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Top Smart Phone Accessories for Holiday 2010

Trick out their constant companion with some great gear.

by Meghan McDonough on November 12, 2010

iPhone Accessories

Exogear ExoLife Battery Case

While the iPhone 4's battery lasts longer than its predecessors, all of those Angry Birds games and FaceTime chats will eventually run it down. There are numerous ways to keep your dad's device going, but we like the slimness of the ExoLife battery case, which adds just 0.19 inches to the back of the phone. The hard shell plastic case and 1500 mAh battery add just 0.6 inches in length while keeping his phone protected and running. The ExoLife is designed to provide an additional 7 hours of talk time, 6 hours of web surfing, or 300 hours of standby time, making it the ideal gift for the iPhone addict on your list.

Price: $89.95

Griffin GuitarConnect

For those with musicians ready to make the next great power ballad, we bring you the GuitarConnect. On one end is a ¼-inch plug for connecting a guitar, bass, or keyboard and a 3.5mm jack for plugging in headphones. On the other end is a jack that plugs into an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. The accompanying iShred Live app allows the artist on your list to create sounds using eight customizable effects pedals. The app also includes a tuner and metronome, as well as a built-in playalong/practice player.

Free (App), $29.99 (GuitarConnect)

Price: $29.99

Parrot AR.Drone

Quite simply, the Parrot AR.Drone rocks. It uses four propellers and two cameras--one to feed the device information about its location and the other to stream live cockpit video to your aspiring pilot's iPhone or iPod touch over Wi-Fi. His handheld is not only a remote control for the AR.Drone, but it also plays games using augmented reality. Two hulls (one for outside and one for inside) constructed of carbon fiber and high-resistance plastic are included in the box. The AR.Drone's augmented reality software is open source and includes an SDK so the remote control copter will never get old.

Price: $299.00

Speck Fitted iPhone 4 Case

iPhone cases and the ubiquitous bumpers are just short of required for the iPhone 4. But that doesn't mean they have to be blah. Speck's Fitted iPhone 4 case adds a splash of sophistication and personality courtesy of nine fabric designs, including Black & White Plaid, Grasshopper Green Stripe (pictured), Dalmation Houndstooth Black & White, SpexyHexy Purple, and CookieCamo Brown. Underneath each fabric back is a hard shell case with a soft-touch finish that will help keep her phone from slipping out of her hand.

Price: $29.95

Other Smart Phone Add-Ons

BlackBerry Torch 9800 Charging Sync Pod

BlackBerry's been lacking an elegant charging and syncing solution for too long. Sure, it's not hard to plug in a USB cable, but it doesn't look nice, which is why we're so geeked about the Torch Charging Sync Pod. Its brushed silver color matches the Torch, and it looks classy on a desk. Plus, it syncs, charges, and allows full functionality while docked, so your BBM buddy can use the speakerphone to make a call, listen to music, or watch a video.

Price: $49.99

Clingo Parabolic Sound Sphere

This space-age-looking sphere gives his smart phone an instant sound-amplifier. Stick his phone to the mount in the middle of the sphere, and the sound from the phone's speaker naturally reverberates and makes it 10 dbs louder, without any power or cables. It's an easy way to listen to tunes and, due to its design, the sphere shields some ambient light, making it a great way to watch your favorite shows. Although it doesn't require any power, there is a cable cutout in the sphere for easy syncing and charging.

Price: $34.99 | Read Review

Droid 2 Premium Vehicle Mount

Android phones often pull double duty as GPS navigators, especially with their built-in Google Maps Navigation app. Why not make your favorite Droid 2 user's life safer and easier with a suction-cup car mount? Once placed in the mount, the phone will instantly go into car dock mode. Plus, the Droid 2 mount includes a 3.5mm cable and holder for easily connecting the handset to the car's stereo system. The mount holds both this cable and a USB charging cable (sold separately) in place, making it easy to grab the phone and go.

Price: $39.99

Otterbox BlackBerry Torch Commuter Series Case

BlackBerrys can usually take a beating, but they're unlikely to survive your uncle's wipeouts on the annual family ski trip. Get him a case a that will hold up, such as Otterbox's Blackberry Torch Commuter Series case. The case features three levels of protection: a touchscreen protector, a silicone middle layer that includes port protecting plugs, and a polycarbonate outer casing. The Otterbox will keep his CrackBerry safer than an egg in an egg crate without detracting from the Torch's slim design or inhibiting usability.

Price: $39.99

Sprint Travel Charger Plus

The HTC Evo 4G is a monster of a smart phone, which unfortunately means it needs to visit an electrical outlet fairly frequently. Often the best way to keep it and other power-hungry phones going is an extra battery. The Sprint Travel Charger Plus ingeniously packs in a 1000mAh battery (compatible with phones using micro or mini USB) and doubles as a wall charger. Lights on the battery indicate how much juice is left, so she'll know just how long she has between trips to the outlet.

Price: $39.99

Scosche motorMOUTH II

For the one on your list who just can't put the smart phone down, Scosche's motorMOUTH II makes driving and talking safer and simpler. The hands-free Bluetooth device plugs into a car's MP3 or auxiliary input and can also function as an audio streamer. The motorMOUTH even supports voice dialing, so you can take dangerous on-the-road multitasking out of the equation completely.

Price: $79.99

Panasonic MW-20 Digital Photo Frame

With a sleek 9-inch screen, 2GB of built-in memory, and an SD card slot, Panasonic's MW-20 Digital Photo Frame pairs style with function. While the device's main selling point is the ability to display photos and video in hi-res, it can also charge mom's iPod or iPhone and stream music. Plus, the MW-20 is smart: A sensor adjusts the screen's brightness based on the ambient light, and the 5.6-mm Super Slim Semi Dome Speaker features a built-in DSP for optimal sound quality.

Price: $249.00


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