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Christmas Gift Guide

Graduate to a new phone

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Apple iPhone 6

HTC One M9

Motorola Moto E (4G LTE)

So you're off to earn your diploma, and fancy acquiring a new smartphone to help you with your studies? Or perhaps you know a student heading to university and want to splash out on a luxurious gift. Check out our picks for a new smartphone, or one of these other tech essentials or tech toys.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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 -- potentially a handy ice breaker during freshers week.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

For Apple fans, no phone is better value that the iPhone 6. Its camera, processor, and screen are all at fighting weight, and if you already own a MacBook, you'll find no smartphone integrates better with an Apple laptop.

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If you're determined to make your student life a stylish one, investigate the HTC One M9's luxe metal styling and likable take on Android. This comfortable, beautiful phone fits practically any lifestyle, and looks rather lush.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Student life isn't known for its pecuniary rewards, so you might need a smartphone that you can buy on a budget. If so, the Moto E is a penny-saver's dream. It's cute and easy to use, and at 4.5-inches, is compact enough to lug around in your pocket.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET