2012 holiday gadget gift guide

The holiday gift giving deadline is fast approaching and for those who are still undecided, here’s a short guide to help you find the perfect gadget for yourself, family, or friends.

The holiday gift giving deadline is fast approaching and for those who are still undecided, here’s a short guide to help you find the perfect gadget for yourself, family, or friends.

Nokia Lumia 820

Nokia Lumia 810

Nokia Lumia 810/820

The mobile category is hot right now with thousands of devices to choose from. Nokia has made a fairly big gamble with the Lumia line of mobile phones with Windows 8. If this is a category you are considering, the midrange Lumia 820 (AT&T – $49.99) or Lumia 810 (T-Mobile – $99.99) is worth a look. This candy bar handset is about the size of an iPhone 5 sporting excellent build quality. The 810 and 820 vary slightly in size with the T-Mobile 810 version housing an upgraded front facing camera capable of 720 video using a 1.2 mp camera, perfect for those who Skype or do video chats. Both models run Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and feature Nokia City Lens, an augmented reality GPS enabled app. It also offers free downloadable maps to allow offline turn by turn navigation without the need for a mobile connection. 

Mugen Power extended battery for Samsung Note II

Mugen Power Note II battery pack

As great as the Samsung Note II is, power is often a challenge for the 5.5” quad-core driven phablet. Mugen Power has the solution providing an extended battery pack doubling the Note II’s 3,400 mAh to a whopping 6,400 mAh. If you use the Note II for navigation, this is a must have. To accommodate such a large battery, they ship a new back-plate which sports a kickstand allowing you to use the Note II like a mini tablet. It’s a new product and they can’t ship until the end of the year but early shoppers will be rewarded with a discount code (COUNTDOWN) ranging from 12% to 1% (the discount is reduced by 1% each day).

T-Mobile Sonic HotSpot

T-Mobile Hotspot

For those who need to connect multiple devices while away from any public hotspots, T-Mobile offers Sonic 4G Mobile HotSpot capable of connecting 5 devices, each at full speed. The device is currently free after rebate with plan prices ranging from $40 – $80. It features 4G, 3G, and EDGE connectivity and includes a microSD card slot for up to 32GB of sharable data. Battery life is rated at 4.5 hours. It’s about the size of a small cell phone and weight 3.88 ounces.

Sprint Guardian

Sprint Guardian

Sprint Guardian is an app bundle that helps kids use their mobile phone safely and responsibly, whether they are at home, at school or on-the-go. Available on any Android smartphone from Sprint for $9.99 per month for up to five lines on an account, the apps include:

  • Sprint Mobile Controls – Clearly understand your child’s talk, text and app use habits. Lock your child’s phone on demand or schedule locks – during dinner, school or late at night. Browse your child’s contacts and apps downloaded to the phone.
  • Sprint Drive FirstAutomatically locks your teenagers’ mobile phones when they’re traveling more than 10 mph and unlocks when they stop driving. Directs incoming calls to voicemail and silence distracting alerts while driving.
  • Sprint Family Locator – Quickly and easily locate your family members on an interactive map. Set up automatic location checks to get notified that your kids made it to school safely and on time.