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Smartphone standouts for the spring

From heavy-hitting flagships to inexpensive alternatives, here are the smartphones that make us look forward to the shifting seasons.

Lynn La
Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.
Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Content strategy | Team leadership | Audience engagement | Tips and FAQs | iPhone | Samsung | Android | iOS
Lynn La
Jessica Dolcourt
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1 of 6 Josh Miller/CNET

Upcoming smartphones for Spring

Whether you're searching for a new mobile device or simply curious about what the industry has in store, you're in luck. There are some pretty interesting smartphones coming up.

We're seeing marquee handsets from Samsung and HTC, LG's curvy high-end alternative and a cost-conscious handset from Motorola.

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2 of 6 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S6

Price: Carriers haven't announced pricing yet, but the Galaxy S6 should sell for about the same amount as last year's model.

Availability: Starting April 10, the GS6 will start selling in 30 countries.

The outlook: Made of metal and glass, the 5.1-inch Galaxy S6 is Samsung's slimmest, sexiest smartphone yet. Packed with high-end hardware, the only things it lacks are a microSD card slot and removable battery.

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3 of 6 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Price: We don't know yet, but the S6 Edge's double-curve screen will exact a higher price.

Availability: Although Samsung hasn't announced its distribution plan, don't expect the Edge to sell as widely as its mainstream sibling.

The outlook: Thanks to its double-barreled curves, the Galaxy S6 Edge feels like a completely different, totally covetous phone. However, a higher price tag would probably make it more of a niche device than it deserves.

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4 of 6 Josh Miller/CNET

LG G Flex 2

Price: $199.99 with carrier contract, $504 without (Sprint); AT&T and U.S. Cellular prices TBD.

Availability: Now (Sprint); "Coming soon" (AT&T); Spring (U.S. Cellular)

The outlook: In addition to being well equipped with high-end specs like a Snapdragon 810 processor from Qualcomm and a sharp 1080p display, the G Flex 2 has a novel curved design that's comfortable to hold, and makes viewing media more immersive.

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5 of 6 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

HTC One M9

Price: We don't know yet, but expect it to align with previous models, both on-contract and off.

Availability: The One M9 will sell across all major US carriers.

The outlook: On the surface, not much has changed with the beautiful M9, but its updated guts tell a different story. However, the M9's 20-megapixel camera quality is the real sticking point, and for that, we'll have to wait.

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6 of 6 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Motorola Moto E (4G LTE)

Price: Starting at $149.99 unlocked; 3G-only model starts at $119.99.

Availability: Now

The outlook: As smartphones advance, the gap between a good handset and a cheap one gets closer as well. Motorola's latest affordable offering, the Moto E (4G LTE) is one such device. Though it isn't the most powerful, the competitively priced E features the latest Android OS, a 4.5-inch display, and a decent 2,390mAh battery.

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