Just last week, I traveled to Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, for the unveiling of the iPhone 5s and 5c. It struck me that even though it wasn’t quite fall yet, I suddenly felt the holiday spirit.
For the tech industry, unveilings and the holidays go hand in hand, and this year, smartphones—and smartphone accessories—remain all the rage. And for good reason: There’s about a zillion different choices, and everyone seems to have a different flavor preference.
So with Apple and Android on the mind, I put together my key must-have smartphone accessories to help you get a jumpstart on your winter shopping.
1. Mophie (starts at $59.95) at Mophie.com
Any iPhone user can attest to this: Those batteries just don’t hold enough charge. That’s where Mophie comes in, with its six to eight hours of extra battery life (depending on the model). I recharge mine every night using my laptop to ensure I have no out-of-juice frustrations the next day. I honestly don’t know how anyone with an iPhone can not have one of these.
2. JayBird Wireless Headphones (starts at $99.95) at Jaybirdgear.com
I know it’s pricey, but hear me out: JayBird wireless headphones are worth it. I’ve tested nearly 15 pairs of Bluetooth headphones so far, and this brand is the only one that truly stays in. My favorites are the Sportsband and BlueBuds X, which do not fall out, even if you’re hitting an eight-plus on the treadmill. If you are an athlete, these are a no-brainer.
3. Jambox by Jawbone (starts at $179.99) at Jawbone.com
It’s pretty fair to say the Jambox by Jawbone put the Bluetooth speaker on the map. I take my Jambox with me when I travel, because it blows away most hotel room speakers and is über-portable. Now that it comes in a number of sizes (Big Jambox, Jambox and Mini Jambox), you can pick your decibel poison. While we’re talking about speakers, I’d be remiss not to mention another favorite of mine, the HMDX Jam. At $49.99, it’s less expensive and still incredibly small with impressive sound.
4. Kohler Moxie Showerhead + Wireless Speaker ($149) at Home Depot
I never shower alone. Relax! With this smartphone companion, your device will always stay dry. Kohler’s Moxie is a showerhead and wireless speaker that connects via Bluetooth. With great quality of sound, battery life that lasts for months and easy recharge via computer, Moxie is one of my favorites, because it seems so simple, yet brings me so much joy. The speaker connects to the showerhead via magnetic suction, making it easy to pop out and take on the go.
5. Compass iPad Stand ($39.99) at TwelveSouth.com
I love this for cooking. Okay, I lie, my mom loves this for cooking—I can’t cook. She’s always working on new recipes from Pinterest and this stand is an accompanying staple in the kitchen island. It lets you comfortably view recipes without getting butter on the screen.
6. LifeProof (starts at $79.99) at Target
LifeProof is a lifesaver for your Apple and Galaxy products. You no longer have to panic around lakes, rivers or pools. I can attest, per many ocean dips, that this waterproof casing works like a charm. In addition to protecting your device from water, it also keeps it safe from dirt, snow and shock (i.e. tumbles). Just make sure to test the case first, to ensure it’s really closed.
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