When Hurricane Sandy rocked the East Coast, it became apparent how our smartphones serve as lifelines. There's no telling how many families and friends stayed tethered to loved ones thanks to the digital technology, even as power lines collapsed and the freaky weather system wreaked all sorts of havoc. And now is as good a time as any to assess whether your cellular phone needs an upgrade: these smartphone deals are five of your best bets.
Unlocked Nokia Lumia 710 4G Windows Smartphone
Price: $159 with free shipping
Lowest By: $22
Expires: November 3
Is It Worth It?: With this Editors' Choice deal, the Groupon folks offer you a phone in Black that normally lists for $300. This 4G-capable phone features a 3.7" touchscreen display, Qualcomm 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor, 5-megapixel camera with flash, autofocus, and HD video capture, 8GB internal memory, WiFi, and Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango). CNET chimes in to state that though it's not an Android phone with a "luscious AMOLED display, it's a practical device that covers all the mobile bases."
Samsung Galaxy S II 4G Prepaid Google Android Smartphone for T-Mobile bundled with a $30 Refill Card
Price: $299 with $2.97 s&h
Lowest By: $30
Is It Worth It?: "The Samsung Galaxy S II ranks as one of T-Mobile's most powerful and feature-rich Android smartphones," says CNET. And this one comes with an all-important $30 Monthly 4G Unlimited Web & Text Refill Card. This quad-band GSM phone features a 4.52" 480x800 Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen display, Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 1.5GHz dual core processor, 8-megapixel camera with flash, 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 16GB internal memory, microSD card slot, Bluetooth, wireless connectivity, and Android 2.3.5 OS (Gingerbread).
Unlocked ViewSonic ViewPhone 3 Android Phone
Price: $114.99 with $3.99 s&h
Lowest By: $11
Is It Worth It?: Here's another unlocked Android phone that's ideal for anyone on a budget. This phone features a 3.5" touchscreen LCD, 800MHz processor, microSD slot, 5-megapixel camera, dual SIM card slots, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, MP3 player, Google Android OS 2.3 (Gingerbread), and more. CNET praises the phone for its duo of SIM card slots intended for business professionals who can "send texts from the same composition window and choose a SIM from which to send it."
Refurbished BlackBerry Curve 8310 GSM Smartphone for AT&T
Price: $49.99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $6
Is It Worth It?: CNET notes that the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8310 is still "an attractive choice for road warriors," and with this deal, you'll get a refurbished BlackBerry Curve in Gray with a 1-year warranty, although it's unclear who supports it. This quad-band GSM phone features a 2.5" 320x240 display, QWERTY keyboard, 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.0, up to four hours of talk time, BlackBerry OS, and more.
Unlocked HTC TyTN 200 3G Windows Smartphone
Price: $74.99 with $3.99 s&h
Is It Worth It?: If you're looking to stay under the $100 price barrier, this phone (available in Black) is just the ticket. It features a 400MHz processor, 2.8" 240x320 touchscreen, 128MB internal memory, microSD card slot, 2-megapixel camera, 802.11g wireless, Bluetooth, 3G connectivity, and Windows Mobile 5.0 OS. Five years ago HTC's TyTN line was considered cutting edge; today, this phone still gets high marks as a no-frills pocket PC.
Front page photo credit: Mobot.net