Wallee M case for the Samsung Galaxy S3
Wallee M case for the Samsung Galaxy S3
For the commuter: A Wallee M phone case ($29.95) and mount disk ($12.95)
Many automakers and aftermarket manufacturers refuse to admit it, but the cell phone sits increasingly at the center of today's driving experience, serving as ground zero for navigation, tunes, and more. But accessing that phone on the go is often a problem: either it rests in the cupholder (gross), or it balances precariously on the dashboard, sliding into a passenger's lap. The Wallee M fixes that problem with special cases for the iPhone, Galaxy Nexus, and Galaxy S3. Those cases are designed so that, when affixed to a special neodymium-magnet mount disk, your phone remains firmly in place, wherever you like -- even during sharp left turns.
JOOS Orange solar rechargerFor the off-roader: the JOOS Orange solar recharger, $149
There's nothing like packing up your sleeping bag and your dog and heading out for a long weekend in the great outdoors -- well, until you get bored. After all, nature can only hold your attention for so long, right? That's when you break out the smartphone, kick back, and enjoy all those Queen Latifah movies you brought along for the trip. To keep the laughs a-coming, though, you'll need to keep your device fully charged, so why not make use of all that sunlight that would otherwise go to waste, photosynthesizing nutrients for the greedy plants under your feet? The JOOS Orange is hugely efficient, generating far more energy than most other chargers, and it's also waterproof. Which is handy, because you know what's common in nature? Water. See? We think of everything.
JOOS Orange solar recharger
Tool Logic Survival Card with firestarter For the safety-conscious traveler: Tool Logic Survival Card with firestarter, $19.99
Going off the grid for a day or two is fine, so long as you've planned for it. But what if you're motoring along, minding your own business, and your car conks out in the middle of nowhere? We all have a few friends who worry about things like this, and for them, nothing says "peace of mind" like the Tool Logic Survival Card. It comes with a serrated knife, a magnesium alloy fire starter, a signal whistle, and a bright red LED flashlight. And did we mention that it's about the size of a credit card? With this gadget (and a film crew), your buddy will be fully prepared to follow in Bear Grylls' footsteps. Or those of the Donner Party (but let's not think about that).
Tool Logic Survival Card with firestarter
Outride sport camera kit for iPhoneFor the thrill-seeker: Outride sport camera kit for iPhone, $149.95
Surely there's at least one person on your gift list who likes to spend her off-time at the test track -- or perhaps parachuting, parasailing, paragliding, or some other para-activity. Maybe she relies on a camera like the GoPro to record her amazing feats for posterity (i.e. her 12 YouTube subscribers). That's fine and dandy, but really, who wants to lug around a bulky camera when there's already a device in your pocket that can do the same work? If your adrenaline-junkie friend/loved one/obligatory family gift recipient has an iPhone, the Outride kit will turn that phone into a sports camera. The kit includes a case with a wide-angle lens for the iPhone camera, as well as a mount, so you can attach that baby just about anywhere.
Outride sport camera kit for iPhone
DashCommand app, for PLX OBD-II diagnostic devices for Android and iPhoneFor the shade-tree mechanic: a smartphone-ready diagnostic devices by PLX, from $99
Within the next couple of decades, many cars will be so complex, they'll be almost impossible for DIYers to fix. But for the time-being, you can make things easier for the tinkerer on your list with a diagnostic device that syncs with her smartphone. Our favorites at the moment are from PLX Devices: the Kiwi Wireless ODB-II Scanner for the iPhone and iPod ($149) and the Kiwi Bluetooth Wireless Trip Computer and OBDII Scanner for Android handsets ($99). Both come with gadgets that slide into a car's OBDII port. Once that device is plugged in and synced to a special app, users are able to run diagnostics on their vehicle right from their smartphone. (At least until the phone breaks. Sorry, we don't have a diagnostics tool for that yet.)
DashCommand app, for PLX OBD-II diagnostic devices for Android and iPhone
LEDGLOW Blue Interior Lighting KitFor the tenderfoot tuner: LEDGLOWs Blue Interior Lighting Kit, $32.99
Not everyone on your list will appreciate bling. To some, the thought of lowriders and spinner hubcaps is enough to make them lurch for the nearest K-Car. But for others, the allure of hydraulic lifts and custom tail lights is strong -- if only they knew how to install such stunning thingamajigs themselves. For them, this underdash lighting kit could be the start of a lifelong journey into the world of hoopties and hoonage. They'll sing your praises for years to come (though their neighbors might not).
LEDGLOW Blue Interior Lighting Kit