Which iPad, iPhone, or iOS Device is Right For You? An iPhoneHacks Gift Guide

Trying to figure out what’s the best iOS device to give (or ask for)? We hear you, it can be tough to figure out what is the right device for the right person and what they will be using it for. This is what this iOS gift guide is about. We’ve posed a few common scenarios and what we think is the right iOS device choice in each situation.

I want to get a basic iPhone and save money: the iPhone 4S

This is pretty easy—the iPhone 4S. Lots of carriers are offering the 4S $99 or less. You might see the iPhone 4 for sale as well, but I wouldn’t buy that new. While the 4S last year’s model, it still supports almost all of the features in the iPhone 5 (Siri, Panorama photos), plus there won’t be trouble finding cables or accessories, since it has the “classic” 30-pin dock connector.

Pros:

  • Cost, only $99 unlocked (could be cheaper with carrier subsidies)
  • Camera is great
  • Siri

Cons:

  • Only 16GB size available
  • No LTE
  • Old ear buds

Other specs:

  • Chip: A5
  • Screen: 3.5-inch (diagonal) Retina display, 960-by–640 resolution, 326 ppi
  • Cellular: SM/EDGE, UMTS/HSPA, CDMA EV-DO Rev. A
  • Other wireless: Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n; 802.11n on 2.4GHz), Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and GLONASS
  • Micro-SIM
  • iSight camera (back of phone): 8 megapixel, Backside illumination sensor, Five-element lens, Face detection, Hybrid IR filter, ƒ/2.4 aperture, Panorama (equal to iPhone 5)
  • FaceTime Camera (front of phone): VGA resolution photo and video
  • Video recording: 1080p HD video recording, 30 fps, Tap to focus while recording, LED light, Video stabilization
  • 30 pin dock connector
  • Battery: 8 hours talk time on 3G, Browsing 6 hours on 3G, 9 hours on Wifi, 200 hours standyby time (8 days)

iPhone 4S Apple Store (U.S.) $99

I want an iPhone: the iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 is the obvious choice and the 32GB version is the size to choose, because with all its awesomeness you need apps too. Apps take up space, now more than ever. And don’t forget pictures…great pictures. Yep lots of space needed for those too. The faster A6 chip, LTE speed, bigger screen, better battery, thin, and light make this the best iPhone available

Pros

  • Fast
  • Light
  • LTE speed

Cons

  • Lightning connector makes accessories hard to find (for the moment)
  • You’ll want to get 30 pin to Lightning adapters to use with older accessories

Other specs:

  • Chip: A6
  • Screen: 4-inch (diagonal) Retina display, 1136-by–640 resolution, 326 ppi
  • Cellular: GSM model: GSM/EDGE, UMTS/HSPA+, DC-HSDPA, CDMA model: CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B, LTE
  • Other wireless: Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n; 802.11n on 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and GLONASS
  • Nano-SIM
  • iSight camera (back of phone): 8 megapixel, Backside illumination sensor, Five-element lens, Face detection, Hybrid IR filter, ƒ/2.4 aperture, Panorama
  • FaceTime Camera (front of phone): 1.2MP photos, 720p HD video, Backside illumination sensor
  • Video recording: 1080p HD video recording, 30 fps, Tap to focus while recording, LED light, Improved video stabilization, Take still photos while recording video, Face detection
  • Lightning dock connector
  • Battery: 8 hours talk time on 3G, Browsing 8 hours on 3G, 8 hours on LTE 10 hours on WiFi, 225 hours standyby time (9 days)

iPhone 5 – Apple Store (U.S.) $299 for 32GB (with carrier subsidy).

I want a great iPad to do everything on: the iPad with Retina Display (aka iPad 4)

The iPad 4 (32GB) is a choice you won’t regret. It isn’t just the best iPad yet with great cameras and screen, it has power under the hood to spare. Once apps are updated to take advantage of the A6X chip’s quad-core GPU, you’re going to see it really shine. The iPad 4 can take the place of a laptop for many people in lots of situations. No, it isn’t a full laptop-replacement, but it’s getting really close.

Pros:

  • Fast and powerful
  • Amazing screen

Cons:

  • Heavier than the iPad mini

iPad with Retina display spec highlights:

  • 32GB $599 (WiFi only)
  • Dual-core A6X with quad-core graphics
  • Retina display, 9.7‑inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi‑Touch display with IPS technology, 2048-by–1536 resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi), Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • 802.11a/b/g/n Wi‑Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
  • FaceTime HD Camera, 1.2MP photos, 720p HD video, FaceTime video calling over Wi‑Fi or cellular, Face detection, Backside illumination, Tap to control exposure for video or still images, Photo and video geotagging
  • iSight Camera, 5MP photos, Autofocus, Face detection, Backside illumination, Five-element lens, Hybrid IR filter, ƒ/2.4 aperture, Tap to focus video or still images, Tap to control exposure for video or still images, Photo and video geotagging
  • Video Recording 1080p HD video recording, Video stabilization, Face detection, Tap to focus while recording, Backside illumination
  • 10 hour battery life
  • Lightning connector

iPad with Retina display – Apple Store (U.S.) $599

I want a great iPad: the iPad mini

Our pick for a great iPad is the iPad mini (32GB). We know it goes against the grain of more power, better screen, better…everything, but hear me out. I have the iPad 4 and mini in front of me all day. You know which one I grab to read something or check Facebook or Twitter or email? Yep the mini. Why? Because it’s light, I can manage typing with both hands and not have to set it down, and heck it’s just a solid device. No, it’s not as fast as my iPad 4 (or iPad 3). No the screen isn’t Retina. Honestly none of those things have mattered to me.

