This story was originally published and last updated .
After weeks of sales, Cyber Monday is finally here, and there are deals aplenty: phones, tablets, smart speakers, and more are up to hundreds of dollars off. In the interest of saving you some time, we've compiled all the best bargains you can get right here in this handy list.
LG is a company whose smartphone products have gone from bottom of the barrel to highly competitive in under four years. Once the butt of bad phone jokes in the early days of Android, the company has lifted itself up into prominence in particular with the G Series, the originator of that lineage being the Optimus G.
The original G was a model for the Nexus 4 - the glass front and back blended a fairly bold design with modern and high-end components. LG's software really wasn't quite there yet, but they quickly stepped up their game with the G2 in the following year, and in the eyes of many fans perfected that formula in the G3.
The Nexus 6 was a break from the past for the Nexus program with its high price tag and massive size, but it was probably an emergency replacement after the collapse of Android Silver. We've been wondering if Google would recommit to the Nexus program, and it's sounding like yes—in a big way. We've gotten some details on two alleged Nexus phones for 2015, but there are currently no plans for a tablet.
Samsung must have known it had a problem early in the Galaxy S5's run when most of the reviews called the phone "boring" or "predictable," while also conceding that it was a good device. A good, predictable phone isn't going to sell like gangbusters, and indeed, the Galaxy S5 fell short of expectations. Over the next few months, we saw devices like the Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4 that played around with more premium materials and different designs, but the Galaxy S6 is the culmination of Samsung's plans to rehab its reputation.
The Galaxy S6 is still distinctly Samsung with the oblong home button, big camera sensor, and industry-leading AMOLED panel, but it almost feels like it was made by a version of Samsung from some bizarre parallel reality where plastic doesn't exist.
I still remember when we used to bicker over iPhone vs Symbian, before Android took over the second part of that argument. I also remember when Xenon vs LED flash was the most controversial discussion in the smartphone world for several years - some of you may have been toddlers when that started. And I remember when apps weren't a thing, when 3G was the hottest novelty, when we thanked our lucky stars because companies stopped using massive proprietary charging and earphone ports, and when a smartphone with a 2.8" display (Nokia N95 8GB) counted as monstrous. Nowadays, we feel cheated when the second back lens in a phone doesn't bring a lot of improvement, or when the display's color shifts at an angle as if everyone is side-glancing at their phones all the time, when a device has a MicroUSB port and not USB-C, or when it takes a fraction of a millisecond longer for a swipe to register.
So, as many of us in the tinkering mindset will likely agree, flexibility in any product is generally a good thing. Case in point: many Android smartphones over the years have shipped with removable batteries and microSD card slots. Battery runs down in half a day after a year? Swap it. Need to store 20GB of music and TV shows for a long flight (or live somewhere mobile streaming isn't a real option)? SD card to the rescue!
And in some places and situations for some people, removing those options really can be a major bummer. But when the Galaxy S6 was announced devoid of a microSD slot or user-replaceable battery, it seemed Samsung was finally waving goodbye to a large group of power users, emerging market customers, and people who just want this stuff in a sort of flippant way.
An updated version of this guide is available here.
It's that time of year again. Knowing our audience, chances are that you're looking for some sort of gadget to purchase for yourself or someone else. Whether the smartphone being replaced is too old, too bootloopy, or just doesn't have all the features you want, we've got you covered with our choices for the best smartphones you can buy.
The sheer number of smartphones on the market today makes narrowing the choices down difficult. So many factors - battery life, cameras, displays, software, water resistance, and more - come into play, but our goal is to find the best all-rounders out there.
Okay, not everything was unveiled. One piece of information we were waiting to see confirmed was the processor. Rather than adopt the Snapdragon 810, LG has opted for the 808. It and Qualcomm boast that with this processor the device is able to get more than a full day of battery life.
The Nexus 5 was a big hit; an unqualified success for Google. People loved that phone, and many of them are still using one. Now, there's finally a true successor to the Nexus 5 in the LG-built Nexus 5X. Hopes were understandably high for this phone, and the handful of missing features led some Nexus 5 owners to planning how they'd keep their 2013-era phones running for another year. Specs don't tell you the whole story, though. The Nexus 5X doesn't have the most RAM or highest resolution screen, but it still deserves your attention because it offers a wonderful experience for not a lot of money.
Well, it's official - Verizon is the only carrier in the United States that will be carrying the Pixel phones. If the rumors from two months ago didn't convince you, the leak from late last night surely did. Verizon will also give free Daydream View VR headsets to Pixel buyers.