Gift Guide – smartphones

With so many smartphones out there how do you decide which one to get for Christmas? We're here to help...

Galaxy Nexus

£520 SIM-free, Google

It's round three for Google in the smartphone department and it's the big G's biggest and best effort yet. So, if there's one handset that won't be getting shipped back on Boxing Day, it's the drool-inducing Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It's spearheading the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich revolution, it has a eye-popping HD display and plenty of other top-notch specs, catapulting it directly into best smartphone territory. Read the review and watch the video review

BlackBerry Bold 9900

£480 SIM-free, Blackberry

With its extra-wide keyboard, touchscreen prowess and supermodel-slim body, the 9900 is BlackBerry's glammest handset to date. It may be a throwback to the original Bold 9000, but RIM has chucked in a bunch of much-welcomed tweaks and improvements. Great for BlackBerry loyalists or someone in desperate need of a smartphone upgrade. And if you're feeling particularly festive, you could always pick one up with a snowy overcoat. Read the review and watch the video review

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S

£335 SIM-free, Sony Ericsson

The Arc S signalled a major return to form for Sony Ericsson, bringing with it smartphone sophistication by the bucketload in a slim, curvy design. A dazzling 4.2in screen, bolstered by Sony's Mobile BRAVIA Engine, an 8MP camera, 3D panorama super-powers and Sony Ericsson Xperia add-ons like Timescape and Facebook inside Xperia make this skinny smartie very much worth the purchase. Read the review

Samsung Galaxy S II

£420 SIM-free, Samsung

You may be drooling over the prospect of owning a Galaxy S III, but you've got a bit of a wait on your hands. In the meantime, grab an irresistible phone that has it all – a 4.3in screen that's so sharp it'll poke your eyes out, a brilliant battery life, impressive camera skills and a super-fast dual-core processor. Read the review


£370 SIM-free, HTC

3D smartphones may have failed to set the smartphone arena alight, but there are some who haven't turned their noses up at the prospect of a third dimensional smartphone experience. For your money, you get access to a world of face furniture-free 3D, the ability to switch seamlessly between 2D and 3D modes, a whopping 4.3in qHD display and a dual-core brain that ensures everything chugs along nicely. Watch the video review

Nokia Lumia 800

£470 SIM-free, Nokia

Nokia is back and it means business. The 800 is a slick and engaging smartie, complemented very nicely by Windows Phone Mango and its excellent social media integration. Mango aside, Nokia has put its own unique stamp on the 800 with Nokia Music and Nokia Drive, further bolstered by a fast processor, AMOLED screen and a camera with a Carl Zeiss lens. It goes without saying that Nokia has manage to pull off an excellent smartphone for its first Windows Phone 7 attempt. Watch the video review

Apple iPhone 4S

£500 SIM-free, Apple

The iPhone 4 is old hat, and while Apple's new plaything is more incremental than revolutionary, the fact it now offers a 1GHz dual-core CPU with an 8MP rear camera, 1080p HD and best-in-class Siri voice recognition, bolstered by iOS5 means the iPhone 4S still gets high marks and is still way ahead of the pack – even if some of its thunder was stolen by the Galaxy Nexus. Read the review and/or watch the video review

HTC Sensation XE

£430 SIM-free, HTC

HTC has given its flagship Android handset the Beats Audio treatment to create the refreshed Sensation XE, which boasts a number of improvements over the original device, including a snazzy red and black makeover. The dual-core processor has bulked up from the Sensation’s 1.2GHz offering to a formidable 1.5Ghz affair, so you can expect to see Gingerbread fly along on the phone’s 4.3in screen. Audio smarts from the ubiquitous Beats Audio means you're getting a phone with superb audio engineering.

Orange San Francisco II

£100 SIM-free, Orange

Orange is hoping for repeat success with the latest version of its budget blower, which comes with an upgraded 800MHz processor, 5MP snapper and 3.5in screen. It's a world away from the fancy spec lists of high-end smartphones, but it delivers the Android Gingerbread smartphone experience for a cheap-as-chips price.

BlackBerry Curve 9360

£260 SIM-free, BlackBerry

BlackBerrys popularity spurt with the youth market demands a device that's not only affordable but good-looking to boot. And the 9360's design is sharp and lightweight, with a QWERTY keyboard that's an absolute pleasure to use. It's an affordable entry into the BlackBerry arena, yet still manages to squeeze in the latest NFC tech and the BB OS 7 operating system.

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