Welcome to the SAI: Tools 10 x 10 Holiday Gift Guide! We’re picking the 10 best products from 10 different categories to round out your shopping list this year.
For the next two weeks we’re going to bring you the best in tablets, computers, accessories, you name it.
To kick things off, we’re starting with smartphones.
With Android extending its lead in smartphone marketshare this year, we were lucky enough to get dozens of incredible smartphones based on the Google OS. Still, we think the iPhone is the smartphone to beat, and Windows Phones aren’t that far behind either.
Keep reading for the best smartphones you can buy this Holiday season.
Motorola's Photon is the manufacturer's first 4G phone on Sprint, and the first to implement the new cut-off corners design aesthetic we now see in all Motorola devices.
The Photon features a 1 Ghz dual-core processor, 16 GB of storage, and a powerful 8 MP camera.
Price: $199.99 with a two-year contract from Sprint.
Within just a few short months, Motorola was able to crank out the Atrix 2, a powerful Android phone that happens to be one of the best smartphone values around.
The phone features many of the same specs as the first Atrix, but this time Motorola is marketing it towards the average user, not just those looking for a superphone. It's our number one pick if you're looking for an Android phone on a budget.
Price: $99.99 with a two-year contract from AT&T
Since its release this summer, the HTC Sensation has been one of our favourite phones from the manufacturer. The smartphone help mark HTC's shift to its new Sense 3.0 skin for Android, which is easily the best skin available right now.
HTC also took the time to make the HTC feels solid, even though it's made from mostly plastic parts.
Price: $199.99 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile
We'd be doing you a disservice if we didn't include a Windows Phone in our gift guide. Right now, our favourite is the Samsung Focus S.
The Focus S is very similar to the new Galaxy S II Android phones, but runs the latest version of Windows Phone, version 7.5 Mango. The Super AMOLED display pops, just like it does on the Galaxy phones and the OS is snappy and responsive.
If you're looking for a strong alternative to Android or iOS, this is your phone.
Price: $199.99 with a two-year contract from AT&T
If the Razr doesn't do it for you, you may want to check out the Motorola Droid bionic instead.
The Bionic began as one of the most talked about smartphones when it debuted at CES in January 2011. But months of delays caused Motorola to go back to the drawing board and redesign the phone from the ground up.
The result was pretty good. The Bionic has a 4.3-inch qHD display, Verizon LTE, and a solid 8 MP camera that shoots 1080p HD video. By now it's pretty standard by top-of-the-line Android phone standards, but it is $50 cheaper than most of them.
Price: $249.99 with a two-year contract from Verizon
Motorola made the bold move this year to resurrect the beloved Razr brand with the new Droid Razr.
This insanely powerful Android phone is easily the most powerful Motorola has offered to date. It's also absolutely massive with a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED qHD screen. Plus you get Verizon LTE phone, so you're going to get super fast data speeds.
Motorola boasts that the Droid Razr is the thinnest smartphone available. Don't take that at face value though. While most of the phone is indeed super-thin, there's a major bulge at the top that houses the camera.
Price: $299.99 with a two-year contract from Verizon
The HTC Rezound is the company's first smartphone showing off its partnership with Beats Audio. The phone has improved sound quality thanks to the Beats tech and even ships with a pair of Beats Audio ear buds.
The Rezound also has a 4.3-inch 720p display, which will be great for watching videos. And thanks to Verizon's LTE data speeds, you'll be able to stream and download content in a snap.
Note: The Rezound ships with a pair of Beats Audio earbuds, not the headphones shown here.
Price: $299.99 with a two-year contract from Verizon
If you're not on Verizon and looking for the best Android-based iPhone competitor there is, the Samsung Galaxy S II is your best choice.
The Galaxy S II is available on AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile in slightly altered variations, but the core experience remains the same. You get a zippy dual-core processor, 4G data speeds, and a brilliant Super AMOLED Plus display. Screen sizes vary depending on which carrier you buy from, but they're all over four inches.
Price: $199.99 with a two-year contract from AT&T. $149.99 and up (depending on location) for the Galaxy S II Skyrocket with a two-year contract from AT&T. $199.99 with a two-year contract from Sprint. $229.99 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile.
This is the phone Android fans have been waiting all year for. Google's new flagship phone, the Galaxy Nexus, will be the first to ship with the brand new Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS. Google rebuilt Android from the ground up with Ice Cream Sandwich, and early reviews peg it as a strong competitor to Apple's iOS.
On the hardware side, the Galaxy Nexus is a massive device with a 4.65-inch screen that displays 720p video. It also runs on Verizon's zippy LTE network. If you want to use another carrier, Google will sell an unlocked version that runs on T-Mobile or AT&T. However, we expect those carriers to start selling the Galaxy Nexus at a subsidized price next year.
Price: As of this writing, we still don't have a finalised release date or price for the Galaxy Nexus. Samsung promised a November launch date, so we expect an official announcement very soon. Most expect the Galaxy Nexus to cost $299.99 with a two-year contract from Verizon.
Despite the heavy competition, the iPhone 4S is still the best smartphone you can buy right now. On the outside it may look identical to its predecessor, the iPhone 4, but the iPhone 4S has enough internal improvements to make it a worthy purchase.
The iPhone 4S sports a zippy dual-core A5 processor, an improved camera that can take 1080p HD video, and Siri, the voice-controlled assistant that now has us talking to our phone just as much as we type on it.
Price: Available on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. $199.99, $299.99, and $399.99 for the 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB models, respectively with a two-year contract. The iPhone 4 is available on all three carriers for $99.99 with a two-year contract. The iPhone 3GS is available on AT&T for $0 with a two-year contract. Click here to compare models from Apple >
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