There's nothing fun about shopping for a new phone, especially
when you're on a budget. Your heart says iPhone, but your
wallet says previously owned flip phone. Ughhh.
And so you find yourself looking at low cost phones you know
nothing about. It's a dangerous position to be in, but thankfully
CNET can help you spot the duds. I'm Donald Bell, and in this
Top 5 we're counting down the cell phones to avoid for 2013,
ranked by CNET Associate Editor Lynn La.
Starting off at #5: the Alcatel Authority on Cricket Wireless. This is the
newest phone on this list, making its debut back in March. Which begs the
question, �Why the hell is this thing running Android 2.3?� Maybe they
thought you wouldn�t notice on that crappy 800x480 resolution screen.
More likely, they couldn�t get anything more recent than Gingerbread to run
on their sad little processor. Don�t let the name fool you. A toddler with an
iPhone 3G can wield more authority than this thing.
At #4: the Huawei Verge on Metro PCS. Now I actually like this phone. It�s
a conversation starter. The conversation going something like, �Hey, do
you want to see my Delorean? I just traveled here from 1998.� Seriously, it
looks like you mugged someone�s grandma and took her phone. That said,
I am cheap, and $49 with no contract sounds like a pretty good deal. If I
ever need a phone to smuggle into prison or organize a meth lab, the
Huawei Verge is at the top of my list.
I can�t say the same for #3: the Pantech Hotshot on Verizon. This guy�s a
holdover from last year�s list, but people are still buying it. So let�s go over
this again. Even if they PAY YOU to take this phone, you�re still paying too
much for it when you factor in the two year contract with Verizon for a
phone that can�t even use its 4G network. The processor is ancient, the
operating system is proprietary and void of any app you might want. And
the screen, aside from being laggy and sometimes totally unresponsive,
has a resolution lower than the first Apple Newton. This thing is a disaster,
and we�re only halfway through.
Coming in at #2: the ZTE Anthem 4G on Metro PCS. If the thought of a no-
contract 4G Android phone for $200 sounds too good to be true, you�re
right. The spoiler here is that the whole thing is bottlenecked by a slow
1.2Ghz processor and 512mb of RAM. It might be 4G coming to the
phone, but over speed is still stuck in 2010. And so is it�s operating system.
Here�s another recently released phone that�s still running Gingerbread.
On the upside, it comes preinstalled with Kung-Fu Panda 2, but you can
tell your kid it�s Star Wars Episode 7 is you want since they�ll be wincing at
an 800x480 resolution screen. Whomp-whomp.
Now, before we get to our #1 worst phone of 2013, let�s remind ourselves
what good phones look like. Our current top pick over at CNET�s list of the
best 5 phones is the Samsung Galaxy S4. $200 on contract, available
everywhere, stunning screen, and it runs the latest greatest version of
Android. Instead of Kung Fu Panda, this phone comes with dignity.
Alright, and now, for the #1 phone of 2013 that you should avoid
like the plague: The ZTE Groove on Cricket Wireless. When we
first got this phone we assumed that it was one of those slide-out
keyboard deals, but no -- turns out that this phone is just big and
ugly. It�s also like a �greatest hits� of everything we hated about
the last four phones. A stale version of Android, crappy screen,
slow processor, ugly design, not to mention bad call quality. This
is one Groove I would be happy to lose.
Alright that's it, you've been warned. 5 phones that will make you
sad and curse your life. To find a phone you'll love check out
CNET's reviews at phones.cnet.com. And for more Top 5's
I�m Donald Bell, thanks for watching.