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Best smartphones for school

A new year of learnin' deserves a fresh new phone. Here are our favorite picks for starting the school year off right.

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Jessica Dolcourt
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Handsets for school

Fresh school year, fresh start. From tweens to post-graduates, the perfect study companion is out there for you.

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2 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

LG G Stylo

Forgot your laptop or notebook? No sweat. The LG G Stylo's built-in stylus and large, 5.7-inch screen give you room to write. It sells on T-Mobile, Sprint and Boost Mobile for between $200 and $300 all-in.

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3 of 9 James Martin/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S6 Active

Here's why I like AT&T's Samsung Galaxy S6 Active: for $200 on-contract, it costs the same as the regular Galaxy S6 (also a great all-around choice), but with a sturdier build and waterproofing. That'll save you some cash and protect your phone from drop and spills.

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4 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

Motorola Moto X

Customization options give your Moto X a unique edge. You can pick the back texture (like leather and wood), accent color, and an engraving. Plus, the price and specs are likably mid-tier.

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Motorola Moto G

A much more simple smartphone, the second-gen Motorola Moto G is a sound deal for a starter handset. This is one Android you'd want to consider when keeping a tight grip on those purse strings.

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6 of 9 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Microsoft Lumia 640

Another low-key, approachable device, the Microsoft Lumia 640 sells with AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket and MetroPCS. Sturdy, colorful hardware and the straightforward Windows Phone OS make this perfect for first-timers and casual phone users.

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7 of 9 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

HTC One M9

For the student who is all-business, the One M9 is a polished mobile machine. Serious specs and a gorgeous build make you the envy of everyone on the quad, especially when blasting music through those powerful stereo speakers.

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8 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

If you've got a little time before you buy, the Galaxy Note 4 is a top-of-the-line stylus-phablet that'll soon become much cheaper. Fall is the time of year that Samsung typically announces its new Note. Time it right for steep savings on this 2014 model.

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iPhone 6

Any way you size it, the iPhone 6 is a solid, pretty device that's pretty much a no-brainer for students glued to their Macs, especially with the Continuity/Handoff features Apple introduced with the Yosemite OS and iOS 8.

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