Powerocks Super Magicstick 2800mAh Portable Charger .jpgWe love our smartphones and the right accessory just makes them better. Here are some of the best his and her accessories that can be shared by everyone to enhance their smartphone experience.

Never run out of juice

Why is it your phone goes dead right at the moment you need it the most? Second most annoying thing: not having your phone cord so you can’t even run around looking for a plug in. I wanted something I could just keep in my purse so I could plug in the phone when it starts its distress beeping. I like the Powerocks Magicstick because it’s lightweight and small but still packs a 2600mAh battery. That means two full charges before I need to recharge it via the micro-USB charging cable. It’s made life easier carrying this around. No more dead cells phones. Hubbie preferred the Adreama Portable PowerBank with a 6000mAh universal backup battery charger. He claims it’s the battery that appealed to him but I think it’s the flashing LED indicator that he likes.  

Sennheiser PRESENCE Bluetooth Headset.jpgSafe while driving 

 

 

When was the last time you had a cell conversation at home in a quiet room? Our phone conversations take place in all kind of kinds of environments, including the car. Like many parents, I worry about my teen answering the phone while driving. Sometimes the temptation is just too much for both teens and adults.

I started using the Sennheiser Presence Basic Bluetooth Headset with my cell. It means I can be hands-free while driving but I’ve also taken to using it outside the car because of its noise cancelling abilities. This is a seriously premium headset with a 3-digital microphone system that keeps your voice crisp and clear while making sure you are heard loud and clear in noisy places thanks to the legendary Sennheiser HD sound and HD voice clarity technology.

Presence really did deliver on superior sound. This is the clearest headset I have found so far. SpeakFocus™ technology allows the headset to intuitively detect your voice and filter out background noise so your voice is clear and natural. I tested this feature out by accepting a call in a noisy restaurant and the person calling couldn’t tell I had caffeinated teens shouting in the background. When you’re walking outside the WindSafe technology reduces wind noise. I also tested it while walking the dogs on a windy day and making a few phone calls. P.S: Apologies to everyone I cut off while getting used to the multifunctional button. (Note to self: two taps followed by one tap puts the first call on hold.)

There is also the Plantronics Voyager edge noise cancelling bluetooth headset as another option. You can take a call by just by saying “answer” — the Sensors pick up incoming calls as soon as the headset is placed on your ear. You’ll also appreciate the acoustic echo cancellation, sidetone detection, and automatic volume adjustment when you’re driving. That translates to a headset that cuts out the noise so you don’t have to shout like a maniac over the radio playing some awful teen music. Wearing either of these Bluetooth headsets means safer driving. Now if I can just convince my teen that wearing a bluetooth headset looks cool behind the wheel.

Read my full review here.

Wilson Sleek 4G-C Cradle Signal Booster.jpgBoost your connection

We have a dead zone in our home, which means talking outside on the deck or standing with the door open to catch a signal. We got the Wilson DT Desktop Signal Booster for home. Honestly, my first reaction to the Wilson DT Desktop Signal Booster was panic when I saw all the cables, and the bolts requiring an electrical drill. While the Wilson DT does take a bit of set-up, it’s not complicated at all—especially if you read the manual—and completely worth the effort. It acts like a relay team for your smartphone where the signal is the baton. It’s not wireless though and everything is connected via coax cables. Read my full review here.

I liked the home product so much i”m going to get the Wilson Electronics Cradle Booster. It may look like a simple cell phone cradle but the integrated cell sign booster gives you a maximum 1,820 milliwatts of output power on all 3G and 4G services using the AWS 1700/2100 MHz band (typical bandwidth for smartphones). It finds the signal from the cell tower and amplifies it so you’ll find dropped calls reduced, the signal and data range are stronger. The Wilson Cradle Booster also includes phone antenna, cell phone holder, and battery charger, and the option of using the speaker function or your Bluetooth accessory. Between the portable plug and the Wilson booster, I may never miss a call.

Certain family members are lusting after the Uniden Mobile Signal Booster Kit because it can be used in the boat and RV since it has the a Dual-band 850 and 1900 MHz that works with all 2G, 3G and 3G plus networks. You can wirelessly connect up to 20 mobile devices simultaneously, such as smartphones, tablets or mobile internet hub.

Uniden Mobile Signal Booster Kit.jpg

If you want to be hands free but keep the signal steady when you’re driving on the highway, the Uniden Mobile Signal Booster Kit helps boost your cellular signal. Enjoy crystal-clear phone calls with reduced dropped calls, and superfast data speeds wherever you need it most. Ideal for use in cars, trucks, RVs, boats, workshops, houses and small offices, it has a Dual-band 850 and 1900 MHz works that works with all 2G, 3G and 3G plus networks.

Automated Gain and Level Control feature ensures reliable coverage even with an intermittent incoming signal. You can wirelessly connect up to 20 mobile devices simultaneously, such as smartphones, tablets or mobile internet hub.

Carry it in style

Avani Diamond Pattern Leatherette Hard.jpgTwo weeks ago, I was invited to a grown up party that was black tie. It was stressful enough getting the dress and shoes co-ordinated so I didn’t want to worry about my cell phone. My everyday Just Cavalli Leopard case didn’t quite set the right tone. I swapped it for the Avani Diamond Pattern Leatherette cover, which lent a sophisticated touch to the phone and covered up the dents quite nicely.

Tumi Double Zip Phone Case.jpgI’m thinking of branching out to something larger and have been eyeing the Tumi Double Zip Phone Case. (Xmas Hint to offspring). This leather case has two compartments for credit cards and cash with an interior and exterior pocket. I’ll probably use the detachable wristlet strap one or twice before losing it  but I like the . like the idea of turning it into a mini-handbag,  

 Ashlin Universal Phone Leather Pouch.jpg

I like the Ashlin line of phone pouches as well. I’m looking at the Ashlin leather Phone pouch for the partner who has forgotten more phones on various benches. This one is going to strap it on his belt and as soon as he puts on the magnetic closure make the phone go to sleep so then he doens’t have to worry about losing his phone or not being able to call me back because his phone just died (see above.) It’s made from full grain stonewash cowhide so offer a bits ot style while protecting the phone.

Have you see the collection of cell phone covers at Best Buy? So many choices, only one phone!!  And I hear that Best Buy will soon have Kate Spade cases too!

Cellet Universal Phone Holder.jpgHands free

If I can’t convince my teen to wear a Bluetooth headset in the car, I can make sure she keeps both hands on the wheel. The Cellet Universal Phone Holder is going in the car since it’s got adjustable sliding arms to fit all the various cell phones on the house. USB and DC charging port included. Cellet also makes a smartphone holder for bikes so the youngest can leave home with his GPS and not get lost.

Felix Phone:iPod Stand.jpg

Another potential stocking stuffer is the Felix Phone/iPod Stand. I like the cute little hands that keep your phone in place. Made from aluminum, polycarbonate-ABS, steel, and silicone, you can squeeze, tilt and clip for the preferred angle to use. I think the kids will like this to watch their videos and things. Universal stand fits all generations of iPhone, iPod touch, and most smartphones including Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4.

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Shelagh McNally
I’ve been covering technology since 1992 and I’ve seen a lot of technology come and go. I enjoy following the trends, spotting the winners and losers and teaching consumers how to get the best products and services for their needs. My work has been published in the National Post, Reader's Digest.com, Yahoo, Miami Herald and other North American publications and websites.

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