Android Holiday Gift Guide

November 9, 2011

In the last 10 months, Android has made its way into all aspects of our lives, taking on many forms such as tablets, smartphones, TV, and more. The problem with so many options is it can be very difficult to find the right device for all those people on your shopping list, or at least the ones that deserve such a awesome gifts! Well, this Android Holiday Gift Guide is all you will need to buy the right gift for all those people in your life. First off, we’ll start with phones, of which many of us are locked into plans, so we will cover each of the top four Carriers. Also, I will make a recommendation or two for each carrier, since some of use have people in our lives with different needs. Lastly, since phone prices are always changing I will not be posting prices but your best bet on the lowest price will be through Amazon Wireless, but it always pays to shop around (I have heard that as of November 1st that BestBuy now matches Amazon on smartphones).

Sprint

HTC Evo 3D – A great gift for 3D Fun

The Evo 3D is the third in the line of the popular Evo family, these phone have been so popular because of the Sense User Interface (UI) that HTC has on each of their devices. The Sense UI being so popular because of its functionality, and customization it allows for each device. The EVO 3D also is one of the most advanced phones on the Sprints network with its high-speed 4G connection, dual core 1.2ghz processor,  its 4.3” qHD resolution 3d screen, and its 3D HD camera. The Evo 3d give you the ability to capture 3D images and video, and play it back without the need for 3D glasses. The Evo 3D is my top phone recommendation for anyone who is looking for the most versatile and well rounded phone on Sprint’s network.


Samsung Epic Touch 4G

The Samsung Epic Touch 4G is much like the Samsung Galaxy SII 4G on T-Mobiles network, if your looking for a multimedia power house this will get the job done. For more on this phone check out the summary of the Galaxy SII below.


Verizon

Galaxy Nexus – A great gift for geeks

The Galaxy Nexus is Google’s flagship phone. It will also the most advanced Android phone available to date once released, and it shows with all the features that they have packed into this thing. It has the newest version of Android OS known as Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), which gives you the latest features from facial recognition, to hardware acceleration (for the smoothest Android experience).

Hardware-wise, the Galaxy Nexus is no slouch, and sports a 4.65” Super AMOLED HD 1280Ă—720 display, a dual core 1.2 GHz processor, and runs on Verizon’s speedy LTE 4G data network. It also has an amazing camera that is near instantaneous when taking picture, and will rival any phone’s camera upon release . On top of all that, this phone also has GPS, NFC, and Bluetooth 3.0, so this phone will be able to suit whatever need your geeky loved one will have for it in the future. It is estimated this phone will be available on 11/21/11

Droid RAZR

The Droid RAZR, function-wise, is much like the Atrix 2 that I summarized down below, and is a very business orientated phone. The RAZR though, will have a bit more flare with its super thin design, and its qHD Super AMOLED Advanced display (meaning the screen will display vibrant and rich colors). The RAZR, like the Galaxy Nexus is a 4G phone, which means it also runs on Verizon’s speedy 4G network. To find out more about this phone read up on the Atrix 2 down in AT&T’s section below. The RAZR is scheduled for release on 11/11/11.

T-Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S II 4G – A great gift for multimedia power users

The Samsung Galaxy S II has a large 4.52-inch Super AMOLED Plus display that is great for watching movies on, and also gaming on the go.  Any media you play on the AMOLED Plus screen has the blackest blacks, and the most vivid of colors. Combine that screen with its ultra fast dual core 1.5 GHz processor, and you have a real multimedia powerhouse. Also with T-Mobiles speedy 4G network, you should not have any problem streaming any movies from Netflix, or uploading pictures to Facebook.

HTC Sensation 4G

The Sensation 4G is much like the Evo 3D, without the 3D. It is a solid phone and a great choice if you want the Sense UI, which is the most popular interface among all the Android phone manufacturers. If the Galaxy S II 4G’s Touchwiz UI is not for you, this is a great alternative.

AT&T

Motorola Atrix 2 4G – A business savy android phone

The Motorola Atrix 2 is a great Android phone for those whose needs center around business. The phone has you covered with features such as device and microSD card encryption, enterprise-grade VPN, and enhanced Exchange options. The Atrix 2 also has the most necessary accessory that any business user could ask for, a lapdock. A lapdock is a laptop that connects to your phone giving your phone the functionality of a laptop. The lapdock gives you the ability to easily create spread sheets with Google Docs, or if you want basic computer functions, power by the Atrix 2. Hardware-wise, the Atrix 2 has a dual core 1GHz processor, 4G network speeds, and a gigabyte of RAM. Its has more then enough power to handle anything that you will be able to throw at it.

Samsung Galaxy S II 4G

The  Samsung Galaxy S II 4G is again much like the Samsung Galaxy SII 4G on T-Mobiles network and, if you’re looking for a multimedia powerhouse, this will get the job done.

