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Best phones for the holiday penny-pincher

If you're on a budget, consider these reasonably priced -- and sometimes even free (after you sign a carrier agreement) -- handsets for the holiday season.

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Lynn La

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1 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Stellar (Verizon)

If you're on a budget, consider these reasonably priced -- and sometimes even free (after you sign a carrier agreement) -- handsets for the holiday season.
Free after you sign a two-year agreement and purchase it online, the Samsung Galaxy Stellar from Verizon offers Android 4.0, a decent screen, and a snappy CPU.
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2 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

LG Nexus 4 (unlocked)

You simply cannot find a more affordable high-end unlocked phone than the LG Nexus 4, which Google is offering for $299 and $349 for the 8GB and 16GB versions, respectively. Though we knocked it down for not having 4G LTE, it still delivers a pure Android Jelly Bean experience, NFC, a slew of new photo options, and a decent 8-megapixel camera.
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3 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

Pantech Flex (AT&T)

For about $50 and a carrier contract, owners of the Pantech Flex can get 4G LTE speeds on AT&T's network, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and an interface that's great for smartphone beginners.
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4 of 7 Richard Peterson/CNET

Motorola Droid Razr M (Verizon)

The Droid Razr M is one of the newest phones from Motorola. Offered by Verizon for $99.99, the M's attractive build complements its lovely screen, fast data and internal speeds, and impressive battery life.
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5 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate (AT&T)

AT&T's Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate has a dual-core processor, 4G LTE network speeds, and a nice 4-inch screen. But its best feature is its price -- the carrier is currently selling the Exhilarate for the rock-bottom price of 99 cents.
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6 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

LG Viper (Sprint)

The attractively built $50 LG Viper from Sprint can record great 1080p HD video with its 5-megapixel camera, and has NFC capabilities.
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7 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

Kyocera Hydro (Boost Mobile)

If you want to get a contract-free handset with no service agreement, consider the Kyocera Hydro on Boost Mobile. For $100, you get a waterproof phone with Android 4.0 and excellent call quality.

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