Holiday Gift Guide 2017: Best Android Accessories

It’s the end of the year and it’s been a great one for Android enthusiasts. Samsung had the pricey Galaxy S8 series and Galaxy Note 8, while Motorola had some of the best mid-rangers and a bucket full of high-performing, lower-end models. Companies like LG, HTC, OnePlus and Essential filled in the gaps. If you’re looking to buy someone a smartphone for the holidays, check out our smartphone Holiday Guide and be the hero of the year. If they already have the phone of their choice and you want to add something special (and perhaps save a buck or two), here’s a list of great accessories for your Google loving friends and family.

Skinit cases and skins

Flagship smartphones are getting more expensive (and fragile) than ever. Glass-on-glass designs are increasingly popular, but it’s like carrying an egg around everywhere you go. Drop it once and that glass will crack or shatter. Skinit provides some of the best protective cases in the business and you can also customize the design yourself.

Whether you’re looking for a hard case for maximum protection, folio case for the frequent traveler, waterproof case for the adventurist or just a cool skin to customize the look, Skinit has you covered. They have cases for just about all of Samsung’s latest Galaxy S and Note devices, Google’s Pixel and Nexus devices, and LG’s V30, G6 and G3 Stylus.

There are several holiday coupons available with a buy one, get 50% off coupon for cases and skins. Case prices start at under $20 and can be found at Skinit’s site.

Buy it now: Skinit

Tronsmart Edge 20,000mAh portable charger

Gone are the days when dead batteries could simply be removed from your smartphone or laptop and replaced. Thinner unibody designs have resulted in sealed batteries, but a good portable charger will keep the anxiety away from heavy users or frequent travelers.

Tronsmart has an excellent line of chargers, with the 20,000mAh Edge being their best. Our review showed that the Qualcomm 3.0 power pack with support for Huawei’s FCP fast charging tech could charge your phones as fast as their wall outlet counterparts. Three devices can also be charged simultaneously with two USB Type-A ports and one USB Type-C port.

The Edge can charge a Samsung Galaxy S8 four times, a Pixel XL 3.5 times or a Nintendo Switch 2.3 times on one charge. Laptops, tablets, cameras, etc. can also be charged with the Edge. Discounts are frequent and the Edge can often be found for under $40. If you’re looking for something with a high capacity that’s easy to carry, you can’t go wrong with this power pack.

Buy it now: Amazon

Anker PowerCore Speed 20,100mAh portable charger

Another high capacity portable charger is from Anker and comes bundled with its own high-speed 30W charger that can recharge the entire 20,100mAh battery in just four hours. It supports a 22.5W output for fast charging and can charge USB Type-C devices like the 2016 MacBook, Nintendo Switch and other smartphones and laptops.

The PowerCore is considerably smaller and more portable than the Tronsmart Edge 20,000mAh and comes with that high-speed charger (the Tronsmart relies on your own charger from a phone or laptop). However, those extras come at a price and the PowerCore retails for $89.99. But if you’re looking for one of the most portable chargers that recharges itself in record time, with a very high capacity and fast charging via USB-C, the Anker PowerCore is an outstanding choice.

Buy it now: Amazon

IFROGZ Impulse wireless headphones

Wireless earbuds from Google, Samsung and Apple are all the rage this year, but the best wireless audio still comes from a solid pair of headphones. The IFROGZ Impulse has 40mm drivers that deliver rich and balanced sound via Bluetooth. The 12-hour battery blows away its earbud competition and the noise isolating design with all-day comfort AeroFoam will keep the outside world from interfering with your tunes.

On-ear controls allow you to adjust volume, pause and track music, and an integrated microphone lets you seamlessly answer incoming calls. The headphones are even equipped with a 3.5mm jack so you can plug into your phone or other audio gear if desired. And when you need to carry them in a bag or purse, the foldable design makes it easy.

Specs include 32 Ohms resistance, 120db +/- 3db sensitivity, 20Hz – 20KHz frequency, 58-hour standby time and a 2.5-hour charging time. They’re a great deal at $59.99 and will make your music loving friends or family very happy. And be sure to check out our review here.

Buy it now: ZAGG

B&O Beoplay P2 portable speaker by Bang & Olufsen

If you’d prefer to listen to music without covering your ears, one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers is the B&O Beoplay P2. This miniature speaker packs an incredible punch when it comes to sound, pushing out a lot of bass with an excellent high end. The small and sleek design also makes it very easy to carry. It’s not the best sounding Bluetooth speaker you can buy, but it’s among the best at this size. Dimensions are only 140 x 80 x 28mm.

