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December 30, 2014

The best Lumia gear of 2014

It’s not all about new smartphones and apps. For many, accessories are a great way to enhance the mobile experience.

Here are some of the best Lumia-related accessories we featured in 2014.

Microsoft Band


Designed to help you better understand your body, activities and even your sleep, the Microsoft Band can do all of those things–and more.

You can use Microsoft Band alone or paired with your phone. When paired with your Windows Phone 8.1, iOS or Android device, it’ll help you achieve your fitness goals as well as relay phone-call information, emails and text messages.

Full details on the Microsoft Band (and the Microsoft Health platform), here.

Wireless Charging Plate


Wireless charging is a really simple way to keep your phone juiced up. A wide range of Lumia devices offer wireless charging, such as the Lumia 930, Lumia 830 and Lumia1520.

Just place your phone on top of a wireless charging plate and charging will start automatically, without the need to plug a wire into your phone.

For some extra cleverness, when wirelessly connected to your phone using Bluetooth Low Energy, it can sense when the battery on your Lumia reaches a low level, then beckons you to power-up by an ambient light notification built into the plate. Essentially, it glows.

Read here to learn more about this smart wireless charger.

Treasure Tag


Tired of losing your house keys, wallet, your phone, or anything else small enough to vanish into the background?

Paired to your smartphone via Bluetooth (quickly done with NFC, if you’ve got it on your phone), Treasure Tag notifies you via an alarm on both the tag and phone if they are separated, which helps you better keep track of your belongings.

Some ideas for using Treasure Tag can be found here.

Treasure Tag Mini


Much like the first Treasure Tag, this one pairs with your phone in hopes that you don’t wander off too far.

Smaller in size, and therefore even more lightweight and easy to carry, the Treasure Tag Mini doesn’t incorporate a buzzer and all the alerting happens on the phone side.

More on that, here.

The Bang by Coloud


It’s unusual for a speaker to be triangle. But that’s the uniquely brilliant nature of the Bang by Coloud.

Portable enough to shove in a pocket and durable enough for garden parties or the beach (although, not water resistant), the Bang by Coloud can be daisy-chained to other Bangs for ultimate sound.

More on the design and robustness of the Bang, here.

Microsoft Portable Power


If you’re out and about all day and night, you might consider getting a backup battery.

The Microsoft Portable Power can charge your smartphone as quickly as our fastest wall charger and comes with a 6000mAh rechargeable battery.

Simply charge this up before any trip and plug it into your Lumia when you need it.

For more details on the Microsoft Portable Power, read here.

Microsoft Screen Sharing for Lumia Phones


Have you ever wanted to show your pals or colleagues what you’ve got on your phone? Well, now you can.

The Microsoft Screen Sharing connects to your TV via the HDMI port and when wirelessly paired to your phone can be used to project whatever you’re playing, listening to, or browsing to the big screen – in real-time.

Microsoft Screen Sharing is compatible with Lumia smartphones with screen projection (such as Lumia 730, Lumia 735 or Lumia 830) and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™ products on any operating system

Check that out, here.

Portable Wireless Speaker


What’s small, round, and can use a flat surface to produce lots of bass? It’s the Portable Wireless Speaker, that’s what.

Incorporating a “sound actuator” on the underside of the speaker, the Portable Wireless Speaker pumps out low frequencies downwards using the surface it is on for the bass, leaving the top speaker to handle the higher ones.

Read our interview with Matthew Bramble to find out more.