Much as I love smartphones, I’m too stingy to pass them out as Christmas gifts. But the latest high-quality, low-cost phones are beginning to change my mind.
Most of us buy smartphones on a contract plan — about $200 upfront, followed by monthly payments for two years. Perhaps that’s OK when buying for someone in the immediate family, but who wants to go through all that for an aunt or uncle?
Nearly all the best smartphones are available without a contract, but you’ll have to pay full price for the device. That’s about $750 for Apple Inc.’s iPhone 5s or $550 for Samsung Corp.’s Galaxy S4, not counting the cost of phone service. A merry Christmas indeed, until the credit card statement arrives.
For gifting, your best bet is to buy a moderately priced no-contract phone, and let the recipient hook it up to a cell service. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Hiawatha Bray can be reached at email@example.com.