HOUSTON -- Valentine's Day is this week. Chocolates, jewelry, clothes, and perfume are always nice, but if you're looking for something different and a bit techy here are a few unique ideas.
AT&T let me borrow five items they have for sale. Some are web-only, so order soon if you want to buy in time for V-Day!
HDMX Jam - $29 to $49
This portable bluetooth speaker is compact but comes with enough volume that you can actually feel the bass kick a little. It's completely wireless as far as the audio goes -- so you can feed it tunes from your smartphone/tablet via YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, etc. from up to 30 feet away. It's battery powered, and you charge it via USB. There are small buttons on the side that let you pause, play, skip tracks, and control the volume, and on the bottom there's an on/off switch. The price range is good for the sound quality, and it can get pretty loud. Comes in black, blue, purple, red, and green. Shop around a little for the pricing on this one -- it's available at AT&T, Best Buy, and Amazon.
Aqua Sound Speakers - $49
These speakers shoot water and colored lights to the beat of whatever favorite song you are playing. They're bluetooth connected, so no wires are needed to feed the music, but they do require USB power, which means for most people they'll need to be connected to a computer to power them. This is likely better than battery powered since all the cool lights and water would quickly decrease battery life. Sound quality is okay, but the novelty of the light show makes up for it if you're into that kind of thing. The volume range is good, but there's not a lot of bass. Pretty cool at a cost of $49 on AT&T's website only.
Boom Bottle - $139
It looks like a water bottle for a reason, but you can't drink from the Boom Bottle. This is made so you can slide it into the water canister on your bike, but it also has a rugged, weather-proof design that makes it good for anything outdoors (if you want to tick off your fellow campers). At a cost of $139, it's among the more expensive portable wireless bluetooth speakers, but it has a lot of volume and it has a lot of bass. The outside is covered in rubber and has buttons to control volume and stop/play/pause. It comes in gray, green, yellow, or pink. Like most portable bluetooth speakers it's battery powered and you charge it via USB. Look for it on AT&T's website.
Martian Passport Watch - $299
This is a little pricey, but it's perfect for the guy who wants a smartwatch that doesn't look like a smartwatch. Linking up to your iPhone or Android, the analog clock is complimented by a small digital display that shows incoming calls and messages. It also has a speaker and mic for voice commands and speakerphone use. The band is leather and looks like it can be easily swapped out. Available in black or white on AT&T's website.
Nokia Lumia 2520 - $399
Perfect tablet for anyone who feels like the iPad is a bit watered down to get anything done. Powered by Windows 8, it has apps, tiles, but also has a regular Windows-like desktop. Pair it up with a wireless keyboard and mouse, and you can easily use Word/Excel to get stuff done. The full HD display makes movies look great, and with the ZEISS optics camera, you can make a few of your own. The screen is too small for regular, full time use, but it is very portable with up to 11 hours of battery life. If you pair it up with AT&T 4G LTE, you'll stay connected on-the-go. $399 is the two-year data contract price, $499 you can buy it outright.