Gift Guide: Smartphones

For any friend or relative who is still limiting their potential with a dumbphone brick, a smartphone is the ideal gift choice (and it doesn’t have to break the bank). Lifehacker rounds up a selection of models to suit every user preference.Picture by John Shearer/Getty Images


iPhone 3GS

Cost: $449
Where to get it: Apple
Why it’s a good choice: Yes, it’s the oldest Apple phone on the block. But if you’re shifting someone into the iPhone world, why spend twice the money? The 3GS is still an impressive and well-regarded piece of technology, and you can update it to iOS 5 to get the latest features. [imgclear]

BlackBerry Torch 9800/9810

Cost: Varies
Where to get it: Shop around online, or on contract
Why it’s a good choice: For BlackBerry users, this is the ideal combination: the best-in-class keyboard for serious typing, and a full-size touchscreen for when you went to get your game on or browse casually. It’s not the cheapest option, but it’s worth the extra investment. [imgclear]

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

Cost: Varies
Where to get it: Shop around online, or on contract
Why it’s a good choice: Amongst Android phones, the Xperia Play stands out for one simple feature: its PlayStation-styled gaming control buttons, which open up a range of gaming options that just don’t work on a touch phone. For a gaming addict, it’s a fine choice. [imgclear]



Cost: $129
Where to get it: Telstra
Why it’s a good choice: I spend a lot of time seeking out Android phones with usable keyboards, and so far this budget-priced model has come in at the top of my list. The one downside is the smaller screen size, but if you’re currently addicted to texting, this is a good Android option to consider. [imgclear]

Huawei Ideos X1

Cost: $71.10
Where to get it: Optus
Why it’s a good choice: If you’re less worried about the keyboard and just want the basic Android experience, Huawei produce solid, reliable phones. Being prepaid also minimises the risk of unexpected data shock. [imgclear]

HTC ChaCha

Cost: $99
Where to get it: Vodafone
Why it’s a good choice: At $99 (provided you purchase a $29 recharge), this is a definite Android bargain. The keyboard isn’t quite as good as the Telstra rival, but the Facebook integration is well-implemented. [imgclear]

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