Do you have an iPhone user on your gift list? In that case, Apple's iPhone 6 is an easy recommendation. The 2014 update features an all-new 4.7-in. LED-backlit Retina HD display (with a resolution of 1334 x 750), a second-generation 64-bit A8 chipset, an updated camera system, an M8 motion coprocessor, 240 fps-slow-motion HD video and many more features built into the slim design.
With the built-in Touch ID fingerprint scanner acting in concert with the encryption built into iOS 8, you can use your fingerprint to log into the phone, lock down third-party apps, and even purchase items online, in apps and in stores with Apple Pay.
Mac users running Yosemite can take advantage of the new Continuity features: You can start an email or document on one device and instantly pick up where you left off on another Apple device, you can answer incoming phone calls on any of your Apple devices in range, SMS messages are now received on every Apple device, and using your iPhone as an Internet hotspot is as easy as selecting the device in a drop-down menu.
Apple's renowned build quality is still evident: The iPhone 6 features precision craftsmanship in a case with a sleek, pill-shaped profile made of anodized aluminum and glass. It comes in silver, gold or space gray and includes 16GB, 64GB or 128GB of onboard storage.
Direct price: $199-$399 w/ 2-year contract from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon; $649-$849 unlocked
-- Michael deAgonia