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If smartphones get any smarter, we'll probably be able to hire them as our personal assistants to do laundry and fetch coffee. But until then, we're happy to have a handy device that can check the weather, cash checks, update email, comparison shop, and yes, make calls. The phones featured in this roundup include picks from both the Android and iPhone world, as well as a single standard cell phone. Plus, we've got four Editors' Choice deals to boot. Of course, which phone to go for is, dare we say, your call.
Is It Worth It?: With this Editors' Choice deal, start a new 2-year contract with one of the eligible Android smartphones, and Amazon Wireless will waive the $36 activation fee, making this a bargain that's about as close to free as you can get. A best bet is the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic Touch 4G Android Sprint Phone in Black (pictured) or White, selling for the lowest total price we could find by $80. This CDMA phone features a 4.52" touchscreen display, dual cameras, and runs Android 2.3 OS (Gingerbread).
Is It Worth It?: This Editors' Choice bargain allows you to scoop up a no-contract smartphone for just $30. It features a 3.5" capacitive touchscreen, 3.2-megapixel camera, WiFi, Bluetooth, speakerphone, 4GB microSD card, and Android 2.3 OS (Gingerbread).
Is It Worth It?: Make sure you're a newegg email subscriber to get this rockbottom price on the unlocked Samsung Star. This quad-band GSM smartphone weighs 3.3 oz. and features a 3" touchscreen display, 3.2-megapixel camera, with up to 10 hours of talk time, and more.
Is It Worth It?: Many iPhone 4 users were gun-shy about jumping to the iPhone 4S, figuring there wasn't enough difference between the two phones to justify spending all that dough. But this deal from AT&T should help sweeten the pot; we're calling it an Editors' Choice for the $49 markdown below new prices. Pick up the Apple iPhone 4S 32GB Smartphone in Black or White for just $249.99. Or go bigger and pocket the 64GB version in Black or White for $100 more, or $349.99.
Is It Worth It?: Although it's not a smartphone like the above deals, this offer rings in as an Editors' Choice for its amazing value; the bundled prepaid card alone costs $45 direct from Straight Talk! This phone includes a 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, up to 3 hours talk time and 7.5 days standby time, hands-free speaker, and more. Note that no warranty information is provided.
Front page photo credit: EcoFriend