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Top 26 Valentine’s Day gifts for 2023

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Dash mini waffle maker

Breakfast in bed, anyone? The Dash heart-shaped waffle maker can be used for delicious syrupy breakfasts or even some delicious hash browns and paninis. If waffle hearts are too cute for you, remember that you can always turn them upside down and use some creative trimming to turn them into something a little more…”cheeky”.
Price: $9.99+

Lego juicer

Lego Succulents are the perfect gift if your special someone has a penchant for killing houseplants. The 771-piece set allows you to build something with your partner without having to worry about the sudden demise of your green friends, which can bring some color and personality to your living area or workspace.
Price: $44.99

Catalonia hoodie

True love is being comfortable enough around each other that you don’t care how silly you look – and it’s no more comfortable than a hoodie blanket. Catalan pullovers are great for snuggling up on the couch during the colder months, and they come in so many colors and patterns that you can get one to suit your style.
Price: $34.99

Courant Mag: 1 primary magnetic charger (with optional monogram)

Courant’s Qi Magnetic Charger works great for squeezing your MagSafe-compatible Android phone or iPhone overnight. However, unlike most tech, it doesn’t stand out as an eyesore on your bedside table. Each is covered in either smooth fabric or high-quality leather, and for $10 more, you can get them monogrammed for a little extra luxury.
Price: $40+

Fujifilm instax mini 11

Few devices are as charming in capturing social events and documenting everyday life as Fujifilm’s Instax cameras. The Mini 11 is our favorite of the bunch, mainly because it offers great ease of use and picture quality within an affordable package. There is something special about instant film because every photo is unique.
Price: $69.95

Apple AirPods (3rd generation)

The third-generation AirPods are the perfect place to be if you want to gift a set of adorable iPhone wireless earphones for Valentine’s Day. They’re a step up from the last-gen model in terms of sound, yet your partner is less likely to think you’re overspending like you were going to buy the AirPods Pro. In addition, they offer IPX4 water resistance and the same ease of use as previous models.
Price: $174.95+

iRobot Roomba j7 Plus

You don’t have to argue about who gets stuck doing the vacuuming if you have a robovac. The iRobot Roomba j7 Plus is our top pick for vacuums thanks to its smart auto-mapping feature and self-emptying cleaning station. Plus, you can name it in the iRobot app like a pet, it can help clean up after you instead of the other way around.
Price: $799

Xi’an famous foods By Jason Wang and Jessica K. Shaw

If you have fond memories of going out together to eat Chinese food, you should try making your own noodles and dumplings at home. Xi’an Famous Foods is an excellent chain of noodle shops in New York City, and their excellent cookbook can help you whip up some of their delicious recipes beautifully without stepping out of your door.
Price: $19.29

Amazon Kindle (2022)

If your partner is a big reader, Amazon’s latest Kindle is the e-reader to buy. It has USB-C charging and a screen as sharp as the Kindle Paperwhite, yet it comes in a smaller, more affordable package. It even comes standard with 16GB of storage, which is more than enough for the average person’s reading collection.
Price: $74.99

Mophie Powerstation 10K with MagSafe

The Powerstation 10K from Mophie supports full MagSafe wireless charging speeds with compatible iPhones, and its sturdy metal stand means it can live on your desk as a charging stand when you’re not on the move. It has a capacity of 10,000mAh / 37Wh as well, which can take even a large iPhone battery from flat to fully charged while saving energy.
Price: $129.95

Garmin Vivomove Sport

Your partner doesn’t have to wear a chunky, computer-like smartwatch to achieve their fitness goals. The perfect blend of form and function, the Garmin Vivomove Sport is a smartwatch that looks like a traditional watch but offers the ability to track your heart rate and various workouts. Its size is also great for smaller wrists – something that can’t be said about Apple’s latest wearable.
Price: $149.99

Paper leather notebooks

A quality notebook isn’t just a place to write things down; It’s a little keepsake that can help motivate someone in your life to keep their thoughts organized. These Papier leather notebooks come in an array of beautiful colors and designs and can be personalized with a monogram initial on the front or one of the many stylized accents.
Price: $55

