With a bounty of great smartphones released this year, it’s easy to get overwhelmed to find the best smartphone for that person on your gift list. That’s why we have narrowed down the best holiday smartphone gift picks for anyone on your gift list below.
The Apple iPhone 5S
The iPhone 5S comes with a 64 bit chip and fingerprint scanner. For those with the Apple OS eco system, they might enjoy the new champagne gold color option. BUY IT : Apple iPhone 5S
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
If you do a lot of work on your phone, you will be satisfied with the Note 3. The main accessory to the Note 3; the S Pen has more features than ever. Multi Window, a large display, wireless charging and long lasting battery life make this phone essential for productivity. The Galaxy Note 3 is available for all major US carriers starting at $299. BUY IT: Samsung Galaxy Note 3
If the Galaxy Note 3 is too large for you, an alternative is the Samsung Galaxy S 4. It has many of the great features the Galaxy Note 3 has to offer in a smaller size without the S Pen.
Motorola Moto X
Give the gift of customization with the Moto X. The first smartphone to be released by Motorola since it was bought by Google (besides the DROID series), the Moto X boasts simple yet innovative features that make your smartphone useful and efficient. It’s great for those who enjoy stock android with just a slight addition of Motorola features (Moto Assist, Active Display). It’s also a plus that the giftee can go on MotoMaker and design the Moto X and color coordinate its accessories. BUY IT: Motorola Moto X (Moto Maker)
Google Nexus 5
If you want the latest Android phone out, the Nexus 5 is the one. It comes with Android KitKat 4.4 (in case you didnt’ know that’s the latest version of Android). The smooth interface and affordable price (as low as $350 without contract) makes the Nexus 5 a win. You have two color options of all black and black and white. The Nexus 5 can be found on the Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T carriers. BUY IT: Google Nexus 5 smartphone (Android OS)
LG G Flex
What does the handsome Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and LG G Flex have in common? Apparently, they both share the same miraculous characteristics.
Not only is the LG G Flex making waves as the first curved smartphone, but also as the first “self-healing” phone too. In other words, if your phone gets scratched, the phone automatically smooths over the blemishes on its own within minutes.
LG says the G Flex uses “self-healing” technology that the Korean press release compares to Wolverine from X-Men: a special protective film on the back cover is designed to get rid of scratches on the phone within minutes. That’s the kind of feature that’ll be hard to judge without seeing the phone in person, but those outside South Korea will have a wait on their hands — although the G Flex is coming to all three major carriers in LG’s home nation next month, the company only teases an expansion into additional countries at some point in the undefined future.
LG G Flex
With an endless selection of apps at your fingertips, there is a functional app for every type of person in your life. From the fashionista to the on-the-go bro, apps fit all different personalities.
1. Navigation: Waze
Does traffic make you lose your cool? Do you absolutely loathe running late just because of unpredictable traffic? Keep calm and Waze on!
What It Is: The world’s fastest growing community based traffic and navigation app, dedicated to contributing to the ‘common good’ out there on the road; acquired by Google this past summer
Why It’s Unique: Reports are user-generated, allowing you to alert and join other drivers in your area in sharing real time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and gas money on their commute
2. Banking: GoBank
If you’re a gal about town who loves banking on the go, this alternative bank app may be right up your alley…
What It Is: Award-winning new mobile bank [FDIC-insured] that enables accountholders to do all banking functions via their smartphone [send money instantly, pay bills, build a budget, withdraw cash from over 42,000 ATMs nationwide, etc.]
Why It Is Unique: No overdraft fees, pay-what-you-want monthly fee (users select fee within app from $0-9 which can be changed at any point in time), Fortune-Teller feature which compares incoming/outgoing expenditures to politely tell you whether you can afford a purchase.
3. Organize Your To-Do’s: Clear
How many times have you lost your old-fashioned paper list? Stay on top of all your to-do’s virtually with “Clear!” For the list-maker – Clear is the “clear” choice when getting things done!
What It Is: Clear is a productivity app that allows you to organize all your to-do’s into one comprehensive list.
Why It Is Unique: Clear takes advantage of the latest iOS features to make productivity even more fun and satisfying. It’s controlled almost entirely by gestures: Pairing down those to-dos is as easy as a swipe.
4. Crowdsourced Real-time Weather: Minutely
Rainboots in unexpected 80 degree weather? Not a good look for Miss Trendy. Take a fun approach to a serious weather problem with Minutely.
What It Is: Social-weather forecasting that allows users to change forecasts based on real-time weather conditions.
Why It Is Unique: We’ve all watched the weather before and dressed for rain when it ends up being a bright and sunny day. Minutely’s take on social weather ensures that you have up-to the minute information from users who are out and about in your area.
