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The 9 best affordable smartphones you can buy

The best $100 phone, with major caveats: Blu R1 HD
The Blu R1 HD is the best “smartphone” experience you can get for $100, but it comes with some major caveats.
The Blu R1 HD goes for as low as $100 unlocked on its own, but that can go down to just $50 if you’re an Amazon Prime member. That’s a good bargain, but if you get the higher-end model that costs $10 more, you get a totally competent performer that doesn’t feel totally cheap and has a bright, 5-inch, 720p display.
The catch with that “Prime-exclusive” deal is you have to put up with a torrent of Amazon-sponsored bloatware and lock-screen ads. Yes, actual ads on your lock screen, as in, your phone becomes a pocket billboard every time you turn it on. You might hate what this stands for, or you might learn to live with it. Either way, this is the phone to get if you want to pay as little as possible.
However — and this is a big however — there’s another reason to weigh your options. The New York Times reported in November that the R1 HD, along with a few other cheaper, little-known Android phones, was left open to a security flaw that allowed text messages, location info, and other personal info to be sent to a server in China. Blu has since patched the flaw, and says the R1 HD is no longer at risk. It stays on this list because of the patch, but know that holes like that are never too far away from inexpensive Android phones and smaller OEMs. If you can afford to take a step up, do so.
Check our full review for more.

The 9 best affordable smartphones you can buy

The days of needing to pay top dollar to get a good smartphone are dead and buried.
The smartphone is now a commodity, and as such, the costs of manufacturing something decent has decreased. That means great phones are now common around the $400 mark, and good phones are available for much less than that.

But some devices are better than others. In our ongoing quest to help you find the best of the bunch, we’ve broken down the affordable end of the smartphone market, and rounded up the handsets worth buying today.

Click through the gallery to get a closer look at these bargain smartphones.

This slideshow originally appeared as a story by Business Insider here. 

All photos courtesy of Business Insider.