The niche smartphone: Samsung Galaxy Mega
$99 from Sprint with a contract

OK, Samsung and Sprint are hardly sleeper picks in the "adding value to consumer electronics" draft. But what is important this year is how targeted today's portable device market has become. I have been particularly impressed with the early experience of Samsung's Galaxy Mega -- a "tween" portable device close to smartphone and a tablet.

Originally, I mocked what appeared to be nothing more than a 6.32-inch screen smartphone. But factor in the badass processor, crazy-long battery life and global functionality and I found this surprisingly light, right-sized, smallish tablet to be just the thing for screen-intensive tasks such as gaming and working with documents and video. For sure, a plug-in or Bluetooth headset is a must. This Mega is a mega beast to hold to one's ear. But give it its moment and you'll feel the new truth in mobile devices: The age where one phone -- even an iPhone -- can rule a market is over .

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