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Christmas 2009 buyers' guide: smartphones and media players

Let us entertain you with excellent Christmas gifts

PC Advisor selects the perfect technology gifts for the music-lover, film buff, amateur photographer and gadget fan in your life. Here, the best presents for the gadget fan who needs entertaining. Namely, smartphones and media players.

Christmas 2009 buyers' guide: Entertain me

It’s no surprise to find Apple's iPhone 3GS review in our selection of top gifts for Christmas – it’s still top of many a gadget fan’s wishlist and is the most polished and user-friendly of all the smartphones around. If you can’t stretch to a £35-plus-per-month contract, you can still be very generous and give an Apple iPod touch, the slimmer but equally desirable musical counterpart to the iPhone.

The £99 touch is primed with 16GB of memory to store all those iTunes albums, photos and videos. It also has Wi-Fi, which means you can head over to the Apple iTunes App Store and download games, music and a host of other apps that can keep you entertained.

If you want to give a smartphone as a present but aren’t convinced that a device with a single button will suit, the brand-new Palm Pre is an excellent alternative. With every bit the cachet and desirability of the iPhone 3GS, the Pre is a touchscreen phone with a smart keypad that slides down when it’s needed. The Pre is also far smaller and lighter than the iPhone and, while that may not suit someone who wants to spend their leisure hours surfing from website to website, the messaging, email, social networking and handset navigation are knockout.

The Pre arguably has the edge when it comes to call quality and general phone functions, and its ability to run up to 10 apps simultaneously makes multitasking something you quickly take for granted. Music can run in the background while you email, surf the web or chat on Facebook on this smartest of all smartphones.

Some people prefer to keep their phone and mobile entertainment players separate. In this case, the 160GB Archos 7 media player is a great choice as it offers music, photo and 720p video, plus the ability to surf the web on a 7in high-resolution screen that’s large enough to actually enjoy what you’re viewing. A kick-out stand means you can be entertained in some comfort, too – good news as the battery should last for up to 10 hrs when playing video.

Despite packing in a capacious hard drive (there’s a 320GB model too), the Archos 7 is an admirably slimline package that doesn’t
take up much space in your luggage and weighs a moderate 640g.

INDEX:

PC Advisor Christmas 2009 technology buyers' guide

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