Features include double tapping the speaker grill to play and pause music, and you can use Google Assistant via the Beoplay app on a smartphone. It has an integrated microphone and responds to voice commands, and you can, of course, make phone calls. It’s splash and dust resistant as well (don’t take it underwater), and the battery provides up to 10 hours of music per charge.

It’s a little pricey at $169, but this palm-friendly speaker would make the ultimate stocking stuffer for the audiophile in your life. It even comes in multiple colors.

Buy it now: Amazon

Samsung 128GB MicroSD EVO Select

4K video recording and high megapixel sensors are basically a prerequisite for this year’s high-end phones, but all of that quality requires a lot of storage. Samsung has an outstanding 128GB microSD card for high-res media, but just make sure the phone you’re buying this for has microSD support. Unfortunately, not all of them do (I’m looking at you, Pixel 2).

The card has up to 100MB/s read and 90MB/s write speeds (probably exceeding your phone’s capabilities) and at only $44.99, it’s a steal. If double the storage is required, a monster 256GB Samsung card will run you $149.99. Both come with a 10-year limited warranty.

Buy it now: Amazon

Fossil Gen 3 smartwatch – Q Explorist

Nothing complements a phone quite like a smartwatch and Fossil’s Q Explorist is an excellent Android Wear accessory. It’s available in five colors and comes with an interchangeable leather or metal band. Unlike Motorola, LG and Samsung, Fossil is a watch company first and they know how to build a stylish and comfortable timepiece. The case is stainless steel and 46mm in size, and although it fits most wrists comfortably, a smaller version is also available. It’s IP67 rated for water and dust resistance, so don’t worry about sweat or rain if it’s used as a fitness tracker.

The watch comes with Android Wear 2.0 and has a built-in speaker to make calls from your wrist (the smaller version does not). The OLED display is completely round this time (no flat tire) and three side buttons provide customized control. It’s Bluetooth Smart Enabled/4.1 low energy with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n. Battery life is estimated at 24 hours and it charges wirelessly.

Two omissions are the absence of LTE connectivity and a heart rate sensor, but at $255, it’s a solid and stylish choice for your Android loving friends and family. The watch is compatible with Android 4.3 and up, and the iPhone 5/iOS 9.0 and up.

Buy it now: Amazon

BESTEK LED Dimmable Desk Lamp

A desk lamp probably sounds a little boring for the holidays, but BESTEK makes some compelling models. The LED Dimmable Desk Lamp is more than just a simple light bulb holder. For starters, it can be set to a host of color temperatures and brightness levels, providing the most comfortable lighting for various situations.

There are four lighting modes: “Sleep,” “Relaxing,” “Study” and “Reading.” There are also five brightness levels within each mode. The lamp has a one hour timer and can automatically turn off, which is a nice feature for those who tend to fall asleep while reading. For the tech head, it also comes with a smart USB port that can identify a device (phone, tablet, etc.) and charge it as fast and efficiently as possible.

The lamp should be good for around 40,000 hours of use, which is equivalent to leaving it on for about 4 1/2 years. This model is a bargain at $27.99 on Amazon and it comes with an 18-month warranty. Be sure to use the coupon code D3UPKUR5 at checkout for additional savings. You can also read our review of a similar BESTEK model here.

Buy it now: Amazon

BESTEK 12-Outlet Power Strip & Surge Protector

Surge protecting power strips have really evolved in the last decade and BESTEK has some sophisticated models. This one has 12 outlets and six are block spaced, and it comes with a 5560 joule energy rating for computers, printers, phones and home theaters. If that was all, this would be a well rounded power strip, but it does a lot more.

It has coaxial cable protection for cable or satellite connections, and telephone/fax protection as well. Like the desk lamp, smart USB charging is also included, detecting the device and charging it as fast and efficiently as possible (up to 2.1 amp). The unit has a six-foot power cord with a rotating flat plug to easily fit in tight spaces.

The power strip retails for $29.99 on Amazon and comes in black or white, and be sure to use coupon code HKVGLJH3 at checkout for additional savings. You can also read our review of a similar BESTEK model here.

Buy it now: Amazon


About the Author: Erik Slaven

He was born and raised in Virginia, but escaped to Southern CA. Started out as a BlackBerry addict until he bought HTC’s Droid Eris and never looked back. He's owned dozens of Android devices and can rarely settle on a daily driver for more than a few months. He's currently using a Galaxy S8 and BlackBerry KEYone. He rides motorcycles for fun and would live on the beach if it was legal. Marketing and freelance pr help keep the lights on.