5. Family Photos: Groopic
Ever notice your photos are always missing the photographer? With groopic, even the photographer is in the photo!
What It Is: Groopic solves the impossible problem by seamlessly including the photographer friend in every group photo.
Why It Is Unique: With groopic, your pictures have every friend, every time – no more asking for help from the random stranger passing by!
It’s no secret that dimming the display on your smartphone, laptop, or tablet is going to prolong the battery life. But do you know just how much battery life you can squeeze out of an iPhone by dropping the brightness?
As an example, Wired.com used an iPhone as the subject smartphone to mathematically prove how much battery life you can save. From this, an iPhone 4 should last about 6.5 hours of continuous use on the lowest brightness setting and about 3.5 hours on the highest brightness setting. Adjusting the brightness at about half would give a fairly reasonable usage time of around 5 hours. (Note: this is with wifi and 3G off) So, really your phone wouldn’t even last that long. I think it is safe to say that you will still get more battery time from your phone at half brightness than at full.
How much of a difference in battery life you see also depends on your usage. If you’re a power user, lowering the brightness setting can get you a good two hours of extra battery life, but if you don’t use your phone that much you won’t really see a big difference. An even easier solution is to use darker wallpapers and themes. While we’ve known for a while that lowering the brightness on your devices extends the battery life, it’s nice to know just how much it can save you over time.
HTC is doing something new these days. Earlier this week, HTC, a global leader in mobile innovation and design, unveiled the Change brand platform, a long-term strategy that celebrates HTC’s disruptive impact on the ever-changing mobile industry over its 17-year history.
The Change brand message that HTC inspires innovation by standing for “anything you want it to”. Featuring Robert Downey Jr. the new ads will explore imaginative HTC word associations and possible HTC acronyms including Humongous Tinfoil Catamaran and Hipster Troll Carwash. HTC wants you to know that it can be “anything you want it to” and the comical commercial below hopes to get consumers talking…
If you’re not talking about Robert Downey Jr., maybe the new HTC One in red will get you to talking. Sprint customers looking for a handset with panache may be happy to learn that the network is offering the “glamor red” version of the HTC One as a carrier exclusive. Launching tomorrow, August 16th, the device is available at $199 on a two-year deal or with an eligible upgrade.
With HTC’s new partnership with Robert Downey Jr, could an all out Iron Man edition be in the works? We’ll see…
iphone 5 electrocution
The family of a Chinese woman who died after being electrocuted while talking on her charging iPhone 5 says they want answers and an explanation from Apple.
Apple said Monday it would investigate claims that a Chinese woman was killed by an electric shock she received when answering a call while the device was charging.
The claim quickly drew attention after a woman in the western region of Xinjiang wrote about the death of her 23-year-old sister Ma Ailun on China’s popular microblog service Sina Weibo.
“We will fully investigate and cooperate with authorities in this matter,” said Apple’s Beijing-based spokeswoman Carolyn Wu, offering condolences to the family.
The state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday that local police had confirmed Ma died of electrocution but “have yet to verify if her phone was involved”.
Ma’s sister warned others not to use their phones while they were charging and asked Apple to provide an explanation, saying on Weibo on Saturday: “What a shame, to pass away like this.”
Those lightening chargers should really come with a warning label nowadays. Does freak phone accidents like this make you worried about buying them for yourself? Sound off below.
By now, you’ve probably heard of all the great features, benefits & widgets that one of the best smartphone options to date has. The Samsung Galaxy s4 has superior camera quality and access to almost any app ever created but did you know that you could be missing out on one of the greatest apps that’s living on your S4 right now?
If you hate fumbling with multiple remote controls while watching movies at home, why not consolidate and use the smart device that’s always at your fingertips?
The Samsung WatchON app represents the ultimate entertainment companion. You can watch whatever you want, on the device you want, anywhere in your home or on the go. You can search, discover, explore, and access what’s on live TV, and on-demand movies and TV shows – across multiple video-on-demand providers. It is so smart that it actually recommends TV shows and movies just for you. And the more you watch, the smarter it gets. As your personal preferences take shape, Samsung WatchON offers you recommendations inspired by your viewing history. Clearly I’m watching a lot of Sex and the City during my off time and now, anytime an episode is on or the movie is coming up, I’m constantly in the know via the WatchON app.
With WatchON, you can search, discover, explore, and access entertainment across multiple content providers – all from a single location. Forget the days of bouncing between different video apps and live TV Samsung WatchON brings it all together for you in one place. Start watching a show on your smartphone and continue watching it on your tablet or tv without a hitch… if you haven’t tapped into the power of your WatchON app now’s the time to give it a try.
