It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and if you haven’t already started thinking about what to get your favorite Android lover, we’re here to help. You won’t find a $750 Galaxy Nexus on this list; instead, here are some affordable tips to throw in a stocking and hang above the chimney with care. Who doesn’t love a good stocking stuffer?
Ever take some killer 1080p video and want to edit and share immediately, only to realize you left your cable at home and the file’s too big for a Bluetooth transfer? Well maybe not. But I have, and a cheap way around this type of pickle is Sandisk’s Mobile Mate microSD Reader. Pop your microSD card out of your phone and into the adapter, and you’re free to plug right into your computer’s USB port. Simple as that. No cords, no Bluetooth, and no emailing yourself files. It’s small enough to fit on your keychain so that you’ll never have to worry about keeping it handy. And at $15, how could you beat it?
Stocking stuffers are often the most personal gifts, hand-picked to perfectly compliment the style and tastes of the recipient. This is why cases make the perfect gifts to hang over the fireplace. They’re utterly personal, and give your phone a unique spin that identifies it as yours’ and yours’ alone. They come in all shapes and sizes and the choice ultimately boils down to the balance you want to strike between protection and style. Most clock in under $30 though some heavy hitters might set you back a few more bucks. My favorite? The Casemate Barely There series, available for almost any recent Android device you can think of. They’re simple yet stylish, and while they won’t protect your phone from a major drop, they’ll keep it scratch and ding-free. And at an average price of around $20, you can stuff all of your stockings with one.
The perfect gift is always the item that you really need but are too cheap to buy. Batteries are an affordable gift that your loved one probably wants and hasn’t bought yet. They’re becoming more and more necessary as phones become more and more power hungry (ahem, LTE), which makes them a practical and thoughtful stocking stuffer. In a way, you’re giving your favorite Android user peace of mind: never again will he or she have to scramble for an outlet. Most spare batteries hover between $40 and $50, though major juicers can be a bit higher. And if you’re feeling really generous, you can splurge on an extended battery to ensure that your loved one has the power needed to text and talk with you through the entire holiday season.
Freedom Pro Bluetooth Keyboard ($99.95)
Have a loved one that just cannot get used to his or her touch screen? Is he or she always sending
you garbled text messages, no doubt a product of inaccurate fingers? The Freedom Pro Bluetooth Keyboard is a nice way of helping out your touch-challenged friends without staging an intervention. This model works with just about any Bluetooth-enabled device, including Android smartphones and Honeycomb tablets. It can squeeze 90 hours of use out of two AAA batteries, and it ships with a handsome leather case for ultimate portability. Trust me-- the first correctly-spelled “I love you” text you receive will justify its price tag.
ZOMM Wireless leash/speakerphone ($79.99)
This little guy is an ingenious Bluetooth device that will keep you from losing your phone, or your keys. It's a small, puck-shaped device that connects to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth. And then then it gets a certain distance away, it starts buzzing and chirping to let you know you're leaving your phone behind. It's customizable and upgradable over the web, so you'll always be sure to have the most up-to-date software on board.
Plus, it servces as a handy little Bluetooth speakerphone.
The ZOMM comes with a keychain, so you can keep it with you all the time without really having to think about it. The only thing you have to do is make sure you chage it via the included USB cable. Simple as pie.
iBeats Headphones ($119.95)
Let me preface this choice by saying that I have never spent more than $10 on a set of headphones.But after using the iBeats Headphones that ship with HTC’s Beats-enabled smartphones, I happily plunked down a Benjamin. I really cannot say enough good things about Beats technology. Sound is crisp and vibrant, with deep bass and unmatched clarity. When paired with Beats software, these headphones really shine, though they sound absolutely amazing when paired with just about any output. Sure, the pricetag is steep for a set of earbuds, but first listen will make your knees weak. If you’ve got a special someone that loves music, iBeats will make their holiday a very special one indeed.