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RainyDayGiftGuide 2018: Phones and Headphones

Merry Holidays and Happy Christmas!!!

As in previous years, we have put together a series of RainyDayTastic GiftGuides for this holiday, full of suggestions for our readers. As with every one of our Guides, all of the items in this guide are either things we looked at, ones we reviewed and liked, or brand new gear we haven’t reviewed yet but we think you would like.

The one thing that stays the same year after year is our selection criteria: all of these recommendations are things we have actually touched and things we would actually want.

Happy Holidays!

Phones and Headphones

Samsung Galaxy S9+

Want an awesome camera that is also a great phone? Well, this is the approach Samsung took in creating the Galaxy S9+.

  • Camera: 12 MP rear, 8MP front
  • Memory: 64GB internal, expandable to 512GB external
  • Display: 6.2″ Edge-to-edge Infinity
  • Speakers: Stereo w/ Dolby Atmos Sound
  • Battery: Up to 4 days of stand-by time, to 31 hrs of usage time
  • IP68 rating: withstands splashes, spills, rain, and can take a dip

The S9+’s Dual Aperture lens (supports F1.5 and F2.4 modes) adapts like the human eye. It’s able to automatically switch between various lighting conditions, capturing photos that look great whether it’s bright or dark, day or night.

Its 960 FPS super slow-mo captures up to 4 times as many frames per second, so you can slow down reality and enjoy every frame. Get clear, crisp photos even at a distance using the Clear Zoom feature. Select Live Focus mode to adjust background blur and better capture your subject. Take advantage of a dual aperture f2.4-f1.5 lens that lets in just the right amount of a light, even in dark or poorly-lit conditions.

Verizon Palm Companion Device

  • 3.3-inch, 445-ppi LCD display
  • 12 MP rear/ 8MP front cameras
  • Snapdragon 435 processor w/3GB RAM + 32GB storage

Palm? What? Is it a phone? What? Why? (Keep reading, it’ll make sense in a minute…)

OK. First off, this device is NOT the from Palm of the PDA days. Yes, the name is the same, but only because the company that makes this gadget bought the rights to the name from TCL. Why? We don’t know…maybe just so people from the gadgets days of yore will say “What?”

Anyway, it took us awhile to shake off our preconceptions and wrap our heads around this cool little “companion device,” but once we did, we could see what its creators are trying for.

Well, for those who has seen the movie “Predators,” there is a scene where the alien had a touch screen on the back of its forearm…, this is that. Oh…hmmm. Cool!

The Palm “phone” is exclusive to Verizon.  This “companion” device is something which can only be added onto an existing Verizon plan because it shares the “main” phone’s number. It is something you take with you INSTEAD of your larger phone for those situations where having something “big” is not convenient but being “disconnected” from the typical digital social tethers is not an option.

OK. Why? Think of it in the same way as “why buy a smartwatch?” Then say…what if the watch had a 12MP camera, a slightly bigger display, but just…well, less of the stuff that sucks up all your free time. Oh, you know what we are talking about, and we know you know what we’re talking about…

iFrogz Audio Impulse Duo

Want an in-ear wireless headphone that is lightweight, comfortable, and affordable? The Impulse Duo from iFrogz checks all of those boxes and more. 

The Impulse Duo features dual 6mm drivers in a lightweight design, connects via Bluetooth, and will last for around 10 hrs.

The controller has a clip which serves as both as a means for attaching the remote to the user’s shirt and as a “cord wrangler” when not in use.

Don’t let its small size fool you, the dual 6mm drivers manage to put out a balanced treble and mid-range with a reasonable level of bass.

Bose SoundSport Free in-ear headphones

These Bose SoundSport headphones that play consistently and clearly regardless whether the phone is in your hand, in your pocket, strapped to your arm or sitting on top of the treadmill…and no, there’s never a wire in sight.

  • Reliable BT connections
  • Volume-optimized EQ
  • Water resistant
  • 5 hr battery &  charging case

These earbuds aren’t afraid of sweat or rain. The volume-optimized EQ and Bose digital signal processing make music sound full and balanced at any volume.

Off a single charge, the earbuds will play for up to five hours. To charge, just place them in the case. The case keeps the headsets protected while providing two additional full charges (or up to 10 hours of battery life). Also, a quick 15-minute charge will give 45 minutes of battery life.

These wireless in-ear headphones were engineered to stay in place, and stay comfortable. The nozzle of the tips are designed to spread contact evenly around the inside of the ear, with other parts conforming to the shape of the upper ridge of the ear. The result is these buds won’t fall out, allowing the wearer to focus on what they are doing!!!

Monolith M650 over-the-ear headphones

The Monolith M650 by Monoprice is an open-back, over-the-ear pair of headphones that offers great looks, amazing comfort, and superior sound all at an amazing price.

The M650 is an excellent choice for those who want to get “lost” in their music.

Featuring a 50mm beryllium dynamic driver in an open back design, the M650 offers spacious imaging, smooth midrange, and detailed highs. The padded headband provides comfortable and lightweight. The velour and leather ear pads provide sustained long listening comfort.

The open back design creates an open, accurate, and natural soundscape. Instead of an “inside your head,” isolated experience with in-ear headphones, the M650’s experience is generally wider in presence and feels as if you are in the middle of a live performance.

Amazon links to items mentioned:

Verizon links to items mentioned:

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