Best Samsung Galaxy S II accessories
You've resisted Apple's charms, stuck to your Android guns and now you've got yourself a shiny, new Samsung Galaxy S II. What next? Accessories - that's what. Hopefully you've got some spare pennies left over from your smartphone purchase and if so, then you might want to consider kitting out your new handset with a few extras.
There are thousands of different options to choose from ranging from suspiciously cheap to stupidly expensive. We've trawled the internet for the best Samsung Galaxy S II accessories around, so that you don't have to. Read on for our pick of the bunch.
One of the first things that strikes you about the Samsung Galaxy S II is how impossibly slim it is, especially compared to its smartphone rivals. The last thing you want to do when you've just bought a slick new handset is spoil the aesthetics by slapping it in a bulky case that makes it look like a mobile phone from ten years ago. As the name suggests, the Case-Mate Barely There case is a slimline case with an extremely svelte profile.
Featuring a flexible plastic shell, the case has been designed to be impact resistant, while not ruining the good looks of your fancy new phone. Yours for £14.95.
Extended battery case
The fancier our mobile phones get, the more battery power they consume and top-tier smartphones are the worst culprits. If you want your phone case to do a little more than simply protect your handset, then this nifty extended battery case from Samsung is a good option. It's been designed to boost your standby time by up to 500 hours and your talk time by up to nine hours. Sporting an integrated charging port and battery charge level indicator, the case has been fashioned to be as slim as possible to that it doesn't add too much bulk to your new toy.
The case has cut-outs to cater for your phone's camera, speaker, microphone and headphone socket, so that you can carry on using all the features without having to take it out of the case. This one's coming soon and will set you back £54.99.
If you've just shelled out a considerable amount of money for your fancy new smartphone then the last thing you want is for it to emerge from its maiden voyage in your bag covered in scratches. If you don't invest in some sort of screen protection for your handset, then it's a fair bet that the screen is going to take a few knocks and end up looking pretty shabby before too long.
The invisibleSHIELD ticks all the boxes when it comes to protecting your Samsung Galaxy S II as it offers invisible protection with a lifetime guarantee. The urethane plastic used in the protector is so durable that it has previously been used by the US military to protect helicoptor blades from wear and tear. If that wasn't cool enough, it only costs £13.95. It might be a tad pricier than some rival screen protectors (available for as little as £1.99), but we think the peace of mind that it offers is worth the cash.
Micro USB Convertor
The lack of standard size USB port on most smartphones can be slightly annoying when you want to hook up your handset to your computer or USB drive to transfer files such as photos across. Naturally, it's simply a case of using the micro USB to USB cable that comes in the box but it's all too easy to misplace that.
Fortunately, part of the official Samsung lineup of accessories for the Galaxy S II is a Micro USB Converter. This pocketable device adapts the S II's micro USB port to a standard USB. It's compact so that you can take it with you wherever you go without it taking up too much room, it's coming soon and it will cost £14.99.
If you intend to use your phone for listening to music or watching videos, then you might want to invest in a decent pair of headphones. Grabbing a pair that's kitted out with a mic also means that you can use them as a hands-free kit, so that you can answer calls without having to take your phone out of your pocket.
If you're prepared to pay for quality then the Etymotic MC3 noise-isolating headset and earphones (£77.95) offer great audio performance, blocking out the majority of background noise so that you can make your phonecall in peace. They've even got a cable that's reinforced with Kevlar - the material used to make bullet-proof vests. If you want something at the seriously budget end, then the Plantronics BackBeat 116 headphones are a good bet and cost just £16.12. Of course, if you really want to push the boat out, then the likes of the Klipsch X10i will knock your socks off - even if they are designed to work with iPhones. Best to test out the compatibility in-shop before you buy.
Even on top-tier smartphones, the built-in speakers are usually less than impressive and just about get by as being merely functional. If you intend to use your phone for listening to music a lot, then you might want to invest in something like the Jawbone JAMBOX (£159.95). This compact device connects wirelessly to your phone via Bluetooth and is small enough to carry around in bag, while still offering some punchy audio.
