Get Mom a Smartphone Built for the Drops and Spills of Everyday Life

Smartphones have become ingrained in our lives: as personal assistants, mini computers, navigators, gaming devices and more. But the average device can’t withstand the rigors of everyday life. In fact, the yearly volume of cracked screens and waterlogged phones suggest many people’s daily lives aren’t safe enough for smartphones. Most moms know their smartphones won’t even survive 5 minutes with a toddler.

It’s not just construction crews, contractors and other outdoor, on-the-go jobs that demand a rugged smartphone. Avid hikers, fitness buffs, concert goers, athletes, cooks and the average parent can all attest to the need for some digital gear that helps them live more and fear their technology less. Most phones aren’t equipped for the daily rigors of parenthood, let alone adrenaline-seekers who rock climb, bike, kayak and ski or snowboard regularly.

Switch to Smartphones and Reap Rewards

Believe it or not, some people are afraid of switching to smartphones. Only youth still abide by the “smaller is better” mentality, and some adults are boggled by handheld devices with more bells and whistles and fewer tactile buttons. Not to mention the data plan that costs extra each month. Despite these heavy considerations, upgrading to a smartphone yields enough savings to outweigh the other impacts – if you do it right.

Tips for Holiday Tech Toy Shopping

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Do you want a new computer, gadget or electronic “toy” this holiday season? If so, then listen up! Here are tips for shoppers looking to purchase new electronics:

– Know what you want. Does your travelling partner need a smart phone or personal digital assistant (PDA) to access contacts, memos and e-mail from the road?

Perhaps your college-aged daughter wants a laptop that she can use for photos, music and videos. Knowing what an electronic device needs to do will determine the features and memory required.

– Just the facts. Each season, new gadgets and computers flood the market with bells and whistles designed to catch your eye, and your wallet. Shop smart. Before heading to the store, prioritize add-ons separating the features you need from those that “might be nice.”

If your brother “might” need GPS on his new cellphone, skip it. Ignore extras that are tempting but not necessary, no matter what a salesperson says.

– Trust the pros. Read reviews to find out what gadgets live up to their hype. Check out reviews on Consumer Reports’ (www.consumerreports.org/cro/electronics-computers/index.htm), a non-profit, independent organization that tests products and services.

For technology equipment, visit computer-industry Web sites like CNET (www.cnet.com), PC World (www.pcworld.com) and PC Magazine (www.pcmag.com).

– Keep it all together. Mind the components and manuals that come with new gadgets. If the device needs to be returned to the manufacturer or store within the first 30 to 60 days, it might need to be repackaged exactly the way it came. Knowing where everything is also helps with troubleshooting and resale.

– Give the gift that gives back. For new computers especially, it’s a nice touch to help loved ones protect their digital assets -; music, movies, photographs and documents. Consider software like Acronis True Image Home (www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/), which for $49.99 automatically backs up hard drives.

If there is a virus or other breakdown, backup software allows you to restore digital memories in a matter of minutes. When shopping, look for features that allow easy file transfer to a new device, and that will wipe an old device clean to remove sensitive information before it’s recycled or donated.