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Best Android gifts for under $300
Admit it, you’re still Christmas shopping. We’re getting down to the last few weeks before the holidays, and it’s not too late to buy the Android-lover in your family some awesome gifts. We’ve already given you our lists for the top Android gifts for under $50, under $100, and under $200, and now we’re about to help you out if your budget is between $200-$300.
If you’re still unsure what to get the techie in your family, allow us to help. Here’s our list of the best Android gifts for under $300.
While still not the easiest to get a hold of, it’s much easier to get an invite for the OnePlus One than it was just a few months ago. Additionally, OnePlus is slowly introducing “pre-order” windows for the device, and hopefully it is only a matter of time before it is widely available without any hoop jumping required. While it’s no longer a “brand new” device, it’s low pricing (starting at $300) still makes it an absolute winner and recent software updates have eliminated many of the complaint points that some OnePlus One users had to deal with early on.
As for the hardware? The OPO is powered by a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 with 3GB RAM. There’s also storage options of both 16 or 64GB, a 13MP camera, a 3100 mAh battery and Cyanogenmod 11S (based on Android 4.4). The OnePlus One is a solid device, spec wise, and the addition of out-of-the-box Cyanogenmod makes it stand out. At the same time, the OPO is also a desirable device for those that prefer a stock-like Android experience.
While OnePlus was selling these without invites for the holiday, right now you will need an invite — and here’s a page detOailing how best to get one. It’s also possible OnePlus may open up the pre-order system one last time before Christmas arrives.
Motorola Moto X (2013)
We’re well aware that the Moto X (1st Gen.) may be a little dated, especially with the newer model out now, but that doesn’t make this a bad phone. In fact, the Moto X was one of our favorite phones of 2013. Google and Motorola showed us that a well-performing phone doesn’t need top of the line specifications or a steep price.
When it comes to specs, the Moto X has a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 2GB of RAM. Internal storage options come in 16, 32 or 64GB, a 10MP rear-facing camera, 2MP front-facing camera, and a 2200mAh battery. This device feels great in the hand, offers a refreshing 4.7-inch screen size and comes with some great Motorola features that truly enhance the Android experience. For less than $300, this is still a great device.
HUAWEI Ascend Mate2
If you’re a fan of phablets, you may want to consider the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2. The handset features a beautiful display, great build quality and exceptional battery life. And better yet, it’s under $300.
As for specs, the Ascend Mate2 offers a 6.1-inch 720p display, a quad-core 1.6GHz Snapdragon 400 processor and 2GB of RAM. The phone is available in only a 16GB variant, and also features a 13MP rear-facing camera, 5MP front-facing camera and a 4050mAh battery. Though the processor and screen aren’t the best on the market, the display is huge, and HUAWEI’s software is light enough to fly through everyday tasks. For the money, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better deal than this.
#3 – Sony Xperia M2
If you are in love with the Xperia Z look and feel but don’t want to pay the full price for such a device, that Xperia M2 could be the perfect compromise. Starting right around $250, the M2 isn’t an expensive handset, though it’s specs won’t blow anyone away either.
Inside the M2 is a Snapdragon 400 clocked at 1.2 GHz with 1GB RAM, an Adreno 305 GPU and 8 gigs of internal storage and microSD. While this processing package isn’t horrible for the price, the biggest downside will be the 4.8-inch display with its 960×540 resolution.
Still, with reasonably decent specs and full-day battery life (around 5 hour screen on time), the M2 is a solid device for those that want a more premium looking device for under $300 that stands out from the pack.
Motorola Moto 360
It’s hip, it’s stylish, and it’s customizable. The Moto 360 was one of the first Android Wear smartwatches announced, and, while it took Motorola more than half a year to release it, the sleek circular device has been well received. Featuring a large circular screen (albeit with the infamous “flat tire” cutout at the bottom), a sleek brushed metal build, and several replaceable bands, the Moto 360 will look good in just about any occasion.
On the inside, the processor is older than the competitors’, while the battery is on the small side – still, the Moto 360 will last a day of usage for all but the most active users, and you get wireless charging. With a variety of cool watchfaces taking advantage of the round screen and more launching constantly, the Moto 360 is a great choice if style is your biggest priority.
LG G Watch R
The other circular smartwatch on our list is the G Watch R, and, as LG likes to point out, there’s no cutout here. The full circle screen is beautiful, and everything will look nicer on it thanks to the 245 ppi (higher than the Moto 360’s). While the Moto 360 has a minimalist flair, the G Watch R will appeal more to fans of sport watches, with its beveled engraved ring and aggressively sculpted body.
The G Watch R impresses through its large battery and the Snapdragon processor inside ensures steady performance. The device ships with a nice leather strap, but if you don’t like it, you can easily swap it with any standard 22 mm strap.
