With the holiday season approaching, you’re probably thinking about what you’ll get that special someone. Jewelry? Too cliche. A new car? Too expensive. A sweater? Too grandma. If your special someone is a BlackBerry lover, why not get him or her some accessories to pimp out their Berrys?* We’ve got a dozen of them to share with you today.
*BBGeeks bears no responsibility if your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife expects more from you than a BlackBerry accessory.
OtterBox Defender case
We’ve made no secret of our admiration for OtterBox Defender Series cases. They might be a bit bulky, but they’re brutally awesome. You could drop your Berry down a flight of stairs and it wouldn’t damage an OtterBox protected device. Not that we recommend you actually do that.
Thankfully, OtterBox has released a line for nearly every newer-model BlackBerry device. You can nab one for the Curve, the Pearl, the 8800 series, and the Bold. They do have a line of Defender cases for the iPhone, so you’ll likely see a version for the Storm before too long. Though I do wonder if they’ll come up with one for the Pearl 8220.
The cases are a bit expensive, $50 each, but they’re worth the price, especially if you’re the type that drops your Berry on occasion (that’s me).
Cell Ranger Stix signal booster
Sometimes, you just need a signal booster. This can be especially important in your car, where you might drive through a dead zone or two on your way to work. There’s nothing quite as annoying as holding a conversation, only to have it end abruptly because the signal dropped out.
The upside of the Cell Ranger Stix is that it really does work. It’s a bit more intricate than your average signal booster, and can give you clarity where you once had static. You might even be able to get a signal in those dreaded drop zones, making for a seamless conversation while you’re driving (with a Bluetooth headset, of course).
The downside is that it only works in your car. The antenna goes on your trunk or roof, and the device powers itself through your cigarette adapter. In other words, it won’t help you out if you don’t get signal in your house. That is, unless you can figure out how to rig it to do so.
It’s a bit pricey, too. You’re looking at $150. Yet, considering the high cost of other signal boosters and the portability of Cell Ranger Stix, this could be perceived as a good value.
Jabra C250 headset
Talking on your phone while driving is dangerous. Using a hands-free device makes the activity a bit safer. Many states have passed laws requiring a hands-free device while driving, so you might be in need of one. The most common type, as mentioned above, is the Bluetooth headset. This gives you a wireless connection, which many people prefer. However, there are downsides to Bluetooth.
They can get expensive for the good ones; they can be a pain to set up; the batteries die. Sure, most people get over that and enjoy their wireless setup. For the rest of us, there is the option of using a wired headset. The Jabra C250 brings you a quality headset at a low, low price. you might have a wire to deal with, but you’ll save on money and frustration. Doesn’t that make it worth it?
When I say you’ll save money, I really mean it. The thing runs $4.95 at the BBGeeks Store through January 1. So you can get this and another accessory for that special someone.
Seidio Extended Battery
We’ve all had this problem at some point or another. We charge the BlackBerry overnight, use it the next day, and get home to find just a sliver of life left. What gives? Hey, sometimes you just use your BlackBerry heavily, which drains it. Other times, you want to use it for its other functions, such as an MP3 player. Problem is, the stock battery only has so much juice. So what can you do?
For starter, you can check out ways to save your BlackBerry battery life. If you use the multimedia player on your commute, though, these might not be enough. You’re going to need some more juice, which means an extended life battery. This is where Seidio’s line comes in.
They come in two power levels: 2600mAh, which provides 140 percent more battery power (170 percent for the Pearl), and 1500mAh, which gives you about 35 percent more juice.
They’ll cost you between $40 and $50, but for heavy users it could be well worth the cost.
There are a number of units out there that can make your Berry easier to operate while you’re driving. Not that you should be distracting yourself from the road. People will do it anyway, though, so we might as well go with the safest possible way.
Back in February we reviewed the Carcomm Mobile PDA cradle and found it acceptable. It comes with a ton of wiring, which is good if you plan to permanently mount this on your dashboard, but not so cool if you want to move it around.
In case the Carcomm one isn’t for you, there are a ton of other car cradles available.
Freedom Universal Bluetooth keyboard
Most of us have gotten fairly proficient at typing with our thumbs. Sure, you might need a training device or a special massage, but typing with thumbs, for most, isn’t much of a pain. Still, there’s just something about a QWERTY keyboard, especially if you’re typing longer documents. I couldn’t imagine typing out this entire post on my Berry.
Enter the Freedom Universal Bluetooth keyboard. It hooks right up to your Berry and gives you the ability to type out longer emails and documents. It can also help you turn your BlackBerry into a virtual workstation.
I love this thing when I’m on the go. Because the keyboard folds up, it’s a ton smaller than my laptop. With my quick cellular connection (one of the upsides to Verizon), I’m still browsing at decent speeds. And now I can type out emails quickly and easily.
It’ll set you back $99.99, but can you put a price on convenience?
One of the great aspects of the newer BlackBerry lines has been the portable memory, or microSD, slot. It allows us to store more information on our Berrys, including multimedia files. SD cards come in all sizes, all the way up to 16 GB, which is now supported in OS 18.104.22.168. Unfortunately, they’re not easy to come by these days.
You can, however, check out the SanDisk 8GB microSD card. It’ll run you $60, though that price could be coming down once the 16 giggers are more widespread. You can also check out other memory cards, 4GB and down, which will run you considerably less. It all depends on your data needs.
Screen cleaners and protectors
You might remember a while back when Cooper talked about the virtues of BlackBerry screen cleaners vs. his pants leg. Yeah, these things do a better job. They’re rather cheap, too. 3M sells a lens cloth for $4.95.
You can check out a number of screen protectors as well. They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so stay ahead of those nicks and scratches with a screen protector. These are especially useful if you’re like me and keep your Berry in your pocket, rather than on a clip or in a case.
Loss prevention service
People lose their BlackBerry devices. It’s just a fact of life. According to Stuffbak, these devices are only recovered five percent of the time. That might be an underestimate, considering they sell a loss prevention service for your BlackBerry. The Stuffbak Loss Protection Service consists of two adhesive labels which you can attach to the back of your Berry. If someone comes across it, they’ll easily be able to contact Stuffbak and get the device back in your hands.
Why would they do this? Well, Stuffbak offers a $20-value product reward for finders. Owners can also add a cash reward to the pot. Of course, someone who finds a BlackBerry might still be more inclined to keep the device, which is worth hundreds. Still, if it increases recovery rate, it might be worth it, especially since the product costs $4.95.
This certainly isn’t for everyone, but you can get yourself some charms to dangle from your BlackBerry. I’d go into this, but Cooper already covered BlackBerry charms with a comprehensiveness I can only strive for. You can check out his article for the skinny.
Once again, Cooper is your guide to BlackBerry skins. They are thin adhesives that you can place on the surface of your BlackBerry. They give the device a customized, painted look without any long-term commitment. You can remove them and change them at anytime.
The best part is that they don’t leave behind any residue. So you can use a skin for a while, then go back to the regular color of your Berry without having stuff stick to it. You can even slap the skin back on at any time.
As I’ve mentioned above, some people like to use their BlackBerry as a music player. This works on the commute, at the gym, or just walking down the street. However, you’re going to need a set of headphones if you want to do that. Thankfully, there are a ton of options when it comes to headphones. You can go ith the traditional ear buds, or you can get a huge set that cover your ears.
Personally, I favor the wireless Bluetooth headphones. I usually have a bag draped across one shoulder, and the wires sometimes get caught in the strap. The wireless makes this easy. Plus, I can take off my bag without having to take out my headphones first. Always a plus.