Logitheque’s gift ideas (part 3): Smartphones, tablets and watches connected

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The second part of our dossier is dedicated to the high-tech gifts you will be able to offer to your friends and family, at Christmas, but also during the coming year. A part that will surely interest the greatest number of you since we will talk about smartphones, tablets and of course connected watches. Three objects that now go hand in hand, even if it means complicating our choice. Thus, to help you in your purchases, we offer you a small comparison of smartphones, tablets and watches connected essential of the moment, with the main point of comparison being the price*.

Smartphones

Apple, Samsung, Nokia, HTC… When it comes to smartphones, there is no shortage of brands and models. Every month a new product is released with the same slogan “It’s the best! ». It is not always easy to find your way around, especially when you want to change radically from one smartphone to another. But don’t panic, here’s a little debriefing of the 2014 smartphones.

Less than 400 €

We’re not going to lie to you about buying a smartphone today is a real investment. However, you don’t have to spend miles and cents to enjoy a good smartphone either. Proof of this is the OnePlus One and the Nokia Lumia 930. Offered at €269 the OnePlus One (16GB) has everything to please. Good manufacturing quality, sufficient screen density and especially integration of CyanogenMod 11 S. A smartphone as powerful as the genre’s tops, but half as expensive. A minor drawback, however, is that OnePlus One is not yet freely available for sale. To acquire it it it is necessary to have an invitation, or to wait for the opening of the shops which should not be long now. Moreover, if you buy a smartphone mainly to take good pictures, the Nokia Lumia 930 remains the must! Available at €386, it features a bright 5” Full HD screen, and a 20 megapixel camera (compared to 13 for the OnePlus One). Then it’s up to you to decide whether you prefer to use Android or Windows Phone!

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OnePlus One

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Nokia Lumia 930

Less than 600 €

Now let’s move on to higher-end smartphones, and therefore a little more expensive too, with the LG G3, HTC One and Samsung Galaxy Alpha. The latest addition to the LG range, the LG G3, currently at €429.30 on RueduCommerce, is perfectly in line with the G2. A slightly larger screen (5.5” instead of 5.2”), a more stylized brushed metal effect shell than the old plastic shell, and a thin visible display. So improvements but nothing very new compared to the old version. If you can and want to spend a little more than that price, try the HTC One (M8) at €469.90. Released in the spring, it put the Taiwanese manufacturer back in the saddle, currently in the process of developing its future smartphone, the HTC One M9. It features a 5-inch Full HD screen, a two-level photo capture (4 and 2 MPs), and a homemade interface that fits perfectly with Android KitKat.

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LG G3

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HTC One (M8)

Finally, the most sceptical among you will appreciate a smartphone whose brand is surely even better known than the innovations of the phone itself, I named the Samsung Galaxy Alpha. With this smartphone, Samsung is betting on competing with Apple and its iPhone 6, which according to the first reviews is quite successful. Offered for €569, it offers a very trendy design, with a metal imitation that will seduce both men and women. On the photo side, count a 12MP camera for a 4.7-inch Super AMOLED HD display. Well, as far as autonomy is concerned, it’s getting worse. Much thinner than the other smartphones in the range, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha has just over 5 hours of video playback compared to over 7 hours for the iPhone 6. Too bad! Too bad!

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Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Less than 800 €

For those who would be willing to sell their mother or spouse, there are also smartphones at over €600, such as the Sony Xperia Z3 (€679) and the must-have iPhone 6. Two different styles for almost the same prices. The Z3 is the smartphone at the cutting edge of technology. Dual SIM, it is completely waterproof. In addition, it features an extremely thin and elegant rounded aluminum shell that matches that of the iPhone 6, whose resolution still amazes some people. Nevertheless, there is no risk of your Sony Xperia Z3 folding slightly into your pocket as it has unfortunately been the case for many iPhone 6 users. And yes, the finesse of smartphones may be something beautiful aesthetically speaking, but it does include limits that should not be overlooked. Beyond that, the iPhone 6 available from €709, is really a beautiful and good smartphone. It features a 4.7-inch screen for the classic version and a 5.5-inch screen for the Plus version. Larger than the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 6 has a higher quality display with a resolution of 1334×750. The camera has the Focus Pixels function, which ensures faster focusing and extremely sharp images. It remains to be seen whether all these qualities are really worth the price.

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Sony Xperia Z3

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iPhone 6

*All prices indicated above are for information only. Rates are valid for smartphones sold alone. You can of course buy all these smartphones for less by signing up with an operator: OrangeSFR, Bouygues or even Sosh.

Tablets

Between the phablets, the tablets and the PCs two in one, it’s hard to find your way around! To simplify things, we decided to talk to you only about the tablets, the real ones. The ones you can use at home to play or surf the web, but also on public transport to watch videos in great quality. And as you will see, just because tablets are often larger (in size) than smartphones, it doesn’t mean that they are more expensive, quite the contrary.

