Gift Ideas: Pre-Paid Phones
No contract? No problem. Get a great phone with no strings attached. Check out these top picks.
If the idea of commitment turns you off, you’ll be turned right back on with these selections of quality phones that do not require any bonding with a carrier! Be free and mobile without the worry of a monthly bill.
If your taste in cell phones runs more straightforward and simple, check out the LG Masterpiece. It’s an attractive candy bar phone made from quality materials, boasts a spacious, alpha-numeric keypad, slim design, and with a talk time up to 5 hours and a standby time up to 13 days, this a practical phone that offers security and ease of use.
The LG Masterpiece also has a 1.3MP camera, Bluetooth, voice dial, speakerphone and an assortment of other entry-level features that can come in handy when you’re on the go. With the LG Masterpiece, you can text, email, and instant message, along with enjoying good call quality.
Available for $0.00 with a 3-year contract, the LG Masterpiece does the basics well, and throws in some added features to make this a great choice for folks looking for a basic, quality cell phone.
The LG Rumor is a great choice for people who plan to do lots of texting! It sports a spacious, full slide-out QWERTY keyboard that's easy to use, features a 2" inch display with excellent resolution, camera, camcorder, microSD memory expansion up to 4GB and Bluetooth.
The LG Rumor packs lots of useful features into this clever phone. From its MP3 player to its quality speakerphone, this device is fun and functional.
The Samsung J706 is one of our favorites. Why? First, its an attractive phone that weighs only 85 grams and measures 10.0 x 4.8 x 1.5 cm. Second, because its quad-band GSM brains means the phone will work around the world, making it a great phone for travel.
Other features include a 128 x 160 pixel display, 1,000 contact address book, FM radio, MMS, alarm, speakerphone, Bluetooth, web access and a 1.3MP camera with 4X zoom.
Gift Ideas: Camera / Music Phones
Simplify! Browse phones that take great pictures and play your favorite songs.
You want what?? A camera? A jukebox? And a phone? Okay! We can do that!! Check out these phones which can handle a picture-perfect moment AND a monster concert all at the touch of a key.
Available in red or blue, the Nokia 5310 has a focus on music without sacrificing functionality in others important areas. The Nokia 5310 boasts external dedicated music controls, so you're never more than a click away from your favorite songs. In fact, with the Nokia 5310 you can record up to 20 hours of music. A microSD slot allows you to expand your 5310 up to 4GB.
The Nokia 5310 features a 3.5mm headphone jack, so you have many choices when selecting headphones. Also included is an FM radio, stero Bluetooth and an excellent 2" display. This is a fun phone from a fine company and one to consider if you enjoy taking your music with you wherever you go.
Sony Cyber-Shot C510a
The Sony Cyber-shot C510a is just plain fun. It offers a powerful 3.2MP camera with a suite of useful features, including “Smile Shutter” and front-facing video calling.
The Sony C510a is a candy bar phone that features a quality 2.2 inch 240 x 320 pixel display and a simple, smooth operating system that will make interacting with the phone a pleasure.
Add a solid set of functions, including video playback, (including YouTube/streaming video enabled), media player with Mega Bass, PlayNow, and TrackID, and FM radio, and you have a fun phone with a focus on pictures and video.
The Sony Cyber-Shot C510a comes with 100MB of internal memory, expandable via Memory Stick Micro (M2), 10.4 hours of talk time, over two hours of video calling time and is available in bother Future Black and Radiation Silver.
If you have someone on your shopping list who loves taking pictures, the Sony Cyber-Shot C510a is a great choice!
Sony Ericcson Equinox T715a
If you have someone on your shopping list who loves to take pictures and loves flip-phones, may we humbly direct your attention to the Sony Ericcson Equinox T715a as an excellent choice.
The Equinox offers a full suite of exciting features, including FM radio, gesture control, revised design, 3G speeds, GPS navigation, memory expansion via microSD, stereo Bluetooth and more.
But it’s the special attention to the camera and video capability that makes this a really fun phone. The phone offers a 3 megapixel camera with geo-tagging capability, meaning you can share the location of where the picture was taken with friends with a simple click,(via the included GPS functionality). You also receive PicBridge, streaming video capability including YouTube and a built-in video trimmer.