We’re Not Really Strangers: Couples Edition

You’ll be amazed at the new things you can learn about a person even after years of dating – all you have to do is ask. The Couples Edition of We Not Really Strangers contains 150 questions to share with your partner that are sure to spark some deep and enlightening conversations. And if being heartfelt doesn’t come easy, consider pairing the cards with a little liquid courage.
Price: $20

Netgear GS308 Networking Switch

What’s more romantic than Ethernet ports? One could argue that there are few signs of commitment greater than stability with eight ports of beautifully unmanaged gigabit connections. Well, if you get a sideways look from your Valentine for this gift, you can complain to our news reporter John Porter for suggesting it (or me for taking it seriously).
Price: $21.99

Cook this book by Molly Baz

Cooking together is a great shared experience, but it can be a little stressful if you’re not the most skilled chef. Luckily, Cook this book It offers a number of great dishes with great design and excellent photos, not to mention scannable QR codes for easy access to video tutorials. Making tacos or grilled chicken with pastrami has never been easier.
Price: $23.78+

Alessi Pulcina espresso maker (3 cups)

A good espresso cup is like a work of art, and Alessi’s quirky Pulcina pot has a modern, gallery-worthy design. The three-cup espresso maker is the perfect size for an after-dinner caffeine kick for two, and it looks great in any home, regardless of whether you opt for the red knob or the jet black variant.
Price: $88.98+

Kodak M35 film camera

Kodak’s small M35 is essentially a disposable camera that can be reused with 35mm film rolls of your choice. Magic Shooter is a fun way to get into analog photography and create some low-resolution images, which you can either cherish especially or scan and upload to the ‘gram for the whole world to see later.
Price: $17.99

quarry
(PC, PlayStation, Xbox)

play quarry It’s sure to make for some good (and suspenseful) date nights spent indoors. This interactive slasher flick from Supermassive Games has you taking turns playing teenage counselors, the kind inevitably tasked with overseeing a camp plagued by supernatural events. Just don’t get too upset if one of you kills off someone’s favorite character.
Price: $49.99

Motorola Talkabout T482 radios

There is something endearing and elegant about a one-on-one conversation over a walkie-talkie. They’re functional for everyday home use or when you’re out camping and hiking, sure, but there’s also teenage dizziness that comes with using them around the house (or in your house, if you’re close enough).
Price: $99

Ember 2 Mug (14 oz)

Never let your favorite drink cool down, even if you’re down to the last few drops. The Ember Mug 2 makes a great gift for any coffee or tea lover who tends to get distracted before they finish their cup, especially since it allows them to set the smart mug to the perfect drinking temperature and hold that temperature for up to 80 minutes.
Price: $124.95+

Maison Balzac party glasses

With Maison Balzac glasses, you can celebrate with your loved one even if it’s just the two of you. The elegant glassware comes in all kinds of fun and distinctive shapes that work just as well for white wine as cocktails. Needless to say, you and your partner may end up looking for any occasion just to top them off with some champagne.
Price: $45+

sonos rom

The Sonos Roam is a great Bluetooth speaker that’s great for on-the-go jams as well as for home use thanks to its seamless integration with the rest of the Sonos ecosystem. It also supports hands-free voice commands and features a water-resistant design, so you can take it to the beach or even make it your shower speaker.
Price: $179

Google Pixel Buds A-Series

Despite their age, the Google Pixel Buds A-Series are a great pair of wireless earbuds with good mics and great sound quality for the price. They work best with Android phones, but can be used with most Bluetooth devices and feature enough passive noise cancellation to isolate you from the outside world nicely.
Price: $79

NASA mission patches

If your partner is fascinated by space, there are all kinds of NASA sick patches you can help them collect, covering a range of missions and spacecraft. They’re great for decorating a denim jacket, decorating a home office, or dressing up anything else you’d like to decorate with your miniature Hubble Telescope.
Price: $5.75+

