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Holiday Help Desk 2010: Best smarthonesCNET smartphone smarty Bonnie Cha shares her top gift picks, including her favorite phone accessories. Then eBay's trend specialist stops by to reveal tips and tricks to land the best deal and shop wise on eBay.
Hello folks. Welcome to-- it's a Holiday Helpdesk. This is--what we on, guys, episode number? -Uh huh. -[unk]. -100? -4. -It feels like 4. -that was for-- -thousand? -[unk]. -November 29th of 2010. I'm Brian Cooley with Molly Wood, Brian Tong, and you know how we do it, for the next 30 minutes, we're gonna help you figure out what to buy for people that on your list and, yeah, let's face it, figure what to buy yourself for the holiday season coz that's really the most one. Next 30 minutes or so, usually it's more like 40, 45, so, we'll be taking your calls and questions regarding your technology-buying issues this season. -And you know, we always bring in guests to help you out, and this show actually really is a good one for buying for yourself because cellphones, they are hard gift to give. -Yeah. -Uh huh. -And we have our Smartphone diva, Bonnie Cha online. -Who? -Oh, hello! -Boom Cha, hello! -Hello! -So, you know it's gonna be a good show. We've also-- -Hello, Bon. -Hi, how is it going, guys? -Good. -Good. Thanks for joining-- -I've missed you. -Ohh. -Okay, you guys-- -You too, Flash. -Before it gets too inappropriate-- Flash. -[unk]. -Flash. -Flash. -But not Flash in the Pen ladies and gentlemen. -Flash? -Oh God! -Really? Is that your nick? -Not by any means. -Now, that's cool. We're looking for that later. -I know. I'm gonna remember that one. -Flash, right? Flash? -Yeah. -Wow! -So, we got me-- -Yeah. -Brian Cooley, Flash, Boom Cha, CNET's cheapskate champion, Rick Broida joining us from the bunker and then-- -A well lead as well. -Look at the-- -Oh, look at you. -Looks like he's doing an Anderson Cooper-- -Taking the lighting notes-- -stand up from the mine. -I love it. -That's great. -That's a value that jumped up significantly, let me tell you that. -We also have, try to keep it together people, we have a special guest in the studio, Karen Bard from eBay will be joining us-- -That's right-- -in the studio with the latest on eBay's holiday deals-- -Uh huh. -and the Helpdesk rolls on. -Yes. Also, if you guys are joining us live, you can call in with your questions. Call us at 888-900 CNET or join in with the whole separate conversation in the chat room. You can go to cnet.com/live. You can talk about us. You can help us answer the questions. -You have to do that, by the way. -We need you. -You have to do that. -Or if you guys want to send us some e-mails, check an-- send an e-mail out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get to it as soon as we can. -Yeah, all right, now it is time for us to go into the mine because Rick Broida is waiting there to give us the latest from the Cheapskate blog. What do you got, Rick? Anything that's not sold out yet? -Hey, you know, what I actually get something that is not sold out. -Hey! -Today's deal is actually not all that exciting, not that sexy, but it's certainly something that's very important, it's called the iCare Data Recovery Software Suites and it is exactly, as its name suggest, a recovery program for those times where your hard drive [unk] on you, if you've got a memory card with photos, precious photos on it that you can't read. If anything-- and if your data gets corrupted, this utility will help you recover it and it is normally a 70-dollar item, but from now until the big day of Christmas, the 25th, it is absolutely free. -What? That's very good actually. -Wow! You mean free like free? -Free. -No [unk] free, free, free. -That's cool. -This is especially-- -Yeah. -good if you plan to buy someone, I think, a new laptop for Christmas, right? Because this-- -Oh yeah. -I am convinced that hard drive manufacturing procedures have gone to hell in a hand basket. This-- They tend to die within days. -Yeah, they don't go five years anymore. -No. -Then, they went 4, then 3, then 2, now, like a year and you're like dead. I'm not like to have. -[unk] they're so cheap. -They're so cheap, right. That is the truth. I mean, they've come-- become very inexpensive, but let's face it-- -Yeah. -they're not as hardy as they want to. It's one of those things you've got to install before you have a problem folks. You can go get this after an issue and you'd miss out on the great price anyway if you waited much too long. But, this