Disclosure: I’ve been provided the Samsung Galaxy S4 by Verizon Wireless for review, all experiences and opinions expressed are my own. Please note that I often tweet using #VZWBuzz – VZWBuzz tweets include a 24/7 conversation and a Friday mobile lifestyle Twitter chat with an emphasis on providing information and education about devices, apps and tools useful to consumers. While the hash tag is sponsored by Verizon Wireless, the opinions I express tagged #VZWBuzz are my own.
There’s been a shakeup this week in the mobile carrier community caused by Sprint and T-Mobile and you may want to do something about it.
T-Mobile, which recently rebranded itself as the “uncarrier” among U.S. wireless companies because of its abolishing of traditional two-year contracts, on Wednesday announced a new program called Jump to give customers on its network more freedom to upgrade their phones. Starting July 14th, customers will be able to upgrade phones twice a year, with the first upgrade coming in no earlier than six months. Jump costs $10 a month and includes insurance for the phone. Customers will be required to trade in their old phone.
Just a day after T-Mobile debuted its Jump upgrade plan, Sprint has answered with its own new plans that promise unlimited data for life. Starting July 12th, both new and existing Sprint customers can take advantage of the carrier’s offer by signing up for one of its new My Way or My All-in plans.
The new Unlimited, My Way plans features unlimited talk, text and data starting at $80 per month. However, you can opt for 1GB for data for $70 monthly if you’re looking to save money. You can also choose to add 1GB of hotspot data to your phone for $10 per month.
And how will AT&T and Verizon respond with competing customer deals? Hopefully we’ll hear something very soon…
Are you a Sprint customer & plan to upgrade to the new unlimited My Way or My All-in plans? Why? Are you a T-Mobile customer who’s looking to upgrade devices twice a year? Share your thoughts below…
Reunited and it feels so good…If you love the confidence of using a QWERTY keyboard on an updated BlackBerry device, meet the new Verizon Wireless BlackBerry Q10.
verizon wireless blackberry q10
Last week, I got the chance to check out the new Blackberry Q10 from Verizon Wireless at the Grand Central store in NYC. If you remember the days of old where typing a text or email didn’t require eye-contact with your smartphone keypad, then you were among the many welcoming the new BlackBerry Q10 with open arms. BlackBerry has revived the QWERTY keyboard, re-imagined the power of the BlackBerry Hub plus added immediate productivity with instant action features – unlike anything ever seen on a smartphone before.
Similar to the BlackBerry® Z10 smartphone, the BlackBerry Q10 runs on the BlackBerry® 10 platform and includes a suite of features including smart keyboard software that understands and adapts to a user’s typing style. It creates personalized word suggestions and contextual auto corrections while a user types. Conversations can seamlessly move along without having to waste time fixing typos. (Don’t believe me? Then keep reading…)
verizon wireless blackberry q10
Check out our HANDS ON video below and sneek peek of the BlackBerry Q10 from Verizon Wireless below…
The Verizon Wireless BlackBerry Q10 is now available for purchase online and in stores for $199.99 with a new two year customer agreement.
Disclosure: Please note that I often tweet using #VZWBuzz – VZWBuzz tweets include a 24/7 conversation and a Friday mobile lifestyle Twitter chat with an emphasis on providing information and education about devices, apps and tools useful to consumers. While the hash tag is sponsored by Verizon Wireless, the opinions I express tagged #VZWBuzz are my own.
What happens when you mix a bevy of international journalists from all walks of life with the most innovative designers in New York City? The HTC Design Tour 2013. Already a staple in such cities as Hong Kong and Milan and now HTC has combined the unique experience of Art & Design and paired it with the technology of the HTC One.
HTC, a leader in mobile innovation and design, announced New York as the latest city to join their series of Global Design Tours, a free Android app available on Google Play. The HTC Global Design application offers recommendations on design hotspots around the world and was developed in collaboration with Wallpaper* magazine. The New York content on the app was created to celebrate the 25th annual International Contemporary Furniture Festival (ICFF), North America’s platform for global design, and explores favorite pop-up exhibitors that were shown at the fair last month.
The New York locations featured on the app were selected by Wallpaper’s New York editor Pei-Ru Keh, One & Co (HTC) Principal Irinia Kozlovskaya and British-born/New York-based fashion designer Andrew Wren. The locations offer uncommon experiences at the city’s most unusual design locations – from building your own cookie at Peels to seeing “the city that never sleeps” from a new vantage point at Four Freedom Park.
To create a multi-sensory experience, location information on the app is complemented by specially selected music tracks. Music helps remind you of a time and place, so this is a great way to be reminded of these special destinations every time one of these songs is heard. Check out more on our experiences throughout NYC at Mociun (Brooklyn), American Design Club, Wanted Design and for more information about the HTC One and HTC One coming to Verizon.
Thanks HTC for inviting me for an exciting time throughout NYC!!