Welcome back to This Week in Accessories. Last week, I took a look at my top three must-have gift for iOS device owners. And with the holiday shopping season in full swing, here is a look at some great gift options for any iPhone owner.
For many iPhone 5 owners, the search for accessories begins and ends with a case. So I wanted to highlight three different options for the handset – a slim case, an everyday case, and a rugged choice. First, the Smooth from Ballistic is a nice choice for fans of a slimmer case. The Smooth is made of soft-touch rubber that is easy to hold. And as an extra-added amount of protection, Ballistic includes 16 different interchangeable corner bumpers. The four different colors of bumpers are chosen to fit well with the seven colors of the case.
The Smooth can be ordered directly from Ballistic and retails for $29.99.
If you’re looking for a little more protection for the iPhone 5, the Active case from Seidio is one of my favorite choices. The case is designed with two layers of protection – a soft silicone inner shell and a hard outer protective case. It only adds 2mm of overall thickness to the iPhone 5.
The Active is available in seven colors and starts at $29.99. I would definitely recommend paying $5 and getting a version of the case with a light and sturdy kickstand for video watching. A version of the case with a kickstand and holster is $54.95.
OtterBox’s Defender Series of cases have been the de-facto rugged standard for quite a while. And the company’s option for the iPhone 5 doesn’t disappoint. Along with a built-in screen protector, the case uses a polycarbonate inner skeleton and a hard outer shell to protect the handset. The included belt holster also doubles as a media viewing stand.
While the Defender usually retails for $49.99, you can pick up one color for as low as $22.25 on Amazon.com, which is a great value.
Along with a case, screen protectors are one of the most popular iPhone accessories. And while Speigen’s SGP GLAS.t is more costly than other options, it is by far the best way to protect the iPhone 5’s screen from scratches.
As the name suggests, instead of a plastic substance, the GLAS.t is made of a 0.4mm sheet of clear glass. Even though application is a little tough, once it is applied it feels exactly like the iPhone’s screen without a protector. It can be purchased for $27.99 directly through Spigen SGP. If you’re hesitant to pay that much for a screen protector, the company also has a nice line of Ultra Oleophobic and Ultra Crystal screen protectors that start at $13.99 each.
If you purchased an iPhone 5, there is a way to continue to use speakers with the older 30-pin dock. The dockBoss Air is a small and lightweight add-on that attaches directly to a dock adapter. And using Bluetooth technology, you can wirelessly connect your iPhone, iPad, or even a computer to listen to music. It is powered directly from the dock and doesn’t use batteries or need to be recharged.
The dockBoss Air is $34.95 and can be ordered on CableJive’s website.
MA450i and UE 4000
Even though Apple worked long and hard to design the new-and-improved EarPods, I’m sad to say they still suck. While the sound is decent, the EarPods either fit in you ears or don’t. And if you’d like to upgrade the sound experience from any generation iPhone, there are some nice earbud and headphone options for less than $100.
I reviewed the Logitech UE 4000 earlier this year, and can highly recommend the headphones. Along with an adjustable headband, a soft memory foam covers the actual headphones for a very comfortable fit. The UE 4000, available in three colors, is $99.99 and can be found on Apple’s website or a local Apple Store.
Newcomer RHA recently entered the scene in North America, and its MA450i earbuds are a great inexpensive choice. The MA450i comes with seven sets of dual-density rubber eartips to find a perfect fit. There is also a three-button line-in remote that works with all iOS devices. Available in black or white, the earbuds are $49.95 and can be found exclusively at Apple Stores and website.
With new features like the Panorama made, the iPhone’s camera continues to become more and more useful for amateur (and even professional) shutterbugs all over the world. Juli Clover recently reviewed the SlingShot that doubles as both a phone grip and tripod to help take that perfect photo. It attaches to any iPhone, and retails for $20. You can purchase it from Photojojo.
LEGO iPhone 5 Dock
And I’ll end today with a fun option for dock lovers. While Apple sadly passed on producing a dock for the iPhone 5, numerous other manufacturers have stepped in to fill the void. And while it does take a little bit of the work, the UK site Daily Brick has a fun DIY option. The custom iPhone 5 dock is composed of 42 LEGO bricks that users must put together with the included building instructions.
The dock is tilted at a slight angle, and clips will hold the Lightning cable inside. Unfortunately, you must provide your own cable.
All the necessary pieces can be purchased for around $19 from the site. A black or white version is available.
And in the upcoming weeks, we’ll be highlighting some perfect gifts for iPad, iPad mini, and Mac owners. If you missed it yesterday, take a look at our gift guide featuring some cool iOS accessories for guys.
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