Sony SmartWatch 3
Runners, hikers, and cyclists, stop looking, this is the Android Wear watch you need. Sony used its own OS for the previous generations, but embraced Android for SmartWatch 3, and we couldn’t be happier. The Sony SmartWatch 3 stands out through its onboard GPS module, which lets you track your activities without needing a smartphone that weighs you down. Just as easily, you can connect a pair of Bluetooth sports headphones and enjoy your music straight from the watch.
Available in black, white, pink, and lime, SmartWatch 3 looks as sporty as it acts. The rubber strap is non-standard, but at least you can swap it in a few seconds without any tools. The watch is IP68 water resistant and the screen is transflective LCD, which means you can read it more easily in the sun. All in all, a great choice for active use.
Garmin Forerunner 220 – Black/Red
Looking to track your fitness for your New Year’s resolution? We’ve got some great gifts for you. First up is the Garmin Forerunner 220. With its built-in GPS and high resolution display, it’s made to keep you informed on all of your tracking and fitness needs. Its accelerometer can keep track of your distance whether you’re indoors or outside, and pairs with the Garmin Connect app on your phone, so you can share achievements with friends or family members. This fitness tracker is light, small and made with the best materials out there. It comes in black or red, and you can grab one with or without a heart rate monitor, all for under $300.
TomTom Runner Cardio (Black)
The TomTom Runner cardio is very similar to the Garmin fitness tracker above, but offers a few different features. It comes with a bigger display so you can see information much more easily when you’re working out, and features an integrated heart rate monitor. It offers full-screen graphics and the One Button Control helps you navigate through menus with ease. It’s made of premium materials that will hold up over time, and is made to help you progress in your workouts overtime.
GoPro HERO3+: Silver Edition
When it comes to action cameras, one name comes to mind above all others: GoPro. The GoPro HERO3+ will give you professional video quality no matter what sport you’re recording, and is small enough to not hinder your performance. The HERO3+ features 30% longer battery life than other GoPro models, eliminating the worry about losing your charge. GoPro has focused on low-light performance with this model, so you can watch crystal clear 1080p videos with ease.
Garmin Virb Elite Action Camera
The Garmin Virb Elite Action Camera features a slightly different design than most are used to, but we think it enables you to use it more places. It’s almost tube-like in shape, and only measures 4.2 x 1.8 x 1.1 inches. It’s small, and you can really put it almost anywhere. The 16MP sensor allows for 1080p video recording and playback and has a long-lasting 2000mAh battery. It features Digital Image Stabilization and Lens Distortion Correction… perfect for the most gritty sports you put it through. It can also communicate with other Garmin devices, making this action camera a great value for under $300.
Samsung LEVEL Over Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
Not too long ago, Samsung released their LEVEL line of headphones, which was their attempt to breach the premium headphone market. They released three different styles of headphones, and today we’re looking at the LEVEL Over model. They feature Active Noise Cancellation technology and Ear Care notifications to prevent hearing loss. If you pair these headphones with a Samsung device, you can use S-Voice to control your phone through voice commands. Also, there are no buttons on this pair. SmartTouch enables you to control the headphone volume and other commands without having to search around for a button. These headphones are great quality, and look really nice.
Sony DR-BT50 Stereo Bluetooth Headphones
Sony is a name we all think of when talking about premium audio quality, and the Sony DR-BT50’s are no exception. These are wireless Bluetooth headphones, so pairing them with a Bluetooth-enabled device is no problem. They’re certainly not the prettiest headphones on the market, but they don’t need to be. They offer some of the best sound quality you can get for this price point, and we think any audiophile would be extremely happy with these.
Poly BackBeat PRO Wireless Active Noise Canceling Headphones
The Plantronice BackBeat PRO Wireless Headphones feature great audio quality and noise cancelling technology, removing any distractions you may have while listening to your music. They’re compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled device, and switching between devices is a breeze. A really nice feature is the Pause and Play Automatically function, which pauses or plays your music automatically if you take them off or put them on… very cool. They feature a sleek design, noise cancelling control and a super long battery life.
Klipsch KMC 3 Wireless Music System
The Klipsch KMC 3 Wireless Music System isn’t just a Bluetooth speaker, it’s a complete music system. With its built-in subwoofer, it gives off the illusion that there’s more than one speaker you’re listening to. It’s compatible with any device that has Bluetooth, and features 130 watts of digital system power. If you don’t have a Bluetooth-enabled device, don’t worry! There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack that can connect to almost any audio streaming product. It also comes with a remote control, and is available in multiple different colors.
Jawbone BIG JAMBOX Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
Looking for a big speaker that can really pack a punch? Take a look at the Jawbone BIG JAMBOX Bluetooth Speaker. We already took a look at its smaller counterpart in our Best gifts for under $200 post, so we thought we’d throw in this premium quality speaker as well. Measuring 10.1 x 3.2 x 3.7 inches, it’s certainly not the smallest speaker you can buy, but it makes up for its size in audio quality. It offers up to 15 hours of audio playback on a single charge, and also features a 3.5mm headphone jack which can be used to connect a non Bluetooth-enabled device.
