The fact that every cutting edge, top-of-the-line smartphone is outclassed by another model within months (or weeks) of release has an upside: There's a glut of great smartphones that are unbelievably cheap. Provided you qualify for a new-phone discount, the array of high-quality smartphones that can be had for less than $100 is impressive. We're not hyping a bunch of consolation prizes or bargain-bin finds. These handsets prove that spending more than a c-note for a new smartphone is as obsolete as a Blackberry.
Note: Prices are subject to change, and may vary by region.
Apple iPhone 4s 8GB
If you drill down through a given iPhone model's specs, you'll rarely find a specific reason to pick Apple's smartphone over someone else's. What makes iPhones so compelling is iOS, both in terms of the clean, stable user interface, and the wealth of available apps that you might actually want to use. If you aren't buying an iPhone as a status symbol or proof of membership in the Cult of Mac, don't hesitate to pick up an older-generation model, like the 4s, which is now easily found for free.
Standout Feature: iOS Apps
[Free with AT&T or Verizon; att.com, verizonwireless.com]