If you simply want something to plug your phone into when you're on the move, then Samsung's Sound Station is pretty good too, if not quite as premium. It can be used as a desktop stand, as well as an active speaker. It's available for pre-ordered now for £39.95.
If you use your mobile a lot while you're in the car then you really need to invest in some sort of in-car dock for your phone to stop you fumbling around with your handset whilst at the wheel and getting yourself arrested for dangerous driving in the process. The Talky One from Novero (£89.99) is a universal Bluetooth speaker that can be installed on the dashboard or the sun visor and can also be used in the home or office for conference calls, offering 15 hours of talk time on one charge.
For something a little simpler and more affordable which will still keep your phone safe and visible when you're driving, then, again, it's Samsung's official accessory to opt for with a perfectly respectable vehicle dock available at just £34.99.
With 16GB of built-in memory on board, the Galaxy S II isn't exactly short of space, but no doubt there are many who will need some extra capacity for their multimedia files, apps and whacking great 1080p video clips. Samsung's handset has a MicroSD card slot so that you can expand the memory to suit your needs.
When investing in a memory card, it's up to you how much you want to spend, depending on how much extra memory you need. If you want to treat yourself, then why not go all the way and splash out on a 32GB MicroSD card - you can find the SanDisk version online for as little as £49.49.
If you watch a lot of multimedia content on your handset, or you're using it for business calls all day long, then you could find yourself in a jam. Chances are you'll find yourself running short on juice before the day is out and you might like to invest in a spare battery to put your mind at rest. That way, if your handset runs out of power, all you need to so is swap the battery out for your spare one (make sure it's charged) and you're all set.
We reckon that £10.95 is a pretty good deal to make sure that you're never without some spare battery power while on the move.
As we've already mentioned in the battery section, a mobile phone that runs out of juice too quickly is no joke. As well as keeping a spare battery to hand, it might also be a good idea to invest in a spare charger or two so that you can keep one at home, one at the office and maybe one to carry around or stash at your girlfriend's or boyfriend's house.
Chargers are relatively cheap and you can pick up Samsung's ATADU10UBE mains charger for as little as £4.12 online.
As a high-end handset, the Samsung Galaxy S II is capable of handling full 1080p HD video playback, but what if you want to view your vids on a bigger screen? The official Samsung Galaxy S II MHL (Mobile High-definition Link) adaptor lets you do just that by converting the handset's USB port to an HDMI output for playback on a high-def TV.
This one will really help you to make the best of the HD content stored on your phone and is now available for pre-order at £24.99.
If you intend to ditch your iPod or MP3 player and use your smartphone for your main source of tunes then you might want to boost your selection of tracks by using some of your spare pennies to subscribe to a music streaming service.
Spotify is a good choice for music fans and the Android app means that you'll get access to the brand's massive catalogue of music in return for a monthly subscription fee of £9.99. The app caches your streaming so that you'll still get some listening time after you're out of network range, meaning that you can still listen when you're on the tube or somewhere else underground or remote.
Apart from its impressively svelte profile, one of the key selling points of the Samsung Galaxy S II is its DLNA connectivity. This means that you can hook up wireless to compatible devices, so that if you've got a DLNA TV, you can stream videos from your phone onto the big screen. Alternatively you can stream videos and other content to your phone from a storage device - handy for when you want to catch up you TV watching from the comfort of your bed.
This NAS server might be pushing the term 'accessory' a bit far, particularly for those on a budget, but if you've got cash to splash then you might as well make the most of your new smartphone. A 1TB NAS from Buffalo will set you back £109.99 and it also includes a BitTorrent client for easy downloading.
Replacement back cover
This might seem like a bit of an odd thing to considering buying when you've just spent a substantial wad of cash on a high-end smartphone. While there's no denying that the Galaxy S II is a nice piece of kit, the svelte profile and lightweight chassis mean that the back cover is a lot thinner that you might expect.
We're not saying that it's definitely going to break but if you tend to be a bit clumsy where delicate gadgets are concerned there it may be just a matter of time. Samsung made a replacement back cover available for the Galaxy S (£16.95) so if there are any issues with breakages then we could well see one for the Galaxy S II as well.