It’s the holidays, which means it’s once again time to shelve your brain in hunt of the right gifts for the right people. If someone on your list is into tech, though, we’ve got your back.
For this year’s book of the Ars Technica holiday present guide, we’re breaking down the favorites into themes. The following crop of recommendations is centered on travel—from smartphones to headphones to portable batteries, these are the gadgets we’d take with us on the next highway trip. Feel free to show your desired ones the list next for your own benefit.
Smartphone present ideas
Google Pixel 2
No, it’s not perfect. Google’s second gash at a flagship phone has indispensable its share of post-launch updates for intensity confidence vulnerabilities and weird audio glitches alike. There’s no headphone jack, either, and those bezels are big. But in the area of top-tier Android phones, Google still knows its own handling complement best. The Pixel 2 has a illusory camera, stellar battery life, a newly waterproof design, and by distant the smoothest and many rarely optimized build of Android ever put on a smartphone. Add in the years of guaranteed timely program updates and you have the best Android phone on the market.
Note that we’re articulate about the unchanging $650 indication here; the Pixel 2 XL is much better looking and likewise worthy if you’re peaceful to compensate additional for a incomparable handset, yet its LG-made display has its share of annoyances.
Check out the extensive examination of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL for more.
Apple iPhone X
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are fine. If you know someone who’ll only use iPhones, they’ll be ideally iPhone-y adequate for that person. But the iPhone X is on another level. The X’s near-bezel-less pattern fits a Plus-size screen in a significantly smaller and some-more gentle form factor; its new OLED display looks great; and there isn’t a faster commercially accessible smartphone in existence.
Yes, it has transparent weaknesses: the $999 price, the just-decent battery life, the frail potion back, the little ungainly pieces Apple has combined in translating iOS to a phone but buttons, and that cost tab again. Maybe this is the year that it’s savvier to buy the older iPhone 7 or iPhone SE, wait a year, and burst in when Apple smooths some of the edges. But the iPhone is its own world; if you wish the best it has to offer right now, the iPhone X is it.
Check out the extensive examination of the iPhone X for more.
The OnePlus 5T only just launched, but it’s already distant and divided the best smartphone accessible for $500. The slim-bezel design, top-of-the-line Snapdragon 835 chip, and colourful OLED display—of the good Samsung variety, not the iffy LG kind—are all things you’d find on an $800 phone.
OnePlus may not be as timely with program updates as Google, but conjunction is any other Android manufacturer. What the OS OnePlus does yield is at slightest free of bloat. And while the 5T’s camera still can’t hold the best of the best, it’s softened adequate to not be a major detriment. There’s also a headphone jack! The miss of water insurgency or microSD enlargement hurt, but the OnePlus 5T is essentially a good deal.
Check out the extensive examination of the OnePlus 5T for more.
Motorola Moto G5S Plus
The state of the bill smartphone marketplace has run-down in new years, but if you have no choice but to inexpensive out, go with the Moto G5S Plus. It doesn’t demeanour sexy, its camera is zero special, it still uses microUSB, and who knows when the Lenovo chronicle of Motorola will ever get around to updating it to Android 8.0.
But the 5.5-inch 1080p display is solid, the Android build is sincerely clean, the all-metal pattern feels sturdy, and the battery lasts a long, prolonged time. The Snapdragon 625 chip and 3GB of RAM are really meant for elementary browsing and app usage, but for that they’re still well-spoken enough. The device also works on all 4 major carriers in the US. For $279, that all creates for good value. If you prefer a smaller screen and lighter design, the 4GB RAM/64GB chronicle of the Moto G5 Plus works just as good for $299.