Phones. These are Phones.

It's a working weekend here (and you don't have to go far to figure out what it is we're working on), so I'm going to keep things short this week. But something that keeps bouncing around my brain is compromise. It's almost a cliche, but it's as true as ever. In every sort of mobile device, there's compromise.

Actually, there are all sorts of compromises. You could throw the most powerful components in the thinnest device imaginable and have crap battery life, because of the physical compromises you have to make. Or maybe the damned thing just melts because you've got to have somewhere for all that energy to go. Or maybe it's just too structurally weak. Or maybe it simply costs too much.

Sometimes compromise is subjective. Sometimes it's objective. Sometimes it's both. It's interesting seeing folks talk about the technical merits of displays, for instance. That's something you can measure. It's quantitative. But I can think of any number of things I worry about in a smartphone before I get to color accuracy. That doesn't make my choice any worse than someone else's — it's just a matter of how to rank those compromises.

Or maybe you have to have the latest base update to Android just as fast as possible. (And to be fair, you should have the latest base update to Android just as fast as possible.) Maybe that influences your decision on what to buy. Maybe it doesn't.

And maybe you're willing to put up with having one of the biggest damned phones ever made, never mind all the trade-offs.

We're going to be talking a lot about the best devices and compromise in the weeks ahead, particularly as we get into the holiday buying season. There are a lot of good choices out there. There are fewer and fewer bad ones. That goes for phones and tablets and watches and whatever else.

We're going to help guide you on what to buy. But in the end, it's up to you to decide what you're willing to compromise on.