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The best Cyber Monday tech buys




CUPERTINO, CA - SEPTEMBER 09:  The new iPhone 6 is displayed during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California. Apple unveiled the Apple Watch wearable tech and two new iPhones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
CUPERTINO, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: The new iPhone 6 is displayed during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California. Apple unveiled the Apple Watch wearable tech and two new iPhones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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It was not a great weekend for retailers -- at least at physical stores.

But sales online were good, and there's an expectation that today, Cyber Monday, will surpass last year by as much as 12 percent.

A big part of online shopping involves gizmos, gadgets and digital stuff, but how to make sure you are getting a deal? Take Two put that question to Dave Johnson, editor-in-chief at review website TechWalla.

Smartphones

Johnson says that shoppers searching for a smartphone have many of the same options that they did last year. There are a few newcomers, however. 

“Apple did their minor refresh of the iPhone, so now we have the 6s and the 6s Plus. There’s  just a few minor improvements, but for anybody that loves Apple, that’s the phone to get. On the Android side, there are two new phones, the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X. Those are considered pure phones because they don’t have extra software on them, they’re just running a pure version of the Android Marshmallow operating system.”

Shoppers who are unsure if they are team Android or team iOS might find guidance in Johnson’s quick-and-dirty review of the two systems.

“Android has an industrial feel. It feels as though it was manufactured, not designed,” Johnson says.

Tablets

Shoppers on the hunt for a serious stocking stuffer need look no further than Amazon’s Fire tablet, which sells for about $50. Johnson says it’s a good deal, but he recommends managing expectations.

“It’s a serviceable tablet, it’s not gonna knock anybody’s socks off,” Johnson says. “It gets the job done. It’s running Amazon’s OS, so it gives you access to all the same products and services and apps and media that you can get with a more expensive tablet, it just has some rough edges.”

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