Welcome to Retrevo’s 2011 list of holiday gadget picks from Retrevo’s Artificial Intelligence-based product evaluation engine. Retrevo’s algorithms process over 100M data points from across the web every day to give you an objective, unbiased, comprehensive, and relevant, “Retrevo Real Time Review,” that answers these questions:

  • Is this product current? Our algorithms analyze the age of a product relative to the shelf-life of similar products from a given brand, the velocity of the product through the retail channel and the velocity of user discussion around it on the web.
  • Do people like it? Retrevo aggregates expert and user opinions about a product from around the web, synthesizing and summarizing them into a single overall community sentiment.
  • Is the product a Good Value? Retrevo's proprietary Mark-to-Model valuation technique analyzes capabilities of all selling products in the retail channel to determine if a product is a good value.

The products listed in this guide are “Retrevo Picks” because they are the best products in their class. A product has to provide exceptional value for its price/features, and be well liked by experts and users to qualify as a Retrevo pick.
No network has fully upgraded to 4G although Verizon has the lead and there are still a few years of 3G left so there is no reason not to consider a 3G phone as well. If you go with an Android phone you’ll want nothing less than Android 2.2, a 3.5MP or greater camera, and an 8 hour battery life.
Apple iPhone
Galaxy S II
3D 4G
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There is less reason to buy a basic point and shoot camera these days since most smartphones can produce photos at a similar quality level but Advanced Point and Shoots like these picks will produce much better pictures than your phone can, with a minimum of 12MP, 4x optical zoom and high capacity SD Memory cards, they will also be able to store many more high resolution photos and videos.
Panasonic Lumix
Canon PowerShot
ELPH 310
Nikon Coolpix
Sony Cyber-shot
Fujifilm FinePix

It’s clear that Blu-ray is replacing DVD and while regular DVD players are still available there is little reason to go this route since it would only be an investment in technology that is on its way out. Many of the new Blu-ray players are 3D capable, as well as including built-in Wi-Fi for a network connection. To take full advantage of the internet connection most models will include streaming audio and video such as Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, etc.
Sony BDP-S780 Samsung BD-D6700 Panasonic DMP-BDT100

DSLRs are the highest end cameras, with the most sensors and controls, providing the best quality images; they are also the heaviest and most expensive. With 12-18MP these three cameras are easy to use and come with an assortment of features for editing photos. Most DSLRs these days also come with an HD video recording feature.
Nikon D5100 Canon EOS Rebel T3 Pentax K-r

Unless you’re a serious audiophile or videophile it’s generally a sound idea to buy a prepackaged home theater system that comes with a receiver, matched speakers, wiring and Blu-ray player. Buying each component separately can be confusing, time-consuming and expensive. With 5.1 surround sound speakers, up scaling, and integrated, easy set up, these top three are good picks for everyone.
Sony BDV-E780W Sony DAV-DZ170 Panasonic SC-XH150

Buying anything but a high definition television doesn’t make much sense at this point since that’s where all media technology is heading. But keep in mind that no matter how high a resolution your television is, it’s the content source that will determine the quality. HDMI is important, because it offers the best connection for delivering full 1080p HD and surround sound audio. Most of the big names in HDTV will also offer the ability to connect to your home network, allowing you to view content stored on your computer or through the internet. Despite the lack of programming and special glasses required, it’s worth considering a 3D-capable set.
Sharp LC
Sony Bravia

Plasma TVs
Panasonic Viera
LG Infinia
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Tablets are hot this year, with competition increasing along with demand. They function as easy- to-transport computers perfect for Internet browsing, media viewing, emailing and light gaming. Dual-core is the standard now, with at least 1GHz of processing speed and a screen of about 9 inches.

  • If you have over $400 to spend you’re going to want an Apple iPad 2 which remains the king of the “full-sized” tablets costing more than $400, hill
  • If you only have $200 - $250, you’re going to have to decide between an Amazon Kindle Fire and a Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet. Both are 7-inch, Wi-Fi, color tablets and are pretty similar except the Nook costs $250 compared to the $199 Kindle Fire

In this category we will go ahead and only talk about sub-50 dollar sets. Sennheiser makes some great earbuds, including the CX300's and the CX500’s. These offer surprisingly good sound, great comfort, and some effective sound isolation.

Streaming Set-top Boxes
Roku is definitely our favorite box for streaming internet to our television. The primary reason for this is their price tiers - $50 for the LT, $60 for the HD, $80 for the XD, and $100 for the XS. They all have access to Roku’s 300+ channels and are all wireless, the LT and HD play in 720p, the XD and XS play in 1080p, and the XS comes with a new Bluetooth motion remote that allows you to play games.

About Retrevo
Retrevo.com is one of the largest consumer electronics review and shopping sites in the world, helping people decide what to buy, when to buy, and where to buy. Retrevo uses artificial intelligence to analyze and graphically summarize more than 100 million real-time data points from across the web to give shoppers the most comprehensive, unbiased, up-to-date product information they need to make smart, confident purchasing decisions for electronics.
For Press Inquiries Please Email: press “at” retrevo “dot” com.

To download images from this list, click here.

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