The Apple iPhone 4 on Verizon Wireless is here – what it means for travelers

Well, it finally happened – the largest mobile carrier in the United States is getting the Apple iPhone. Ever since the original iPhone was announced back in 2007, gadget sites have been speculating about a magical “can you hear me now” version of the phone.

But now it is here – the news isn’t really as spectacular as it could have been. A mere week after companies like Samsung, HTC and Motorola announced 4G versions of their handsets, the Verizon iPhone brings little new to the table. On the inside, it is exactly the same as the AT&T iPhone, albeit with a different radio system (for the Verizon CDMA network).

And that CDMA network is a major problem for people who plan to travel with their Verizon iPhone 4 abroad. With the AT&T (GSM) version of the iPhone, you can take it to Europe, Asia and most other countries and get access to a GSM network. CDMA users have never been that lucky – the list of CDMA countries is tiny when compared with GSM (44 CDMA networks compared to 255 GSM networks).

In other words – take your new Verizon iPhone 4 to Canada or Mexico, and it’ll work just fine. But take it to France or Australia, and you’ll only be able to use it when you find a Wi-Fi hotspot. Of course, with roaming rates as expensive as $5/min, sticking to Wi-Fi isn’t that bad a plan.

And unlike some of the newer Android devices on Verizon, their iPhone does not do dual mode CDMA/GSM. This limitation is of course not that important if your travels don’t take you outside the limited CDMA lineup, but if you are regularly in Europe, you may want to think twice about this investment. And finally, because this new iPhone uses CDMA, you will not be able to do simultaneous voice and data connections.

The Gadling gift guide for the iPhone and iPad traveler

iphone

Shopping for iPhone or iPad accessories is never easy – unlike any other device on the market, the assortment of extras for Apple devices is just insane. Whether you need an iPod toilet paper dispenser, or one of over 1000 different types of headphone, you’ll never run out of options.

So, we are here to help, and share some of the best products we’ve come across in 2010. There is something for everyone in this list. Got something better you use with your iPhone or iPad? Leave a comment, and share your favorite product with the world!

Soundmatters foxL speaker

iphone

Why? You’ll have a hard time finding anything that sounds this good without investing in a massive home theater system. This compact battery powered Bluetooth speaker is simply amazing.

Review: April 19, 2010

Product page: Soundmatters foxL

Price: $199

Jawbone Icon Earwear

iphone

Why? Top notch sound, noise cancellation, Bluetooth music and apps. Bluetooth headsets don’t get much better than this.

Product page: Aliph Jawbone

Price: $99

Product review

Mophie Juice Pack Reserve

iphone

Why? Power boosting battery pack small enough for on your key chain. Built in LED flashlight.

Product page: Mophie

Price: $39.95

Review: September 16, 2010

Creative Labs Bluetooth speaker

iphone

Why? Compact room filling Bluetooth audio. Can be powered off AC or batteries

Product page:Creative D100 Bluetooth speaker

Price: $79.99

Joby Gorillamobile for iPhone 4

iphone

Why? Multi-functional case lets you use it as camera tripod, movie mount and more.

Product page: Joby Gorillamobile for iPhone 4

Price: $39.95

XtremeMac 3-in-1 Microdock

iphone

Why? The smallest portable speaker and alarm clock you’ll find for your iPhone. Install the (free) XtremeMac Alarm Clock app and you can forever forget about lousy hotel alarm clocks.

Product page: XtremeMac 3-in-1 Microdock

Price: $59.99

Scosche motorMouth II

iphone

Why? The smallest Bluetooth hands-free system in the world. Stream Bluetooth stereo music and phone calls to your line-in equipped car radio.

Product page: Scosche motorMouth II

Price: $79.99

Scosche sneakPEEK II

iphone

Why? The Schosche sneakPEEK II is the only 2-in-1 iPhone/iPad video cable on the market. In a single cable, you get component and composite outputs.

Product page: Scosche sneakPEEK II

Price: $59.99

Otterbox Defender Series iPad case

iphone

Why? Because your iPad isn’t designed to battle the elements, Otterbox steps in to help. The Otterbox Defender series cases for the iPad protects it from all corners, plus its rear cover slides off to protect your screen.

Product page: Otterbox Defender Series

Price: $89.95

Gelaskins

iphone

Why? Gelaskins protect your device, and offer thousands of different designs. Their 3M adhesive material provides a barrier against scratches, while keeping your device looking cool.

Product page: Gelaskins

Price: from $14.95

V-Moda Vibrato Remote headphones

iphone

Why? Good looks and good price, without sacrificing sound quality.

Product page: V-Moda Vibrato remote

Price: $129.99

Urbanears headphones

iphone

Why? Instead of radical new designs, Urbanears sticks to great old school designs with superb audio quality.

Product page: Urbanears

Price: from $40

Case-Mate cases

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Why? Because Case-Mate designs some of the best looking cases on the market. Plus, if you don’t like their designs, you can design and submit your own.

Product page: Case-Mate

Price: from $24.99

Bioserie cases

iphone

Why? It isn’t easy being green, but these cases sure can help. Instead of plastics, Bioserie cases are made of a plant based matter, and are fully bio-degradable.

Product page: Bioserie

Price: from $29.95

Kensington PowerBack iPad case

iphone

Why? Protection, power and sound from a single case. The PowerBack features a powerful built in battery pack, amplified speakers and a kickstand.

