Holiday Gift Guide 2015
Nov 25, 2015, 3:30 PM by Eric M. Zeman
The holiday season is upon us once again, and it is time to think about our closest friends and family members. Picking the right phone can be a chore, but Phone Scoop's annual Holiday Gift Guide is here to lend a helping hand. We curated a fine list of phones for every type of device and every budget. If you need a recommendation or two, look no further.
That special time of the year, when we turn our thoughts to family, friends, and giving, has finally arrived. Shoppers will flood stores and web sites alike over the days and weeks ahead looking for the perfect gift for that special someone. Phones, which allow us to remain connected to one another throughout the year, are always a welcome gift.
The last 12 months have served up plenty of change in the mobile industry. New companies have fully taken the place of old ones, while some brands still cling to the hope of revival. Technology may not have evolved at the most rapid pace over the last year, but carriers have made significant alterations to their business models. These changes gave us pause and forced us to reflect on why people buy the phones they do, and how people go about buying them.
For example, carriers hardly offer simple feature phones. Most include just one or two in their selection. Messaging phones — those with physical keyboards — are all but dead. Virtually all handsets are now smartphones, and range from small to large, and from cheap to eye-poppingly expensive. Thankfully, you can find capable devices at every price point.
Choice of operating systems has dropped to two — Android and iOS — for all intents and purposes. Microsoft still pushes Windows Phone, but the selection of hardware is severely limited. The vast bulk of our recommendations reflect this change in the market.
Most high-end phones include excellent cameras. Flagships and phablets alike have come a long, long way in improving the photo and video experience — so much so that we've eliminated a category reserved for cameras.
This year we've broken down our device categories somewhat differently. We are still dividing them in larger postpaid and prepaid groupings, but have eliminated some of the irrelevant categories and added new ones at the same time. Perhaps the most important new category is that of unlocked devices. Many phone makers, lacking carrier distribution deals, are selling their devices online, unlocked directly to consumers. More than a handful of these are excellent phones that deserve attention.
The Phone Scoop Holiday Gift Guide 2015 takes a practical approach in suggesting phones we've spent time with and know to be decent. We didn't shoehorn recommendations into the individual categories just to fill up space. We also looked at user reviews, pricing, and general popularity across each carrier's device lineup to make sure the phones are current and available. We hope you find the Guide helpful in finding the right phone for everyone on your shopping list.
Surely there will be good deals in stores and online during Black Friday, but don't fret if you can't get any shopping done the first weekend of the season. In years past, carriers have shown a propensity to vary their sales and promotions on a weekly basis. Keep your eyes and ears open, as the best sales may be yet to come.
It goes without saying that you shouldn't stick your old phone into a drawer. You'd do well to take it to your carrier to recycle it or trade it in. Phones retain more value than you might think, so swapping it might save you some cold, hard cash on that shiny new precious.
Jan 14, 2021
Samsung today officially unveiled its Galaxy S21 series of flagship phones for 2021. All three models sport a distinctive new "Contour Cut Camera" design where the metal frame extends around one corner to surround the rear cameras.
Mar 10, 2021
Asus today announced the ROG Phone 5, its newest flagship gaming phone, following the ROG Phone 3. The ROG Phone 5 brings the ROG Phone series up to date for 2021 with a Snapdragon 888 chip, Android 11, and 65-watt fast charging for its huge 6,000 mAh battery.
Mar 23, 2021
OnePlus today announced the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro, its newest flagship phones. The 9 Pro is a true flagship-class phone with a QHD AMOLED display with variable refresh from 1 to 120 Hz, and IP68 water rating, starting at $969.
Feb 9, 2022
Samsung today announced its lineup of flagship phones for 2022: the Galaxy S22 series. The top-end S22 Ultra sees the biggest changes as it essentially absorbs Samsung's Note series with an integrated S Pen stylus and a more Note-like shape and design, instead of the Contour Cut design of the other models.
I will probably regret this