Have you been considering giving smartphones as gifts this Christmas, but are unsure of which you should buy for specific people on your list? We help you make the best choice with this brief overview of top smartphones and their features, so you can rest assured you’ve made the right selection based on your recipients’ ages, needs and preferences.
The Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6Plus
This is the perfect smartphone for Apple fans that use their phones for a lot more than just making phone calls. The phone’s 8 MG digital camera shoots 1080p HD video, and takes panoramic shots up to 43 megapixels wide. The standard 16G phone comes with a 4.7-inch screen and starts at $199. The iPhone 6 Plus comes with a much larger, 5.5. inch screen that is really closer to a smaller version of the iPad. This model starts at $299.
Users of either phone can choose to use Apple Pay for their purchases, rather than toting around their wallet or purse. The iPhone 6 Plus boasts a 24 hour talk time on one charge, as compared to the regular iPhone 6, which has 14, but the iPhone 6 plus is a poor choice for users looking for a small, compact, lightweight phone. It’s size makes its difficult to fit into many pockets and you may need to resort to hauling it around with you in a separate bag.
If you are looking for a much smaller phone than either Apple’s iPhone 6 or iPhone 6+, that will fit comfortably into your front jeans pocket, the Nokia 630 may be the best basic windows based smartphone for the price. Many retailers are currently offering the phone on sale for less than $70, and it boasts a small but clear 4.5 inch display, a 5 MG camera and decent battery life. Perfect if you are on the go a lot and need a good, basic phone or if you want an entry level phone for your younger tweens.
While you don’t have to be an Amazon Prime member to enjoy using the Amazon Fire smartphone, it does help users to be able to fully enjoy all of its unique features. Possibly the two best benefits of this phone are that it completely eliminates the need to type to conduct a search, just scan anything, from text to barcodes, and the phone’s Firefly technology allows users to search for anything. Another great feature is “peeking” which allows users to toggle the control to get 3D views in maps or peek around corners in games. Users are also able to control the phone using gestures from their head or wrist rather than having to scroll or text. Amazon’s Mayday service makes getting help easy with 24/7/365 online tech support. The phone is compatible only with GSM networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile and is now available fully unlocked, with a free year of Amazon Prime membership for just $229 on sale.
Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3v
This is the perfect phone for those who might use their phone in or around water, such as a sous chef that might use it in a busy kitchen or even a music lover that wants to stream and listen to their favorite station in the shower. The phone is waterproof in freshwater, but not saltwater, to a depth of 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes. The touchscreen won’t work underwater, but it has a dedicated button to allow users to shoot underwater photos. The phone is fully integrated with the PS4, and allows users to remotely control the PS4 console via the phone or remotely stream PS4 content such as games directly to their phone. Sales prices for the phone start around $800.
Google Nexus 5 and 6
The Nexus 6 is the latest smartphone from Google and possibly the largest cell phone on the market with an astounding 6 inch display. There is no middle ground for users when it comes to the display- you will either love it or hate it. If your are looking for an Android powerhouse that is smaller than a traditional tablet, then you will want to choose the Nexus 6. The 32G model starts around $649, with holiday sales offers at various retailers offering a lower price. Images on the display are sharp, as are photos taken with the built in digital camera. The audio quality of the phone’s speakers do come in on the low end, however, and if you really prefer a smaller phone you may want to go with last year’s model, the Nexus 5, which has a smaller display but better audio quality and a decent camera.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Samsung Galaxy Note 5
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is really the smartphone of choice for users who want a phone with a large screen and lots of Android apps. This phone builds upon the successful features of the prior model, the Galaxy Note 4 with cool upgrades such as the ability to such as the fingerprint scanner and the ability to monitor your actual heartbeat, which meshes well with compatible Google Gear Fit and other health and fitness apps. This superphone boasts a 16 MG camera that offers dual shots, dual video recording in 2160p@30fps, and 1080p@60fps. Prices start around $879 for the 32 GB model. Some users might still prefer last year’s model, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Current sales price ranges from $299 to $649 for a 16 GB model with a 13 MG camera. It’s still the perfect for smartphone users that really want to be able to draw on the phone and take notes with its stylus.
Have you decided on which smartphones as gifts you will purchase this holiday season? Why not share your favorite smartphone picks with us in the comments section below? If you are still having a difficult time deciding between phones and services, why not check out our handy comparison tool to find the best deals on other digital services?
Photo Credit: Esther Vargas