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- PHILLIPS: The benefits of defying ‘common wisdom’
- Judge strikes down Arkansas abortion law — nation’s toughest — as unconstitutional
- Court: Tenn. must recognize 3 same-sex marriages
- Russia claims to have downed U.S. drone over Crimea region; Pentagon denies
- John Daly shoots 90 at PGA Tour event: ‘I’m falling apart’
- Police: Man arrested in West Virginia may be linked to Alexandria killings
- Smile: Equipping cops with body-mounted cameras gains steam in Calif., N.Y.
- Obama to sign bill cutting taxpayer money for party conventions
- Half of Americans worried about second Cold War: poll
Plug into a very techie Christmas
When you’re busting down retailers’ doors, ‘yule’ find lots to like
Phone of the year, maybe the decade:There really is no contest, as far as this reviewer is concerned: Apple’s iPhone 5 outclasses rivals with a mix of many available applications, a stunning display and, oh yes, very good battery life. This is a smartphone that can run all day without needing a recharge. Pricing starts at $199 for a 16GB model (with a wireless service plan), but, trust me: Spend $399 for the 64GB model. As I’ve said before, you’ll thank me.
Nokia’s Lumia 920 smartphone, available right now exclusively through AT&T, seems a bargain at $99.99, but user complaints about the phone’s stability cloud its future. The phone uses Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system, but the technical hassles — my test unit was singularly not nice — raise a caution flag for me. If you chance this, get a promise that you can trade it in if need be.
Accessorize: Looking for earbuds for that tablet or smartphone? Look no further than RHA’s noise isolating, in-ear MA450i ones, list price $49.95, They’re machined from solid, aircraft-grade aluminum. The firm says “10mm [audio] drivers are housed within unique, aerophonically designed earphones engineered to produce outstanding audio,” and I can’t disagree one bit. Also nice are the range of interchangeable ear tips (for a great fit) and a 1.5m fabric braided cable, equipped with an Apple-compatible, three-button, in-line remote and microphone for phone calls.
Another nice item is a good case: The AYANO: Luminous Collection of phone case/clutches for the iPhone 5 clock in at $59.99, but also define luxury: They feature an enlarged camera hole to reduce shadow and glare for instant picture taking, without removing the phone; compartments for cash, credit cards and ID; and a convertible strap allowing the case to be carried as a clutch, wristlet or mini purse.
Don’t need a clutch? Try the Acase: Collatio, a card case/iPhone holder of leather and suede that will hold your phone in style. The price is $39.99, and you can order it from Amazon.com.
Sending the children to school with a tablet or notebook computer? Backpacks from iSafe come with a concealed audible alarm system with an undetectable activation pin conveniently built in to the shoulder strap. The maker says an activated alarm “yields a shrilling noise and flashing lights, to bring attention to any potentially harmful or dangerous situations.” The Urban Crew Campus Laptop Backpack model ($89.99) has seven zippered compartments, a computer sleeve, an audio player pocket and padded shoulder straps for added comfort. The pack comes in five bright color schemes, including black, red, purple, green and pink, and weighs 3 pounds with the alarm system and batteries when empty. It might come in handy someday.
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About the Author
Mark A. Kellner is a religion columnist for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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