CNET Top 5: Smartphones under $50
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CNET Top 5: Smartphones under $50

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Buying a new smartphone doesn't have to break the bank. Donald Bell counts down the top five CNET-rated smartphones available for less than $50 on-contract.

If you're in the market for a new phone and you're not buying a smartphone, good luck. There arent many basic phones left and the only people buying these days are the elderly and anyone trying to comfortably smuggle a phone into prison. Lucky for you, the price of a good smartphone has never been cheaper. I'm Donald Bell, and today we're counting down the Top 5 smartphones under $50 for June of 2012, picked by CNET Senior Editor, Jessica Dolcourt. Starting off at #5 Nokia Lumia 710. This is a relatively new Windows Phone on contract from T-Mobile. Were actually seeing this as a free option from a few retailers, which is surprising since you get a 5 megapixel camera, 720p video recording, AMOLED screen, and turn-by-turn GPS. Microsoft and Nokia really, really want you to try a Windows 7 phone. Guys, you had me at free. At #4, the Samsung Focus 2. Same basic premise as the last one, only this is on AT&T and its just a little bit cooler. You get a larger Super AMOLED screen, it works over 4G LTE, great camera, GPS, mobile hot spot. Again, youre rolling the dice with the Windows Phone OS, but we wouldnt rate it so highly if we thought it was a dud. An Android phone slides in at #3. The Pantech Burst, which were actually seeing direct from AT&T right now for one penny on contract. Its basically an Android version of that Samsung Focus 2. You have the 4-inch Super AMOLED screen, 4G LTE, and a 5 megapixel camera. It runs a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, and most of all, it runs Android, so you can trust that theres plenty of apps for it. At #2, the LG Nitro HD. Heres another one on AT&T. Its a 4-star review from CNET, works with 4G LTE, and its camera takes 1080p video. If youre buying for screen size, this is the one to go for. Its a giant 4.5-inch IPS screen that packs a 1,280x720 resolution. When LG says HD, they mean it. Now, before we get to #1, lets take a look back at CNETs picks for the best cheap phones of 2011. One common feature on all of these phones -- they all had physical keyboards. Weve come along way ...I think. And now, the #1 smartphone under $50 is: the Nokia Lumia 900. This is hands-down, the flagship Windows phone from Microsoft and Nokia. Carl Zeiss optics, 4.3-inch screen, a great design that stands apart from the herd. Now this is $99 direct from AT&T, but more than a few big online retailers have this discounted right at the $50 mark. It's a 4-star from us, and a great choice if you're looking for something that's both simple and very capable. Those are the best cheap smartphones on the market right now, as chosen by our CNET editors. For more videos like these check out Top5.CNET.com. I'm Donald Bell, thanks for watching.
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