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The MoDaCo Gift Guide 2013


In this week's podcast, James and I talked - at length - about great gifts to buy Android fans this Christmas. Here are our picks!

We've broken the guide down into 4 categories with 3 submissions each from myself and James. If you want to hear our reasoning behind the items, please do download the podcast. It's a hoot. :)

Do you disagree with anything on the list or have your own suggestions? Post a comment below (or even better, phone into the podcast voicemail line!)

The <£15 category

Paul's Picks

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What? Anker 18W / 2.4A + 2.0A (3.6A max) dual-port USB car charger with built-in microUSB cord
Where from? Amazon UK
How much? £6.99
Why? OK, so I have a bit of an obsession with powering devices as I'm always running them low / flat. This is the best car charger in town - nicely built, immensely powerful and perfect for charging 2 devices - fast. I'm a fan of Anker gear and this is certainly one of my must-haves.

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What? Joby GripTight mount for Smartphones
Where from? Amazon UK
How much? £12.55
Why? We all take lots of pictures on our phone, but i'm willing to bet that we don't get pictures of ourselves with our friends / families enough. The GripTight helps fix that by giving you the ability to mount your phone on any regular Tripod mount. Nicely built, folds flat, a worthwhile buy.
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What? OVIVO Mobile SIM
Where from? OVIVO Website
How much? £15
Why? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Except Ovivo Mobile. After buying a £15 SIM (which includes £10 credit), you get either 750MB data or 150 mins / 300 texts / 500MB data for £0 per month! The service is supported by ads when browsing but all other net services work uninterrupted and, well, it's just great. Highly recommended!

James' Picks

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What? Anker Astro Mini 3000mAh ultra-compact portable lipstick-sized external battery backup charger
Where from? Amazon UK
How much? £13.99
Why? For those moments when you just need that bit more power to get you through the day this is a compact and good value battery booster. Anker make high quality battery kit so you will be buying into a good brand too.

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What? Customised phone case
Where from? VistaPrint
How much? From £11.24
Why? Who wouldn’t want a phone case with a customised picture on the back? Whether its your best selfie or a transfer of your loved ones, give your phone just a bit of personal style.

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What? JVC HAFX1X Xtreme Xplosives In Ear Canal Headphones
Where from? Amazon UK
How much? £10.19
Why? Don’t be afraid of the name, these headphones will not blow your head off, but you will be pleased with the relatively good sound quality and the great value of these in-canal headphones. if you want to break the budget, you can also get them with an inline mic!

The £15-£75 Category

Paul's Picks

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What? Anker Astro Slim 3 6000mAh
Where from? Amazon UK
How much? £25.99
Why? Another power boosting pick. This is a great external battery, again from Anker. What do I like about this? It's got tons of capacity at 6000mAh, but it isn't too big. It's roughly the same size as my HTC One. It has a built in microUSB plug so I don't have to carry cables and a USB port to charge a second device. Very handy to chuck in the bag.

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What? Feligan Powerbrick
Where from? Feligan direct
How much? €69
Why? This is my last power-related item, I promise! This amazing bit of kit has 6 changeable, retractable cables for charging your gear, 2 USB ports and 2 multi-country compatible mains sockets. A great way to tidy the sprawl of desks on your table, indispensable if you have a lot of tech!

James' Picks

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What? Creative D80 bluetooth speaker
Where from? Amazon UK
How much? £37.37
Why? It is always nice to be able to share your music tastes even if you have Jingle Bells on repeat and a bluetooth speaker is a quick and simple way to play music from your phone. The Creative D80 offers a nice balance between being compact, good value and still pumping out your tunes.

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What? iHelicopter With Camera
Where from? Amazon UK
How much? £42.95
Why? Have fun flying around with this remote controlled helicopter and you can see exactly where you are going with the built-in camera. A much cheaper alternative to an AR Drone and probably just about as much fun!

Paul and James' Picks

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What? Chromecast
Where from? Google direct (US) or Amazon UK
How much? $35 / ~$35 UK
Why, Paul? A great little gadget that's fantastic value! It's pretty cool already with Play Music, Play TV + Movies, Netflix and YouTube compatibility, but as Google open up the SDK to more developers it really should become a world beater.
Why, James? OK, I may not find much use for my Chromecast, but if you are buying a gift for someone who likes to watch streamed TV from sources such as Netflix and YouTube, then Chromecast is a great fit. Use your phone as a remote control and enjoy some seamless entertainment!

The £75-£150 Category

Paul's Picks

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What? Pebble
Where from? Pebble Direct
How much? $150 + shipping + duty
Why? There are a number of smartwatches out there at the moment, but having tried most of them, this is my pick. It might look a bit plasticky, but the performance, battery life and most of all functionality is top notch. A valuable companion device to your phone!

