Do more with your mobile phone – 10 great mobile accessories

Welcome to the “summer edition” of ten great accessories for your phone. In this lineup, you’ll find everything from the coolest stereo Bluetooth headphones to the latest in mobile printing technology.

You won’t find any of these awesome products at the local mall kiosk, and it is needless to say that the list is a bit of a geek dream. That said – with a little bit of luck, there is bound to be something cool for everyone in the lineup.

Dell Wasabi

The Dell Wasabi is without a doubt one of the wackier products in this lineup – this small product is not the latest in flavor enhancers, but is actually a state of the art inkless mobile printer. The Wasabi uses technology called ZINK to print photos on self adhesive paper about two by three inches.

The photos can be sent to the printer using Bluetooth, or from a digital camera using Photobridge over USB.

The prints are vibrant, expensive and fairly useless. But despite its total uselessness, I can’t help but love this little printer. Being able to print stuff off your mobile phone is just a ton of fun. I do recommend keeping it away from your kids, because you’ll be ordering more paper in about 20 minutes once they get a hold of it.

PRO’S: Fun, decent print quality
CON’S: Limited use, expensive paper, slow printing, no iPhone support

Price: $79 + $12 per 24 sheets of paper

Blueant Q1 headset

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could talk to your Bluetooth headset? Instead of fumbling for your handset, or trying to use the voice recognition in your phone, you can simply tell the headset what you want.

The Blueant Q1 uses simple commands to dial numbers, check its battery life or even ask it “what can I say?”. The headset looks fantastic, has dual microphones with voice isolation and up to 100 hours standby time. The best part of the headset is that you can update its firmware using your PC, enabling it to be enhanced with new features or bug fixes.

PRO’S: Excellent audio, very reliable voice recognition
CON’S: Charging requires a proprietary cable, could have benefited from Micro or MiniUSB. Complicated speed-dial programming procedure

Price: $129.99
Where: AT&T and Sprint retail stores.

Altec Lansing Orbit MP3 portable speaker

The speaker in your phone may be suitable for some hand free conversations, but it’ll never provide the kind of sound you need for room filling tunes. The Altec Lansing iM207 Orbit MP3is a battery powered, and highly portable speaker capable of producing an amazing amount of sound from such a small package.

PRO’S: Awesome sound quality, compact, long battery life
CON’S: Single speaker/mono

Price: $39.95

Sony Ericsson Bluetooth Watch

The Dell Wasabi printer gets some company in the weird and wacky department with the Sony Ericsson Bluetooth watch. This stylish watch communicates with a compatible Sony Ericsson phone to display incoming calls, messages and more. The watch is rechargeable and has a vibrating alert.

The “only Sony Ericsson phones” limitation is easily bypassed thanks to several applications that bring compatibility to Windows Mobile and Blackberry phones.

PRO’S: Instant access to incoming calls and messages, good battery life, awesome retro/geeky look
CON’S: Operation on non-Sony Ericsson phones requires additional software

Price: $349

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 stereo headphones

The Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 Bluetooth stereo headphones are an absolute marvel of technology. Unlike other headsets that rely on bulky electronics, the HBH-IS800 houses everything right inside the tiny earbuds.

PRO’S: Tiny, good audio quality on phone calls
CON’S: Short battery life, no track forward/back buttons, earpiece heats up because of integrated electronics

Price: $199.99

iPhone zoom lens

There is no denying that the camera in the iPhone won’t be replacing your regular camera any time soon. Even the new iPhone 3GS only reaches 3.2 megapixels. None of the current models provide a zoom lens (at least not a real one), so this 6X optical zoom lens for the iPhone may be just what you need. That is, if “what you need” is another useless gadget.

PRO’S: You may be able to make the occasional decent looking zoomed photo
CON’S: You, your phone and anyone around you will look like a dork

Price: $19.95

A new smartphone

Why bother outfitting your 5 year old phone with new accessories when you could be out shopping for a new smartphone! Prices of smartphones are at an all time low, and even the most advanced models sell for under $200.

PRO’S: Newest features, fastest web access
CON’S: May require a contract renewal and addition of a data plan

Price: Under $200
Where: Your favorite mobile phone operator

odyGuardz device protection

If you have a really sleek (smart)phone, the last thing you want to do with it is wrap it up in a case or jacket. BodyGuardz are a fantastic protection method that leave your phone looking cool.

The product is made of military grade plastic film, and is cut to size for each specific phone model. Applying the film is a little tricky, but application is made easier thanks to a small sprayer containing application liquid. By moistening the plastic film, any minor mistakes can easily be corrected. Once installed, your phone gains a bit of grip from the film, and is scratch resistant from almost every angle.

PRO’S: Excellent protection, without spoiling the looks of your phone, affordable
CON’S: Installing takes a little practice.

Price: From $14.95

Tekkeon TekCharge MP1550 and MP1800 mobile chargers

Tekkeon chargers provide backup power for your phone in a compact package. Their 2 most popular backup power products are the MP1550 and the MP1800. The MP1550 provides power off rechargeable AA batteries (user supplied).

The MP1800 has an integrated Li-Ion battery pack, and adds a handy LED flashlight. Each unit charges off USB, so you can fill it up using your PC, laptop or any USB wall or car adapter. Output power comes out of a regular USB jack.

Both chargers come with a carrying tote and an assortment of charging tips.

PRO’S: Backup power for your phone, enough for 1-2 full charges, easy recharging
CON’S: None

Price: From $24.95

Arkon phone mount

By now, most readers have hopefully invested in some form of hands-free communication for in their vehicle. Of course, that still leaves the issue of a loose phone lying on the dashboard or center console. This is where the device mounts from Arkon can help – these mounts are available for virtually ever phone on the market, and can be installed on the windshield, air vents, or any of about 10 other installation points.

PRO’S: Easy to install, available for almost every vehicle, PDA, phone, GPS unit or satellite radio.
CON’S: None

Price: From $19.95 for a mounting kit