Apple Watch Accessory Gift Guide
Must-Have Accessories: Watch Bands, Chargers, and More
Published Dec 13, 2016
With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to start thinking about giving gifts to friends, family, and employees. For the tech-savvy group, chances are they’ve already ventured into wearable technology -- in particular, the Apple Watch. Already a favorite among Apple fanatics, the Apple Watch works with a number of accessories to craft a customized wearable experience. Here are some of our very favorite accessories -- and at a variety of price points, there’s something for every Apple Watch owner on your list.
Watch Bands: The ultimate way to personalize your Apple Watch experience is with aftermarket watch bands. With their one-click release, the Apple Watch unclasps the current watch band and easily snaps on a new set. Quality aftermarket Apple Watch bands typically go between $25 and $100 depending on style and material, making them affordable options to give yourself a watch band for every situation: working out, at the office, lounging at home, or dressing up for an evening out. Quality matters here, as cheap import watch bands tend to weather down and break, leaving your watch vulnerable to dropping at the wrong time.
Hermes Bands: If you have a fashionista and an Apple Watch fan on your list, Apple has just the thing for you -- if you’ve got the budget for it. Fashion house Hermes has partnered with Apple to bring its own line of Apple Watches to market. You can get these either by special editions of the Apple Watch or by purchasing aftermarket Hermes bands available through Apple. All Hermes watch bands feature the company’s signature style and quality -- and price, as the bands themselves range between $300 and $700.
Screen Protectors: If you've never had a cracked smartphone screen, chances are you've had a friend that's pulled out their iPhone, only to display a spider web of cracked glass on their screen. A simple drop can cause this type of damage, and the Apple Watch isn't immune. A screen protector is a clear plastic film that adheres tightly to your Apple Watch surface. This protects your Apple Watch display through two methods. First, the top layer helps prevent direct impact to the glass of the screen. Second, it also provides protection from scratch damage. For smartphones, this is useful when being carried in pockets with keys and other metallic edges. You won't deal with that much with your Apple Watch, but your wearable device will be exposed to many other environmental elements by being on your wrist, especially if you're using it in a dynamic situation such as running, working out or swimming. A screen protector provides a sensible and affordable method of protection against these everyday hazards.
Travel Cases: You're not always going to wear your Apple Watch, no matter how much you love it. And you won't always be able to put it on one of those nifty charger stands available online and at retailers. In those instances, you’ll want somewhere to keep it safe, and a number of sturdy travel cases are available to store it in a protected manner. These come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials -- from standard cube-shaped cases that snugly fit your Apple Watch to cylindrical cases to Monowear’s all-in-one Monochest, which has slots for the Apple Watch and accompanying bands.
Magnetic Charging Cable/USB Plug: Everyone needs an extra charging cord from time to time, whether for travel, the office, or just in case they lose their original. This is a very practical gift when it comes to Apple Watch accessories, and getting the USB-to-plug adapter adds versatility that you can charge in any environment, whether you have a USB outlet or a standard electrical plug.
Protective Body Case: Does your smartphone have a silicone case around it to protect it from bumps and bruises? Perhaps you’ve gone even further and put on a heavy duty guard, like an Otter Box or other premium cases. For Apple Watch fans, they’ll be happy to hear that the same exact type of protection is available for their smartwatch. Granted, a smartwatch is generally strapped against your wrist, but being exposed to everyday elements means that they’re prone to different kinds of damage. Protective body cases are available from a variety of manufacturers, with different types and quality of protection. The bottom line, though, is that they’ll all seamlessly snap onto your Apple Watch body without interfering with your watch bands, giving you the protection you need without ever inconveniencing you.
Charging Dock: Perhaps a USB cord isn’t exactly your cup of tea when it comes to charging your devices. After all, all of those cords stick out from out and around your USB hubs create some unsightly messes. Charging docks come in all types; some of them works specifically with just the Apple Watch, and others offer a one-stop shop for all of your Apple Devices. Best of all, these types of charging docks tend to come in a range of styles, colors, and materials. Whatever the style of your home or office, you’re bound to find something that blends in and complements the environment.
Bluetooth Audio: Apple Watches can sync up with a number of Bluetooth audio outputs, from standard Apple earbuds to third-party audio providers of specialized headphones and speakers. This works particularly well with the Apple Watch Series 2 models during workouts, as they allow you to simply grab your Apple Watch and audio output, then go on your workout without having to worry about bringing your paired iPhone. While you can give these gifts specifically as complementary accessories for the Apple Watch, Bluetooth headphones/earbuds/speakers also work great because they can pair up with any Bluetooth enabled device.
The Ultimate Accessory
Know someone who loves their launch-era Apple Watch? If you’re really looking to spoil that special someone, try looking at the Apple Watch Series 2 for a gift. For those unfamiliar with the Series 2, it offers a number of technical improvements (faster processor, brighter screen, Watch OS3 pre-installed) and significant feature upgrades (built-in GPS, waterproof for swimmers) that make it a truly tangible upgrade, particularly for the workout crowd.
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