Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers for Android Phones
These accessories and add-ons help you make the most out of your shiny new Android smartphone.
Tue, December 24, 2013
IDG News Service —
Sure, it's a shame to keep your shiny new smartphone covered up, but failing to give it a protective case leaves the device vulnerable to smudges and scratches--or, worse, shattered glass and bent metal. A case is an excellent companion gift to any Android phone.
Whichever type of case you choose, make sure it doesn't block its speakers, headphone jack, microphones, charge port, camera lens and flash on the back, or any other button or port--unless, of course, the case is designed so that you remove your phone to use it.
Similarly, if you like to use dock-cradle accessories, make sure the case is easily removable, as many of the docking accessories, such as speaker systems, are not compatible with cases.A
Cases come in a variety of styles, from basic shells that add a rigid layer of protection to the entire phone to extra-rugged cases that can be used underwater. Our list of favorite cases for Android phones runs the gamut, but here are a few that stand out:
- OtterBox Defender Series for Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, HTC One, and several other Android smartphones. ($50)
- Incipo Feather Shine for LG G2, LG Optimus G Pro, Motorola Moto X, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note II, and Samsung Galaxy Note 3. ($30)
- Dodocase Durables Wallet for Motorola Moto X, Google Nexus 4, HTC One, and Samsung Galaxy S III. ($50-$60)
Since your smartphone can be used for much more besides making phone calls, you'll want a good set of earbuds for listening to music and other content. Use your ears--literally--to tell if a pair has a good sound quality and provides a comfortable fit, instead of relying on reading specs. Opt to try out a pair at a brick-and-mortar store first, if you can. (For more tips, check out our headphone buying guide.)
Although earbuds don't generally produce outstanding sound, they're conveniently compact, and most are relatively inexpensive.A They're perfect for use on the go and for casual listening. Here are a few that stand out: