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The best mobile devices for students

The phones, tablets and smartwatches to get you through another school year.
Engadget, @engadget
07.25.18 in Mobile
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Will Lipman/Engadget

There's no negotiating on this: You need a smartphone at college. Powerful flagships like the iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy S9 promise speedy performance, but even more affordable options like the Xperia XZ2 Compact and OnePlus 6 offer an impressive amount of bang for your buck. Though not necessary, you might also want a tablet for book-reading, or a smartwatch that double as a fitness tracker. While the Apple Watch is the most obvious choice for an iPhone user, other brands have offerings that are just as stylish -- stuff you won't be ashamed of wearing around campus.

As for tablets, Apple's 9.7-inch iPad doesn't break the bank (at least before you add on accessories) and is now compatible with the Apple Pencil -- a tool once reserved for the higher-end iPad Pro line. Meanwhile, the Microsoft Surface Pro offers laptop-grade power, though we recommend paying extra for the accompanying keyboard. Lastly, you'll also find a Kindle on our list, mainly because its e-paper screen can be much easier on the eyes than a phone or a tablet.

Find all our picks in our 2018 back-to-school guide and while you're there, check out the other 13 categories we covered.

Check out our complete 2018 back-to-school guide and find all of our student-friendly buying advice right here!

All products recommended by Engadget were selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company, Oath. If you buy something through one of our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Engadget is the original home for technology news and reviews. Since our founding in 2004, we've grown from an exhaustive source for consumer tech news to a global multimedia organization covering the intersection of technology, gaming and entertainment. Today, Engadget hosts the archives and expertise of early digital publishing players like Joystiq, TUAW and gdgt, and produces the Internet's most compelling videos, reviews, features and breaking news about the people, products and ideas shaping our world. After 14 years in the game, we're leveraging our history to bring the future into focus.

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