16 December 2013

Christmas Gift Ideas: Best phone, tablet or tech gadget for every budget

Best phone to buy this Christmas

On a budget…

Vodafone Smart Mini (£49.99)
Many ultra-budget phones are rubbish. However, the Vodafone Smart Mini, which costs just £50, is actually surprisingly good. It has a small 3.5-inch screen, but gives you all the flexibility of the Android operating system. If you really can’t afford any more, this is one of the few ultra-budget phones worth looking at. 

A little classier…

Motorola Moto G (£100)
If you can afford to spend a little more, the Motorola Moto G is absolutely the SIM-free phone to buy this Christmas. It costs just £100, but has all the features of a phone that might have cost £400 earlier this year. You get a great 4.5-inch 720p screen, quad-core processor, reasonable 5-megapixel camera and Android 4.3 – a fairly up-to-date version of the mobile phone software. It’s an absolute bargain.

Best tablet to buy this Christmas

On a budget...

Asus MeMO Pad HD 7 (£129)
Back in the day you had to spend a good deal of cash to get a half-decent tablet. But that’s simply not true anymore. The Tesco Hudl has grabbed much of the limelight this year in the budget tablet world, but at the entry level zone, we’d actually recommend the 7-inch Asus MeMO PAD HD 7 over it. It has a great screen, good performance and bags of flexibility. If you can afford a bit more, the Nexus 7 2 is significantly better and much higher-res, but this remains a top-quality tablet.

A little classier...

iPad mini (£329) or iPad Air
If you’re wondering whether Apple is still king of tablet-land, it is. There are great Android tablets out there, but the superior apps selection of iOS means the iPad is still our no-holds barred tablet of choice. This year’s models are both fantastic, too. The iPad Air has a design close to that of the iPad mini, with a reduced screen surround compared to last year’s models. The iPad mini looks like it always has, but this time it has a super high-resolution Retina screen that makes the first model look positively blocky.

Best gadget to buy this Christmas

Budget choice

Nerf N-strike CS-18 (£29.99)
If you don’t mind having guns in the house, the Nerf N-strike Elite is bags of fun. It’s a battery powered Uzi that fires out foam darts in rapid succession. It has range of up to 75 feet and is sure to add a little spice to the boredom of Christmas day afternoon.

For a little more...

TomTom Multisport (£179.99)
The TomTom Multisport is probably our favourite all-round sports watch. This one isn’t just for runners either – it can also track swimming and cycling. Like all the best sport watches, it uses GPS to accurately track where you are. And it works as a watch too.

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