10 BlackBerry inPulse
A pointless luxury? Almost certainly. Cool? Very definitely. In 2009, watchphones failed to take off (again). But Research in Motion took a different tack with inPulse. Rather than a fully functional phone, it's a rather lovely add-on that provides notifications and message updates for when your phone is out of reach.
We were impressed by the OLED display and less-is-more design. And we’re even more excited about rumours that RIM could release the device’s APIs, thus clearing the way for third-party apps.
9 Mobile phone soaps
Available in relaxing Palm Pre, exciting iPhone and BlackBerry varieties. Who knew soap could be this dope?
8 Daft Punk wireless headphones
Okay, so these beauties, which were among the winners of a Nokia design competition, aren’t commercially available. But why in God’s name is that? They’re one of the best bits of band merch ever. And proof positive that robots really do rock.
Palm Pre owners love to shout about the wireless charging capabilities of their smartphones. And they're typically especially vocal in this respect when iPhone fanboys are in the vicinity.
The Powermat goes some way towards getting Palm apostles to put a sock in it. Not only does it let you charge your Apple phone wirelessly, but you can juice up another two devices at the same time. And because it cleverly cuts off power when a device is fully charged, it’s got impeccable eco-credentials too.
6 N97 Mobira Cityman case
This great bit of kit isn't 2009’s most practical or cutting-edge accessory. But it was certaintly the acoutrement that gave us the most laughs. In a nutshell, it’s a case that disguises Nokia’s none-more-smart smartphone as a 1980s Mobira Cityman brick handset.
We fell in love with it mostly because of the attention to detail that clearly went into its design – not least the app that made the swanky N97 display come on like an old skool LCD display. And we were even more taken with the way it throws thieves off the scent of your expensive new mobile.
5 R2D2 Phone Strap
Phone charms were flimsy, cutesy things aimed at 9-year-old girls until this feisty little R2 unit came along.
4 MiLi iPhone PowerPack
This is nothing short of genius in a tidy, hard-wearing plastic case. But it’s not just any plastic case. Concealed inside is a rechargeable battery that offers up to 390 hours of standby, over 30 hours of audio playback and nine, count ‘em NINE, hours of video viewing. That’s twice the battery life of the iPhone standard power pack.
Plus, as if that wasn’t cool enough already, the MiLi is designed so that you can use USB leads to charge your phone and sync your iPhone with iTunes simultaneously. See, we told it was genius.
3 Toad iPhone cover
Last year’s brilliant, lyrical Ode to Toad from the Mario mythos by 4AD types the Mountain Goats cemented his place in our hearts as the coolest Ninty character bar none. We’ve been flaunting our appreciation of our mushroomy mate ever since with this cute as a button cover.
2 Beats Tour ControlTalk headphones by Dr Dre
As the man who reinvented Hip-Hop twice over, it’s fair to say that Dr Dre knows a thing or two about sonics. These ‘phones offer studio quality sound that adds a new dimension to your favourite tuneage and brings out hitherto unheard details of songs. They’re not cheap, but they’re a lot more cost-effective than smoking, ahem, chronic every day to get the same effect.
1 Sony Ericsson MH907 Motion Controlled headphones
According to the hyperbolic Sony Ericsson’s press blurb, these motion-controlled phones were going to revolutionise the way we listen to music forever. Natch, they didn’t. But they were pretty cool nonetheless.
Granted, the ability to cut playback simply by pulling a headphone out of your ear comes across as a solution looking for a problem and could be seen as a gimmick. But there’s nothing gimmicky about the full, rich sound reproduction they offer. The only downer is that they’re only compatible with Sony Ericsson phones.