one old thing you have running on your system already and it does various things on the drive or the disc whatever it is, the card, to make sure that it's internally protected and has procedures already in place. That's an outstanding deal. -Now, Rick, we also know the Cheapskate happens all the time. Do you have any, even though we won't be able to talk about it in our show, any hints of what might be coming down the line that people can go check out on Cheapskate's blog? -Well, you know, as a matter of fact, I actually doing something kind of exciting plan for next week, next Monday, which is, I know, is our last show. -Uh huh. -I can't talk about it yet, but I have kind of a Cheapskate exclusive-- -O oh. -that's gonna be pretty sweet, so check back next Monday. -All right. -Oh, it's gonna be-- -What a-- -a grand finale. -Helpdesk. -Honestly, I'm so excited. I might come back next Wednesday, Monday just to check it out. -I might, I might, we'll see. -I don't think I'd miss. -Now look all pictures, you're naked is it? -Are you still see me like-- -Is that what you want for Christmas? -No. -That's not a stocking stuff. -Here is what I do on. Be or take my screen. I can't believe they had missed this, the thermal leak detector from Black & Decker. This is cool. -Is that on the Cheapskate as well? -Did I miss this one? -No, it's really-- -Way back. -That's cool, look at that. That's right on. I love this thing. I just like taking temperatures, I don't know why. -All right. -I've got one, but doesn't have that cool screen on it. -Thanks, Rick for hanging out. -Yeah. -We will check out with you-- -I hate me, too-- -Just keep on checking out the blog-- -don't worry. -just cheapskate blog. But, what we're gonna do now is we're gonna be talking phones with Bonnie, but first up, let's take a look at CNET's top, one their top picks in the CNET's SmartPhone category. Android Phones are legitimate players on the SmartPhone Market and every carrier has a flagship phone of their own. I'm Brian Tong with CNET.com and the Product Spotlight is fixed and focused on T-Mobile's G2. Now the T-Mobile g2 is an HTC Design Phone and is one of the Slimmest QWERTY Keyboard Android Phones today. I'm a fan of its brushed metal accents and this phone as a classy design; it's also one of the most versatile phones to use. The G2 brings the triple threat combination of a snappy responsive touchscreen, a full QWERTY keyboard with keys you can easily feel and it's optical track pad button gives you a 3rd way to control it. This phone is loaded with goodies running on T-Mobile's HSPA Plus Network, it's a version of their 3G Network that rivals 4G Speeds but it's available in limited areas, so you have to check up the faster flavor is in your area and you have the features you'd expect like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS and since this phone is running a pure version of the latest Android OS, you'll be able to play Flash content and enjoy the other goodies like turn-by-turn directions and its ridiculous voice search and commands. Lakers. Another feature that we love on this phone is the swipe keyboard software that makes texting a breeze. A lot of phones and carriers have their own skins and versions of the Android SO, but this is pure Android and users will appreciate that. Now this is an excellent phone, but there a few things that we have to point out, the G2 has an 800 gigahertz Processor, while many other phones use a 1 gigahertz Processor, we did noticed it's a little choppier when you pinch and do well, web browsing but you won't really noticed it anywhere else. Also, the HSPA Plus Network is fast but there's no option for tattering or using your phone as a mobile hotspot with the G2. Multimedia is solid on this phone with its 5 megapixel camera, it's using the standard Android Media Player but nothing really stands out and they really are better media experiences on other devices. The bottom line is that T-Mobile users finally have one of the best design and versatile Android experiences, but also offers solid phone quality with the G2, making it worthy of our Product Spotlight. -Okay, did you change your shirt or not? -During the shoot, I did. -Okay. -While we were [unk]. -But, I mean today, since then, have you? -Go blue, baby. -All right. -Go blue. It looks-- it matches my skin complexion that's why I go with it. -All right. Wow! -If you really wanted to know, Brian Cooley. -I wasn't expecting that. -These are good make ups. -Just like the pink-- -We have. -brings out the