Speaker Ikea Symphony bookshelf

Ikea’s Symfonisk bookshelf speaker is the most affordable way to start building a Wi-Fi-connected home speaker setup or add to your existing Sonos ecosystem. The versatile mini speaker looks great and fits just about anywhere or with any décor. You can also set up a group for multi-room listening or even use it as a surround for your Sonos speaker.
Price: $119.99

aghast

Horrified is a cooperative table game that pits you against classic horror movie monsters, including Dracula, Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, The Mummy, and Frankenstein’s monster. It’s fun to play as a couple since it only allows four players, and the difficulty can be adjusted from beginner-friendly to grueling depending on how much you want to test yourself.
Price: $39.99

Nanoleaf Mini Triangles (10 Pack)

There is more than just lighting candles to set the mood. Fortunately, Nanoleaf Mini Triangles are wall-mountable light panels that allow you to better highlight your living space. You can set them to all kinds of fun — or even romantic — colors and patterns via an app, or sync them with your smart home system for useful automation.
Price: $99.99

Vinyl Bros. Records Presentation Set (8-Pack)

With a standard display, you can turn the highlights of your vinyl collection into a 12″ x 12″ wall art display. Because nothing says “I love you” like giving your partner the okay to view their limited edition by clicking on Sonic Spinball The soundtrack in your home.
Price: $25.64

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Smartphone scams are dead – Android Authority

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Robert Triggs/Android Authority

Ten years ago, the 2013 Samsung Galaxy S4 was a technological marvel. Android phones had only been around for a few years at that point, and it seemed like the Galaxy S4 could do a lot despite its small size. As consumers, we were delighted. So much so, that to this day the Galaxy S4 remains the best-selling Android phone of all time, with over 80 million units sold.

However, that was ten years ago – an eternity in the tech world. Things have changed dramatically since then. The smartphone tricks we saw in the Galaxy S4 — like the Smart Scroll, which let you scroll the contents of your screen by moving your head up or down — would be completely ridiculous to see in a 2023 phone.

Today, smartphones are ubiquitous gadgets, not technical marvels. Consumers are using their phones more than ever before, yes, but that has faded the shine. Modern smartphone buyers don’t want gimmicks. They want a phone that fixes the basics and hides in the background.

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In 2023, if a smartphone manufacturer thinks that some cool new trick will be the backbone that sells its phones, it will be in a world of disappointment. Not only will consumers care, but investing in research and development for this trick could do more harm than good.

What are the tricks of the smartphone?

Google Pixel 4 XL Long Range 2 review

Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

The term “gimmick” can be used broadly. In general, when it comes to smartphones, we think of gimmicks as features that are only applicable to very specific situations, appeal to a limited subset of users, or offer no real value (or some combination thereof).

One of history’s most egregious examples of smartphone scams was the Soli radar system in the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. Soli was a set of front-facing radar sensors that could track your hand movements. They let you do things like pause the music simply by waving your hand near the screen. While Soli performed as advertised, consumers simply didn’t care, and the Pixel 4 series was the biggest failure in Pixel history.

If your star phone feature only appeals to a few people, it’s probably a gimmick.

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A more recent example came with the OnePlus 10 Pro last year. This phone was equipped with an ultra-high resolution camera with a field of view of 150 degrees. This was essentially a fish-eye lens, creating highly distorted images that looked unreal. Although software trickery helped fix images in post-processing, critics and consumers alike saw no need for such a bizarre lens. OnePlus eliminated the lens on this year’s OnePlus 10T and OnePlus 11.

Here are some other smartphone tricks we’ve seen:

  • foreign matter: OnePlus recently announced the Jupiter Rock Edition of the OnePlus 11. It has a back that is basically made of rock. Who asked for this?
  • Macro lenses: While a great telephoto lens can be an interesting addition to a solid lens collection, most of the time that’s not the case. Often, OEMs will throw in cheap 2MP macro lenses to make a phone look more premium than it is. In other words, the thought process is that more lenses = better cameras, which consumers are no longer fooled by.
  • Super fast charging: While it’s crazy to see 240W charging speeds on a smartphone (that’s fast enough to charge from empty to full in about ten minutes), who really needs that? These speeds are also said to be detrimental to the health of the battery, thus shortening the life of your phone.
  • Cooling systems: Lenovo Legion Duel 2 – a gaming phone – had a cooling fan built into it. While this is practical for a phone designed for gamers, it also made the phone unwieldy, prevented an IP rating, and made wireless charging impossible. It solved one problem at the expense of basic smartphone features. Likewise, OnePlus’ latest concept phone has a liquid cooling system that didn’t even work.

