Friday, October 24, 2008

Five Great Smartphones Under $100

Times are rough and we all have to make sacrifices to increase savings and cut down spending. Fortunately for us, as newer models come out for smartphones, the price on older models is dropping considerably. Though you may have to sacrifice a touchscreen, these smartphones will still give you plenty of bang for your buck and you don’t have to sacrifice any of the essential smartphone features by settling with a basic cell phone that happens to have a QWERTY keypad aka dumbphones.

  1. BlackBerry Curve – It’s not the Bold, but it’s still a great phone. Those willing to sacrifice either 3G or Wi-Fi (depending on the carrier) can still get a great phone that ranges from $80 to $100. Different carriers carry a rendition of this phone, but each one has different capabilities. T-Mobile’s goes for $99.99 and has Wi-Fi, but lacks 3G and GPS. Sprint and AT&T give you GPS but you don’t get 3G and they don’t have Wi-Fi. You can get it from AT&T for $79.99 and Sprint for $99.99.

Rumor has it that AT&T is launching a new version of the Curve with Wi-Fi support alongside the Bold, although pricing details haven’t been released. We’re hoping for a sub $150 price point, but wouldn’t be surprised by $199.

  1. Samsung BlackJack II/Ace – They aren’t exactly the same phone, but they’re close enough. Both run off WM 6 and are based off Samsung’s BlackJack line. The big differences are that the BlackJack II has a 2 MP camera (the Ace only has a measly 1.3 MP) and the Ace has a slightly better battery life. Also, the Ace has an optical mouse in the center area for directing around while the BlackJack uses a scroll wheel and center button a la iPod. Also, the BlackJack comes in a few different colors while the Ace is only available in black. The choice comes down to your favorite carrier. The BlackJack II ($79.99) is exclusive to AT&T and the Ace ($99.99) is exclusive to Sprint.

If you’re too impatient for a mail-in-rebate, snag a refurbished BlackJack II from AT&T for $49.99

  1. Palm Centro – Considered by many as the best smartphone for first-time users, the Palm Centro combines trendy aesthetics with a simplistic interface. While the Palm operating system itself has aged quite a bit and won’t wow anyone with its brilliant visuals or stunning animations, it remains one of the easiest and intuitive systems you can use. The keyboard can get a bit cramped for “thicker” fingers, but its touchscreen makes up for it. You can purchase this one off of AT&T and Verizon for $99.99 or Sprint for $69.99.

Like the BlackJack II, if you’re never going to actually mail in the mail-in rebate, then go to AT&T’s online store and get a refurbished one for $49.99.

  1. Touch by HTC – If you’re on Sprint or willing to make the jump, you can get in on the touchscreen craze with the Touch by HTC. Going for just $49.99 after the $200 instant savings and the $100 mail-in rebate, this is a great deal on an adequate phone. While it won’t be winning any design awards and it was welcomed by mediocre reviews, this is still a great PocketPC for the price. It’s running WM6.1 and its got HTC’s patented TouchFLO technology so you’re not missing out on any features.

  1. Motorola Q9C – If you like the features of Samsung but hate its aesthetics, consider one of the Motorola Q’s. Like the Curve, each carrier seems to have its own rendition of the Q9 series, although Sprint and Verizon are the only two that have the Q9C which goes for under $100. The Q9C is a fully-featured smartphone, although it is lacking in 3G or Wi-Fi. What it lacks in data speeds, it makes up for in additional software. With a complete copy of Documents to Go and the Opera browser, Motorola went to great lengths to ensure you had a complete office suite at your fingertips. We’ve covered both of these products before if you’re interested in learning more about what makes them special.

No comments: