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Valentine's Day Tech Guide 2014

Here are some amazing smartphones and tablets for gifting this Valentine's Day! Below are some of the best of the best of technology products for everyone (adults and kids), such as smartphones and tablets. Whether you're gifting to a significant other, or treating yourself, and which ever the decision will be, everything here (in alphabetical order) will make every tech enthusiast feel special on Valentine's Day:

  • Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX: Both of these amazing devices offer the best of Amazon, have sharp HD display and the content looks amazing on it (ie., games or streamed content) and for those who prefer more power (Quad-core 2.2 GHz vs Dual-core 1.5 GHz), extra pixels (2560 x 1600/339 ppi vs 1920 x 1200/254 ppi) and longer battery life (approximately 2 hours), then, then for $100 more, the "X" is a great choice. Many users who experienced both the Kindle and the iPad can't go back to the iPad (downloads faster, colors and resolutions are more vibrant on the Kindle)! For those who love taking pictures, both have front cameras, and the HDX 8.9 has a rear 8-megapixel camera. What's so spectacular about the Kindle is its capability of being so well connected and a variety of awesome features, such as Whispersync (makes is very easy to switch back and forth, synchronizes the bookmarks and furthest page read among devices registered to the same account; whispersync ensures a seamless reading experience for a book read across multiple Kindle devices). Many users love the Kindle Fire HD because it's $100 less, has very sharp display, lovely to hold due to its soft curves, and the speaker performance is incredible! Many people feel that the Kindle Fire HD supercedes the iPad as an entertainment tablet (Kindle eBook readers and LCD device with wider content choices). It's an Android-based tablet, but it's the Amazon angle that's attractive, because Amazon's top quality services are embedded in the Kindle. Whether you're gifting this or receiving the Kindle Fire HD 8.9, you'll be very impressed!
  • Camelio, featuring Android 4.1 (JellyBean): The Vivitar 4GB Camelio 7" Android Family Tablet is great for kids! Thanks to the Camelio Tablet, parents can finally take their smartphones and expensive tablets away from their children (some parents love it so much, that they sometimes take it from their kids to check their emails!). It's a real Android Tablet (has Google Play with parent controls) for kids (they prefer this over an iPad) that connects to wifi, downloads apps (kids can download educational apps for school, which is a plus) and games effectively and has a front and rear camera! It enables up to five custom profiles (ie., Barbie, Hello Kitty, My LIttle Pony, Hot Wheels, Monster High, Thomas and Friends, WWF) through the use of optional Personality Packs, where each pack is sold separately and features custom wallpapers, widgets, lock screens, camera/photo editors and a themed bumper case. Also, they each include a variety of licensed games, videos, music and books as well. The tablet has a 7" capacitive touch panel with 1024 x 600 resolution and 5-point multi-touch support. It also provides 4GB of flash storage and a microSD card slot that affords up to 32GB of memory expansion. It's equipped with a 1.1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM as well. The tablet features built-in Wi-Fi, a front 0.5MP camera and a rear 2MP camera. It supports HD video and parental controls as well. The Camelio also includes a variety of pre-loaded content for apps, games, music, video, art and other educational tools.
  • Hydro ELITE water proof smartphone by Kyocera (now free on with two year Verizon contract or $14.65 a month on Verizon Edge or $349.99 with month to month, and save $13 on an accessory bundle). The Hydro Elite water proof smartphone is now free with a two year Verizon contract (network band is CDMA), so hurry and get this for yourself or someone special for Valentine's Day! What's great about this smartphone is the waterproof design (finally you can have a piece of mind when on a trip to the beach, pool, amusement park, ski trip, or out when it's raining), where the Hydro Elite is fully sub-mergible up to three feet for 30 minutes! This is perfect for parents with babies and toddlers, people who work in the following areas, such as construction, police force, fire department, life guards or summer camp counselors. The tight 720p display is also a pleasure to use, but the handset is held back by its less-than-stellar call quality. The Hydro Elite is so also a great Android phone for those who don't like huge wireless devices, but want a smartphone with all the great qualities of a large, sophisticated mobile device. This sleek, waterproof phone comes fully packed with all of the Android features so many people enjoy, allows you to hear calls in noisy environments such as busy city traffic and screaming kids (it boasts of being effective you can even hear clearly while wearing a bike helmet, noise-canceling headphones or ear protection, as long as the phone rests near your ear)! It has an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash, record videos in 1080p HD to watch on its 4.3 HD screen and easily share with friends and family. This smartphone is very user friendly, as it's great for smartphone gurus, as well as, first time users such as grand parents (novice users can check out the optional Starter Mode with its tap-based menus, large fonts, intuitive graphics and simplified controls).
  • Lenovo Yoga Tablet: Lenovo launched its first multimode Yoga Tablet (available in 8 and 10 inches) during the fall with actor, tech investor and Lenovo's latest product engineer, Ashton Kutcher. Lenovo's Yoga Tablet one of the best new tablets out in the market today, as it boasts of much better way for users to benefit the most out of their tablets. This tablet has three unique modes which are hold, stand and tilt, to treat fatigue when using tablets, allow for ease of being on a flat surface, and perfect viewing angle on a flat surface. Thanks to the Lenovo Yoga Tablet, ergonomics (great for grand parents too), voice recognition (awesome for dictating instead of typing) and long battery life (18 hours) are amazing, and the MicroSD slot is a plus. Now, users don't have to have bad backs and necks when using a tablet, because this amazing tablet caters to normal ways users operate when using use tablets! It's also so comfortable and natural to hold with one hand (simply change the viewing angle whenever desired), due to its special cylindrical handle which fits a user's hand (now it's convenient and so incredibly easy, fast and responsive which is great when it comes to games, emails, web surfing, checking social media). Screen Size 10.1 inches, Screen Resolution 1280 x 800 pixels, Processor 1.2 GHz Intel Celeron, RAM - 1 GB LPDDR2, Hard Drive 16 GB, Battery Life - 18 hours.
  • Moto X: Moto X, the only smartphone that's specially designed by the user (designed and assembled in the U.S.A.), is now available at all major U.S. carriers such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon for only $49.99 (with a two year contract). Moto X now comes in natural wood and every wood grain is different, just like you! The Black and White devices are available at Republic Wireless and U.S. Cellular. The Moto X makes a great gift, because it's one of the best Google smartphones to date! As a refresher, other great Google devices are the Droid RAZR Maxx, Droid RAZR HD, Droid RAZR M, Droid Ultra and Droid Mini. Many people enjoy being recognized for their own individual style, and feel a sense of pride when they're seen with a unique smartphone. The Moto X by Motomaker allows you to express yourself by customizing your smartphone (choose colors for the back, front, accent and case colors) with 2,000+ possibilities to choose from! Display is 4.7" (L 2.57", W .4", H 4.88") and weighing at 4.6 ounces, its ergonomic design is one of its best strengths (curved back, slim feel, very easy to hold especially for those with smaller hands). It runs on Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean), processor speed is 1.7GHz, and users can choose memory size of 16GB or 32GB, add a name or greeting that appears when turning on device, choose own wallpaper and pre-sync it with own Google account. Moto X owners get an extra 50GB of Google Drive storage free for two years to safely keep and share photos, documents and other files (in addition to the standard 15GB)! The Moto X can respond to users' voice (no touching required to make calls, send texts, play songs or ask a question and get an answer back), instantly becomes a camera with two twists of the wrist (its two megapixel front facing camera is perfect for "selfies"), and discreetly alerts of notifications without draining its long lasting battery (2200 mAh. Mixed usage up to 24 hours). Good news for serious gamers, Moto X is great for playing some of the most intensive games without heating up, thanks its amazing battery life and its lower powered dual core processor.
  • NEC Terrain: This uber rugged and sturdy phone will survive the rockiest conditions, which makes this an ideal smartphone for those who work in the most rigorous and tough professions, such as but not limited to military, police force, fire department, vigorous sports, fishing, logging, farming, mining, roofing, sanitation, movers and truckers, and stunt doubles. The Nec Terrain is now only $49.99 with a two year AT&T contract (network is GSM which is great for those who do a lot of international travel, or switch phones often). This isn't an average Android smartphone, because Nec Terrain is AT&T's toughest wireless device for demanding users who don't have time to dilly-dally with stylus pens, or to be careful not to crack, scratch or wet their smartphones due to their professions. The Nec Terrain is incredibly rugged, waterproof, dustproof, durable. It comes with clear and loud speakers, and easy to use QWERTY keyboard, which is great for burly, strong, rugged men (who work in active professions and don't have time to take out the S pen) with large fingers. Its scratch resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 2.0 touch screen, bright and responsive display (can be easily viewed even in direct sunlight), Google Maps, enhanced Push To Talk capability (great for those who work outdoors during cold winter season, so they leave gloves on and still be able to talk), earSmart™ technology by Audience (allows for sharp voice even in noisy city streets full of traffic), microSD card slot that's expandable up to 32GB and microSD privacy encryption are all very useful for those who work in harsh environments.
  • Nokia Lumia 1020: For those who love the Nokia Lumia 920, then you'll be even more happy with the Nokia Lumia 1020 (it looks similar to the Lumia 920 with a "fanny")! What's great about Nokia Lumia 1020 for all Windows Phones users (potential new users too, as many iPhone 5 users agree Lumia 1020's camera is better) is that it's the best Windows Phones one can get that acts as both a top quality camera and a smartphone! This 41-megapixel cameraphone is an LTE-enabled, high-definition Windows Phone 8 smartphone with the best camera (it has Xenon flash instead of LED) that any smartphone out in the market today offers. It's the game changer when it comes to the camera (41 megapixel camera that delivers sophisticated zooming capability) and a secondary video camera (great for recording video and capturing still images). The outstanding 41 megapixel camera captures great images, and enables the user zoom in really deep into an image. It's sort of like creating a story within a story. Nokia developed a lot of great apps to help the camera do its job, especially the Pro Camera app. The Pro Cam has many great features that allows users a great deal of granularity over the image, so you can control everything from the white balance, manual focus, ISO, shutter speed (exposure time). This great app captures both the zoomed in 5 megapixel image and the 38 megapixel image simultaneously, so users can reframe the image and focus on different things. The Pro Cam is flexible for those who simply don't want too much going on, because it has the option to capture 5 megapixel. For those who are not as technical and don't necessary want a lot of those controls, there are other great apps such as the Nokia Smart Cam app (Best Shot, Change Faces, Action Shot, Motion Focus and Remove Moving Objects), which is great for users who take photos with a point and shoot, because it offers options to select the best photos. This smartphone also offers great video recording. Its image stabilization is amazing for still shots which is very helpful because the camera stays put even when you move; oversampling offers accurate and vibrant colors really; and the microphone, performs even better than Lumia 920.
  • The Samsung Note 3 and Galaxy Gear which launched over the fall make a perfect match and the ultimate Valentine's Day gift for tech lovers!

- Let's start with the Samsung Galaxy Gear first, because this is more than just a watch. This is an amazing new advanced mobile assistant that allows you to administer emails, calls, texts, calendar, contacts, pictures and more - all without having to retrieve your smartphone from your purse, brief case or pocket! We all know how clumsy it can get when trying to find our smartphones, especially during last minute holiday shopping or during rush hour when going to or coming home from work. The Galaxy Gear weighs about 2.6 ounces, and is available in six colors: beige, black, gray, green, orange and rose gold. It looks attractive, chic, fashion forward, sleek and trendy, no matter what color you choose, thanks to the elegant, sleek and sophisticated looking metal front. It runs on Android 4.3 (Jellybean), works with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2, or Galaxy S3 via bluetooth (this comes in very handy when trying to locate your Samsung smartphone), and uses S Voice, so you can make a call, schedule a meeting, check the weather or take a picture with ease and speed! The Galaxy Gear is dust and water resistant, and works like the speed of light, thanks to its 800MHz CPU, 4GB of memory, 512MB of RAM and 315mAh lithium ion battery (can last a day for regular use). Its super amoled display is 1.63" with a 320 x 320 resolution, and the band is adorned with a built in mic and speakers (great for administering calls), a cool built-in 1.9MP camera with auto focus, and 720p HD video for recording!

- A lot of smartphone users were incredibly excited when the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 launched, and it even acquired some devoted iPhone users, due to its phone and tablet capability. Now that the next best thing is here - the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is even more impressive then ever (it's by far, the best Samsung phone to-date)! When paired together, the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear can do it all. This incredible smartphone and smartwatch duo has great synergy - like that of an amulet separated from birth. This spectacular duo offers a huge and powerful smartphone for heavy duty tasks, and a convenient, small smartwatch to administer simpler tasks such as during rush hour, so you don't have to worry about losing your Galaxy Note 3 (S4, Note 2 or S3). The Galaxy Note 3 has great built in speakers and a battery capacity of 3200mAh, which lasts all day for regular users who don't watch a lot of videos or play games frequently (up to 25 hours of talk time and up to 22 days of stand by time). For avid gamers and social media devotees, the Galaxy Note 3 Spare Battery Charging System makes a wonderful gift. The Galaxy Note 3 is a very fast and powerful device which is a plus for those that enjoy switching apps, watching movies and videos and playing intense games. It runs on Android 4.3 Jellybean, Qualcomm® MSM8974 Pro, 2.3GHz quad core, up to 32GB of internal memory storage, up to 64GB of expandable memory storage, 3GB RAM. People with big hands absolute adore the Note 3's 5.7" full HD super amoled display, because it feels comfortable and is ample enough for web surfing and watching videos (it's like having a small HD tv). The HD display at 1920 x 1080 makes everything on the screen look very bright, clear, crisp and sharp. The Galaxy Note 3 is an incredible phone and tablet, because it can do so much that many users don't even need their laptops and tablets as often. Also the stylus is so helpful, that it can be more efficient and accurate than the on screen keyboard.

