The market for mobile accessories is vast, but some designs are just lukewarm. Find out the hottest trends in mobile accessories, the coolest designs and which ones make great gifts for the gadget lover who has everything. Which are the "must have" gifts for the holiday season?
Pocket Boom Portable Vibration Speaker
The Pocket Boom mini speaker comes in a pod-like form and looks a fairly unassuming little device. Until you pop one end of it open to reveal a hidden speaker. You can then position the speaker end on a surface that will give you good acoustics. The image here shows the box being used as the surface, but I've also seen it used on an upturned glass, windows, a plastic bowl -- pretty much anything you have around that will vibrate. From the other end you pull out the jack and hook it up to your smartphone -- easy as that. It doesn't give super-high quality sound, but for a fun and portable gift it works really well.
Bolle BP-10 Photo Printer - for iPhone and Android
While this would be a pretty generous gift for the holiday season, it's certainly a really useful one, as well as being beautifully designed. This recent release now means that both iPhone and Android users can make use of the printer to get photos printed directly from their phone. It's small, unassuming, and so easy to use. With the high quality cameras on smartphones now, this is a trend in mobile accessories that is set to continue.
At around 175USD/ 110GBP it's no cheap gift, but could just prove perfect for someone. It prints 4 x 6 inch photos and works as a charging dock for your phone too -- so you could see it as two super-hot accessories in one. Download the Bolle app and you're good to go.
Multi Link Bluetooth Mini Keyboard
Proof that you don't have to have a Motorola Atrix with fancy docks to be useful on business trips, this mini Bluetooth keyboard from IOGEAR transforms your smartphone into a very capable machine. The real upside of this latest design is that it can be easily switched from one device to another, so can make the change from tablet to phone to PC with no problems at all -- there's even a dedicated iPad home button and dedicated media hotkeys to make things really easy. Makes playing games on your phone much easier too!
STK iPhone 4S Power Case
Definitely one of the hot trends in mobile accessories, are those accessories that fulfill more than one function. We love our gadgets and accessories, but who wants a super slim, lightweight phone if you have to haul around 10 different accessories with it? This power pack fits this dual-purpose genre as well as solving the biggest problem all smartphone users have -- running low on battery juice all too quickly.
This accessory is a tough case to keep your iPhone 4S protected as well as being a seamless design. The power pack can be charged before you leave home and switched off -- flick the switch to on to get a boost of juice.
MiLi Power Projector 2
MiLi projectors aren't new and until this point haven't been hugely successful. That is all set to change though, thanks to the Mili Power Projector 2! It is ridiculously slim considering what it can do, and makes hardly any noise at all -- which was a problem with the first model. With the big boys of the smartphone world now recording in HD quality, or at least providing high resolution still images, the use of a portable projector really comes into its own. And don't forget that this could be a great accessory for business presentations too (or indeed, just boring family members with holiday snaps!).
RDTX Portable Radiation Detector for iPhone
Nothing says holiday gift quite like a radiation detector! Seems like the Japanese cannot get enough of these detectors that hook up to your iPhone, but following the Fukushima nuclear disaster it's no wonder they are so popular. In the rest of the world, we won't be able to get our mitts on these devices until November though -- just in time for holiday season. I jest, of course this isn't the ideal gift, but it's a popular accessory that is only set to grow in popularity, with a new model set for 2012. All you need is the supporting app and you'll get a meter reading directly on your iPhone.
HTC Rhyme Accessories - Works Like a Charm
While I still question the need to have gender specific phones, there's no doubt that young girls especially love their accessories. The HTC Rhyme has been designed with females in mind with a whole host of matching accessories. The most girly of these is the charm that attaches to the phone and is designed to hang out of a pocket or purse -- the magenta light will then glow when you have a message or have missed a call. Pretty cool if you are a teen no doubt, and there's no doubt that the HTC Rhyme is selling at a decent price with many accessories included. I hope, rather than believe, this isn't a trend set to continue.
Heading to the Docks with Style
Docks are nothing new, but this latest Milo design from Bluelounge really shows how docks can be stylish as well as functional. This is a great gift for anyone with a smartphone. It can be used on a bedside table to hold your phone as a clock, or why not use it when streaming movies or playing games? As well as the sophisticated and minimalist design you don't have to worry about any suction pads, springs or clips either -- the Milo uses a pad to hold your phone firmly in place and can be easily cleaned with just some scotch tape.
Can I Have and OOOoohh for the Oona
This unassuming little device may well take the crown for having so many uses. Forget dual purpose devices to save room in your bag, what about multi-purpose! Each unit comes with 2 suction cups, 1 Oona and 1 round base to turn into pretty much anything you need in regards to holding your phone, whether it be on the windshield of your car, as a bedside alarm clock, or even stuck to your fridge to act as a shopping list. The Oona and the various attachments mean that you are covered whatever the occasion, and it's not bulky either so the beauty of your phone will still shine through.
This device is so hot it's currently only available for pre-order, but trust me, this little gadget is going to be big news.
Retro Cool With the BookBook
Not only is the BookBook one of those accessories that is dual purpose it also ticks the retro cool box too, making it a must-have for males and females with style and a sense of humor. The exterior resembles a well-thumbed leatherbound book, and the inside has pockets aplenty to act as a case for your iPhone as well as a wallet for your cash and cards. What I especially like about this is that you get stylish but tough protection for your phone, while at the same time you don't have to worry that you've left anything behind. Pick up your BookBook and keys and you're all set. Retro is definitely one of the trends of the moment in mobile accessories as they really stand out from the crowd.
- Tech specs and product info via the links included underneath images.