These gimmicks don’t help sell phones because they don’t give us what we really want: a great overall experience.

But what about phones in specific niches, like rugged phones? Is the rugged phone a gimmick? I’d argue it isn’t, but they also don’t sell in the numbers we’d see with something like the Galaxy S series. These phones exist for specific purposes for a specific consumer, so they get a special pass.

The current smartphone successes are all the evidence you need

Google Pixel 7 Pro camera housing

Robert Triggs/Android Authority

We know why smartphone manufacturers invest in these kinds of tricks. They obviously think they’ll help sell the phones or, at the very least, help their products stand out from the crowd. This is an odd strategy because the most successful phones tend to be relatively gimmick-free.

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Here in the US, the iPhone is by far the most popular smartphone. For the first time ever, Apple has more than 50% of the market in the US, leaving the other half to Android OEMs (mostly Samsung). The iPhone doesn’t have a lot of tricks. One could argue that Dynamic Island is a gimmick, but it’s one that consumers seem to enjoy, so it doesn’t really count.

Unsurprisingly, the most successful phones are also some of the most gimmick-free.

In second place, Samsung’s Galaxy S series also stands out as being gimmick-free. The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s S Pen may be a bit gimmicky for some. However, it’s also incredibly popular and a calling card for a premium Galaxy experience, so we’ll be happy to let this feature slip. Despite this, the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus are pretty boring with how functional and no-nonsense they are. And guess what? The Galaxy S23 line is selling better than the Galaxy S22 line.

Of course, we can’t forget about Google’s pixel font. The Google Pixel 7 Pro doesn’t have any weird tricks up its sleeve, and was voted the best Android phone of 2022 by both Android Authority And our readers. It’s interesting that when Google gave up the tricks, it ended up selling more phones than ever before.

Obviously, phones can reach consumers without gimmicks. However, Dynamic Island and the S Pen show that there is still room for fun and doing things differently.

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However, phones can still be fun

None Phone Number 1 graphic on the back

Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

We’ve already discussed plenty of examples of stupid smartphone tricks that get in the way of a good experience. However, some tricks work.

Take Nothing Phone 1, for example. The lights on the back of the device — officially known as The Glyph — appear to be a ridiculous gimmick. Once you use the phone, you will realize that it is actually an Android smartphone with a strange light show added. In other words, The Glyph can be ignored, and you’ll still get a great Android experience with a very fair cost-to-value ratio.

I’m not against the trick. There is plenty of room for fun features.

This is a great example of how doing tricks properly can be beneficial. Nothing crammed into The Glyph comes at the expense of wireless charging, a premium feel, or a decent camera system. Use the trick as a light garnish on top of a satisfying meal. It’s a beautiful detail that highlights an already well-done dish.

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Google’s Magic Eraser is another example of a gimmick that works. With the Pixel’s camera experience already being one of the best (if not the best) phone camera experiences available, the Magic Eraser feature exists as a useful tool for people looking to fix otherwise great photos. It was not Need Magic Eraser, but it’s practical and fun when you want it to be.

That’s all to say that smartphones don’t need to be boring. There’s plenty of room for fun gimmicks, cool aesthetics, and thought-provoking twists. But gimmicks can’t be the phone’s selling point. They must be side players.

OEMs will need to shift focus — or dump

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 1

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

Remember Lenovo Legion Duel 2, the phone with an integrated cooling system? Unfortunately, this trick didn’t work out very well for Lenovo. Recently, the company confirmed this Android Authority He shut down the Legion’s smartphone arm.

