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The year's best bargain phones (2010 roundup)

This year saw some fantastic values with cell phones and smartphones. We look back on our favorite nine deals and steals.


Price is important for a large swath of the cell-phone-buying public. But so are call quality, hardware and software features, and style.

That perfect balance between a great price and satisfying everything else is rare, and also subjective. Nevertheless, we've rounded up the nine cell phones and smartphones that caused our deal hounds the most excitement in 2010.

This wasn't entirely easy. There have been some incredible values this past year, especially from the summer onward. Our top choices range from a favorite texting phone for teens to two smartphones priced low enough to wonder if the carrier is paying you. One thing is clear, at any rate: 2011 bodes well for even better values.

If you don't see your favorite mobile phone deal of 2010 in our gallery, feel free to pipe up in the comments.