There's nothing fun about shopping for a new phone, especially when you're on a budget. Your heart says iPhone, but your wallet says previously owned flip phone. Ughhh. And so you find yourself looking at low cost phones you know nothing about. It's a dangerous position to be in, but thankfully CNET can help you spot the duds. I'm Donald Bell, and in this Top 5 we're counting down the cell phones to avoid for 2013, ranked by CNET Associate Editor Lynn La. Starting off at #5: the Alcatel Authority on Cricket Wireless. This is the newest phone on this list, making its debut back in March. Which begs the question, �Why the hell is this thing running Android 2.3?� Maybe they thought you wouldn�t notice on that crappy 800x480 resolution screen. More likely, they couldn�t get anything more recent than Gingerbread to run on their sad little processor. Don�t let the name fool you. A toddler with an iPhone 3G can wield more authority than this thing. At #4: the Huawei Verge on Metro PCS. Now I actually like this phone. It�s a conversation starter. The conversation going something like, �Hey, do you want to see my Delorean? I just traveled here from 1998.� Seriously, it looks like you mugged someone�s grandma and took her phone. That said, I am cheap, and $49 with no contract sounds like a pretty good deal. If I ever need a phone to smuggle into prison or organize a meth lab, the Huawei Verge is at the top of my list. I can�t say the same for #3: the Pantech Hotshot on Verizon. This guy�s a holdover from last year�s list, but people are still buying it. So let�s go over this again. Even if they PAY YOU to take this phone, you�re still paying too much for it when you factor in the two year contract with Verizon for a phone that can�t even use its 4G network. The processor is ancient, the operating system is proprietary and void of any app you might want. And the screen, aside from being laggy and sometimes totally unresponsive, has a resolution lower than the first Apple Newton. This thing is a disaster, and we�re only halfway through. Coming in at #2: the ZTE Anthem 4G on Metro PCS. If the thought of a no- contract 4G Android phone for $200 sounds too good to be true, you�re right. The spoiler here is that the whole thing is bottlenecked by a slow 1.2Ghz processor and 512mb of RAM. It might be 4G coming to the phone, but over speed is still stuck in 2010. And so is it�s operating system. Here�s another recently released phone that�s still running Gingerbread. On the upside, it comes preinstalled with Kung-Fu Panda 2, but you can tell your kid it�s Star Wars Episode 7 is you want since they�ll be wincing at an 800x480 resolution screen. Whomp-whomp. Now, before we get to our #1 worst phone of 2013, let�s remind ourselves what good phones look like. Our current top pick over at CNET�s list of the best 5 phones is the Samsung Galaxy S4. $200 on contract, available everywhere, stunning screen, and it runs the latest greatest version of Android. Instead of Kung Fu Panda, this phone comes with dignity. Alright, and now, for the #1 phone of 2013 that you should avoid like the plague: The ZTE Groove on Cricket Wireless. When we first got this phone we assumed that it was one of those slide-out keyboard deals, but no -- turns out that this phone is just big and ugly. It�s also like a �greatest hits� of everything we hated about the last four phones. A stale version of Android, crappy screen, slow processor, ugly design, not to mention bad call quality. This is one Groove I would be happy to lose. Alright that's it, you've been warned. 5 phones that will make you sad and curse your life. To find a phone you'll love check out CNET's reviews at phones.cnet.com. And for more Top 5's top5.cnet.com. I�m Donald Bell, thanks for watching.
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