AP's gift guide: 'Navigating a maze of phone, plan choices'
If you're surprising someone a new smartphone for Christmas … well, first of all, I'm pretty jealous of whomever they are.
But in all seriousness, those are treacherous waters to swim in. It's like giving someone a puppy as a gift: You'd better know them well, and know what you're doing, because you're making a choice they'll have to live with for years.
That being said, the Associated Press moved a pretty good outline yesterday sketching out the phones, carriers and plans you should familiarize yourself with. Anick Jesdanun makes a good call, for instance, that you're best off avoiding that tempting, cheap iPhone 4S a few carriers are offering. I love mine but it's nearly two years old now, and "it will be 4 years old by the next upgrade," the guide points out.
It's a rough guide, for sure. (There are a few other important differences between the iPhone 5s and 5c, for example, than that the 5s has a fingerprint sensor and a better camera. Its "brain" is also a much faster chip, for one thing, and that's an important consideration when you're buying a piece of tech you hope you'll still enjoy using two years from now.) But other good tips include advice on battery life, features and screen size.