Tablets

Amazon Kindle Fire/Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet

These 7″ tablets I can see as being the hot seller’s of the holiday season, with great hardware specs and loads of multimedia content available from Amazon and B&N. They are the perfect gift for anyone on your list, but each has their strong points and weaknesses. Price-wise, the Fire will cost $199, while the Nook Tablet is going to run you a little more at $249. While this price difference may not break the bank the main differences is the Nook tablet has twice the RAM, and the option to of expandable memory via SDcard. The Amazon Kindle Fire is a great tablet for those who are already familiar with what Amazon does, things such as  Amazon Cloud Player, Kindle Reader, Prime, Amazon Appstore, etc. On the other hand, the Nook Tablet looks like a great option for those looking for the brick and mortar customer support, Hulu and Netflix integration, and access to the Nook Newstand. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with either, but weigh the options that each has before purchasing if for that special someone in your life. The Kindle Fire will be available 11/15/2011, and the Nook Tablet will be available 11/17/2011. If you are interested in seeing how they stack up, check out our article comparing them here.

Asus Transformer Prime

The Asus Transformer Prime is a great tablet for that person in your life who has to have the latest and greatest. The Prime will be the first quad-core tablet available, and will be unbelievably thin at 8.3mm in a brushed aluminum casing. As with the original Transformer, the Prime will have the keyboard as an optional accessory, a nice addition if you are looking to purchase it for a student. If you’re buying a 10 inch tablet this holiday season this is by far the best choice but I have a feeling these will be hard to find. As of release of this article, pricing is set to be around $499, and the Asus Transformer Prime’s release date has been pushed back to December. If you cant wait till December, the original Transformer is also a great option with many of the same features. While not cutting edge technology, the original Transformer is a solid performer, and is among many Android fans favorite tablet right now.

Other Android Devices

Google TV - Logitech Revue

If you are looking for a gift for that person who is always sitting in front of the TV, the Logitech Revue is a great option. It will be the only online media streaming device they need. For streaming content the Revue works with Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, and much more. A keyboard also comes with the Revue, and makes it very easy to navigate Google TV from the comfort of your couch, and no other Android device is needed to operate the Revue. While this all sounds great there is one restriction — the Revue will only connect to TV’s with a HDMI connection (if they have a plasma or LCD flat screen television, odds are that it will work). If the Logitech Revue sounds like it would be a great gift for someone on your list, click here to learn more about the Revue.

 

Cases/Accessories

Otterbox -Phone/Tablet Case

The Otterbox Case is well known for being very rugged, yet stylish case. If the person you are shopping for already has all the Android devices they could wish for, the Otterbox case could be the perfect gift they didn’t know they wanted. They Otterbox is available in four flavors to suit each individuals needs in protection, with the most popular being the Defender and the Commuter Series. The Defender Series is a “Multi-layer case that completely encloses a device and withstands any environment”, and provides the best protection. I have seen a phone in this case thrown against a wall, without any damage done to the case or the phone inside. The Commuter Series is more versatile with less bulk for more everyday purposes, its “Sleek and tough case prevents potential damage from a demanding lifestyle”.  These cases are great protection for the money, and can be a great gift for that hard to buy person.

Zagg InvisibleSHIELD - Screen Protection/Case Protection

Like the Otterbox the InvisibleSHIELD it is the perfect gift for that person who already has all their Android devices, and will help keep their electronics in like new condition. The InvisibleSHIELD is a thin clear material that protects your Android device from anything ranging from your keys, to a few grains of sand.  You can get the protector for the screen, but it is also available for the rest of the device as well. This protection is for those who prefer lighter, thinner layer for their phone or tablet.  The InvisibleSHIELD product comes with a lifetime warranty, but you will probably never need to use it since its quality is top notch. My one recommendation is to have it professionally installed due to the difficulty that can be ran across when doing it yourself.

While this Holiday Shopping Guide offers us a glimpse of the products available in each category, it is a list of products that we can feel comfortable giving without having any reservations about. Also, while some of these products are not immediately available, it may pay off to wait, as it seems a lot of the most cutting edge products are being released closer to the Holidays themselves. Please feel free to ask any questions you have in the comment section below, I am always checking back in my articles to respond. Lastly I am am wondering is anyone hoping to receive any of the gifts mentioned here?

Comments

  • http://profiles.google.com/veritasnoctis Geoffrey Allan PlauchĂ©

    Has everyone forgotten about the Toshiba Thrive 7″? That’s what I’m looking at for my first tablet/ereader purchase this season. I’m just waiting on pricing.

    • Brandon Sobotta

      To be honest I had not heard of it, I was looking forward to the upcoming 10″ Toshiba Tablet. The unfortunate thing is they pushed it back till after the holiday season for launch. :/

    • Kevin Kerr

      Is it because of the high resolution screen?

  • Tim pentz

    Thanks for this.

    I need to understand the tablet market. My understanding of tablets is that they are great for reading content. e.g Internet, e-mail & e-books. But can they run apps like spreadsheets, create documents etc? If they can’t, then I honestly don’t understand the rationale to purchase one!

    If they can run apps, the next problem I have is synchronisation with a laptop / desktop – without using the cloud. There does not appear to be many options to do this

    • Brandon Sobotta

      They can run spreadsheets and all that with options like Google Docs, and also Polaris Office. I am not really sure about syncing with out cloud, I have never had the need since I just use google docs.