Accessorize your Android
Your Android phone—or the one you're about to give this year—is only as good as its accessories. Whether you're looking to let the music play, talk hands-free, get in shape, or get in the game, we've found the perfect accessory for you. And we won't even tell if you decide to keep one of these for yourself!
Spigen Modello Series Case
One of the first things any Android phone owner will want is a case to keep their new phone safe from bumps, scratches, and drops. The problem with a case, of course, is that it adds bulk and detracts from the phone's sleek look—but Spigen's slick Modello Series strikes a nice balance, with its (relatively) slim profile and handsome design. The $15 case shown here fits Samsung's Galaxy S3, but Spigen offers additional cases for other handsets.
Klipsch Image S4A II Headset
Klipsch's wired in-ear headsets are well regarded for their design, audio quality, and durability—but many of the company's products are designed to work specifically with Apple's device. Not the Image S4A II Headset, which works in conjunction with a free Android app to allow users to control their music and calls via the in-line controls. This headset sells for about $100, which isn't cheap, but the comfort and convenience they deliver will be worth the price.
Jawbone ERA Bluetooth Headset
Jawbone's products are known as much for their eye-catching designs as they are for their performance. And Jawbone's Bluetooth headsets are as innovative on the inside as they are pretty on the outside. Take the Jawbone ERA: this sophisticated-looking headset features excellent noise cancellation, HD audio, motion controls, and compatibility with Jawbone's MyTALK apps, which offer new ways to control your phone and your headset. The list price on the ERA is a steep $130, but you can find it online for closer to $50.
Digital Innovations Universal Speaker Dock for Android
Android enthusiasts like to celebrate the diverse nature of the software and the hardware that the OS runs on, but even the platform's most loyal fans have to admit that all of that diversity has led to a lack of speaker docks—especially ones that will work with more than one Android model. But not Digital Innovations' Universal Speaker Dock for Android: This $100 dock offers both micro-USB and 3.5mm digital audio connectors, along with a holding station designed to cradle and charge "virtually any Android phone."
MOGA Bluetooth Controller
Sure, your Android phone can play plenty of games. But with PowerA's MOGA Mobile Gaming System for Android, your smartphone morphs into a full-blown handheld gaming system. The MOGA holds an Android phone in its cradle, and its controls communicate with the phone via Bluetooth. The MOGA Mobile Gaming System costs $50, but it doesn't work with all games, only those that have been updated to be compatible with the device. A full list of compatible games can be found on the company's website.
Google Play Gift Cards
Sure, many Android apps are free. But many more aren't. That's why any Android owner will love a Google Play gift card. They're available in $10, $25, and $50 denominations and are sold online and in retail stores like Target and Walmart.
Isotoner smarTouch Gloves
I will be the first to admit that I scoffed at the idea of gloves designed to work with a touchscreen. And then the first blast of winter hit, and my hands nearly turned blue when I had to remove a glove in order to make a phone call. That's when regretted my decision not to purchase Isotoner's smarTouch gloves: they look like any other winter gloves, but feature a "conductive thread" on the fingers that allow touchscreens to register your touch. They sell for between $30 and $45 online, but you can find them for less in many brick and mortar stores.
FitBit One Wireless Activity & Sleep Tracker
Help your favorite Android user get a jump start on their New Year's Resolution with FitBit's One, a sleep and activity tracker. The small device attaches discretely to your clothing, and then tracks your steps, the distance you've traveled, the steps you've climbed, the calories you've burned, and even the duration and quality of your sleep. Its free companion Android app lets you track your food intake and activity from your phone, and gives you an overview of your progress and health.
Belkin EaseFit Plus Armband
Another option for health conscious Android users is one of Belkin's armbands. These cases (the $25 Ease Fit Plus model shown here is designed for the Samsung Galaxy S3) attach to your upper arm, and provide a secure spot for storing your phone as you walk or run. It keeps your phone close enough to use your headphones, but allows you to run hands free—and keeps the phone free of sweat and rain, too.
Satechi Portable Energy Station
You don't need a wall or car outlet to charge your Android device. Satechi's 10000mAh Portable Energy Station Extended Battery Charger Pack lets you power up your phone no matter where you are. This $60 gadget connects to any USB-powered device to revive its battery, and will let you charge two products at once.