We’re on the cusp of the holiday season and as per usual, huge phone launches have occurred. We have complied a list of some of the latest and greatest phones from our two big powerhouses: Apple and Android. Below we go over some specs of each of the phones and how much bang for your buck you’ll  be getting this season when you’re on the market for a new device.

Apple

In true Apple fashion, they had an entire circus of media around the unveiling of the latest iPhone.  As a recommendation, if you’re in the market for a new iPhone it’s best to now buy either the 6s or 6s Plus in order to stay ahead of Apple’s obsolescent curve that they are notorious for.  Buying the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus isn’t the best decision, especially when it seems that the latest iOS 9 software launch runs a lot better on the newest iPhone and not so great on older models (Surprising? I think not.) Oh and you can also get the phone in pink, er, we mean “Rose Gold”.

iPhone 6s

The biggest feature release that sets the iPhone 6s apart from the iPhone6, is the 3D Touch feature. To those who have an AUntitled-2pple Watch, which comes with ForceTouch, 3D Touch is the same idea just on a phone scale. It stands to note that not a lot of apps have created a compliance with this feature, so you’ll really only see the benefit right now of this feature on Apple designed apps (like Mail, Calendar, etc.). You are also able to “peek” at different apps which changes the whole feel of Apple’s stagnant home page. Additionally, they put a lot of time into the cameras, giving the rear and front facing camera a huge face lift with the ability to take “selfie panoramas”, shoot 4K video recordings, and Live Photos (which mean the photo will actually capture all those in between snapping the photo moments, creating the future of picture taking). The features are cool updates from the iPhone 6, but the price tag remains on the high end.

iPhone 6s Plus

Identical in features, besides the obviously larger screen, the iPhone 6s Plus is for those who love to have phablets. If you’re into the larger screen for everything from reading emails to streaming videos, and a longer battery life, you may want to consider checking out the bigger brother to the iPhone 6s. This phone, as the iPhone 6 Plus did, is competing with other competitive phablets like the Galaxy Note 5. Just be prepared to also drop a pretty penny on this device- the price increasing as your memory needs increase.

Depending on your personal preferences, you have four financial options to consider when upgrading:

  • You can buy upfront
  • You can buy on a contract with a carrier
  • Carriers are now offering payment plans
  • Apple is also offering payment plans (with interest and Apple Care+)

Android

This time around, we split Android into different categories: phablets, smaller phones, budget, and inexpensive. The great thing about Android is that there is a phone out there for everyone’s different needs and preferences for what they want in a phone. The Google event on the 29th of September garned a lot of buzz, due to Google announcing not one, but two, new Nexus phones.

PhabletsGalaxy-Note5_left-with-spen_Black-Sapphire

Galaxy Note 5

We talked about the Galaxy Note Edge in our last buy guide, but the Samsung’s Galaxy Note in general remains a pioneer in the field of phablets. In the Galaxy Note 5 though, Samsung has removed the Micro SD slot, instead replacing their textured back with a glass backing, more aligned with their Galaxy S6 phones. This updated version of the phone is also not as wide, so that makes it a lot easier for those of us with smaller hands to access more features on the screen with one hand. Still coming with a stylus, this phablet will be the best all-around on the go business phone, as you can do just about everything on the device.

Nexus 6P

Powerful camera to capture all moments in life regardless of the lighting, HD screen resolution, aluminum frame to ease the weight of the device, and a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone for increased security- this latest phone from Google is available for pre-order. The battery is said to last longer than its predecessors, thanks in part to the slightly smaller screen and being launched with Android Marshmallow. The price is a bit on the high side, starting at $499 for the 32GB model. However, if you do pre-order, you’ll receive a $50 gift card to the Google Play store, which isn’t a bad deal.

Smaller Phones:

Galaxy S6 Edge

The Galaxy S6 Edge has maintained it’s popularity and stood it’s ground in the fight to compete with Apple. As we mentioned in our last buy guide, the Edge has a fantastic rear and front facing camera that were better than the iPhone 6, but fall just short of the iPhone 6s.nexus 5x

Nexus 5X

Here’s the alternative to paying the extra dollars for the Nexus 6P and a smaller size. The Nexus 5X boosts top of the line performance and speed, for a reasonable price tag. They also didn’t skimp on the camera, which performs well in low light conditions and the launch time of the camera is faster, in order to allow you to capture every little moment. And guess what- the Nexus 5X shoots 4K video, just like our pals over at Apple. Fingerprint scanner, Android Marshmallow, also offering a pre-order deal of a $50 Google Play giftcard- the Nexus 5X gets it all. Plus, the phone starts at a mere $379.

Moto X Pure Edition

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Camera, camera, camera. Users of Motorola’s previous generations complained about poor camera quality in low light and Motorola responded by greatly improving the camera on their latest release- the Moto X Pure Edition. Running a more pure Android interface, the latest phone is also still just as customizable as the Moto X (2014) edition. The screen has a sharp pixel density which means you’re getting incredibly clear and vibrant images which makes it great for streaming videos and viewing photos. Great news for those who love Micro SD cards- this latest edition comes with a port to expand that memory with a Micro SD card, which is fantastic considering the highest storage you can buy with the phone, is only up to 64 GB. If you’ve used Motorola phones in the past and liked them, you’re sure to love their latest update.

Budget:

Moto G

If you’re saving for a big purchase but need to have a reliable phone, this budget phone is for you. We detailed this crazy deal of a phone on our last buy guide, but here are the highlights you need to know about this steal of a phone: runs Lollipop, has a bright focused screen, and great speakers; the latest 2015 model is now available and includes updates on the speed, camera, and added battery capacity. The phone also includes a Micro SD card slot (memory lovers rejoice!) so that you never have to fear running out of memory on your phone. Remember, all of this, for under $200.

Inexpensive:

Moto-E-(2nd-GenMoto E

For only $119.00 starting, you get an LTE capable, all day battery lasting, and Micro SD storage phone. This inexpensive steal from Motorola is perfect for those who travel overseas a lot, for those who want to get their pre-teen or teen their first smart phone, or to introduce anyone for their first time to the joys of having a smartphone. The benefit with such an inexpensive price tag but the ability to do with this phone what many others can do with theirs, is that losing the phone isn’t the end of the world. Or if you have a habit of letting your phone swim unsupervised- because you can always replace it for the price of a grocery shopping trip at Whole Foods would cost you.

 

 

Carriers

As always, check out our post on carriers to learn more about which one is best for you and your lifestyle.