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.
Nokia Lumia 1020
The almost-forgotten Nokia made a splash with its Lumia 1020, which boasts the single-best camera in any phone. The exact workings of that camera are complex – it doesn't really capture a full 41-megapixels of data per shot, but it can pull more detail from a given image than other, lesser sensors – and there are drawbacks to consider, like the hump that prevents it from laying flat (due to the mammoth sensor array), and the fact that Windows phones have fewer apps to pick from than Android and iOS phones. But for those who have officially abandoned standalone cameras, but still want something that shoots print-quality photos, the 1020 remains the best choice.
Standout Feature: 41-megapixel camera
[$99 with AT&T; att.com]