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Christmas Gift Guide

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Apple iPhone 5

LG Optimus G

Samsung Ativ S

Sony Xperia T, V, and J

LG Optimus L9

Sony Xperia SL

Huawei Ascend D1 Quand XL

Acer's Liquid Gallant and Gallant Duo

Price: TBD (though in Asia and the Middle East, the 3G model is going for $800)

Availability: October in selected European countries


The outlook: After its predecessor made a splash as a phone/tablet hybrid, the Galaxy Note 2 promises to be a big hit again. This time, however, it will have an even bigger 5.55-inch screen. It will also come with an upgraded S Pen, ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (!), and be chock-full of software goodies.

Caption by / Photo by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Price: TBD

Availability: September 21, 2012, for the U.S.

The outlook: Whether you love it or hate it, there's no doubt that the iPhone is the most anticipated smartphone of the fall. Preorders are open now for the featherweight iPhone 5, the main new feature of which is a bigger screen. Check out its pricing, A6 chip, improved camera, 4G LTE, and iOS 6.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Price: TBD

Availability: Launching September in Korea

The outlook: With its quad-core CPU and 4G LTE capabilities, the LG Optimus G is promising to be the superphone it's expected to be. And with the G's attractive 13-megapixel camera and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, LG is amping its upcoming flagship phone with all its might.

Caption by / Photo by LG

Price: TBD

Availability: TBD

The outlook: As the world's first Windows Phone 8 handset, the Ativ S is Samsung's answer to Nokia's dominance with Windows Phone devices. Not only will it run the latest Microsoft Windows mobile OS, but the Ativ will also have a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED touch screen, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and an 8-megapixel camera. It'll also come preloaded with Samsung's media portal, MusicHub.

Caption by / Photo by Samsung

Price: TBD

Availability: TBD

The outlook: Though Sony unveiled a slew of mobile devices at IFA 2012, including the Xperia V and J, it's the Xperia T that's taking the reigns as its most top-notch phone. It sports a 4.6-inch HD Reality display, a 13-megapixel camera capable of shooting 1080p HD video, and it's NFC-enabled. And, being a Sony device, it all comes packaged in a stylish build.

Caption by / Photo by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Price: TBD

Availability: TBD

The outlook: LG's line of midrange handsets, known as its L-series, unveiled an additional family member at IFA 2012. The LG Optimus L9 operates on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, houses a 4.7-inch IPS display, and is powered by a 2,150mAh battery -- making it the most robust L-phone yet. The best part? Inside is a 1GHz dual-core processor, which beefs up the much-needed processing speed of the laggy L-series.

Caption by / Photo by LG

Price: TBD

Availability: TBD

The outlook: Without much fanfare, Sony subtly unveiled the Xperia SL with a landing page on its Web site. Featured in four colors (gray, black, white, and pink), the chic SL has a 1.7GHz dual-core CPU from Qualcomm, a 12.1-megapixel camera, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Caption by / Photo by Sony

Price: Around $624

Availability: October

The outlook: Six. That's the total score card for how many devices Huawei unveiled at IFA this year. Of that number, four are phones (the other two are tablets): the Ascend Y 201 Pro, the Ascend G 330, the Ascend G 600, and the most powerful one of all, the Ascend D1 Quand XL. Despite its unwieldy name, the Quand XL promises to impress with its 4.5-inch display, 1.2GHz K3V2 ARM CPU designed by Huawei itself, an 8-megapixel camera, and its 2,600mAh battery.

Caption by / Photo by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Price: Around $230

Availability: September

The outlook: Competitively priced with entry-level specs, the Liquid Gallant and Liquid Gallant Duo from Acer are nearly identical. Both handsets offer users a 4.3-inch qHD display, a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel camera, and the Android 4.0 experience. They also come in two colors, Ceramic White and Gentle Black (whatever that means). However, only the Duo has dual-SIM card capabilities.

Caption by / Photo by Engadget