Q: My cell phone needs some new swag. Whatcha got for me?
A: By swag, I assume you mean dorky tech toys? If that’s the case, you came to the right place. I’m not going to spend time talking about cell phone bling, because no discerning reader like yourself recognizes value when they see it (ebay.to/2KM6QWw). I’ll let you decide how to dress your fun, and focus on trying to make it a little more fun to use. Some are already available for purchase; some will be the hottest new things.
If you have ever encountered anyone below the age of 30 with a cell phone, then you know their primary goal is: SELFIES!!! Me being less than photogenic, I’m not a huge selfie-taker, but I do know some pretty sweet gear to make selfies a lot more fun to take. Most people are aware of selfie sticks, and there are some good ones out there like this one from Mpow (amzn.to/2ImaoAq), but why not take it to the next level? With the Selfly selfie drone (www.selfly.camera) you can finally get a hands-free shot of you and your fabulous friends.
A more common and compact selfie accessory is the ever popular Popsocket (popsockets.com). They’re compact, cheap, and easy-to-use. They do present a problem for people who mount their phones while driving for GPS use, etc. To solve that problem, they’ve come out with a nice car mount to go along with it, which is equally simple, cheap, and easy-to-use (bit.ly/2jIlQIs).
If you’re a bit more ambitious with your phone photography/videography, there are some nice options out there for you as well. Every generation of cell phone has better and better cameras, but if you want the best quality and versatility in your shots, consider getting some add-on lenses like the ones offered by Amir (bit.ly/2KNBPl8). If you’re the next Scorsese, but don’t have a multimillion dollar budget for your next film, consider an affordable, but high-end gimbal device like this one from DJI (bit.ly/2jFMC4g).
For any communication device, a close second to taking pictures of yourself is, of course, listening to music. With summer upon us, taking your music outdoors is more likely, so you’ll want something with plenty of range and durability to go along with good sound quality. Check out the JBL Waterproof Bluetooth speaker (amzn.to/2I1lCen) – it’s portable, affordable, and will keep the party going with a nice battery life. (You can even use it to charge your phone if your outdoor adventures make outlets scarce).
There are a ton of Bluetooth headphones out there, and while I typically try to recommend things that are made for both Android and Apple devices, the Apple AirPods (apple.com/airpods) are worth the investment if you’re an Apple fan. Their integration with the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, combined with a small, sleek design, are really great. If you’re looking for a nice accessory to help you keep track of them while not in use, Catalyst offers a simple yet attractive waterproof case worth a look (bit.ly/2wpZF31).
Now if you’re not all about fun and games and need something geared more towards productivity, I have something for you as well. Mobile phones are powerful enough these days that with the right app suites, they can largely replace computers for your everyday needs. It can be tough to make that transition without the proper gear though.
Most smart TV’s will allow you to mirror your phone screen on them. If yours doesn’t, Roku (roku.com), Amazon’s Fire stick (amzn.to/2jI15Nk), and Chromecast (goo.gl/gjRcUG) are some inexpensive options that will allow you to do so. That doesn’t cover everything though, so you’ll want to consider adding a nice stand to maintain touchscreen access (amzn.to/2I97onO), and a portable keyboard (amzn.to/2jILYmw) to make inputting info easier.
All of this gear should be more than enough swag for your phone, and run you a lot less that the Louis Vuitton case you were eyeing. You might even have enough cash left over to get a nice thank-you gift for a helpful PropellerHead, eh?