Christmas is just over a month away, and it's time to get into the festive spirit on O2. Smartphones are one of the holiday season’s most popular gadgets, but more importantly, they can help you get the most out of the festive season.
With shopping villages, cut-priced retail outlets and all sorts of other affordable shops popping up all over the country, there's never been a better time for Christmas shopping. Take full advantage of the GPS chip in your Android smartphone – such as the Sony Ericsson Arc – by using Google Maps and Google Navigation to find the best shops. As well as directing you straight to the door, you'll even be able to find out the phone numbers and opening hours.
We all get annoyed at some point with the chaos of Christmas, so it makes sense to look for present ideas online. Shops like Debenhams and John Lewis feature apps for Android and the Apple iPhone, and it couldn't be easier to search for your perfect Christmas presents. Maybe use O2’s Priority Moments app with some great deals at the likes of WH Smith and JJB Sports.
Food to your door!
You don't just have to use your smartphone for present shopping either. Tesco's smartphone app – available on Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Symbian ^3 – lets you shop for all your weekly food and groceries, also delivering straight to your front door. This means you'll be able to spend time concentrating on the things that matter this Christmas, knowing that you won’t be madly wandering between supermarkets looking for a turkey.
Train tickets to see family
Christmas should be a time to spend with your loved ones and friends. We all have fond memories of travelling the country to see Auntie Nelly, but now the organisation is up to you, it can take a lot of preparation time. Luckily, it's easy to use your smartphone to check train times, and The Trainline app even lets you purchase tickets from your handset.
Escape the country!
There's no avoiding it: Christmas isn't for everybody. There's no reason that you shouldn't enjoy the time off though, so why not go abroad for the festive season? Use the British Airways app on your smartphone to track arrivals and departures, and you'll also be able to check in on your mobile, avoiding lengthy queues. Plus there are lots of great deals through O2 Priority Moments with Classic British Hotels. (www.classicbritishhotels.com).
Watch a show
There are loads of great events happening over Christmas such as Chaz and Dave at The O2, or even the lovely Rihanna, and your smartphone is a useful device to help track down these must have tickets. Web browsers like Opera Mobile are every bit as powerful as the browsers on your PC, so there's no need to miss anything in the local area, and certainly no excuse to miss a top night at The O2, for example check out New Years at Proud2 if house is your thing, with Defected Records taking over the venue for the night.
Wherever you go for Christmas, the latest smartphones will allow you to capture impressive photographs. Devices like the Nokia Lumia 800 feature Carl Zeiss optics, which can genuinely compete with proper cameras for quality and detail. Most handsets also make it easy to upload and share your images straight from the phone.
There's no need to stick to still photography, either, with smartphones like the Apple iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S II offering high-definition video recording. Once again, you'll be able to capture all the happy Christmas memories, without having to carry a bulky camcorder around as well.
Music to help escape!
And if it all gets too much for you, make sure you've stored lots of music on your smartphone. It's usually easy to add Gigabytes of music via microSD card – if the kids are making too much noise, or your parents are starting to annoy you, simply stick the earphones in, and zone out.
O2 needs you
Let us know what festive fun you have found on your smartphone this Christmas? Or if we have missed any great features, make sure you get in touch.