by Kevin P. McGrath
This Christmas, keep your loved ones in constant contact with a new smart phone. Modern cell phones and smart phones provide quick access to music, social media, and countless great apps. The top smart phones this year will give you a large, high-resolution screen and a battery that can last through the day. Here are some of the best brands and models of smart phones everyone is asking for this Christmas.
Apple: The iPhone remains the top-selling smart phone on the market. Each new model of the iPhone, like the iPhone 5S and 5C, brings the latest and greatest in both hardware and software. Get access to over a million apps in Apple's app store and get unique features such as iMessage and the free iCloud storage plan.
Samsung: After the Apple iPhone, the next most popular smart phones are the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Each has a huge screen and impressive camera that can take great photos. Samsung smart phones also have several wearable gadgets you can use with your phone. The new smart watch Galaxy Gear or Samsung Gear Fit fitness band will help you keep your phone in your pocket while you stay connected.
HTC: The new HTC One M8 has a huge screen compared to the most popular smart phones. The HTC smart phone also provides a unique set of front-facing speakers that have an unbeatable sound. Similar to the Samsung Galaxy, the HTC is an Android-based device and will give you access to thousands of Android apps and games.
Nokia: With a 5-inch display, 1080p screen resolution, and 32GB of storage, the Nokia Lumia Icon is currently considered the best smart phone with a Windows operating system. Thanks to its 20 megapixel camera, the Lumia Icon also delivers crisp and clear photos. This is the Windows phone of choice for Verizon users.
Sony: With the new Sony Xperia Z2, you can take your photos and video to a whole new level. Shoot video with stunning 4K resolution and make edits on the go with a huge 5-inch screen and great editing software. It's even waterproof, so you can finally take smart phone photos underwater. The Z2 runs Google's mobile operating system, Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
LG: Partnered with Google, LG helped create the Nexus 5. Not only does this LG smart phone give you access to all of the great Google apps, but it is also has the Android 4.4, KitKat operating system, which gives you voice-activated control. The Nexus 5 has a 5-inch screen and is available with 16GB or 32GB of memory.
Don't forget the accessories. Cute phone accessories, like colorful cases, are not just for looks. The right case and screen protector will help protect your phone from drops, scratches, or even water.
Before you buy a smart phone for yourself or as a gift, make sure it will be compatible with your cell phone carrier. Unlocked cell phones offer greater flexibility and can work across multiple networks. If you have question about unlocked phones be sure to read our guide about unlocked cell phones.