It’s that time of year again: the holiday season is upon us. Shoppers around the globe are scrambling and scurrying to secure gifts for their loved ones before the year is over.

That task could be particularly daunting for those seeking smartphone or tablet gift ideas. This past year has seen an overwhelming number of releases both large and small from the technology industry. The year 2012 has seen major launches such as Apple’s iPhone 5, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3, and Google/LG’s Nexus 4, but those aren’t the only devices worth seeing on the market.

For those who don’t know where to start, check out our holiday gift guide for some of the cheapest deals in tech this Monday.

Apple’s iPhone 5. This is by no means a cheap deal in most circumstances, but on Monday Best Buy announced that it would be offering Apple’s latest smartphone starting at $149.99. This offer applies to those signing up for a two-year agreement with carriers such as AT&T and Verizon. All storage capacities are included in the deal, which means that users have the option of purchasing the handset in 16GB, 32GB or 64GB with a $50 discount.

  1. Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD. This tablet from Amazon is already one of the cheaper tablets on the market, and today the device costs even less for quick holiday shoppers. The online retailer is offering a $50 discount on the 8.9-inch version of its most recent tablet for today only. To snag a device before they sell out, head over to the Kindle Fire HD’s product page and type in the code FIREHD89 at the checkout.
  3. Motorola’s Droid Razr M. As part of a special holiday promotion, Verizon is now offering Motorola’s Droid Razr M for only $50 with a two-year contract. This is a 50 percent discount from the handset’s original price of $100. Check out Verizon’s promotional video at the bottom of this article for more details.
  2. Samsung’s Chromebook. Looking for a low maintenance PC? Samsung’s new Chromebook features the comfort and familiarity of a laptop but without the maintenance and local storage. All applications are run on the device’s Web browser using Google’s cloud, making it the perfect gift for PC owners that typically use their computer for the Internet. Due to its lack of local storage, it’s also one of the cheapest laptops you’ll find at $250.
  4. Samsung’s Galaxy Muse. If you have a friend or family member that’s an avid music lover and can’t tear themselves away from their Galaxy S3 or Note 2, you’ll want to check out the Galaxy Muse. This is Samsung’s recently announced music accessory for its line of Galaxy devices. Comparable to Apple’s iPod Shuffle, this tiny MP3 player lets users transfer music directly from their smartphone without the use of a PC. The device is available through Samsung’s website for $50 here.
  6. Got any other worthwhile gift ideas that should be in our top 5? Share them in our comments section below.