The solid selection of camera features makes the whole process fun, from taking a picture to having the ability to conduct minor editing functions later.
To have a quality flip phone with a fine selection of easy-to-use camera/video functions makes this a great gift choice for anyone who truly enjoys taking, editing, and sharing fun photos!
Contract pricing puts this sleek flip well within range of many shoppers this year.
Take a good look at the Sony Equinox and you’ll find a compact, sexy phone that has more under the hood than you may have thought!
Gift Ideas: Smartphones
Work Smart, not hard. These smartphones bring the office to the palm of your hand.
Can you correct a word document, enhance an Excel spreadsheet and respond to email while in the drive-thru of your favorite fast-food restaurant? Well, these phones can!
BlackBerry Curve 8520
If you have been looking to upgrade to a true smartphone, you won’t go wrong with the BlackBerry Curve 8520. This great phone managed to squeeze under the $50.00 price barrier only because of carrier contract pricing, and we just couldn’t resist including it here.
The Curve 8520 is a powerhouse phone that offers you everything from excellent call quality to push email. In case you don’t know, “push” email is a proprietary feature of all BlackBerries, and it means email is pushed to your phone as it is sent. Other phones search for email on a timed basis, so this is definitely a feature that sets the Curve 8520 apart from other smartphones.
With the Curve 8520 you get a large, 2.46” display with 320 x 240 pixel resolution, a full Qwerty keypad with sculpted, contoured keys that make texting not just easy but enjoyable, along with a 2MP camera with 5x digital zoom, video camera, expandable memory, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, media player and much more.
One of the special features of the Curve 8520 is that the trackball has been replaced with a trackpad. Unlike the trackball, which was a moving ball inlaid into the device, the new trackpad senses your finger’s movements and eliminates any problems that may arrive from dust or dirt.
Since it’s a BlackBerry, you will have access to the BlackBerry App Store, which features tons of great applications for your phone, many of which are free. You can download apps right from your phone, and if you have a Paypal account, the purchasing process is a breeze.
RIM, the maker of BlackBerry, has come a long way in bridging “business” devices with more friendly consumer devices, and the Curve 8520 wears both hats very well.
If you have been eyeing BlackBerries and wanted to give one a try, the BlackBerry Curve 8520 will put a big smile on your face and leave plenty of room for you to grow into its many features and functions.
Interacting with the Palm Pre is just plain fun, due to its powerful and easy-to-use interface, which makes it a great choice for anyone who would love to get a touch screen phone minus the thick instruction handbook.
The Palm Pre has a unique, curved and compact shape, using most of the space for its 3.1 inch, 320 x 480 pixel display. For those who don’t study such things, that is a high-end display and a great screen size!
The screen slides up vertically and curves slightly inward, revealing a full QWERTY keyboard similar in layout and design to the Palm Centro. While a bit small, the keyboard layout is well-designed, allowing you to text and instant message with a flip of the screen. And yes, the Pre has email capability too.
The Palm Pre also features a 3MP camera with flash, GPS, 3.5 headphone jack (which allows the user a wide selection of headphones to pick from), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and comes pre-loaded with a variety of useful software.
There are plenty of apps available for the Palm Pre, and more are on the way. These apps will allow you to customize your Pre any way you want and keep you interested for some time to come.
Available for $99.00 with a 3-year contract, you are getting a fun phone that is genuinely easy to interact with and has the power to organize your day!
HTC Droid Eris
So you want to buy someone a state-of-the art touch screen cell phone with power, good looks and a brand name you can trust? Got it. May we suggest the HTC Droid Eris.
The HTC Eris is a full-court press into the latest in available and innovative cell phone design and interface technology. For example, the Eris offers a special “Scenes” feature, which allows users to create multiple home screens. You can create a soothing background for your personal life and have all the social widgets you want on that screen, and create another background and a set of business widgets for that home screen, etc.
