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Smartphones for a smart grad

Not sure which phone to get your graduate for their next chapter in life? This gift guide gives you a jump start.

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Jessica Dolcourt
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1 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

Graduate to a new phone

Your favorite graduate has worked hard to don those robes of victory. Go on, reward all that effort with a new smartphone, or with one of these other tech essentials or tech toys.

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2 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S6

We can't recommend our current all-around enough to impress during that first week of college or at important job interviews. The Galaxy S6 is slim and gorgeous, with a quick-launching 16-megapixel camera on the back and a 5-megapixel front-facer that's fantastic for selfies.

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3 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

Motorola Droid Turbo

Your data-hungry grad needs a phone that will last throughout the day. Verizon's Droid Turbo obliterates the recent competition with almost 15 hours of continuous battery life. It comes with enviable specs, besides.

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4 of 7 James Martin/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

The pen is sometimes mightier than the laptop. For a lightweight way to jot notes in class or on the job, the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 4 gets information down. A comfy stylus gives tired typing fingers a break.  Its 16-megapixel camera, and expansive screen help make it one of the best phones around.

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5 of 7 CNET

Apple iPhone 6

For Apple fans, no phone is better value that the iPhone 6. Its camera, processor, and screen are all at fighting weight, and nothing integrates better with that MacBook. Plus, with Apple Pay on board, your grad will never be stuck if the wallet falls behind the couch.

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6 of 7 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

HTC One M9

We love the HTC One M9's luxe metal styling and likable take on Android. This comfortable, beautiful phone fits practically any lifestyle, and looks like a million bucks (but thankfully costs far less).

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7 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

Motorola Moto E (4G LTE)

One of the best budget buys you can find, the Moto E is a penny-saver's dream. It's cute and easy to use, and at 4.5-inches, it's compact enough to tote around in a pocket.

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