We’ve also mentioned OnePlus several times in this article. This company is not doing well either. There is a rumor that it could pull out along with sister brand OPPO from the European market either this year or in 2024. OnePlus has lost all carrier partnerships in the US, and its latest flagship — the OnePlus 11 — hasn’t gotten strong reviews. Again, tricks don’t seem to have helped here.

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What do you think of smartphone scams?

146 votes

This all supports my central argument: scams don’t sell phones. We’ve settled on wanting phones that excel at the essentials: battery life, camera, screen, usability, performance, and so on. I could also argue that design is just as important here, though it’s more subjective than something like battery life. What doesn’t matter are the extra lenses, radar systems, cooling fans, rock-solid backboards, and all the other tricks we’ve seen.

Companies that are stuck in 2013 and think cool gimmicks will sell a lot of phones will need to wake up from that dream sooner rather than later. Apple and Samsung eat your lunch and do so without relying on gimmicks. Make your phones awesome at a competitive price and we’ll buy it. Simply.

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All of my favorite games this year are old

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I also installed the original version Final Fantasy, the game that debuted when I was three years old, on Sony’s most advanced console yet, I came to a realization: everything I played this year was outdated. Between remakes, new releases, and vintage collections, there’s been a flood of nostalgia. I personally welcomed it.

These kinds of releases aren’t new, of course. What was different during the early months was the huge amount of classic releases. Two of the biggest movies so far this year – dead space And Resident Evil 4 – is a remake of titles from more than a decade ago. Both are slick, slick updates that don’t look out of place among recent big-budget releases, but part of what makes them so attractive is how straightforward they are. There are no open worlds filled with endless quests or live service items to keep you coming back. And most of these design decisions date back to their ages, as these games were made at a completely different time with very different expectations. In my review of Resident Evil 4 A remake, I called it “a video game like this,” and I meant that as a compliment.

Advance Wars 1 + 2: Re-Boot Camp.
Image: Nintendo

But they can also be a lot of work, frequently setting in to be all-consuming experiences that keep you hooked and never let go. Oh I love Fortnite Like everyone else, but that’s not all I want from my video games. Whether it is as complicated as RE4 Or simply put a scene from the opera Final Fantasy VI On my PS5, these games have returned a simplicity and focus I often find missing from their modern contemporaries. vampire And Final Fantasy They are very different experiences, but they give me the same feeling of a whole solo journey that I’m supposed to play through from start to finish. Same goes for the other old games I’ve been playing.

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Playing—and in many cases, replaying—these games was an exercise in reminding myself of what could be so great about a medium. The largest modern versions tend to imitate each other to the point where they are almost indistinguishable from one another. That’s what makes a lot of indie releases so exciting, and likewise, what keeps me coming back for all these new releases of old games — so it’s good to me that this trend shows no sign of stopping.

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NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell leaves Comcast due to ‘improper conduct’

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NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell will leave Comcast, effective immediately. The telecom giant made the surprising announcement in a brief press release Released on Sunday. After an investigation prompted by a complaint of improper conduct, Comcast says it has reached a “joint” decision with Shell that he should resign from his position.

“Today is my last day as CEO of NBCUniversal. I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret,” Shell said in a joint statement. “I am really sorry that I left my colleagues at Comcast and NBCUniversal, they are the most talented people in this field and the opportunity to work with them over the past 19 years has been a privilege.”

Comcast has not named a successor to Shell. in a note obtained diverseComcast CEO Brian Roberts and President Mike Kavanagh told employees they were “disappointed” to share the news. “We built this company on a culture of integrity. Nothing is more important than how we treat each other. You must count on your leaders to create a safe and respectful workplace,” they wrote. “When our principles and policies are violated, we will always move quickly to take appropriate action, as we have done here.”

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Shell joined Comcast in 2004. He became CEO of NBCUniversal in 2020. That same year, he oversaw the launch of Peacock. Shell leaves NBCUniversal without making the streaming service profitable. At the beginning of the year, Comcast told investors that it had done so Added five million paid subscribers During the last three months of 2022. However, over the same period, the company lost nearly $1 billion while operating the service.

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