Whether you’re dressing up your iPhone or accentuating your Android, these gadgets will deepen your relationship with your phone.
By Chris Vizzini
Last week, we covered what smartphones were good alternatives for those with iPhone Yawn Syndrome. This week, we look at smartphone accessories for everyone. That’s right, the following devices will work on iPhone and Android devices alike, so it’s a geek party for all!
Samsung Gear S3
Samsung’s latest smartwatch/ fitness tracker is a great choice, because it actually looks like a nice watch rather than a boxy computer strapped to your wrist, while still packing lots of features.
A rotating bezel around the watch face acts as navigation for the system, alleviating troubles if your fingers are on the thicker side and hitting small icons on a watch face proves challenging. You can also make and receive calls directly from the Gear S3 with a slight twist of the bezel, never having to touch your phone. A handy feature if your arms are full or your phone is across the room.
With the S Health companion app, you pair your phone with the S3 to auto-detects exercise, or tap the S Health icon on the watch to choose from a well-covered range of activities. The sensors have your activities covered with GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, HRM and an ambient light sensor for self-adjusting screen brightness. It also tracks your sleep.
Don’t worry about battery life, either. If you stay the night at your boyfriend’s house, you’ll get 2.5 to three days per charge. There’s also dust and water resistance up to five feet for up to a half an hour, so no worries if you get dunked in a pool.
Suggestion: Look at replacement bands out of the box for the Classic model, which comes with a rather thick leather band. The sportier Frontier model’s band should suit most. They both take standard watch bands.
UE Boom 2
This one premiered late in 2015, but that doesn’t mean it’s outdated. It’s an exceptional Bluetooth speaker that’s water and shock resistant with a long 100-foot range from your phone or tablet.
You can connect three devices and take turns playing songs with friends for up to 15 hours thanks to the rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It’s also capable of Google Now Voice and Siri integration.
Don’t let the small size fool you. Only seven inches tall and weighing a mere 1.2 pounds, the sound is loud and rich while being ultra-portable. You can connect multiple Booms together for even more sound, up to 50.
It’s perfect for watching movies on a tablet, because it transforms meager tablet speakers into a cinema sound experience. The Boom 2 is also great for pool parties, camping or anyplace you’d love to hear awesome sound without the benefit of an outlet.
Best of all: The price. The UE Boom 2 on sale at most stores and online retailers for $129. That’s $70 off the regular price of $200.
The LG 360 Cam
This is a fun little gadget if you want to play with taking 360-degree photo and video. While it’s not the newest, it is a capable solid device that won’t break the bank at $99.
The unit uses dual 13-megapixel cameras for taking 2K photo and video of all that surrounds you in any direction. The 360 Cam is easily pocketable at just 3.5 inches tall. With the LG companion app, you can remotely trigger the cameras to record or shoot rather than the button. This is awesome for getting nature or cityscapes without your being in the shot.
The LG app includes a viewer and the ability to share your creations, but it doesn’t include an editor. However, you can download THETA+Video for free from the app store, which enables you to trim video. Facebook and YouTube both support 360-degree photo and video posting, so spend a few bucks, get creative and share your imagination!