Product page: Kensington PowerBack

Price: $129.99

Dexim P-Flip

iphone

Why? Nightstand and movie stand plus a battery pack in a single product. Brilliant and compact.

Product page: Dexim P-Flip

Price: $69.90

iMainGo X

iphone

Why? Rechargeable sound for on the go. Access to the touch screen of your iPhone, even when it is inside the case. Speakers can be daisy-chained for massive volume.

Product review

Product page: Portable Sound Labs

Price: $69.95

Grace Eco Extreme

iphone

Why? Going to the pool or beach no longer means you need to leave your iPhone or iPod behind. Loud, clear music from a waterproof amplified case.

Product review

Product page: Grace Eco Extreme

Price: $49.95

Griffin PowerDuo Reserve

iphone

Why? Wall, car and battery power from a single product. Never find yourself with an empty battery again.

Product review

Product page: PowerDuo Reserve

Price: $59.99

Future Sonics Atrio Special Edition

iphone

Why? Better sound than you’ve ever heard from a pair of headphones. Pricey, but not insanely expensive given how great the sound.

Product review

Product page: Future Sonics

Price: $229

Griffin Travel Stand

iphone

Why? An all-in-one case that acts as a movie watching stand and a headphone case.

Product review

Product page: Griffin Travel Stand

Price: $14.99

Tekkeon myPower for iPhone 4 offers swappable batteries – up to 50 hours extra usage

Tekkeon just unveiled their newest iPhone power solution. Their myPower for iPhone 4 combines a slim rechargeable battery pack inside a case – offering power and protection in a single product.

Now, iPhone charge cases are not really a new innovation, but the Tekkeon case is unlike anything else on the market – its battery pack is swappable, thanks to their eSwap technology. eSwap allows you to exchange the battery pack in the case for a fresh module. Packs are available in 1200mAh and 2200mAh.

These high capacity batteries can provide between 7 and 12 hours of extra video playback, up to 50 hours of audio or up 18 hours of talk time. The battery packs don’t actually charge the iPhone – they merely power it, which reduces wear on the internal iPhone battery pack. When plugged in, the charger cord charges your iPhone and the myPower at the same time.

The MyPower for the iPhone 4G retails for $79.95, and additional battery packs are $39.95 (1200mAh) and $49.95 (2200 mAh). The new myPower is available directly from Tekkeon.

Griffin Technology PowerDuo Reserve review – iPhone/iPod power at home, in a car and on the go

Here on Gadling, we’ve covered quite a few portable battery packs in the past – and most of them are relatively straightforward (and boring). The new Griffin PowerDuo Reserve is the first truly interesting and innovative power product I’ve seen in a long time. The product consists of three parts – an AC charger (the PowerBlock Reserve), a DC/car charger (the PowerJolt Reserve) and a 500mAh ipod/iPhone battery pack (the Reserve Battery).

The combination of these three products delivers a power solution that can charge your device at home, in a car or on the go. Best of all, the AC and car chargers are designed to charge and dock with the reserve battery.

At home, you can plug your iPod/iPhone USB cable into the AC charger, while charging the battery pack. When you leave on a trip, you can unplug the charger, fold in the prongs and pack it away. Then, if you need some backup power, you simply undock the battery pack and plug it into your device. The same applies to the car charger.

Both the AC and car charger deliver 1 AMP of power – which means your device will charge much faster than many of the low cost (and low power) solutions on the market.

The AC charger is rated for 100-240 Volts, so with the appropriate plug adapter, you’ll be able to use it anywhere in the world.

The 500mAh Reserve Battery is by no means the most powerful on the market, but it’ll be enough to add a couple of hours of use to your device. On the front of the battery is a power status button and 5 green LED’s show the remaining capacity.

The Griffin Technology PowerDuo Reserve is a very well designed power solution – for a single purchase price ($59.99) , you get three chargers in one, with the ability to keep your device going, no matter what kind of situation you are in.

The parts are also available separately, so if you only need the AC or car charger, you can mix and match. The Reserve Battery is also available separately ($19.99) – which means you can order a spare and be sure you never run out of power on the go.

Product links:

PowerDuo Reserve
PowerBlock Reserve
PowerJolt Reserve
Reserve Battery

Griffin Travel Stand for iPod and iPhone reviewed

The Griffin Technology Travel Stand for iPod and iPhone is one of the the smartest little gadgets I’ve reviewed in a long time. Despite not consisting of much more than a small case and rubber headphone winder, this product fulfills multiple tasks in one.

When closed, it is a great case for your headphones – keeping them wound around the included rubber wrapper. But when you open it up, this little marvel becomes a brilliant little movie watching stand for your device. Despite the name, the travel stand works perfectly with almost any player on the market – including most mobile phones and small media tablets.

How good is the Travel Stand for iPod and iPhone? Well, when I first saw it, it made me furious. Furious because I didn’t invent it. The whole thing is ridiculously simply, yet so perfectly executed.

Headphones store neatly inside the stand when not in use.

And the whole thing folds up into a neat little headphone case.

The viewing angle is perfect, and rubber feat on the bottom prevent it from sliding around on your airline tray table.

Best of all, the Griffin Travel Stand for iPod and iPhone retails for just $14.99 (though I have already seen it at the local Walmart for under $10!).

If you have ever struggled with watching a movie on your flight, this is one $15 you won’t regret investing – even if it is just to keep your headphones protected. You’ll find this brilliant little product at Griffintechnology.com or your local electronics retail store.