We all know someone obsessed with their smartphone, and the best Christmas gift for them is one that involves their beloved handset. You don’t need to cripple yourself trying to buy them an upgrade, though. Instead, it’s time to learn to accessorise.
There’s more to smartphones than just playing CandyCrush and buying a new case to prevent it from scratches and cracks. So, here’s a list of fun gadgets and essential smartphone accessories to enhance anyone’s mobile life, along with some nifty smart home products you can’t use without a smartphone.
Fill your boots, or should we say stocking?
Klipsch T5M wired in-ear headphones
You listen to music on it, you watch videos on it, you play games on it, and you listen to podcasts on it. Your smartphone is the one-hit-wonder for all things audio, so everyone deserves a great pair of headphones to get the most out of their favourite podcasts, tunes and immersive games.
These What Hi-Fi? Award-winning Klipsch in-ears sound fantastic and offer a great fit. It’s an instant step up in quality from the bundled earbuds you get with smartphones, and your loved one (or yourself, if you’re making a wish list) will be forever grateful.
POWERUP 3.0 smartphone-controlled paper airplane kit
Loved making paper airplanes as a kid but was terrible at getting it to soar? This stocking filler is a great 21st-century invention to a decades-old entertainment that will keep your kids occupied for at least a few hours come Christmas morning.
Mixing old school paper charm with new tech, this plane is controlled via Bluetooth and has a range of 180 feet. You can even steer it using the phone app.
Anker PowerCore II Slim 10000
They say there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. But your smartphone running out of battery is surely a third addition to that list.
Keeping a portable battery charger at hand is a must, so make someone’s day by giving the smartphone addict in your life this very useful – and stylish, slim and compact – option that should charge any flagship smartphone over three times over.
Netflix gift cards
Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like free Netflix, with its vast library of old and new content keeping the most avid TV/film fan happy for hours on end.
You can download plenty of shows on the smartphone app to keep you occupied on those long-haul flights or no-signal commutes on the Underground, too.
Three shows we’d recommend: The Good Place, Godless, and GLOW. That should keep you busy.
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2
The UE Wonderboom 2 is a What Hi-Fi? Award-winning portable speaker and just the ticket for a smartphone fanatic. There’s very decent sound for its size with plenty of bass and a 13-hour battery life to back it up.
It’ll blast out audio in 360 degrees, but best of all it’s virtually indestructible. It’s dust-proof and drop-proof, certified from 1.5m. It also floats and is completely waterpoof, making it the ultimate device for shoving into your bag and whipping out come rain or shine… or for pool-side party.
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
Want to level up from the Klipsch in-ears? How about these true wireless Cambridge Audio Melomania 1?
Compatible with all Bluetooth-toting smartphones, these tangle-free, What Hi-Fi? Award-winning gems offer a degree of noise isolation. That said, it’s the 36-hour battery life and compellingly detailed sound that you’ll love most.
HP Sprocket portable photo printer
Of course you know someone in your life who is constantly taking photos of everything – food, holidays, road signs, selfies – using their smartphone. To give their memories a more permanent touch, they’ll love this compact printer that prints out small, retro-tastic Polaroids of their favourite snaps.
The HP printer is tiny, so you can even carry it around with you; it’s easy to fill it with new photo sheets; and you can control everything via a free app.
NanoLeaf smart lights
We love these light panels that you can set with a static colour theme or change colours along with your music. The starter pack includes nine panels, which you can arrange in any design you like (we like the minimalist Christmas tree in the photo above) and can customise the colours, patterns and rhythms using the app. There are plenty of presets, but you can create your own and save them too.
You can also control the lights by voice thanks to support from Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri.
Game of Phones card game
No, this isn’t a TV-show-themed app; someone just got carried away with puns.
It’s a Cards Against Humanity-style game that challenges you to hunt for specific things using just your phone and your best social media/internet skills. With 100 cards and 60 seconds to complete the task (things like ‘find the best photobomb’), it’s a clever twist on the card game resulting in plenty of laughs – ideal for after-dinner festivities.
Ember Temperature Control Smart Travel Mug
Last year, we told you about the Ember smart mug… which of course you bought. Well, now the travel version has arrived and it’s time to add that you your loved one’s collection. How’s that for the gift that keeps on giving?
Set your desired heat level on this 355ml vessel and let its two-hour battery life keep your coffee at exactly that temperature for you to enjoy. That way you can have your cuppa your way and save the planet all before you get to work.
Available in black or white, it’s controlled via the Ember app, obviously, for which you’ll need that smartphone.