In addition to being highly customizable, The HTC has a touch interface that is both intuitive and responsive, the two most important attributes one could want. With little effort you can glide effortlessly from current weather conditions to email, and with another touch you can create a text message or surf the internet on a high resolution screen. Oh, and the screen I refer to is a whopping 3.2 inch, 320 x 480 pixel display masterpiece.
As for what the HTC Eris can do, the better question is what it can’t do. This phone really delivers. From texting to email to web-surfing to social applications, the Eris makes interacting a pleasure, not a chore.
The HTC Eris also comes with a powerful 5.0MP camera with Auto Focus, speakerphone with good sound quality, expandable memory and a bevy of preloaded apps to get you started.
The HTC Eris ships with the phone, 8GB SD Card, standard battery, A/C charger, USB cable, and quick start guide. Starting at $99.99 with contract, this is one phone you will want to take a serious look at.
Put an Eris under someone’s tree and you’ll get a big smile.
If your shopping for a special smartphone for that special someone, the BlackBerry Tour (aka Niagra), is a great choice.
The Tour boasts a dream-come-true 480 x 360 pixel display on its 2.4 inch screen, providing super-crisp images and true color rendition. The build materials used in the Tour are first class, and the design is thoughtful and keeps the end-user in mind.
The BlackBerry Tour brings the best of all recent BlackBerries together to produce a powerful phone that can do just about everything. In fact, the 256MHz processor in the Tour is the same processor that was in many of the home computers in 2006! Crazy!!
With the Tour you can text, send multi-media messages, record video, receive email, browse the web as it was meant to be seen, and much more. A central media center puts you one click away from all your pictures, videos and music.
Of course you also receive GPS, stereo Bluetooth, 3.5mm stereo input, expandable memory via microSD and a starter pack of applications that ensures you’ll be having fun and being more productive in no time.
Add the BlackBerry App Store and you have instant access to a wide selection of apps, many of which are free.
If you’ve been curious about BlackBerries but thought they were all business and boring, you may want to take a fresh look at what RIM has been up to with their flagship phone, The BlackBerry Tour.
BlackBerry Storm 2
Rounding out our picks for our top-tier phone selections for this year is the BlackBerry Storm 2. The Storm 2 has made tremendous advancements over its predecessor, which was RIM’s first foray into the touch-screen arena.
The Storm 2 has four large touch sensors where the original Storm had one, small sensor. And that’s just the beginning of the many improvements RIM made in designing this second generation Storm. The “Storm overhaul” was a direct result of user feedback and the end result is a powerful and attractive BlackBerry that offers an enormous screen, an excellent touch interface and the ability to render web pages in true form.
Featuring a 3.25 inch, 480 x 360 display, the Storm 2 renders everything from web pages to small icons with crisp accuracy. The Storm 2 has a 3.2MP camera with flash, auto focus, image stabilization and 2X digital zoom. You also get GPS, Wi-Fi, expandable memory, media player, and a host of preloaded apps to get the party started. The Storm 2, like the iPhone, features an accelerometer which allows you to view in either portrait or landscape mode. This makes surfing the internet truly enjoyable, as both text and graphics are easy to see and are rendered almost exactly the way they are on your home computer.
While the Storm 2 is a genuine powerhouse, it is also an entertainment center and intimidating business tool. Adding the BlackBerry App Store will provide you with even more functionality.
If you are shopping for a BlackBerry Fan, the Storm 2 blends all the benefits of the powerful BlackBerry operating system with a touch interface to create a device that can play hard whether your at work, socializing, searching the internet or simply want to make a quality call.
Apple iPhone 3GS
The iPhone 3GS has become a true icon among cell phones. So much has been written about this amazing device. It started the touch-screen revolution and now, years later, remains the phone by which all other touch screens are measured.
All the buzz about the iPhone 3GS is because Apple got it right, and continues to get it right with a fun, powerful phone that puts incredible power in the user’s fingertips. Searching the web on the iPhone 3GS is a wonderful experience. Zoom in to a section of text with barely a swipe of the finger, zoom out in the same way.