color in your eyes. -We have an amazing variety of tips here at the Holiday Helpdesk. -Yeah, we do. -Ladies, wash your tights before you wear them for the first time, they won't smell. -Oh, very good. -Yeah. -Nice, I like that one. -Uh huh. -Okay, let's bring on Bonnie Cha now. She's the expert. -Hello, guys. -Any fashion tips for us, Bonnie? -Hello, Bon. -No, I feel, no. I don't-- -You don't get in the room without a fashion tips. Well, this is gonna be a real short visit. -[unk] tips of all kinds. -I know, I guess. -All right. -Good to talk to you, guys. -Okay, bye! -Bye! -Hey, that's Bonnie Cha, SmartPhone diva. Okay, so Bonnie, what should people keep in mind when they're buying a phone for someone? This is a tough one because as far as I know, there is no, to this day, no clever way to pre-buy as a gift and a kind of-- -Yeah. -pre-set up coverage and all that. You still have to kind of let them know I'm doing this for you, don't you? -Right. And, you know, you should ask them what features are most important to them, you know, if it's web browsing or multimedia, you might want something with a good touchscreen, a large touchscreen, you know, a pair of business person and want something for e-mail, you know, QWERT keyboard would be good. You know, if they're in a early adapter, they might want something like the Next SS just came out. So, you know, ask them about that stuff, and it is hard because, you know, design and interfaces kind of very personal thing and I was kind of recommend going into a store and checking it out, but, you know, those were some of the things to keep in mind. -Is there a better wireless or phone gift to give like just a gift card for a year worth of coverage and it's a lot of money, that's a nice gift or-- -Yeah, it's a very nice gift. -I would cash that out. -I know. I'm not following that hints or anything, but, then if you're feeling generous, or like any accessory you would recommend, I mean, a Bluetooth earpiece is obvious, but-- -Yeah. You know, a lot of these phones have multimedia dock now or desktop dock that are nice or for the car if you wanna use it as a navigation system; so, maybe bundling some accessory and stuff, you're gonna need a phone. -I have to throw in my vote for the docs. -The Droid 2 car dock. -Yeah. -I've been using the multimedia desk docks and they're wonderful, like they're-- -They're great, yeah. -That is an awesome accessory to get people [unk]. -They're perfect for like your bedside table, you know, -Uh huh, -as an alarm clock or they can even, you know-- -Oh yeah. -play slideshows and your music, so it's really nice. -Ohhh! -Ohhh! -Like most of [unk] that has a battery in it-- -Yeah. -you know. -Yeah. -Then, talking cynical over here. -Yeah, wow! -At this time. -Bonnie, I'm sorry. We didn't-- -That [unk] Brian. -So, we even did this to you. -Is there a good way to get somebody a phone as gift coz it's sort of feels like the gift that, you know, that keep on paying for, right? But is there a way, I mean, obviously, you can usually pull it up at somebody that you really close you-- -Right. -is there a way to give them any kind of a gift card for like a little extra service, I mean that might not be possible. -That's a good question. I don't know if those carriers have that kind of something-- -they sure it's hard. -Yeah. -You can always give me a gift card, I mean just in general-- -Yeah. -and it's not just for service-- -That's true. -it's for whatever they wanna use it for-- -Or not like to use that one. -so it's not like you're expressing-- -Yeah. -I think the gift that says you love someone is you get them the extended warranty coverage on their phone for them, that's what everyone wants for Christmas. -Because one of the things that people often don't pay for. -So the guy who just [unk] those iPhone4? -That's right, Brian. -Did you? Wait. -That's right. -Really? -Yup. -Wow! -Too late for him. -Yeah, how is that going for you, Brian? -All right, do you have any other picks in the phone category, Bonnie, besides the G2, I mean, I know there's like a million phones-- -Yeah. -out right now and then "what do we do, there are so many cool ones coming?" -I know, and--exactly, that's always the problem and it's like-- -And HTC has a new one every week, so how do we deal with that? -I know, and so, we have all our top picks in the Holiday Gift Guide, but there were a couple that came afterwards and when was the Next SS? I would say that's kind of more of an early adapter if you really like the pure Android experience.