Books & Review
Updated: Nov 22, 2012 11:28 AM EST

black friday

The day of reckoning is upon us, are you ready?
(Photo : Flickr)

With only hours to go before retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, Kmart, Radioshack and more open their doors to holiday shopping Armageddon the stakes are high. If you're planning to brave the madness so your kid can play Angry Birds on your new smartly priced smartphone, read along below for the best deals available on a wide-range of handsets from Samsung's Galaxy SIII to the water-proof Kyocero Hydro.

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Samsung Galaxy SIII

Radioshack is offering the Galaxy SIII for 49.99; Best Buy has it priced at $48.

The AT&T version of the handset is available at Best Buy for $49.99; for $99.99 at Radioshack, and $129 from Walmart.

The Samsung Galaxy S III has a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display with NFC technology, a 8 megapixel rear-facing camera and 1.9 MP front-facing camera, a 2,100 mAh battery, and runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with a 1.5 Ghz Advanced Dual Core Qualcomm processor. The SIII comes with 2GB of RAM and can hold up to 64GB microSD.

"Pumped with high-performing hardware and creative software features, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is an excellent, top-end phone that's neck and neck with the HTC One X. Unfortunately, it only runs on Sprint's 3G network for now," said CNET.

Samsung Galaxy S II

Walmart is selling the handset for $79.88 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile.

Radioshack offers the smartphone for "free" after signing a carrier agreement with Sprint.

The Galaxy SII has a dual-core 1.5GHz CPU, NFC capabilities, a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, HSPA+, 16GB internal memory, 8 mega-pixel rear-facing camera, 2 mega-pixel front-facing camera, and a 4.52-inch Super AMOLED Plus display (480 x 800 pixels).

"The Samsung Galaxy S II ranks as one of T-Mobile's most powerful and feature-rich Android smartphones, with a great camera, but it's somewhat pricey," said CNET.

Motorola Droid Razr Maxx

Best deal around: Users can get the handset for "free" from Best Buy after signing a two-year contract with Verizon.

The Droid Razr Maxx has a 4.7-inch Super AMOLED HD 720 x 1280 display with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass, an 8MP LED rear-facing camera and 1.3 MP front-facing web camera, and offers a full 21 hours of talk time or 13 hours of video playback. The handset uses Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, has a 3,300 mAh battery, and runs on Verizon's 4G LTE network. The Droid Razr Maxx has a 1.5 GHz central processor with 1.0 GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.

"The Motorola Droid Razr Maxx proves that a powerful Android superphone can remain thin yet still promise marathon-worthy battery life," said CNET.

Samsung Galaxy Reverb

Virgin Mobile is selling the Samsung Galaxy Reverb without a contract on its website from now until Cyber Monday for $99, down from its original price of $199.99.

The Samsung Galaxy Reverb has a 4-inch Super AMOLED LCD screen (800x480 pixels), runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, has a single-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 MSM8655 processor, 1.95GB of free internal storage, expandable storage via Micro-SD slot, and 5-megapixel rear-facing auto-focus camera as well as a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera.

"The Samsung Galaxy Reverb is a good midrange Android phone. It just costs more than it should," said PC Mag.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Sprint is offering the handset for "free," all users have to do is sign a contract, and send in a $50 mail-in rebate online or in stores through Sunday, Nov. 25.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus has a 4.65-inch, 1280 x 720 pixel, 16M Color HD SUPER AMOLED Full Touch Display, runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, has a 1.2GHz Dual Core Processor, 16GB of user memory, 1GB RAM, 5.0 mega-pixel rear-facing camera, 1.3 mega-pixel front-facing camera, NFC, and HSPA+.

"The Galaxy Nexus is the best Android phone ever made. It's one of the best smartphones ever made, and with a couple of minor tweaks (particularly to the camera), it could be the best smartphone ever produced," said The Verge.


The HTC One X is one of the best-reviewed Android smartphones on the market.

"We've said before that the HTC One X is one of the best Android Phones you can buy. The One X + ups the phone's already impressive specs with a 1.7 Ghz quad-core Tegra 3 processor. And HTC's clearly heard customers whining about battery life, because the Plus packs a 2,100 mAh battery," said Gizmodo.

Radio Shack is offering the newly released smartphone for "free" with a two-year AT&T contract and a $20 a month data plan.

Similarly, Amazon Wireless prices the One X at $.01, as long as you sign that two-year contract with AT&T. Although, the site ads that a "$36 activation fee may apply," says

Walmart has the One X priced at $49.88 with the requisite two-year AT&T contract, although, customers who sign the contract will also receive a $100 Walmart gift card.

ZTE Warp Sequent

Radioshack is offering the ZTE Warp Sequent off-contract from Boost for $149.99.

Best Buy will also be offering the handset's predecessor, the ZTE Warp, off-contract for $64.99.

The ZTE Warp Sequent features a 4.3-inch qHD display, a 1.4GHz processor, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.3-megapixel front shooter, 768MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and Android 4.0.

"Camera issues aside, the ZTE Warp Sequent is a pretty good value. For the price, you won't find any other phone on Boost right now with a larger, sharper display, or a faster processor," said PC Mag.

LG Optimus Elite

Virgin is offering the LG Optimus Elite at Best Buy contract-free for $49.99.

The LG Optimus Elite has a 3.5-inch, 480-by-320 pixel capacitive touch screen, Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread, a 5.0 mega-pixel rear-facing camera with LED flash, 800MHz Qualcomm MSM7627A processor, NFC, 1.93GB of internal memory, microSD card slot for expandable memory,

"If you aren't concerned with top-of-the-line specs, the LG Optimus Elite is a great deal when you pair it with an inexpensive plan on Virgin. The modest upgrades to its display, processor, and camera make it a better buy than the LG Optimus V  or the HTC Wildfire S," said PC Mag.

Kyocera Hydro

Walmart has the Kyocera Hydro contract-free for $39.80 on Boost.

The Kyocera Hydro runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, is waterproof, has a 1GHz QUALCOMM MSM8655 processor, micro-SD expandable memory, a 3.5-inch LCD display (320 x 480 pixels)

"The Kyocera Hydro is certainly a waterproof wonder, making it a good choice for people who are rough on their phones. We also like the affordable monthly plans Boost offers. However, the below-average battery life and low-res display are turnoffs," said Laptop Mag.

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