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What? Fitbit Flex / One / Zip / Force
Where from? Amazon UK
How much? various
Why? 'But it's just an expensive pedometer!' say the FitBit cynics. Yes, it is, but it's a pedometer that syncs to the cloud, lets you compete against friends, records sleep patterns and stairs climbed on some models... it may change your life. It definitely makes you think about your behaviours. The 'One' is the one to have if you want to be subtle, the 'Flex' or upcoming 'Force' if you want to wear it on your wrist or the 'Zip' if you want it to be super cheap, last for ages and you're not fussed about stair and sleep tracking.

James' Picks

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What? Kindle Paperwhite
Where from? Amazon UK
How much? £109
Why? If you love to read then the Paperwhite is for you. The Kindle is the ultimate e-reader but this second generation Paperwhite simply blew us away. You can read in the dark, in the light and of course in the sun! There is simply no better option for a book worm.

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What? Apple TV
Where from? Amazon UK
How much? £76
Why? This is one for those of you already in the Apple ecosystem. Apple TV will let you stream your music and videos painlessly to your TV and you can even use it as a second monitor for your Mac. Whats not to like?

Paul and James' Picks

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What? Motorola Moto G
Where from? Tesco Direct
How much? £99 8GB / £129 16GB
Why, Paul? The Moto G has redefined the low end market. With a great screen, solid build, quad core process and pretty stock Android, it's the phone bargain of the year. Tesco are selling it cheaper than most and half price when using Clubcard tokens!
Why, James? Simply the best phone for less than £300 on sale in the UK today. That is reason enough to buy one for yourself, but if someone you know needs a new phone this is a great option. Free yourself from long and expensive network contracts and go SIM free without breaking the bank too.

The £150+ Category

Paul's Picks

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What? Nexus 7 (probably!)
Where from? Argos
How much? From £199 (cashback offers available)
Why? The Nexus 7 probably remains the best / best value tablet available today. I have to confess I am intrigued by the LG G Pad 8.3, but until i've had a hands on with that, the Nexus 7 is my pick. Cutting edge OS updates are a real boon but that aside, it's still a cracking device.

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What? Acer C720 / C720P
Where from? PC World
How much? £198.99 - £20 cashback
Why? Forget all the scaremongering about Chromebooks, they are useful and they are great - if you are happy to live in what is effectively a browser environment (and many are). The design might be 'functional', but at £178 after cashback for a Haswell machine with a 8.5 hour battery life, you can't go wrong. The newly announced C720P variant will add a touchscreen too!

James' Picks

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What? iPad Mini with Retina Display
Where from? Apple
How much? From £319
Why? Despite Paul’s objections, the iPad Mini with Retina Display is my pick for the best tablet you can buy today. It has an amazing screen, the usual fantastic Apple build quality and of course the unequalled iOS tablet ecosystem. I wonder if Paul will let me get away with this description on the site!

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What? XBox One
Where from? Amazon
How much? £429.99
Why? Like most people, I love playing a good game and if I were in the market for a new console gaming system, I would definitely consider one of the next generation consoles. I chose the Xbone over the PS4 because I believe in the future Microsoft will come good on their promise for it to take over your living room bringing everything together in one device which feels like a nice simplification to my living room!

Paul and James' Picks

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What? LG G2
Where from? Amazon UK (some good deals to be had on eBay)
How much? From £360 on eBay
Why, Paul? The G2 is the cream of the crop when it comes to Android devices at the moment. It has a stunning 5.2" screen, capacious 3000mAh battery yet is very manageable in overall size, by virtue of the tiny bezels and innovative rear buttons (which are rendered largely reundant due to the 'knock knock' sleep and wake gestures). Truly a handset that 'wows' when experienced.
Why, James? It is simple. If you want a high-end Android phone, then just get the best one. The LG G2 is our pick and it is an amazing device. It can also be had for around £100 less than other flagships if you shop around.

About the author

PaulOBrien's Photo
Paul O'Brien founded MoDaCo in 2002 as a site focused on Windows Smartphones and has grown it since then by concentrating on providing a friendly community for both experienced and beginner mobile enthusiasts.

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6 Comments

The Ovivo SIM now costs £20 up-front with £15 of credit bundled.
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Well that blows the categorising... :)

P
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I'd like to throw in an extra recommendation of the Nook Glowlight possibly instead of the Paperwhite. Its £49 at John Lewis with their 2 year guarantee and it's based on Android so you can even root it and put the Kindle app on if that's your thing.
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rwrllr - good idea, I found the Kindle app is bit clunky on it though...

P
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Got myself some lipstick ^_^ Thanks for the tip :D

 

Now only if I could find a portable bluetooth speaker.. =)

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SDR radio dongle, £16 from amazon http://www.amazon.co...dr radio dongle
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