Pros

  • Small and light

Cons

  • Non Retina
  • Only A5 chip

iPad mini key specs

  • 32GB $429 (WiFi only)
  • Dual-core A5 chip
  • 802.11a/b/g/n Wi‑Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
  • 7.9‑inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi‑Touch display with IPS technology, 1024-by–768 resolution at 163 pixels per inch (ppi), Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • FaceTime HD Camera, 1.2MP photos, 720p HD video, FaceTime video calling over Wi‑Fi or cellular, Face detection, Backside illumination, Tap to control exposure for video or still images, Photo and video geotagging
  • iSight Camera 5MP photos, Autofocus, Face detection, Backside illumination, Five-element lens, Hybrid IR filter, ƒ/2.4 aperture, Tap to focus video or still images, Tap to control exposure for video or still images, Photo and video geotagging
  • Video Recording 1080p HD video recording, Video stabilization, Face detection, Tap to focus while recording, Backside illumination
  • 10 hour battery life
  • Lightning connector

iPad mini – Apple Store (U.S.) $429

I need a bigger tablet, but…: the iPad 2

This is the “the iPad mini looks great, but I really want a bigger screen for games or drawing” niche. Lots of ways to attack this. We have two suggestions for you. First, the iPad 2 (16GB), it’s a basic iPad that has the size and battery people expect. However, since Apple unceremoniously and unexpectedly dumped the iPad 3, you might find some great deals on those this season. Keep your eyes peeled because you might be able to score a Retina iPad at the non-Retina price.

Pros

  • Price ($529)

Cons

  • Not Retina
  • Slower processor
  • No other options than 16GB
  • No Siri

More specs:

  • Dual-core A5 chip (same as the iPad mini)
  • 9.7‑inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi‑Touch display with IPS technology, 1024-by–768 resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi), Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • FaceTime camera VGA-resolution photos and video
  • Back camera 960-by–720 photos, Autofocus
  • 730p HD video recording with tap to focus
  • Wi‑Fi (802.11a/b/g/n; 802.11n on 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology
  • 30-pin connector
  • 10 hour battery

iPad 2 – Apple Store (U.S.) $399

I want a small iOS device for my kids or something to exercise with: the iPod touch, 5th Generation

There is a reason that Apple keeps updating and refreshing the iPod touch line—it’s a great device that people love. A device that can run almost all the apps and games you can on an iPhone, but without the phone part. Just pick your favorite color and go. The reasonable price for the 32GB model ($299) makes a good value. The 5th generation iPod touch now comes with an updated 5MP camera (as well as the new Lightning port), so you can have a music, video, camera, and games device that easily fits in your pocket.

Pros:

  • Updated camera
  • Great iOS device for games, music, etc
  • Great battery life
  • new ear buds

Cons:

  • Camera could be better
  • Not a phone
  • No cellular option
  • No Siri

Key specs

  • 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.0, Nike+ support built in
  • 4-inch (diagonal) widescreen display with Multi-Touch IPS technology, Retina display, 1136-by–640-pixel resolution at 326 pixels per inch, Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • 5-megapixel iSight camera, Autofocus, Tap to focus video or still images, Backside illumination, Hybrid IR filter, Five-element lens. LED flash. ƒ/2.4 aperture, Face detection, Panorama, HDR, HD video recording (1080p) up to 30 frames per second with audio, Photo and video geotagging over Wi-Fi
  • FaceTime HD camera with 1.2MP photos and HD video (720p) up to 30 frames per second, Video stabilization, Tap to control exposure for video or stills, Photo and video geotagging over Wi-Fi

iPod touch – Apple Store (U.S.) 32GB $299

Yes, the adapters are tiny!One last thing we suggest for all of the Lightning port equipped devices are the adapters. The small 30 pin to Lighting adapter (and the corded one as well) make a huge difference in making sure you can connect your Lightning devices to the most accessories (and chargers). Find them in the accessories section of the Apple Store—iPad Cables & Docks – Audio/Video Cables & Adapters – Apple Store (U.S.)

 

Last suggestion that goes with all these devices is the Apple TV. At $99 it’s a bargain for being able to stream music and video to your TV, not to mention playing games from your iOS device on your TV.
Apple TV – Apple Store (U.S.)

More suggestions? Let us know! Questions about the right device for the right use? Fire away!

  • Noneya

    5th GEN iPod touch does have S.I.R.I.

    You’re welcome.

  • Android Fan Boi

    5th Gen. iPod touch does have S.I.R.I.
    You’re welcome.

    • Noneya

      This Guy.

  • http://twitter.com/AlvTellez AlvTellez

    The iPhone 4S is not 99$ Unlocked, it’s like 500$

  • Andrew

    Ur an idiot. It’s 99 with a carrier bundle. Learn how to read moron.