Which smartphones make the best holiday gifts?

Are you ready to give this holiday season?

Everyone likes cool new tech — even that person on your Christmas list who is “impossible” to shop for. This is especially true of smartphones, as just about everyone would enjoy an upgrade to their current device. However, there are a lot of choices on the market these days, and each phone has specific features that lend themselves to different personality types.

Although there are plenty of options out there, we’re going to focus on three of the heavy hitters of the industry: The Apple iPhone, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Google Pixel. Let’s take a look at what makes each of these devices unique.

iPhone 7

When you’re thinking about giving a smartphone as a gift, it’s hard to go wrong with the iPhone. The latest iteration of this gadget from Apple has been flying off the shelves, which means that purchasing this for someone means that they’ll be able to share chargers and other accessories with their friends.

“It’s hard to go wrong with the iPhone.”

With a 4.7-inch display, the iPhone 7 is a decently sized device, and those looking for a bigger screen could always opt for the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus. Both phones also utilize Retina HD displays and solid resolutions, which are great for those who like watching movies or television shows on the go.

Of course, with a great display comes the need for a solid camera, which Apple has certainly created that here. The rear-facing system actually utilizes two cameras to create a 12-megapixel image. The front-facing camera is also impressive, sporting 7 megapixel capabilities, a solid feature for people who use FaceTime a lot. What’s more, the battery is a solid improvement, with up to 12 hours of continuous internet surfing on LTE.

Outside of this, the iPhone 7 is also a pretty sturdy device. Apple has stated that the phone has a water- and dust-resistance rating of IP67, which means it can handle a good amount of dust and being immersed in up to 3.2 feet of water for half an hour, according to CNET. The device also has a fingerprint sensor, allowing you to secure your data better.

That said, the iPhone 7 certainly isn’t perfect. Apple decided to do away with the aux cord, which means your loved one will have to buy an adapter if they want to continue using their old headphones. If you don’t want to spend the money to do that yourself, it could feel like you’re just giving an extra expense as a gift.

Galaxy S7

Although Apple dominated the smartphone scene for years, Android devices have been gaining a lot of ground. The shining example of this progress is the Galaxy S7 from Samsung. With a 5.1-inch display, this phone is a little bigger than the iPhone. Again, those looking for a larger option can also go with the Galaxy S7 Edge, which has a 5.5-inch display. The latter gadget also offers the added bonus of having a screen that curves back with the sides of the phone, giving you a more immersive experience when watching video.

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However, the most important feature of this phone is its expandable memory. The Galaxy S7 comes with a slot that allows the user to insert a removable MicroSD card. While the phone itself comes with 32 GB of storage, you can add up to 256 GB on top of this. While the phone can only hold one card at a time, it’s certainly possible for the user to purchase multiple cards and simply have them on hand to switch out whenever they want. This is a huge benefit for travelers or commuters who like to watch movies but don’t want to waste their data streaming this content.

As it stands, the biggest downside of this phone is the front-facing camera. This only has the ability to capture 5-megapixel images, which is verifiably less than the iPhone.

Note: It’s important not to confuse the Galaxy S7 line of phones with the Galaxy Note 7. While the Note has had trouble with exploding batteries in the past, Samsung has stated that neither the Galaxy S7 nor Galaxy S7 Edge are affected by this issue.

Pixel

As the newest player in the industry, Google has a lot to prove with the Pixel. So far, this device has been performing wonderfully. The 12.3-megapixel camera outpaces both the iPhone and the Galaxy S7, and the front-facing camera captures an astonishing 8 megapixels. What’s more, the company has stated that its cloud-based storage system will allow you to save as many pictures or videos as you want.

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One of the other major advantages of this device is the fact that it has the Google Assistant built in, making it the only phone on the market to be optimized for this service rather than having it simply tacked on (as is the case with the Galaxy S7), which should translate to a better experience.

But many users have found that the Pixel isn’t as water-resistant as other options. On top of that, the stylish glass back plate isn’t as strong as conventional metals and has been known to scratch.

A smartphone is a fantastic gift, but only if you pick the right one for the person on your list. Taking the time to really think about this decision could give some serious holiday cheer to your loved one.

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