Mother’s Day 2021 is quickly approaching, which is really just another way of saying if you haven’t already bought a gift — now is the time to get started. You’ve likely been paying attention to any hints that may have been dropped, and you likely even made some notes of your own. Now comes the time when you review the list and figure out what you can purchase without blowing your budget. But on the other hand, Moms put in quite a bit of hard work, and they deserve to be thanked, so get your Mom what she deserves.
We suspect a fair amount of shopping lists will include an iPhone, and while that sounds simple and easy enough — there are actually quite a few options to consider. You could head over to Apple and pick up the newest iPhone 12. But while the iPhone 12 is the latest release, it may not be the greatest release for everyone. In fact, lots of people will be better served by getting a newish model that is a year or two older.
Buying a newish model means getting tech that can meet your daily-use needs with ease. It also means spending less money. Of course, the Swappa marketplace is more than just newish iPhones, so continue scrolling to see our recommendations for a variety of different categories.
Jump to our picks for the following categories:
- Apple iPhone
- Android smartphone
- Apple Watch
- Smartwatch / Fitness Tracker
- Apple iPad
- Video game console
Whether it is being used to capture memories, manage a daily schedule, listen to music, watch videos, or waste some time with a mindless game — our top pick for an iPhone is the iPhone 11 due to the mix of hardware and software features versus price. For example, the iPhone 11 camera is a dual 12MP ultra-wide and wide set up with features such as Night Mode, Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting, and Deep Fusion for image processing.
Runner-Up Pick: The iPhone 11 is a great phone, and while prices have been getting better and better, you may be looking for something a little less expensive. Our runner-up pick for an iPhone is the iPhone SE (2020).
The iPhone SE (2020) has a home button, uses Touch ID, and is powered by the same Apple A13 Bionic chip found in the iPhone 11. The iPhone SE (2020) is also about half the price of an iPhone 11.
Our top pick for an Android smartphone is the Google Pixel 4a 5G. The Pixel 4a 5G was released in September 2020, so it is a model that will easily last several years into the future. The Google Pixel 4a 5G, as we’ve come to expect from the Pixel line, has a top-notch camera setup. It also has support for 5G connectivity, which will help keep this phone current as we move from 4G to 5G.
Runner-Up Pick: The Google Pixel 4 was released a few months before the Pixel 4a 5G, and is a more affordable option. Similar to the Pixel 4a 5G, the Pixel 4 has a top-notch camera to capture memories. And, while less expensive, in some ways the Pixel 4 is a better phone. For example, the Pixel 4 is powered by the Snapdragon 855 processor, whereas the Pixel 4a 5G is powered by the Snapdragon 765G processor.
Moms are often busy, and they are often on the go. An Apple Watch can help keep track of everything, without always having to pull out a smartphone. An Apple Watch also handles fitness tracking such as counting daily steps, or time and distance if your mom happens to be a runner. Our top pick for an Apple Watch is the Apple Watch SE.
Runner-Up Pick: Unlike the iPhone and Android smartphone runner-up picks, which were more affordable options, we’re flipping things and suggesting a more expensive option for the Apple Watch — but with good reason. Our runner-up pick for the Apple Watch is the Apple Watch SE with Cellular. The cellular model Watch SE maintains the same features the WiFi/GPS model has, but it also allows the wearer to venture out without an iPhone. It is really nice to spend some time away from a distracting smartphone, and still be able to get a phone call or text message in an emergency.
Apple products are top sellers in the Swappa marketplace. But since not everyone uses an iPhone, we have some additional wearable picks — a non-Apple smartwatch and a fitness tracker.
Our smartwatch pick is the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2. The Galaxy Watch Active2 has a round design, more like a traditional watch, and it can also be purchased for under $100. That said, the Watch Active2 isn’t just about being cheap — it is feature-packed with goodies such as health and fitness tracking, as well as being able to get alerts for upcoming calendar items, messages, or phone calls.
Our fitness tracker pick is the Fitbit Versa 2. The Fitbit Versa 2 is a great fitness tracker, from a company that set the standard for fitness trackers. But unlike some of the earlier Fitbit models, the Versa line also has many features that you’ll find on a regular smartwatch. For example, the Fitbit Versa2 features Amazon Alexa and will notify you when you get a message or phone call. You can also make payments using Fitbit Pay.
The iPad is the gold standard of tablets. The iPad is good for everything from reading a book to watching movies, surfing the web, trading text messages with friends and family, and much more. Apple has several models of the iPad, but the regular iPad is the best option for most people because it features the perfect mix of features and functionality, and you can buy one without completely breaking the bank. Our recommendation for the best iPad is the 7th generation iPad.
Runner-Up Pick: The regular iPad is often the better choice, but it isn’t necessarily the most fun choice. For this reason, our runner-up pick for an iPad is the 4th generation iPad Air. This isn’t the cheapest model available, but it does come in a variety of colors (Space Gray, Silver, Rose Gold, Green, Sky Blue), and who doesn’t want a colorful iPad? The 4th generation iPad Air was released in late-2020 and because this is a higher-end iPad (as compared to the regular iPad) — it should easily last several years without feeling sluggish.
We realize that not every Mom is a gamer, or even wants to play video games. But being a Mom, or a parent in general, often means finding creative ways to spend time with your kids, especially as they get older. Playing a family-friendly video game such as what you find on the Nintendo Switch makes gaming fun for everyone, so our top pick for a video game console is the Nintendo Switch.
Runner-Up Pick: This next pick isn’t necessarily a runner-up pick, but an alternate suggestion. If your mother happens to like video games, and also enjoys time by herself — a Nintendo Switch Lite is a perfect choice because it allows her to game without the big screen (which would most likely attract other family members wanting to get in on the fun).
Earlier in this guide, we mentioned that you can save money if you buy newish instead of new. But saving money is only one of the perks of getting your next iPhone from Swappa. The Swappa marketplace is also easy-to-use, and perhaps more importantly — it is safe, and we do not allow junk, which means you can shop with confidence.
If you need a bit more convincing, make sure to also read some of the Trustpilot reviews that have been left by other Swappa buyers (and sellers).