Mobile phones have moved from being pure communication tools to personal computers that house every facet of our lives.
If you’re looking to get that special person in your life a smartphone this festive season we’ve got you covered. But perhaps that person already has a great smartphone and all they want is some awesome accessories to go along with it.
If that happens to be the case may present to you a few gift ideas we’ve kicked around the htxt.africa office.
EbbFlow Atom Sport Bluetooth Running Wireless Earphone
Not everyone is flush with cash at this time of year, so there’s a good chance regular South Africans will be looking for sports earphones that don’t come from the best-known brands or offer the very best sound, but which make up for it with a price in the hundreds, not thousands, of rands.
These Ebbflow Bluetooth earphones are exactly that – affordable, designed for use during physical activities and with inline controls to make interacting with whatever device they are paired with a little easier.
And as they’re Bluetooth, they connect wirelessly to any music-playing device that supports it, leaving just the two wires that connect each earphone to deal with.
For R499, it’s not fair to expect world-class audio, but these earphones are still more than capable of keeping you humming along with your tunes regardless.
And not just that, but they provide a great starting point for someone just getting into listening to music while working out, giving them the chance to test it out, see if they like it and to aspire to something more expensive at a later stage.
Get it from: ClickPlay.co.za
Philips BT50B Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Now here’s another fun, affordable gift for Christmas morning: a compact Bluetooth speaker that’s aimed at people who need a bit more audio quality, volume or both from their music source.
Cell phones often don’t ship with amazing speakers, and even laptop speakers don’t put out the most amazing sound, making something like this a great alternative when more volume is needed.
Philips puts out quality devices and the build of this speaker is right up there, plus it’s incredibly easy to pair with phones/ tablets/laptops over Bluetooth.
The BT50B is limited to a line-of-sight range of 10m, so don’t expect to walk around your home with your phone in your pocket while maintaining the connection, but 10m will likely be enough for most use-case scenarios.
Get it from: Takealot.co.za
Samsung Gear Fit2
Samsung’s latest wearable is easily the company’s best, with absolutely no compromises made to deliver the most robust, feature-rich and useful activity tracker the Korean electronics giant has ever made.
The Fit2 has everything you could need: high-tech motion sensors, a heart-rate tracker, a built-in GPS and a gorgeous LCD touchscreen that shows off relevant info when you need it.
It’s also waterproof (of course) and tracks what you’re doing automatically; you don’t need to tell it you’re running or walking or rowing at the gym, it just knows.
Samsung gives you a selection of watch faces to choose from so your info is always viewable in a way that’s easiest for you to make sense of.
Your workout stats are on display all the time on the Fit2’s LCD screen, too, so you can see them at a glance without having to break your stride.
You get three to four days of usage between charges, plus compatibility with Samsung’s huge range of Android smartphones.
This is undoubtedly a premium product, but it has the features, looks and wide-ranging compatibility to make it worth the extra cash.
Get it from: DionWired
Moov Now Activity Tracker
Tracking movements made while exercising is now so much a Thing that going to the gym without some sort of tracker on your arm is almost unthinkable. But not everyone has the three grand plus for Samsung and Apple’s latest and greatest.
Consider the MOOV Now, then. It’s a well-priced follow-up to the original MOOV activity tracker/fitness band, and it’s been made all the better by the enthusiastic feedback of a very passionate user community.
Refinements include a smaller motion sensor, a six-month battery life and a lightweight build.
It uses a 3D motion sensor to pick up what you’re doing and turn it into data that can help you refine your training regimen or track progress towards goals using the companion app. There’s even a built-in “coach” who guides you through the various workouts on offer.
There’s no LCD screen so you’ll need to interact with it using your phone and the MOOV app, though, and if you want to monitor your heart rate you’ll need a third-party heart rate tracker.
While this band has more workouts for runners, it also has workouts for walkers, cyclists and swimmers, making it a great gift for active types with an interest in tracking their movements but no need for big-name branded devices.
Get it from: Loot.co.za
Xiaomi 10400mAh Portable Power Bank
Here’s another simple and affordable gift for the heavy smartphone user(s) in your life: a seriously high-capacity portable battery from Xiaomi that will ensure phones are always charged, even if they’re away from a wall socket for days at a time.
The whopping 10400maH battery can recharge any phone with a sub- 2000maH battery five times before it needs a recharge itself.
Even phones with 3000+ maH batteries can get re-juiced a few times, making this an indispensable accessory to gift anyone you know who regularly runs out of smartphone power.
It’s incredibly simple, too – plug in a USB cable to charge your phone, and keep an eye on the status indicator light to see when the battery itself to be plugged into a wall socket.
Sure, it’s a little heavy, but the convenience on offer is easily worth putting up with a bit of extra weight in your pockets or bags.
Get it from: Takealot.co.za
Jabra Drive Hands-Free Bluetooth Car Kit
Since it’s clear people aren’t going to stop using their phones while driving and car kits don’t come with every vehicle on the road, the best we can do is mitigate the chances of an accident with tech.
This hands-free car kit is just the ticket.
It clips onto an available visor and pairs with phones over Bluetooth (there are even voice instructions in English to walk you through the process), and whenever a call comes in taking it is as easy as pressing a big button and saying hello.
No more does the driver have to look at their phone while they talk, a win for everyone on the roads and the ideal gift for that phone-loving driving-age relative who you’d like to keep alive for as long as possible.
Get it from: Mantality.co.za
Powerbeats 2 In-Ear
Should you still be of the belief that headphones and ear phones should have cables and somewhere to plug them in, and you’re quite active, you should find the Powerbeats In-Ear ‘phones by Dr Dre rather attractive.
They were designed by Dre in conjunction with basketballer LeBron James, and they’ve got active people covered. Regardless of whether you like to run and work out with your ‘phones in, you just tend to sweat a lot or you’re set on the idea of them not falling out as you headbang your way around a room, these in-ear ‘phones are for you.
Plus, lovers of high-fidelity sound will find a lot to like, as the Powerbeats features a two-speaker system that ensures great highs and incredible bass, delivering clear mids and highs as well as thumping but distortion-free lows. But in the interests of safety, they also let in ambient noise so that wearers can remain aware of their environment.
A cable that never tangles and in-line controls for easy access to volume, call answer and track skip functions round out the Powerbeats’ appeal. A great gift for active, tech-loving people.
Get it from: DionWired[Image – CC BY SA Susanne Nilsson]