There are many ways to find reviews for Android apps, in fact, probably too many. Whether it be the the Google app market “Play” or such services as AppBrain in which your friends can see which apps you have downloaded, you can easily find sometimes dozens of similar apps all with 4-5 stars. When it comes to accessories, there are fewer resources and you won’t find a marketplace with hundreds of thousands of users rating any one accessory. In that spirit, here is a round-up of a few accessories that have worked out well for me for the Samsung Galaxy Note.
1. Momax battery charger: for the device and an external battery at the same time
If you buy the genuine Samsung Galaxy Note external battery charger and battery kit, you end up with a new charger that you can use for your device OR your external battery but not both at the same time – don’t waste your money! Samsung also claims that the external charger doubles as a stand for your Note….but fails to point out that you cannot charge your Note while you flip the lid open to use as a stand. They also neglect to say that the lid/stand keeps falling down if you move the Note a bit. Your better option is to get the Momax external battery charger that also has a side USB port and cable so that you can charge the external battery and the internal battery at the same time. There are also optional plugs (ordered separately) available for different countries so that you can take this with you to other countries and save your universal adapters for other devices you might be toting. The Momax U Charger is reasonably priced, for example it is currently $19.99 at NCIX.COM.
2. Samsung Galaxy Note Desktop Dock
This is something done right. Unlike the way they overstated the features of their external battery charger, they understated what you can achieve with their desktop dock. This is a perfect bedside companion, especially if you also have an external speaker or other clock radio with an auxiliary input for the mini-plug output from your Note. When docked, the Note automatically launches the Clock app, which in full screen mode has an app dock along the bottom and the rest of the display is the time and weather. You can even customize the docked apps for those things you might want to have handy at your bedside. In my case, I keep PocketCasts, TuneIn Radio and some other radio player apps in the dock. You can toggle on or off the play through external audio when docked function at the top of the display if you do have your Desktop Dock plugged into an external speaker. I set a radio app or PocketCasts to sleep mode and I’m set for falling asleep. This item is lists for $39 but is approximately $26 at Amazon.com.
3. Plantronics BackBeat 903+ Stereo Bluetooth headset: value and great usability
This was a pleasant surprise. For just $55 to find a stereo headset that allows me to be wireless for listening to music or podcasts and also use for answering calls – an amazing find. This has a longer battery life (approximately 8 hours) than any other bluetooth earbud despite being stereo and uses the same type of mini-USB port for charging as the Galaxy Note…so you end up with a spare charger for your Note as well as this meaning you can always use your Note charger for the headset. This headset announces how many hours of listening remain when it powers on and the same built-in voice tells you if you are connected to your device. “8 hours listening time remaining; connected.” You can set your Note to auto-answer and this headset is compatible with that for your incoming calls. There is also a play/pause button on the right ear but and call button on the left. There is sound cancellation for the telephone microphone and volume controls on the left ear bud. Most importantly, you are not getting tangled in your earbud wires as the only wire is along the back of your head to connect the left and right earpieces together. With this headset, you have freedom from wires and full controls on your earpieces so that your Note can stay tucked away in your pocket or case. It is available at ncix.com (currently $60) and through Amazon.com (currently at $48).