Published November 26, 2012
Few pieces of technology are as personal as your phone, which can make choosing one as a gift for a loved one a difficult proposition. Does she want the sharpest camera money can buy? Or is she more interested in the latest games and apps? Six of our editors recently sat down to discuss which smartphones would make the best holiday gifts.
At LAPTOP, we have the advantage of getting to test nearly every smartphone under the sun -- and after long years of experience, we have a great sense of which phones will appeal to certain types of people. To help you decide which smartphone to buy this holiday season, each of our editors brought one of their favorite phones to the discussion. Host Manoush Zomorodi moderated this spirited panel.
Daniel Berg, a staff writer, loves his Apple iPhone 5. Not only is it thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4S, but it also boasts a larger and more vibrant screen, lightning-fast 4G LTE speeds on Verizon, a new and improved camera and Facebook integration. Unfortunately, Apple's Maps app is half-baked, but improvements (and third-party map apps) are on the way.
Staff Writer Sherri Smith doesn't want to part with her Samsung Galaxy S III. With its slim and comfortable design, excellent battery life and fast camera, the Galaxy S III just might be the premier Android phone. What's more, Samsung continues to deliver new and exciting innovations through its TouchWiz interface. One of our favorite innovations is the S III's multiple sharing options, like S Beam, Buddy Photo Share and Share Shot.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Spoonauer talked about the massive Galaxy Note II from Samsung. Is it a phone or a tablet? When you're staring at the phone's huge and vibrant high-definition display, you'll probably find yourself asking: "Who cares?" In addition to its gorgeous screen, the Note II features blazing quad-core performance, a fun and reliable stylus and top-of-the-class battery life.
The Nokia Lumia 920, a Windows Phone, was Reviews Editor Mike Prospero's choice. Mike appreciated how unique Windows Phone 8's tile UI looked when compared to Android and iOS, and he loved the Lumia 920's slick and colorful design, superb camera, eye-popping HD screen and integrated wireless charging (no more need for dangling USB cords!). This just might be the ultimate Windows Phone.
Chao Li, a web content producer, brought the Google Nexus 4. With its sharp and colorful HD screen, speedy and smooth performance and Siri-like Google Now voice assistant, the Nexus 4 looks like its ready to go toe-to-toe with the Apple's iPhone.
Last but certainly not least, the Motorola Droid RAZR Maxx HD made an appearance courtesy of Staff Writer Dan Howley. He enthused about its epic battery life, attractive and durable Kevlar design, lush display and snappy performance. Outstanding audio and fast 4G LTE speeds on Verizon's network don't hurt either.
With so many options these days, choosing a smartphone as a gift can quickly turn into a chore. Our editors' roundtable discussion will help you narrow the list -- and maybe even convince you to choose a new phone for yourself! Take some time to watch the full video above, and save yourself a headache when you finally head out to make a purchase.