  • Samsung Galaxy S4, and its sibling - S4 Active (best waterproof smartphone thus far) are also great Samsung smartphones, that act like a companion, BFF or guardian angel that will keep you company (it's not so bad for those who don't have a date this Valentine's Day after all). The Galaxy S4's Smart Scroll call logs and text messages with just a tilt of your wrist, without having to touch it. Multi-tasking allows users to still engage in urgent emails and other vital school projects, simply by putting the hand over the screen. The Galaxy S4's dual-camera outstanding in that it allows you to utilize the front and rear cameras simultaneously, blend photos and even include a recorded message along with the pictures (perfect for on-campus students to send to parents). The S4's Beauty Shot and Eraser is very useful to remove unwanted people or objects from a photo, and the camera senses any motion that goes through the frame and allows users to remove it! The Smart Pause comes in very handy as it automatically pauses a video when it detects user looking away, and restarts the video when looking back at the S4 again. This phone is perfect for those who travel internationally, because its S Translate is an intuitive and real-time translator for nine different languages! The S Voice Drive listens to your voice so you can hear messages and instruct the S4 to reply, while driving hands-free which comes in handy when driving and expecting an urgent call or text. For the health conscious, the S Health can monitor the heart rate and blood sugar!

- For those who participate in water sports, the S4 Active is the best waterproof smartphone thus far! This dustproof and waterproof sibling of The Samsung Galaxy S4 is definitely a relief for all those who engage in water sports, because it's ok to get the S4 wet at the beach, pool, bar, bathrub, shower or toilet (hopefully you'll never have to go there). The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active can be dropped in bowl of water and it still works like a charm! When drowned in water (be sure to turn on the Aqua mode function), the S4 Active can still take photos, video and even make calls all while still being under water. The proof is in the photos of the picture gallery of this article, where I tested it myself at Pepcom (the world leader in technology showcases), by dropping the S4 Active in the water bowl and calling myself. Miraculously, my own phone was ringing with the S4 Active (that's submerged in the bowl of water) actually calling me. The S4 can be the water for 30 minutes, but was informed that the device has been in the bowl before the three hour event started! Do know the S4 Active is dust proof and waterproof companion or personal assistant that gets you organized, but it's not a rugged phone that you can play boxing or wrestling with.

  • The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is an amazing tablet that users may never want to go back to touchpad typing again! The stunning Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is ideal for presentations, sketches, watching a movie anywhere, any time and any place. Its display is clean, clear, colorful, crisp and the Note 8 has an option to use MicroSD chips to expand its storage (iPads don't have this great option nor any kind of memory card slot. Apple sell optional connection kits that supports SD cards, but they have very limited functionality). Its front and a back camera which produce clean, clear and crisp photos and videos. Note 8's camera is better quality than the iPad mini (Note 8 has 1280 x 800 resolution with 189 ppi; iPad mini 1024 x 768 resolution with 163 ppi). For those who love to watch movies and videos on their tablets, Note 8 has the Watch On feature which is comparable to a universal remote or video content hub! Note 8 comes with a very useful stylus - the S Pen (no need to settle for greasy fingerprints on tablet screens, thanks to the S Pen which feels so natural)! The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is now on sale for $359.99, which some people still consider is pricey for a small tablet, but your health is worth an extra $100! With new year's resolutions to lose weight, take this opportunity to sodas, candies, chocolate bars, cookies and chips, walk instead of driving or taking the bus or train for a couple of weeks, and you'll save enough for the Note 8 (much cheaper than joining a weight loss program). This tablet is way more convenient than carrying around a laptop and a tablet.
  • Samsung Chromebook is very easy to use, portable and economical. Simply turn it on, and that's it! No need to update and install anything, it charges like warp speed and lasts for more than six hours! This is perfect for anyone who needs a laptop to check emails, surf the web, cloud printing, save photos and documents on the cloud, has a full keyboard for typing with all fingers, has a great size screen and so lightweight (less than three pounds). If there are still any left, be sure to get the Samsung Chromebook 3G, because it offers free 100mb of data every month for the first two years!
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