The year 2013 has been pretty eventful technology-wise and brought us some amazing new devices to play with. Christmas is coming to town, and I'm starting to notice this weirdly familiar tingling feeling as I realize that I still have not bought any presents. I am no good at buying presents, especially personal and meaningful ones, so if I'm going to buy anything at all, I'll go with a gadget. And I want to share some of my ideas for Christmas presents with you, so here are a couple of noteworthy gadgets that came out this year and would look nice under a Christmas tree.
Let's start with smartphones, since having a phone in general has already become a necessity, and feature phones are gradually giving up their market positions to the more versatile smartphones. Besides, you don't even have to be a gadget freak to want one.
Google Nexus 5
This smartphone is sleek, has LTE with subsidized options from a couple of carriers, works under the new Android KitKat, and will cost you a little below $500 unlocked. The 5-inches display gives you an improved color palete, although it was noted that it seems to be a bit dimmer than its competitors.
High-end internals, good build quality, decent battery life (although your mileage may vary), nice camera with optical image stabilization, and the deep integration with Google services make it quite a desirable present.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is big, which is exactly what some people are looking for in a phone. Its massive screen, good camera, and high-end quad-core processor add up to a very fine device indeed. Though I think it is a good choice both as a present or as a personal device, there are two things that you may find unpleasant: the price, which clocks in around $789 for an unlocked phone, and the fabled creaky plastic body.
Apple products are by no means underadvertised, so I'm pretty sure you all are familiar with the iPhone 5S at this point. A phone that will take something around $550 out of your pocket gets you a next-gen CPU (64 bits is all the rage now), a fingerprint sensor, an improved camera, and all the perks of the new iOS 7. Its screen fades in comparison to the Android competitors both in terms of size and resolution, but if it's not crucial to you as a customer there is nothing that should stop you from buying one.
Hands down, the tablet to go for if you are looking to buy an Android tablet. This lightweight performance monster with a sharp full HD 7-inch screen and unbeatable price (around $230) looks very appetizing to me. The screen is the seller here, and all the perks of the Android KitKat are at your service after a quick update from JellyBean. It's available in 16 GB and 32 GB varieties, and unfortunately does not have a slot for microSD cards.
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9
This tablet also has a sharp display and offers very good performance, but it has a couple of flaws that you should know about. First of all, you are going to have to pay an extra $15 to get an ad-free version of the device, which is a bit annoying. I'd say it still is great for media consumption, so check out this one if you don't mind that the cheapest 16GB version of the device will cost you around $380.
iPad Air and iPad Mini
Both devices have been fully covered by a colleague of mine and to have a better understanding of their differences, pros and cons, I would advise you to check out the article. I will, however, note the prices. Just so you can see how much you might be spending this Christmas: iPad Air can be yours (or someone else's) for around $510, and the Mini will set you back about $330.
Sony Playstation 4 and Xbox One
It seems to me that the PS4 has been a bit more popular of the two consoles, but you may want to read my respective articles (PS4 , Xbox One) to find out what exactly makes them different. Xbox One goes for around $500 while the PS4 is a tad cheaper at $400.