DJI SPARK $499

New drone, affordably priced, should fly

If you thought those drones buzzing around on the beach were annoying, just wait and see what happens when they become cheaper than iPhones. Drones — miniature remotely controlled aircraft — may be on the cusp of going mainstream as they plummet in price. DJI, the world’s largest consumer drone maker, which is based in Shenzhen, China, will soon release the Spark at roughly half the cost of the most popular drones on the market today.

The Spark is surprisingly capable for a low-cost drone. Unlike most expensive drones, which operate with a physical remote control, this machine was designed to work primarily with a smartphone app; you can also make hand gestures to move Spark or make it take your selfie. It shoots superb high-definition video, weighs about a quarter of a pound and is so compact you could stuff it in a tote bag.

Unsurprisingly, Spark isn’t perfect. Its app can be tough to grasp without reading an instruction manual. The battery lasts only about 15 minutes, and there are some bugs in the software that could send your drone flying off erratically.

Yet for the price, if you want to take aerial photography or just experience the sheer joy of flying an object, this small and lightweight model would make a great stocking suffer this holiday season. There is an option to skip using the app altogether by enabling PalmControl, a mode that lets the drone respond to your hand gestures.

New York Times

MOTO G5 PLUS $230

Budget Android phone good enough for most

The Moto G5 Plus is not your ordinary low-cost Android phone. There is a lot to like about it.

The G5 Plus doesn’t have the best screen or the most storage, but it has a good screen and enough memory and a pretty decent camera. That’s good enough for a lot of people.

And if you can’t afford the $750 king of Android phones, the Samsung Galaxy S8, the Moto G5 is well worth consideration. For one, it’s unlocked for all carriers. That’s a rarity. Usually cheaper Android phones are GSM (AT&T, T-Mobile) or they are CDMA (Sprint, Verizon), but rarely both and unlocked to boot. It’s sturdier than the G4 Plus, and the battery can easily make it an entire day without charging. The camera isn’t the best, but plenty good for most people and easy to launch and focus.

Dallas Morning News