With the holiday season coming to an end within the next couple of weeks, you may find that you still haven’t picked out that perfect gift for everybody on your shopping list yet. If you still have some shopping to do for the smartphone enthusiast in your life, we’ve compiled a useful list of 10 (rather ambiguous) accessories that would make an excellent gift for anybody with a smartphone.
For the most part, smartphones still have a very limited battery life that require at least one charge a day. However, if you’re forgetful, or an on-the-go type of person, or perhaps you just use your phone to the point where it barely makes it through the day, a power bank is an excellent solution to poor battery life blues. Most power banks grant at least 2 additional charges throughout the day, and they’re small enough that they can fit easily in a purse or a pocket.
Anker has an excellent portable battery the size of a lipstick tube, the PowerCore+ mini (3350 mAh battery), and it’s extremely affordable at just $11.89 through Amazon.
If you know somebody who frequently loses important things like car keys, a wallet, or their phone, TrackR is an affordable and excellent solution. TrackR is a coin-sized device that attaches to your most important items. TrackR can even let you know that you’re about to leave something behind before you actually do.
Whether it’s for having a hands-free conversation or jamming to some favorite tunes, a Bluetooth speaker is a very handy accessory to have. There are plenty of speakers out there for all price ranges. One of the more unique speakers on the market, although a bit spendy, is the Amazon Echo. The Echo is a particularly cool device because it is voice controlled, and it has a 360 degree speaker.
Cars are getting all types of smart systems installed in them, but for those of us plebs who don’t have a fancy system installed yet you can always just get a phone mount for your car. While there are plenty of styles and prices ranges out there, Spiderpodium is a great bang for you buck. Not only can it securely hold on to your phone in the car, but it also works great just about anywhere else as well. It’s a versatile product for a decent price.
Smartwatches have become a fairly hip trend over the past couple of years. Many big name manufacturers have unveiled smartwatches of their own, as well as smaller companies who are just getting started. A smartwatch can be an extremely handy tool for somebody who is constantly on-the-go. As luck would have it, not all smartwatches are all that expensive anymore. Pebble, for example, has their first generation smartwatch on sale in many places this holiday season for as little as $69.99, which isn’t too shabby considering its excellent battery life. Alternatively, there are plenty of mid-range and higher-end options to choose from as well, such as Pebble Time, Asus ZenWatch 2, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear S2 smartwatch or Apple Watch.
Many people have gotten to the point where their smartphones are also their dedicated camera. However, the camera in the phone isn’t necessarily where the possibilities end: most phones are also to take advantage of separately sold lenses to take better, clearer photos.
OlloClip, for example, is a great option for the iPhone or Galaxy S photographer in your life. There’s also the Moment lens for the iPhone, and Photojojo supports both iPhone (from the 5c to the 6s) and Android devices.
The Google Chromecast is an extremely popular gadget following the massive "cord cutter" movement that is currently underway. This neat little device is simple: it can stream content from your phone straight to your TV. Not only that, but it’s super affordable at $35.
Although arguably not the coolest gift one could give, it could ultimately be one of the most useful. With so many devices going from the old micro USB standard to Type-C, which has a more convenient design and charges a device faster, an adapter like this could prove to be very handy for people who have ten thousand micro USB cords laying around the house. Amazon sells a 2-pack from TechMatte for just $9.99. Just think of the joy on the children’s faces when they find this handy adapter in their stocking.
It’s a great time to be both a smartphone owner and a gamer. Not only are phone screens huge now, but there are a lot of excellent games to play on them now as well. If you know somebody who loves to play games on their smartphone, then a game pad controller can end up making that experience even better.
Despite the ancient joke amongst console gamers that you only give the third-party Mad Catz controller to your little brother or a friend that you’re angry at, the Mad Catz Bluetooth controller for the iPhone, iPod, and iPad is a popular choice for iOS users.
For Android users, the Power A Moga controller looks to be a solid contender for Android devices of all shapes and sizes.
When Google Glass first came out, one of its best features was that you would be able to record your life from your perspective. I wasn’t keen on the idea at first, but as I raise my kids I always think about how quickly they’re growing up and how I know I’ll forget some of these cherished experiences that I wish I could remember. I have a newfound respect for first-person perspective recording.
Google Glass itself has been put on hold, but there is still a gadget that does one of Google Glass’s most sought after features: Narrative Clip. Although it’s on the pricier side of things at $149 for the first generation device, it could be a great gift for an adventurer, a parent, or maybe your dog (if you’ve ever been interested to see what it is they do from day-to-day).
Hopefully you aren’t stressing too much over gifts this holiday season, but if you’re still in that last-minute panic then hopefully this list gave you an idea of what direction to go in.
Readers, what are some of your favorite smartphone accessories that you think would make great gifts? Let us know in the comments below!