Beats Pill XL Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The Beats Pill XL offers some of the best audio performance we’ve heard on a Bluetooth speaker. It’s sleek, made from premium materials and offers up to 15 hours of audio playback on one charge. It even has a nifty battery saver mode, which turns off the speaker after 10 minutes of not being used. If you decide this speaker isn’t loud enough for you, sync two Beats Pills together to give double the volume. This is a great Bluetooth speaker, and we think it will be difficult to find a better one out there.
NVIDIA Shield Tablet
NVIDIA is known for video cards, not Android tablets, but the Shield Tablet is definitely worth of your attention, especially if you’re into gaming. That’s because the Shield Tablet is powered by a mighty Tegra K1 processor and comes with NVIDIA’s TegraZone portal, that gives you access to dozens of Tegra-optimized Android games.
The rest of the specs are nothing to sneeze at, and build quality and design are top-notch. The Shield’s stereo front-facing speakers are great for gaming, video, and music, and the stylus that comes in the box will amp up your productivity. On the downside, this device is a bit heavy and the battery life tends towards the lower end of the spectrum.
Google Nexus 7 (2013)
Not everyone looks for the latest specs and thinnest designs. For some, getting a good deal is more important that staying on the edge. That is why we can’t wrap up our list of best Android tablets without mentioning the Nexus 7 (2013). Although it’s a year old, the Nexus 7 is still a great tablet that gives you all the essentials in an attractive package. The Full HD screen is still great, and its pixel density is actually higher than some devices listed above.
While you won’t get the same lighting fast performance you’ll get from the Nexus 9, the Nexus 7 is more than capable, especially for less demanding users. Coupled with the guaranteed fast update to Lollipop, the Nexus 7 remains a top choice for those looking for an affordable tablet.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1
Samsung has always been great at utilizing big screens to maximize productivity, and they do a great job with that on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. The Multi Window feature is perfect for multitasking, and reading e-books is easy to do with all of Samsung’s readability enhancements. The Tab 4 boasts a quad-core Snapdragon ARM Cortex-A7 processor backed by 1.5GB of RAM. It also comes with a nice 720p display, 16GB of internal memory and it runs Android 4.4 KitKat. Coupled with over $300 of extra content and services that Samsung throws in, you’ll struggle to find a better deal than this one — especially if you’re a Samsung fan.
HP Chromebook 14
The HP Chromebook 14 is one of the better Chromebooks available on the market. When it comes to specs, a NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor is backed by 2GB of RAM, and also gives up to 8 hours of use on a single charge! It’s big 14-inch screen is beautiful and vivid. When it comes down to it, The HP Chromebook 14 is a great purchase for anyone looking to enter the Chromebook world.
Dell Chromebook 11 11.6-inch
The Dell Chromebook 11 is generally a bit smaller than its competition, but that doesn’t mean it suffers in any other areas. While it offers a smaller size overall, its screen is bright and vibrant, and can last up to 10 hours on one charge. If you’re looking for a smaller Chromebook, you should buy this model.
Samsung Chromebook 2 (13-Inch, Luminous Titan)
Samsung’s Chromebook 2 is a huge step up from their first iteration. The Chromebook 2 comes with a Exynos 5 Octa 5800 2.0 GHz Processor with 4GB of RAM, 8.5-hour battery life, and has a beautiful 13.3-inch screen. This Chromebook can fly through any task you throw at it, and is truly another great purchase for under $300.
Wilson Electronics DT – Cell Phone Signal Boost for Small Home or Office
This next product won’t be for everybody, but it’s still very useful. If you’re suffering from poor cell service in your home or office (which I bet many of us are), you should take a look at the WIlson Cell Phone Signal Boost. The aim of this product is to offer stronger cell service, fewer dropped calls, faster data downloads and clearer voice calls. It’s small, sleek and will improve your home or work life dramatically if you suffer from dropped calls and poor reception.
Parrot MiniDrone Jumping Sumo
When we think of Drones, typically we associate the idea with unmanned flying machines, but Parrot’s Jumping Sumo takes a different approach. Capable of jumping as high as 2.5 feet in the air, the Sumo Jump can also roll up at 2m/s and turn 90 or 180-degrees in the blink of an eye.
The Jumping Sumo is certainly not your average drone and, even better, the free FreeFlight 3 app for Android allows you to remotely control the device, see through its camera and much more.
Having trouble figuring out what to your favorite tech head this holiday season? When in doubt, Amazon gift cards may just be the answer. From tech to fashion and so much more, you’ll find almost anything on Amazon and there’s denominations as little as $10 or as high as $2000.