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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.

Jessica Dolcourt Editorial Director, Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt's career with CNET began in 2006, and spans reviews, reporting, analysis and commentary for desktop software; mobile software, including the very first Android and iPhone apps and operating systems; and mobile hardware, 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 practical advice on expansive topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Team leadership, audience engagement, iPhone, Android, iOS, tips and FAQs.
Jessica Dolcourt

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.

Nine best bargain phones of 2010 (photos)

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