The iPhone 3GS display measures 3.5 inches and features a 320 x 480 pixel resolution. The accelerometer allows you to change your view from portrait to landscape by simply turning the phone 180 degrees. Also, because the iPhone 3GS renders web pages so well, the size of the screen only enhances the overall experience.
Add the largest app store in the world and you have a sure winner for a gift for anyone wanting to see what it’s like to have a phone that goes so far beyond just making good calls.
The secret to the iPhone 3GS is that the operating system and the user interface were build side by side, with each other in mind, every step of the way. That’s what gives it that “finished” feeling, the sense that everything “just works the way it’s supposed to.”
If you are looking for an extra special gift for someone this holiday season, take a look at the iPhone 3GS.
HTC Touch Pro 2
The HTC Touch Pro 2 is a gift that will definitely keep on giving. Boasting a display that is physically larger and with deeper resolution than even the iPhone, the HTC Touch Pro 2 is on patrol to take out its competition.
Casual shoppers may find it interesting to know that HTC had been building phones for many manufacturers for many years when one day, they decided to slap their own label on their own devices. HTC has been equated with quality every since.
So why buy a Touch Pro 2? For starters, it’s a one-stop solution for folks who want to solve their entertainment, social and business needs in one step. This phone offers just that. You can play music, send/receive email, text, send multi-media messages, participate on social forums such as FaceBook and Twitter, create and edit documents, take great pictures, record video, well, you get the idea.
But if you’re reading this you are a smart shopper and want some specifics. So here ya go:
3.2MP camera with auto focus, digital zoom and an additional camera for video calls!
Windows Media Player – able to play embedded media within a web page easily and with just a click.
Opera Browser: Considered by many to be the very best mobile browser available.
Stereo Bluetooth, expandable memory and a user interface that is intuitive and easy to learn.
The HTC Touch Pro 2 is a top-of-the-line phone than can compete with the best of them. And in addition to a fine selection of pre-loaded apps, you have an app store where you’ll find lots of cool applications to keep you interested and intrigued at least until the next holiday season.
We picked the HTC Touch Pro 2 because if offers users the best of all worlds, wrapped up in a modern design and minimal learning curve.
Gift Ideas: Cell Phone Accessories
Get the most out of your new phone with these great accessories.
The only thing more fun than a cool, new cell phone is a cool accessory to go with it! We’ve searched the internet to bring you some of the best picks for accessories, including cases, headsets and even a new wireless charging pad. And we’ve included pricing and where-to-buy info, too!
Whether you plan to give an accessory as a gift or stocking stuffer, we hope you find our picks as exciting and fun as we did.
Google Mobile offers a suite of outstanding mobile applications that are fun, free and easy-to-use. Get Search, Gmail, Maps, YouTube and more right on your phone. Google makes it easy to launch these great applications directly from your phone’s home screen. Just click on the appropriate icon and off you go!
3.5mm Extension Cable for iPhone
If you are shopping on a budget or are looking for a great stocking stuffer, one practical solution is a 3.5mm cable. This simple cable connects your iphone to your car’s 3.5mm port, allowing you to play music, listen to podcasts, all through your car stereo!
Simply plug one end of the cable into your iPhone and the other end into the 3.5mm port in your car’s stereo array, and you can play all the content on your phone through your car’s speakers, all for under ten bucks.
There are cables available for BlackBerry users, too. The cables look similar but the tips are a bit different, so be sure to ask for which one you need.
Otterbox Impact Case
If you have a BlackBerry owner on your shopping list this year, consider the Otterbox Impact Case. Available for the Curve, Bold and Tour, the Impact Case consists of three layers of protection, including a self-adhesive screen protector, shock-resistant silicone shell, and finally a durable plastic outer shell that wraps around the phone and clips into place. In addition, the silicone layer also provides plugs that cover all exposed ports snugly, keeping out dust.
PNY 8GB microSDHC Card
Memory cards make excellent, practical gifts for the cell phone user on your list. A High Capacity memory card is a gift that will keep on giving.
Our pick this year is the PNY 8GB microSD High Capacity Memory Card. It provides lots of space to store songs, pictures, podcasts and video. The PNY card comes with a full-size adapter, so users can transfer data to their PC quickly.
