Holiday Smartphone Gift Guide [2017 Edition]

As winter approaches, it’s once again time again for us to help MobileSyrup’s readers find the perfect gifts for their loved ones and friends. 

We’ve compiled a list of our top smartphone gifts for the holiday season, ranging from low-end, more affordable devices like the Moto E3, to mid-range devices like the Samsung Galaxy A5, and finally, ultra-expensive high-end smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone X. 

Moto E4

The Moto E4 is the perfect phone for the average person. It features a premium metal design, comes with a responsive fingerprint sensor, and even though it’s not a Made-by-Google smartphone, it still ships with stock Android 7.1 Nougat. More importantly, with a battery that can last almost two days, you certainly won’t mind that the phone doesn’t ship with a USB-C port. Speaking of ports, the Moto E4 also features a 3.5mm headphone jack -- so there’s no need to worry about living the dongle life.

Be warned, while this phone is still a fantastic budget option, its camera isn’t the best and its display isn’t perfect. Still, at $200 for the 16GB model, there’s no denying that this is a great phone.

$150

Buy from Amazon

Alcatel A50

The Alcatel A50 is a Telus and Videotron-exclusive device that has a lot in common with the Nexus 5X. It features a 5.2-inch display, 16GB of internal memory -- plus space for a microSD card -- 2GB of RAM, a quad-core processor, and ships with Android 7.0 Nougat.

The 2,800mAh battery is also surprisingly capable, but the phone’s biggest surprise is its 13-megapixel camera. For a handset that only costs $240, the A50’s camera is quite possibly one of the smartphones best features

It works well under bright conditions and takes photos that look great across a wide variety of social media platforms.

$240

Buy from Telus

LG Stylo 3 Plus

The LG Stylo 3 Plus distinguishes itself from its budget siblings in this category for the simple reason that it’s the only phablet device in the category. The smartphone rocks a 5.7-inch display, an octa-core Snapdragon 435 processor, 32GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM and ships with Android 7.0 Nougat.

The phablet also comes with a stylus, features a rear-facing fingerprint sensor, and costs $360. Overall, it’s the perfect device for someone looking to buy a phablet, but also doesn’t want to shell out the money for a Samsung Galaxy S8+ or Note 8.

$0 on a 2-year term –
$350 no-term

Learn more from LG

OnePlus 5T

While this OnePlus 5T isn’t available through Canadian carriers, it’s widely considered one of the best value mid-range Android devices on the market, and is often compared with premium handsets.

Like Essential, OnePlus has whittled down the bezels substantially on its 6.01-inch display-wielding device. The phone also features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, 6GB of RAM (for the less expensive variant) and a dual rear camera setup with paired 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel shooters and 1.6x optical zoom.

All that, for just $659 outright. No wonder the company has such a strong following even without the benefit of carrier promotion.

$649.99

Buy from OnePlus

Samsung Galaxy A5

At the high end of the mobile market, Samsung is known for its beautiful AMOLED displays, high-quality cameras and sleek design -- and that reputation remains, albeit on a slightly pared-down level, for its mid-range devices.

At around $470 outright and $0 down on a variety of affordable plans through major carriers, the A5 is a value buy backed by Samsung’s dependable reputation. It features a 5.2-inch Super AMOLED display, Exynos 7880 chipset, 3GB of RAM and creditable 16-megapixel shooter with f/1.9 aperture.

It’s everything you need in a mid-range Android device, while featuring the look of a much higher-end smartphone (the S7).

$460

Buy from Samsung

Essential Phone

You might be thinking, hold on a moment, isn’t the Essential Phone a premium device? Well, it was initially at a premium price point — and if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s got very little brand recognition yet, it probably would still be. As it stands, the first from Android co-creator Andy Rubin’s new company Essential is now at $650 outright and $0 down at Telus starting at a $75 per month plan.

That’s a great deal on a nearly bezel-less device that runs a close-to-stock Android experience and features an 128GB internal storage base. And that’s not all, it also stocks Qualcomm’s powerhouse Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM and titanium build. There’s no headphone jack, unfortunately, but otherwise – this device nails the essentials (we had to do it).

$0 on a 2-year term –
$650 no-term

Buy from Telus

Apple iPhone X

After iterating on the design of the iPhone 6 for four consecutive years, Apple finally released a significant update to its iPhone lineup. The wait, it turns out, was worth it, with the iPhone X representing the company’s best smartphone in years.

The iPhone X will likely be difficult to find this holiday season, but if you do manage to find one, the lucky person in your life that’s getting it this holiday season will appreciate it for years to come.

$1,319

Buy from Apple

Samsung Galaxy S8

While the Note 8 is Samsung’s current flagship, we think the company’s earlier pair of high-end smartphones, the Galaxy S8 and S8+, are the perfect Android phones for most people. The Note 8 is great, but if Samsung's S Pen stylus is largely the main draw of the phablet.

With its stunning ‘infinity’ displays, excellent cameras and snappy performance, the Galaxy S8 still represents the creme of the Android crop.

$1,035

Buy from Samsung

LG V30

While almost every high-end smartphone released in 2017 has had a praiseworthy display — it was, after all, the year of the bezel-less display — few phones so completely delivered a multimedia package quite like the LG V30.

For the music lover in your life or the one that wants to start creating video content, the LG V30 is the perfect jumping off point.

$299 on a 2-year  –
$1,099 no-term

Buy from Fido, Telus, Bell, Koodo and Freedom Mobile.

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