In This Chapter
Unify AV Solution
Case and belt clip
Screen protector and skins
Extra battery, charger, and charging pod
Bluetooth Music Gateway
The BlackBerry retail box contains a few essentials: a battery, a charger, a micro USB cable, a belt clip, and possibly a 1GB microSD card. If you’re like most of us, though, you’re not satisfied with what is included in the box. In this chapter, you find accessories that supplement your Curve — and find out where to get them.
If you like to accessorize your Curve, check out site promotions. Every now and then, a site such as CrackBerry.com runs promotions and gives big discounts. Also look at RIM’s Web site at www.shopblackberry.com. It usually offers accessory bundles.
Unify AV Solution
Unify AV Solution is an innovative product of Unify4Life that makes a smart-phone (including your BlackBerry) a universal remote control.
You can find a suite of features on the Unify4Life Web site, but a sample includes complete TV listings in your BlackBerry for informative channel switching. You can purchase it directly from http://unify4life.com/ products.html.
Your new BlackBerry normally comes with external memory: a microSD card. But if you’re not satisfied with its capacity, go hunt for a much bigger one. After all, you want to carry with you a boatload of music and video files, right? Many electronic gadgets use microSD cards, so they’re easy to find.
A normal price range at the time of this writing is $20 for 8GB capacity and $40 for 16GB capacity. Special promotions come and go, but you can always find a good deal somewhere on the Internet. And for any Internet purchase, take into consideration the shipping and handling costs plus the vendor’s return policy (or lack thereof).
Any brand will do, as long as you make sure that you’re buying a microSD card.
As netbooks become more popular, people forget that the BlackBerry they already carry is a “mini netbook.” Internet? Check! E-mail? Check! Microsoft Word docs and Microsoft Excel? Check! Sure, the screen is a bit smaller, and the keyboard is small, but with a little help from a Bluetooth keyboard, your BlackBerry will save you the cost of a netbook and still be productive.
We recommend the pFreedom Universal Bluetooth keyboard, which you can find under Bluetooth keyboards at shop.crackberry.com or Amazon.com.
You have the choice of Bluetooth and non-Bluetooth connection options. We recommend Bluetooth to minimize the clutter. A Bluetooth keyboard is the most convenient option for the obvious reasons: You don’t have to carry cables, and you can position your BlackBerry any way you want.
For less than $100, you can own the cool iGo Stowaway Ultra-Slim Bluetooth keyboard, available at www.amazon.com. Or you can buy the ThinkOutside Stowaway Shasta Bluetooth keyboard for BlackBerry, available at http:// yahooshopping.com for $45.
Although your new BlackBerry is a stereo music player, it doesn’t come with stereo headphones. You will definitely yearn for stereo sound the moment you listen to music or watch video clips. A quick search on the Internet for BlackBerry + stereo headphones yields many results. But you want to be able to talk, too.
You could spend $30 to $200. Several good headsets follow:
BlackBerry stereo headset with noise-isolating ear gels V-MODA Vibe duo in-ear headphones with mic Motorola S9 stereo Bluetooth headset
The best place to get stereo headphones for your BlackBerry is good ol’ Amazon: www.amazon.com.
Case and Belt Clip
You have plenty of cases to choose among, with looks ranging from sporty to professional. These cases can set you back anywhere from $20 to $40, which isn’t too bad for looking hip.
Here’s where you can buy a new case or belt clip:
www.amazon.com www.bberry.com www.blackberryden.com www.blackberrysource.com
When you buy a new belt case or clip, buy one made specifically for your BlackBerry model. Also, it’s important that the case or clip come with a small magnet. BlackBerry is holster-aware and conserves battery juice, and this magnet is the key for the BlackBerry to know that it is inside a holster.
Screen Protector and Skins
If the protector case described in the preceding section is a bit stressful for your wallet, try the Blackberry Pro high-definition screen protector with mirror effect. That’s a mouthful, but for about $10, it protects your screen from scratches. Go to www.accessorygeeks.com.
Other popular bestsellers are skin cases. They come in many colors and keep your BlackBerry looking new. The price is usually between $9 and $12. Go to
http://shop.crackberry.com or www.accessorygeeks.com.
Extra Battery, Charger, and Charging Pod
An extra battery for your BlackBerry will come in handy if you’re a daily user.
Buy your battery only from Research In Motion, at www.shopblackberry. com, or an authorized RIM reseller, not from some unknown vendor. A faulty battery can damage your BlackBerry beyond repair.
Make sure that the battery you buy is for your BlackBerry model. You’ll spend around $50 for the extra battery.
If you watch video on your BlackBerry, you know that the battery needs to be charged every couple of hours. And if you’re always on the go, you’d better have a portable charger on hand. The charger included with your BlackBerry is great to carry around town (and the world) because it has multiple adapters for different countries’ electric plugs.
If you’re a road warrior, get the BlackBerry car charger. It will set you back around $30. To top it off, you can also get a power station or charging pod, which connects to a power supply for charging and at the same time holds your BlackBerry firmly in place on your desk or nightstand. On your night-stand, you can take advantage of sleep mode, which sets the device to not disturb you by doing things such as dimming the light and turning off the LED. The charging pod costs $12 to $30, depending on how fancy it is.
Make sure that the charger and the charging pod you buy are for your BlackBerry model.
You can get a BlackBerry car charger and charging pod from the following sites:
http://shop.crackberry.com www.amazon.com www.blackberrysource.com www.shopblackberry.com (RIM’s official store)
BlackBerry comes with a speaker, but if the sound quality just isn’t good enough for your listening taste, an external Bluetooth speaker can bring your outdoor listening to the next level. We recommend the following:
Blueant M1 Bluetooth stereo speakers Motorola EQ5 wireless travel stereo speaker
For about $110, you can get either of them from http://shop. crackberry.com.
Bluetooth Music Gateway
If you already have a great set of speakers or an audio entertainment system, using a RIM Bluetooth Music Gateway is the perfect way to stream music to your existing system. Simply pair your BlackBerry to the Bluetooth Music Gateway via Bluetooth (hence the name), and you are ready to go. What is even better is that this hockey puck-like Music Gateway can be paired with your PC or Mac, so you get more use out of it. Find it at http://shop. crackberry.com.
To complete your BlackBerry car experience, mount your BlackBerry in your car. The market offers many products, ranging from $15 to $30. You can search the major search sites. You can also get a car mount from these BlackBerry sites:
Make sure that the product you’re choosing supports your BlackBerry model.
The latest wireless speakerphone from RIM is BlackBerry Visor Mount Speaker Phone VM-605. It’s a Bluetooth speakerphone that you attach to your car’s visor, just like you attach your garage door opener. You can get one for
$99 at www.shopblackberry.com.