Energizer energi charging system
IWant to solve a problem and give a great gift at the same time? Consider the Energizer energi to go charging system.
This sleek, small, black device is simple to use, easy to carry and allows cell phone users to receive a full charge on their device even if they are on a mountain climbing trip, out on a boat, anywhere where they lack access to a traditional outlet.
The charging system comes with a variety of “tips”, making it a simple matter of plugging in to your iPod, smartphone or blackberry. Then let the device go to work supplying a full charge in a short amount of time. There is even a blue light indicator to let you know the device is working.
Just as easy is charging the device itself. Again, using the “tips” provided, you can charge your charger from your PC or a variety of other devices. The whole idea is to keep you in contact and give you the charge you need when you are busy and no outlets are available.
Having received one of these as a present this year I can tell you it is a great solution, especially for emergencies, ensuring I will always have enough juice to make that all-important phone call.
In addition to the charging unit and a selection of tips, the Energizer energi to go system comes with a manual and black velvet case.
Otterbox TL Series case
The Otterbox Commuter TL Series case will make a great gift for the iPhone owners on your holiday shopping list.
Available in 7 colors, the Commuter TL Series consists of three separate, thin layers that provide protection and style. The first layer is a self-adhering film that protects the screen from scratches. The second layer is a textured silicone skin with inner-coring, which provides protection against shock. This layer also features silicone plugs that fit snugly around all exposed ports, keeping out dust. The third layer is a translucent plastic shell that wraps around the silicone skin and clips into place.
The Otterbox Commuter TL Series case is also designed to slip easily in and out of a pocket or purse.
The TL Series provides style and protection without adding unnecessary thickness to the overall dimensions of the phone.
Alphi’s Jawbone Prime is arguably the best new Bluetooth headset this year. Putting equal emphasis on comfort and audio quality, the Prime maintains the very high standards set by previous Jawbone models.
The Prime offers up to 4.5 hours of talk time, more than 8 days of stand-by time and includes a USB adapter, AC charger and user guide.
As for fit and comfort, the Jawbone Prime comes with six earbuds and an optional ear loop, making finding your best fit easier than ever.
The Jawbone Prime, and in fact the entire line of Alphi Jawbone headsets, operate on a vibration technology that makes them unique in the Bluetooth headset world, and their reputation for producing excellent sound consistently puts them at the top of ratings and reviews.
A brand new wireless cell phone charging system for this holiday season is brought to us by Powermat USA.
Using a technology called electromagnetic induction, the Powermat Charger eliminates the need for multiple chargers and looks great in any room.
The Powermat Charger is a useful and attractive gadget that allows you to charge up to three devices by simply laying them on the pad. With the Powermat Charger you do not need to plug any chargers into any of the devices, but of course the pad itself does need to be plugged into the wall.
The Powermat Charger can handle BlackBerries, iPhones, Nintendo DS and iPods. Powermat offers four charging positions, including three wireless and a fourth that uses a wired USB connector. It also features individual tone and light controls. It even offers an auto power-off feature for each device when charging is complete.
The Powermat Charger comes in two designs: Home and Office (oval shaped with chrome accents), and a portable version (rectangular pad).
If you are looking for a special gadget for a cell phone friend on your list, the Powermat Charger will be a welcome gift under the tree.
Stereo Bluetooth headphones
Combine the Samsung brand with stereo and Bluetooth technology and you get CNET’s Top Pick for Stereo Bluetooth headphones.
These headphones make a great gift for anyone who enjoys listening to music on their phone. And the Bluetooth technology removes those pesky wires, making these headphones a great choice for jogging, the gym, just about anywhere.
The SBH-600 features and ear-cup design, which means the ear pieces rest on your ears instead of having to be inserted. That’s good news to many folks who might otherwise shy away from the idea.
The SBH-600 features Bluetooth 2.0 technology, built-in microphone, quality padding and solid design.
These headphones would make a very special gift for someone who puts a premium on listening to music.
Note: Please check your phones specifications to determine which accessories will work properly.