10 Cool Accessories For That New Mobile Device

Time To Accessorize

Now that you've landed that great new tablet or smartphone you wanted for Christmas, it's time for the fun to really begin. Just as exciting as playing around with that iPad Air or Galaxy S4 is learning about, and shopping for, all the great new ways to accessorize it. Here are 10 really cool ways to add on to your new mobile device.


Whether you're a survivalist type, live in an area prone to power outages or simply enjoy camping, the PowerPot can keep the lights on and the communications flowing. Hidden inside an aluminum camping cookpot is a thermoelectric generator that, when heated, produces 5 watts of 5-volt DC power for charging cell phones, tablets and just about any other device that stores electrons. PowerPot creates energy from any heat source, delivers it through a standard USB port without any AC power or solar panels, and can charge a cell phone in as little as an hour. The $149 kit includes one 6-cup PowerPot, a lid with handle that doubles as a frypan or serving bowl, a power regulator, a flame-resistant power cord and a carry pouch. It's covered by a lifetime warranty. The young company is currently at work on the 10W PowerPot X (shown), raising funds through a Kickstarter project.

GPS Dongle

Whether your form of survival requires long journeys to find potable water or a trip to the nearest Starbucks, help is available from Bad Elf. Just plug GPS for Lightning Connector into any Lightning-equipped Apple tablet or iPod Touch, launch your favorite location app, and it instantly displays your current location. No additional software or drivers are needed. The $129 device supports GPS and GLONASS satellites, does not require Wi-Fi or batteries and is guaranteed to work with any location-based app in the App Store. The company also makes a version for devices with Apple's 30-pin connector.

Reversible USB

Tripp Lite takes the guesswork out of USB cable orientation with a new series of reversible USB cables. All start with the standard USB 2.0 Type A reversible connector in either a straight or right-angle style, add varying cable lengths up to 10 feet, and terminate with a Type-A male or female (making a USB extension cable), Type B male (a host cable) or mini- or micro-USB, connecting as data and charging cables for various types of devices. Prices range between $5 and $8.

Gellin' The Galaxy

Now that you've got a Galaxy S4 in your hands, a Kensington Gel Case can help keep it there. It's a precision case that fits Samsung's top seller perfectly to protect it from drops, scratches and other acts of mayhem, and it gives the phone a grippy feel that's just sticky enough to help prevent drops but still lets it slide easily in and out of a pocket or bag. And the S4's side controls still operate thanks to a thinner layer over the power and volume buttons. The cases list for $19.99 and come in black, gray (shown), yellow, pink and blue.

SuperTooth Headset

With Bluetooth comes freedom from wires. With Freedom cordless headphones from SuperTooth comes freedom from sore ears, a complex pairing process, and switching headsets, to take a call. This handsome, comfy over-ear headset uses Bluetooth 4.0 and 40mm drivers for amazing high-fidelity sound, pauses the music and takes incoming calls using a built-in mic, and it offers the option to pair just by tapping with an NFC-enabled smartphone. Built-in controls handle music playback and smartphone redial. A lithium-ion battery delivers about 15 hours of playtime (1,000 hours in standby) and charges with an included micro-USB cable. Audio also can be delivered via a 3.5mm input jack. Freedom is available in black, white or blue for $149 list.


When a company calls its product Uber-anything, it had better have something pretty special. And MuseMini's UberBuds are, in fact, pretty awesome. First, the earbuds deliver full, rich sound over Bluetooth 4.0 with their 6mm drivers over a range of about 30 feet. They're rated at eight hours of play or talk time. The earbuds work as a full-duplex headset, complete with echo cancellation. And while proprietary connectors aren't normally favored, this one might be worthy of exception. Rather than a small cannon plug or microUSB, MuseMini employs a unique power connector that attaches using a spring-loaded clip that hugs the cable and keeps the power leads in place without a magnet. Also included with UberBuds is a rigid, circular zipper case with a separate mesh compartment for the power cord. UberBuds' earbuds are connected to one another by a 22-inch tangle-free cord with power and playback controls. UberBuds are available in black or yellow and come with three different sizes of soft-rubber, stay-put tips: small, medium and large. UberBuds have a list price of $129 and come with a limited lifetime warranty.

BackBeat To Go

For great Bluetooth earbuds at a less-than-uber price, try BackBeat Go 2 from Plantronics. For $79.99 list, the veteran headset maker delivers a comfortable Bluetooth 4.0 earbud headset with high-quality sound over a 33-foot range and a 5-hour rated talk time, plus another five from a second battery hidden inside an optional leather carry case. Charging is done through a microUSB connector, included cable and AC adapter. The BackBeat Go 2 lets you know exactly where things stand with spoken prompts to indicate power on/off, pairing and battery status. Buttons embedded in the flat, rigid cable connecting the two earbuds control power, playback, redial and volume. The list price also includes small, medium, and large tips and rubber ear stays.

Stylus In Style

As goes the finger, so goes the fingerprint. For the person who has everything (including a tablet), a stylus becomes a great gift idea. And few companies offer more variety in digital writing devices than Kensington. One of its latest is the Virtuoso Stylus and Pen, which combines a soft-tip stylus and high-quality ballpoint pen with cap and chrome pocket clip. It's available in more than a dozen colors including plum, chartreuse and denim blue. The Kensington stylus works with tablets and smartphones and lists for $24.99, or $14.99 without the pen.

Portable Speakerphone

A device from Logitech can turn that new smartphone or tablet into a mobile speakerphone and teleconferencing system. The $169 Mobile Speakerphone P710e connects to mobile devices, as well as nonmobile ones, via USB, Bluetooth or NFC and delivers professional-grade audio through an omnidirectional mic with automatic gain, echo cancellation and noise reduction. There's also a headphone jack. If video is desired, the unit provides a stand for the mobile device and positions its camera at a natural angle. The pocket-sized P710e works with Linux, Mac OSX and Windows, is rated to deliver 15 hours between charges and can pair (via Bluetooth or NFC) with as many as eight devices. Charging can be done over USB or the included AC adapter.


It might sound like a device advertised with the slogan, "I've fallen and I can't get up," but LifeLink by PlusUs isn't designed to protect human life -- it's made to protect a mobile device's battery life. No longer than a credit card and no thicker than two credit cards combined, this clever USB charging cable fits easily in a wallet or alongside keys and more than doubles its length when opened. The $24 LifeLink is made with gold-plated USB connectors and is available for devices with a microUSB port or Apple's 30-pin or Lightning port.