Buying a smartphone this Christmas? These days it's a lot more complicated than just getting the latest iPhone.
For while Apple's recent iOS 7 software update has won the hearts of many - more than 200 million people have downloaded it so far - Google's Android OS has more than closed the gap. Meanwhile a resurgent Nokia (now part of Microsoft) is still producing excellent hardware, innovating in areas like camera design to great effect.
Just to make it even more complicated, the hardware has improved across the board - with quad-core processors, 20-megapixel cameras and ridiculously HD screens (with pixel density now up to 441ppi and above) now the norm.
Fortunately that growth in competition has also resulted in some good deals for the consumer. Even some flagship phones can be had for free on a contract, while Google's Nexus 5 is affordable even if you buy it outright as a second device.
To make the quest for the right phone for you easier, we've selected our favourite nine smartphones available this Christmas. Take a look at our selections of the best gadgets below.
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