Less than 400 €

Buying a quality tablet for less than 400 € is possible thanks to Google and Sony. Indeed, the Nexus 9 and Sony Xperia Tablet Z3 Compact are two perfect compromises when you don’t want to put a lot of money in a tablet. With an 8.9-inch display (compared to the Z3’s 8-inch display), the Nexus 9 is comparable in this respect to the iPad Mini. Running on Android Lollipop, this tablet offers excellent performance. However, the Nexus 9’s major weaknesses remain its autonomy, its 8 mpx sensor and more broadly its finishes. Google has made the bet this year to let the Taiwanese company HTC design its tablet, for a satisfactory result but no more. On the other hand, despite its smaller screen, the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact has an ergonomics similar to that of the smartphone in the range, a rather slim look, pleasant to handle, and above all a real work on multimedia (smooth navigation, games, good quality video, etc.). In addition, the tablet offers a real autonomy of 7 hours, up to our expectations. The Nexus 9 and Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact are both available at the same price of €379.

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Google Nexus 9
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Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet

Less than 500 €

For an extra 100 € you can access the ultimate with the Samsung Galaxy tab S and especially the iPad Air 2. The first one on Android, the second one on iOS, and yet we keep comparing these two tablets. While the Samsung tablet has a 10.5-inch screen, the new Apple iPad has a 9.7-inch screen. The storage capacity is the same, at least 16 GB for each of these two tablets. However, there is a significant difference, the possibility of increasing the capacity of the Samsung Galaxy tab S by adding a microSD card, which is impossible with the iPad. Screen, autonomy, multimedia everything is objectively well done in both cases. Then there is the camera, which offers a much better result on the iPad side than on the Samsung tablet, despite an 8MP sensor in both cases. You will have understood that making a choice between the Samsung Galaxy tab S at €479 and the iPad Air 2 at €499 is a matter of taste, and taste only.

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Samsung Galaxy tab S

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iPad Air 2

Out of competition:

Because we do not consider the Surface as a real tablet, we have decided to present it briefly, in a separate way. Yes, obviously, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 looks like a tablet. Portable touch screen, allowing you to browse the web, play and watch videos. But unlike the tablets seen above, it incorporates everything that a laptop already has, including the Windows 8 operating system. Heavier and more imposing than the iPad with a 12-inch screen, this tablet is totally unique. Located between the Notebook and the tablet, it has a little difficulty in imposing itself on users. Versatile, it offers all the leisure of a tablet, and the seriousness of a normal computer, thanks in particular to the integration of Microsoft’s office pack, and the possibility of connecting a keyboard. A difference that is also expressed by the price, much higher: €719 for the 64GB version on Amazon.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Connected watches

Finally, for more than a year now, manufacturers of tablets and smartphones have been manufacturing a very special connected object: the watch. Everyone has or had a watch one day. The difference today is that it is no longer just about telling the time. It can help smartphone and tablet users check their messages, call their contacts, and also monitor their fitness and health. A gadget for some, which may soon become part of the house’s essentials.

Less than 200 €

And yes, you can be high-tech without exceeding a budget of 200 €. You don’t believe me? You have not yet tried Samsung, LG and Sony watches. At 199 €, the Samsung Gear 2 Lite watch is at 1 € not to be included in this ranking. This would have been harmful to the functionalities of the latter. All in one, it allows smartphone users to receive calls, check their messages, but also listen to their favorite music. New in this latest version is the control of television via the remote control function. Nevertheless, on the design side, it offers nothing new, and even reminds us (slightly) of the LG G Watch. Available for 162.99 € on Amazon, it presents the basic features such as time (of course), weather, Gmail, note taking and navigation via Maps. More refined than the Samsung, it is also easier to wear. However, in terms of autonomy, it’s a bit of a disaster. One day no more! This is what was announced by LG and what has really been done. It is therefore essential to charge your watch every day, otherwise you will lose it in the middle of the day. Let’s finish in this price range with a slightly cheaper watch than the two previous ones, the Sony SmartWatch 2. Displayed at €143.55, it offers a refined design, which almost looks like a real watch. Here again, sms, mail, calls are required, as well as connecting to social networks. With no microphones and loudspeaker, this watch only allows you to dial numbers, but does not allow you to make actual phone calls (your smartphone being essential in this case).

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Samsung Gear 2 Lite

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LG G Watch

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Sony SmartWatch

Less than 300 €

Let’s end this second part of Logitheque’s High-Tech gift ideas folder with two watches that will certainly not leave you indifferent. The first one, the Motorola Moto 360, is all about a design that is totally different from its competitors. The square shape gives way to roundness, for a slightly more vintage look. Waterproof to 1 m for about 30 minutes, it includes a microphone allowing oral interactions with all your contacts. This €249 watch includes Android Wear, which means that to use it you absolutely must have an Android smartphone, running at least in version 4.3 so read your smartphone’s configurations carefully before buying it.

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Motorola Moto 360

Finally, for the most patients among you, it is always possible to wait for the Apple Watch. Available next spring, the Apple Watch will work with all iOS devices from the brand. Unveiled at the last Keynote, this watch will be available in three different editions, the entry level of which will be sold at $349 (about €284). The iPhone’s GPS can be used directly on the watch, as can the optimized health application for athletes, who can control their heart rate. In addition, the apple brand has already announced that Siri will once again be on board. Then we look forward to 2015!

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Shopping guide and gift ideas Part 1: Gadgets and connected items

Buying guide and gift ideas Part 2: Computer and high-tech equipment at -100€

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