The Hottest Phones for the Holidays

The Hottest Phones for the Holidays

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The Hottest Phones for the Holidays

Have you started your holiday shopping yet? It’s never too early to purchase a gift your loved will adore. Hopefully. Remember the charming individuals who took to Twitter to complain about getting the “wrong” color iPhone several years ago? People are terrible, right? And yet, we still buy things for them.

If a smartphone is on your shopping list, make sure you’re getting the latest and greatest device; no one wants last year’s model. Luckily, when it comes to phones, there are more options than ever for that special someone.

One thing to keep in mind, of course, is service plans. They can make it tricky to gift cell phones, but if you’re buying for a family member or significant other who is on your cell phone plan, it will be a lot easier.

If you’re ready to buy, check out the list below for some of the top smartphones that have come through the PC Labs.

  • 1iPhone X

    Apple released three new iPhones this year: iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X but the iPhone X is probably the only one you might classify as hot. It’s the first iPhone to ditch the home button and swap out Touch ID for a facial-recognition security system known as Face ID. Much has been made about its $1,000 starting price, but iPhone X sets the stage for Apple’s next decade, with a sharp new design and a future focus on augmented reality.

  • 2Samsung Galaxy Note 8

    The Galaxy Note 7 debacle didn’t dampen enthusiasm for Samsung’s Note brand. In our review, we found that the Note 8 represents the current pinnacle of smartphone technology, with everything that’s great about the Galaxy S8, plus dual cameras and an S Pen stylus.

  • 3Samsung Galaxy S8 Active

    Do you have butterfingers, a love of the outdoors, or a job that requires equipment that can take a beating? The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active takes the best phone of the year, makes it tougher, and packs in a bigger battery. It’s the ultimate rugged phone. And while it was initially an AT&T-exclusive, it’s coming soon to Sprint and T-Mobile, too.

  • 4Google Pixel 2 XL

    For the Android purists, Google’s Pixel lineup is the way to go, and the Pixel 2 XL combines elegant Google software with a great camera for a smooth experience. While the 6-inch Pixel 2 XL has roughly the same power and hardware capabilities as the 5-inch Pixel 2, PCMag found that the 6-inch XL has a better design and better performance.

  • 5OnePlus 5T

    If the Pixel isn’t niche enough for the smartphone lover in your life, check out OnePlus, a China-based firm that has quite the following. The OnePlus 5T makes a bet that improved low-light camera capabilities can set it apart from its predecessor. We gave it high marks for its fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor (good for a $500 phone), bright screen, better-than-average front camera, and well-placed fingerprint sensor. It goes on sale on Nov. 21 unlocked at oneplus.net.

  • 6Motorola Moto X4

    If the iPhone X is a bit too pricey for you, the Motorola Moto X4 phone combines midrange specs with a solid design, dual rear cameras, and built-in support for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. And it comes in at $399.99 unlocked.
  • 7Razer Phone

    Razer makes phones? Yep. The Razer Phone is a gaming-focused Android smartphone with the first 120Hz screen we’ve ever seen on a phone. Razer is selling its gaming smartphones the way the company would sell a laptop: online and through big-box stores, at a high, but not unreasonable price. At $699, it’s cheaper than Galaxy S8, Pixel 2 XL, and iPhone 8 Plus.

  • 8ZTE Blade Z Max

    The ZTE Blade Z Max is a big screen phablet with dual camera sensors and solid performance, available for MetroPCS users at a very reasonable $129 price. You’ll probably need to use two hands to navigate your way around the display, and if you wear tight pants the phone may put some strain on the seams of your pocket.
  • 9Motorola Moto E4

    Another $129 phone, the Android-powered Motorola Moto E4 offers smooth performance and lots of features for a bargain price, like a fingerprint sensor and dual-band Wi-Fi.

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