A hundred greenbacks is a respectable chunk of change, but when you consider what a piece of machinery a smartphone can be, $100 on contract (before taxes and fees) is a darn good deal. Since the smartphone operating system remains the same across handsets from the most entry-level to the most premium, what a price hike usually gives you is a step up in hardware features -- like a faster processor, more-premium camera components, and a higher-resolution screen.
Sometimes you'll get a break on last season's high-end devices; other times, you'll find excellent phones that are made for this middle cost.
Here are some of today's top picks for carriers with two-year contracts (off-contract pricing is its own kettle of fish). Smartphone prices fluctuate all the time because of slow sales or short-term promotions, so keep your eyes peeled for seasonal deals.… Read more