In this edition of the Friday Debate, we talk about presents. Everybody loves them, but often, the best gifts are those that we give to ourselves. So, what’s on your Christmas wishlist this year? What do you want to see under the tree? What would you give to an Android enthusiast? If money was no object, how would you treat yourself this year?
Join us in the discussion, vote in our poll, and sound off in the comments!
If I had to ask Santa for one piece of tech this year it would have to be a new smartphone. Although my Galaxy S2 is aging rather well, a couple of generations have past and it’s certainly time to be thinking about an upgrade.
We have been spoilt for choice for handsets this year, but only two have really caught my eye – the mighty LG G2 and the nifty Nexus 5.
For me, the G2 strikes the perfect balance between performance and functionality, without some of the nonsense apps and the obscenely high price tag associated with other premium handsets. Featuring one of the best smartphone cameras around, a speedy processor, and a beautifully sharp display, it’s a handset that’s virtually impossible to find fault with, unless you’re craving an SD card slot. Not to mention, there’s something about that sleek design and ultra-thin bezel that I just can’t say no to.
On the other hand, the Android purist in me would love to finally own a Nexus handset, as I’ve never really cared for the OEM “bloat”. The Nexus 5 is an unbeatable piece of tech for the price, easily matching up to more expensive premium models. Even if money wasn’t an obstacle, I’d find it hard to recommend any other smartphone to someone who’s looking for a high quality handset with a long potential lifespan.
As a heavy music listener, my list is very audio orientated. I’d like a new pair of In Ear headphones, as well as a nice Bluetooth speaker. My Chromecast is a decent solution for laidback listening, but when my listening starts getting serious, I need a better speaker.
On the niche end of my list, a Vinyl record player would be really awesome. I never got to experience Vinyl, and it’s definitely high up on my list of “things to buy before I die.”
While my Nexus 7 (2013) is a great 7-inch tablet, I’ve been really interested in getting a 10-inch tablet. Unfortunately, Android makers have been a little behind in the 10-inch tablet market, and none of the currently available Android tablets have really caught my eye.
For others, I’d seriously recommend a good pair of headphones. Audio is the one thing that most people skip over, and you don’t realise just how much of the music you’ve been missing out on until you actually listen to music with a decent pair of headphones. As a person whose known to break almost everything he touches, I got myself the tough V-Moda M100’s which are pretty much indestructible. The fact that they sound incredible, is a plus.
I’ve already mentioned it, but the Chromecast is a brilliant little device and I’d recommend it to anybody who could buy it. I love mine, and it’s probably the best $35 I’ve ever spent.
This year has been fantastic for technology lovers, and the biggest problem we’re going to have is deciding what to buy!
To be totally honest, I’m perfectly happy with my Nexus 4, Nexus 7 2013 and Nexus 10 this year. Couldn’t ask for much more than that, though I may eventually consider the Nexus 5 sometime in early 2014. As for what I’d buy folks, this year I’m actually bringing Android goodness to those who want a good experience without breaking the bank. To that end, I am getting my wife the a Moto G handset and I’ve already picked up a new tablet for our family — the low-cost Dell Venue 8, which will primarily be used by my 4-year-old daughter.
While the Dell Venue 8 will likely be stuck with Jelly Bean into the foreseeable future, it’s still a solid-performing Intel-powered tablet that I’ve enjoyed playing with as I get it set up. Now all that’s left is to wrap it up and put it under the tree!
The Moto G should need no introduction at this point. A budget handset with a quad-core Qualcomm 400 CPU and 1GB of RAM for just $179 (8GB) or $199 (16GB)? What’s not to like? The Moto G is absolutely the best handset out there for those with basic needs that are basically looking for make an easy, affordable entry into the world of Android. It could also be the perfect replacement for those still sticking to 2-3 year old Android devices and ready for a boost upward without paying much to do it.
It seems that 2013 is the year that budget devices truly excel at matching low-cost pricing with reasonably decent hardware performance. Of course, not everyone cares about going for budget-friendly deals.
If you want or need more oomph, I’d certainly recommend a Nexus 5 this holiday season for the Android purist. Those that don’t mind a few software modifications might also want to check out Sony’s Xperia Z1 or the Oppo N1.
Really though, this year has been chock full of great Android options at all possible price points, and for that we are all really fortunate.
It’s been a pretty good year to be an Android lover, hasn’t it? Not only have our phones gotten bigger, smartwatches have started to surface and in specifications we’ve seen a very large forward leap.
With all that said, I am actually perfectly happy with the devices that I use everyday. The Moto X is my daily driver, but when I want a larger experience (which isn’t too often, honestly) I go for that Oppo N1. Can’t go wrong with a large phone that makes vlogging/self portraits so easy.
If I really wanted something for Christmas, however, it would have to be some sort of accessory. I have really started to get into wearable tech and that was sparked by my using the LG Tone+ Bluetooth headphones. This is seriously what I would get pretty much any Android user if they are into music and want to cut the cord. I was truly convinced that wearable tech is the future when I went for a whole week and each day I got to the middle of my day totally forgetting I was even wearing the headphones. They just go around your neck and when it’s constantly connected to your phone you can just press play to start up your music or the call button to initiate a call. I know it sounds so simple, but it’s really refreshing when it first happens. Easy of use is fully achieved when the product completely assimilates to your lifestyle.
So, with that in mind, I want to jump into this foray of smartwatches that are coming out. Although there are some new iterations that have come out very recently, I think I’d be happy with a Pebble. I don’t need the watch to do too many things – just look good, control a few key aspects, and tell me what I need. I’m simple like that.
Now to just get a tree…
This is an interesting question. As tech bloggers we usually have (keyword: usually) all the devices we want because, well, we report on them and it usually behooves us to own the devices we talk about.
That said, my wishlist is rather short. I’d love to update my 2012 Nexus 7 to a 2013 edition or maybe even a Kindle Fire HDX. In terms of phones, I like my Nexus 4 and Note 3 combo so I’m not really pining for that.
Accessories, on the other hand, is quite the list. My biggest issue is listening to music and podcasts while I’m in the shower. I have a little speaker now but a Bluetooth or otherwise wireless speaker that’s waterproof that I can keep in the shower with me would be wonderful. I love having a few extra cases just to have some variety. My lovely girlfriend bought me a pair of gloves with the special tips so I can use my phone with them on, so I don’t need those anymore.
Essentially, anything that an Android owner can have that has exactly one purpose is what I’d like to have. Stuff that is useless 95% of the time but has that one extremely useful task that you’d just love to have but can’t justify spending $50+ to have.
Of course, I’ve thought about this for all of 90 seconds. Around this time of year, I’m one of those people who gets a life-high around giving things to others so there are probably a lot more things I haven’t thought of yet!
What do YOU think?
Join us in the comments and vote in our poll.