Don't buy these phones

Not every phone is a winner. Check out the handsets that will only crush your mobile dreams.

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We review a lot of phones here at CNET. A lot. A few are standouts, most are decent and affordable, and a very few just aren't worth the trouble, low price be damned. Gathered below is the rogues gallery of recent disappointments that just weren't able to live up to their promise. Arm yourself with the knowledge of the phones you can safely skip, then cheer yourself up with this list of rock stars.

Editors' note: This post updates frequently. It was originally published March 2012.


Spend just a tad more and you'll get a way better phone than the Desire 520.

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HTC Desire 520

The Desire 520 has a few things going for it. It's affordable, has loud speakers and has expandable storage. But those things can't outweigh the fact that its screen is rather dull, its battery life is short and the plastic casing feels cheap. Read the full review.


The Speed is actually not so speedy.

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ZTE Speed

Though its petite design makes it comfortable to handle, the Speed is equipped with a slow processor that makes it anything but. In addition to its unimpressive camera, its 960x540-pixel resolution display doesn't respond very quickly to taps and swipes. Read the full review.


Though compact, the Leon's performance is frustratingly slow.

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LG Leon

With its 4.5-inch display, the Leon is pocket-friendly and it's pretty cheap. But its 5-megapixel camera, which lacks touch-focus, captures dull photos and its quad-core processor takes forever to carry out tasks. Read the full review.


There's nothing very grand about the Grand X.

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ZTE Grand X

Though it's competitively priced off-contract, the Grand X is hardly worth the trouble. Its dual-core processor is glacial, its low-res touchscreen isn't responsive and it ships with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out of the box -- making it dated the moment you start using it. Read the full review.


It's in the stars: take a pass on the Orion Pro X500.

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Posh Orion Pro X500

Aimed toward emerging smartphone markets and users on a budget, the Orion Pro X500 is inexpensive and has dual SIM card slots. Unfortunately, its poor 5-megapixel camera, hefty build, and fuzzy 5-inch display outweigh its pros. Read the full review.

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