It’s the vacations, which implies it’s as soon as once more time to rack your mind in quest of the appropriate presents for the appropriate folks. If somebody in your listing is into tech, although, we’ve bought your again.

For this 12 months’s version of the Ars Technica vacation present information, we’re breaking down our favorites into themes. The next crop of suggestions is centered on journey—from smartphones to headphones to moveable batteries, these are the devices we’d take with us on our subsequent street journey. Be happy to point out your family members the listing beneath in your personal profit.

Smartphone present concepts
Google Pixel 2

Enlarge / The smaller Pixel 2, with miles and miles of bezel.

Ron Amadeo

No, it’s not good. Google’s second stab at a flagship cellphone has wanted its share of post-launch updates for potential safety vulnerabilities and bizarre audio glitches alike. There’s no headphone jack, both, and people bezels are large. However within the realm of top-tier Android telephones, Google nonetheless is aware of its personal working system finest. The Pixel 2 has a improbable digicam, stellar battery life, a newly waterproof design, and by far the smoothest and most extremely optimized construct of Android ever placed on a smartphone. Add within the years of assured well timed software program updates and you’ve got the most effective Android cellphone available on the market.

Simply be aware that we’re speaking in regards to the common $650 mannequin right here; the Pixel 2 XL is way better-looking, however its LG-made show has a number of too many points for us to wholeheartedly suggest.

Try our complete evaluation of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL for extra.

Apple iPhone X

Enlarge / A purposeful iPhone X, in contrast to those that went by means of current stress testing.

Samuel Axon

The iPhone eight and iPhone eight Plus are effective. If you realize somebody who’ll solely use iPhones, they’ll be completely iPhone-y sufficient for that particular person. However the iPhone X is on one other degree. The X’s near-bezel-less design suits a Plus-size display screen in a considerably smaller and extra snug kind issue; its new OLED show appears nice; and there isn’t a sooner commercially accessible smartphone in existence.

Sure, it has clear weaknesses: The $999 worth, the simply respectable battery life, the delicate glass again, the little awkward bits Apple has created in translating iOS to a cellphone with out buttons and that price ticket once more. Possibly that is the 12 months when it’s savvier to purchase the older iPhone 7 or iPhone SE, wait a 12 months, and leap in when Apple smooths a few of the edges. However the iPhone is its personal world; if you would like the most effective it has to supply proper now, the iPhone X is it.

Try our complete evaluation of the iPhone X for extra.

OnePlus 5T

Enlarge / The OnePlus 5T. Try these slim bezels.

Ron Amadeo

The OnePlus 5T solely simply launched, however it’s already far and away the most effective smartphone accessible for $500. The slim-bezel design, top-of-the-line Snapdragon 835 chip, and vibrant OLED show—of the nice Samsung selection, not the iffy LG variety—are all belongings you’d discover on an $800 cellphone.

OnePlus is probably not as well timed with software program updates as Google, however neither is another Android producer. The OS OnePlus does present is at the very least freed from bloat. And whereas the 5T’s digicam nonetheless can’t contact the most effective of the most effective, it’s improved sufficient to not be a significant detriment. There’s additionally a headphone jack! The shortage of water resistance or microSD growth harm, however the OnePlus 5T is basically a very good deal.

Try our complete evaluation of the OnePlus 5T for extra.

Motorola Moto G5S Plus

The state of the price range smartphone market has deteriorated lately, however when you’ve got no alternative however to low cost out, go together with the Moto G5S Plus. It doesn’t look horny, its digicam is nothing particular, it nonetheless makes use of microUSB, and who is aware of when the Lenovo model of Motorola will ever get round to updating it to Android

However the 5.5-inch 1080p show is stable, the Android construct is pretty clear, the all-metal design feels sturdy, and the battery lasts an extended, very long time. The Snapdragon 625 chip and 3GB of RAM are actually meant for easy looking and app utilization, however for that they are nonetheless easy sufficient. The system additionally works on all 4 main carriers within the US. For $279, that each one makes for good worth. In the event you favor a smaller display screen and lighter design, the 4GB RAM/64GB model of the Moto G5 Plus works simply as effectively for $299.


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