Hot Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Tablets, Smartphones, Laptops, and Systems

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Smartphones Of The Season

Motorola Droid Turbo 2: from $619 unlocked

droid turbo 2 front back


The Moto Droid Turbo 2 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of LPDDR4 memory, which should give you plenty of power for running multiple browser tabs and other tasks that might bog down an underpowered device. Storage options start at 32GB, which isn’t particularly impressive, but you can bump the price from $624 to $720 for a model that features 64GB of storage.  It’s not cheap, but you get some serious hardware for the money – and the display is both gorgeous and drop-it-on-cement-for-fun kind of tough. With its beefy hardware and high-resolution (and tough) display, the Turbo 2 is clearly one of the best choices for smartphone enthusiasts that may be a little rough on their devices.  Read our review here.

Apple iPhone 6s Plus: from $719 unlocked

iPhone 6S Plus

It's become old hat to declare the latest iPhone the best one to date, but that's again true of the iPhone 6s Plus. Of course, that's how it should be when a company updates its flagship product. On the positive side, we love the big and vibrant 5.5-inch Full HD display, premium look and feel, and overall construction, which by the way is (unofficially) a bit more water resistant than the previous generation (Apple added a gasket to the frame). Whether looking at or holding the iPhone 6s Plus, there's no mistaking it for anything but a high-end device. Read our review here.

LG V10: from $665 unlocked

lg v10

Unlike the so many flagship smartphones that have launched recently, the LG V10 retains a number of features that were popular with savvy smartphone users in previous generations, more specifically, a removable battery and expandable storage. The V10 also has plenty of RAM (4GB) and internal storage (64GB), and though its Snapdragon 808 processor isn’t on the most powerful currently available, it does pack enough punch to make the phone feel snappy and smooth. The camera software on the V10 has also been tuned to leverage all of the shooters on the phone too -- and there are three. Not only can all of the cameras be activated at once (for recording multi-view videos or capturing images), but there are a multitude of manual controls available right on-screen as well.

Moto X Pure Edition: from $399+ Unlocked

The Snapdragon 808 inside the Moto X pure churns through everyday smartphone tasks easily, and offers decent battery life too. To put it all in perspective, the Moto X Pure may not be outfitted with all of the latest and greatest internal hardware, but it is still a good performer overall and offers a good user experience. What this handset does right is nail the essentials for the every-man. There's Moto Maker, which enables consumers to build the phone that perfectly suits them at no additional cost. Every Moto X Pure Edition is also sold unlocked, so you can use it with any major U.S. carrier, and you can utilize local SIMs from foreign carriers when you travel overseas too. On top of all that, the price is right... Read our review here.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ or Note 5: from $649 Unlocked

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 And Galaxy S6 Edge+

Their larger form factors and distinctive, elegant designs help distinguish the Galaxy Note5 and S6 Edge+ from their predecessors. We understand that a 5.7” screen isn’t ideal for everyone. But once you’ve become accustomed to the additional screen real estate, it’s difficult to go back to smaller devices. Save for a couple of features, the Galaxy Note5 and S6 Edge+ are very similar. The Note5 includes Samsung’s S-Pen and some additional software to support it, while the S6 Edge+ eschews the stylus in favor of a beautiful curved screen and associated bezel that gives the device a slimmer feel. Both of the phones sport all of the Android goodness of the original S6 / S6 Edge, with some tweaks to the camera app for more stable video, along with quick charging capabilities (you can fully charge the phones in roughly 90 mins). Read our review here.

Microsoft Lumia 950: from $549 Unlocked

Microsoft Lumia 950

The Lumia 950 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor and 3GB of RAM, along with 32GB of storage. The 5.2-inch WQHD OLED screen has a 1440x2560 resolution. The front camera supports Windows Hello, which means you can log into your phone very quickly using facial recognition. The back camera is the real workhorse, though, with a 20MP sensor and a new, triple-LED flash that is meant to make for more natural-looking photos in a variety of lighting conditions. The Lumia 950 series will also feature true Continuum support, which essentially turns the phones into mini-Windows 10 PCs, that can run universal Windows apps and behave similarly to a desktop PC.

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