Top 10 Must-Have Smartphone Accessories
With Christmas just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to take a look at some of the best accessories that you can buy for your own smartphone or give to friends and family. We did our best to cover all common categories and select just one product that best represents it. There are, however, many alternatives and we would love to see your comments with suggestions and recommendations.
1. Activity Tracker – Fitbit Surge
Fitbit Surge is the most selling GPS watch in the USA. It features everything you might ever need for your sports and outdoors activities. The built-in GPS tracking mechanism lets you see distance, pace, split times and climbed elevation, the PurePulse is able to read your heart rate and recommended you the best heart rate zone that you should target. If you prefer to take walks as your main source of exercise you will be pleased to known that Fitbit Surge can track steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, and total time of activity.
Because Fitbit Surge doesn’t use a traditional power-hungry LCD screen and instead opts for Monochrome LCD touch screen with backlight for low light visibility, you get to enjoy up to 7 days of battery life without GPS and 10 hours with GPS turned on. The long battery life becomes especially handy when you consider that this activity tracker can also monitor your sleep and set a silent alarm that will gently wake you up in the most appropriate time.
But it’s not just about sports. Fitbit Surge is also a perfect companion for daily life with its support for text and call notifications and music control. Everything is synchronized wirelessly with your computer and you can take advantage of advanced progress reports and detailed charts.
Fitbit Surge is available on Amazon.com
2. Sports Headphones – Jaybird X
Selecting the right earbuds for sports and outdoors is not an easy task. Unlike with home headphones, a lot of emphasis is placed on fit, comfort, and sound isolation. It’s absolutely paramount that your earbuds will stay securely in place while you are at the gym or running outside.
JayBird BlueBuds X are a tested choice of many athletes and sports enthusiast from around the world. Their modern design looks great and avoids being too flashy or childish – a common offence among sports earbuds. They come with three different sizes of replaceable ear tips and also with another set of three different sizes of replaceable ear wings. These are designed to offer an additional support and our experience confirms that they work really great and we had absolutely no trouble with earbuds falling out from our ears.
The built-in microphone provides a great sound quality and surprisingly high degree of outside noise suppression. Of course, the best thing about JayBird BlueBud X is their long playback time of solid 8 hours – plenty for a whole week. Pairing these Bluetooth earbuds with Android tablets and smartphones took just a few seconds and connection remained very solid throughout our testing.
The sound performance is excellent with booming bass and great frequency response and accuracy. A truly amazing passive noise isolation ensures that you will be able to fully appreciate your music even in loud environments.
Overall, BlueBuds X are fantastic products and one of the best Bluetooth earbuds that we have ever tested.
JayBird BlueBuds X are available on Amazon.com
3. Game Controller – POWER A MOGA Pro
Smartphone games have evolved so much over the years that they now offer a fantastic alternative to mainstream gaming on consoles and PCs. It appeals mainly to people who prefer the idea of gaming outside with their friends rather than at home. However, since the dawn of touch screen devices, the main limitation has always been the lack of haptic feedback. This results in fingers obscuring the already small screen and problems with precision.
Luckily, Android offers a fantastic range of Bluetooth controllers that feel great in the hand and can accommodate all common smartphones out there.
POWER A MOGA Pro is one of the most sold Bluetooth-enabled controllers on Amazon. It has dual analog sticks, directional pad, shoulder buttons, triggers, full-sized grips and illuminated action buttons, plus a built-in rechargeable battery that is able to last seemingly forever. It’s compatible with the vast majority of Android games and emulators.
You can use it with device up to 82mm in size. The rubber grips securely lock your device in place and unless you have an especially weirdly shaped case, there is no danger of your smartphone falling out.
Simply put, this controller is fantastic and you will find yourself forgetting that you are actually gaming on a portable device.
POWER A MOGA Pro is available on Amazon.com
4. Case – The Otterbox Defender
There is hardly anything worse than seeing your beloved smartphone fall on the ground and become defective. OtterBox is a specialist when it comes to building protective cases that offer a world-class level of protection at affordable price.
Their Defender series of heavy duty cases combines three ultra-tough layers to guard your device against all kinds of drops, scratches, and bumps. The front of your device is protected by the built-in touchscreen film and the high-impact polycarbonate can easily cushion what could otherwise be a serious drop.
The inside of this case is padded with foam that gently holds the device in place and ensures that when you decide to take it out and use “naked”, it will be in absolutely pristine condition.
OtterBox offers 1-year manufacturer’s warranty that covers all defects that could occur during manufacturing and assembly.
The Otterbox Defender is available on Amazon.com
5. NFC tag – NTAG213 Chip
NFC tags are a great way how to simplify your life by programming various automatic options in 137 bytes of writable memory. You can perform all kinds of operations including switching your phone or tablet to vibration mode when you get to work, automatically turning on music playback, GPS, and basically everything you can normally do on your Android device.
These NFC tags are easily distinguishable thanks to their vivid range of colors and built from durable PVC that is water-resistant and capable of withstanding temperatures up to 158 degrees Fahrenheit.
They come preformatted and their back is fitted with 3M adhesive backing. You are not required to know anything about programming or the NFC technology itself. All you need is a handy Android application that will allow you to write content to NFC’s memory. With it, you can, for example, add your home network’s SSID and password and allow your friends to easily connect without ever actually telling them what the password is.
These NFC tags can be purchased on Amazon.com
6. Power Bank – Xiaomi 5v 2a 10400mah
Xiaomi is a privately owned Chinese electronics company headquartered in Beijing, China, that is the world’s 4th largest smartphone maker. Xiaomi designs, develops and sells smartphones, mobile apps, and related consumer electronics.
They are universally known for their Apple inspired design and high-quality products that offer an unprecedented value for money. Mi Power Bank 10400mAh is a large power bank that is capable of 4.5 full charges on the iPhone 5s and 1.5 full charges on the iPad mini. Xiaomi uses premium Li-ion battery cells from LG and Samsung, which are guaranteed to last a long time and offer excellent capacity.
Your electronic devices will be protected by a total of nine layers of world-class circuit chip protection built by Texas Instruments. There is a protection for high temperature, input overvoltage, output overvoltage, protection from short circuit, incorrect insertion, overcharge and over-discharge, output overcurrent, and PTC protective circuits for the cell. If something goes wrong and the power bank starts giving unreliable values or becomes unstable, you can always use the power button to reset the power bank.
The aluminum casing is able to survive up to 50 kg of pressure and has been treated to survive water and corrosion.
If you consider that this power banks sells for just a little over 10 USD, you really have a winner.
7. Wireless Charger – Yootech® Qi Wireless Charging Pad
This handy wireless charger lets you charge any Qi-enabled device on the market. It has built-in intelligent overcharge protection and increase the life of your battery.
Its usage is very simple, what you need to charge your smartphone, you just put it in the charging area and then it will start the automatic charging process. The devices come with micro USB cable, but you will need to supply your own 2.0 amp AC adapter. Most people have at least a few of them already, so it shouldn’t be a big problem. The setup is pretty easy. All you need to do is to plug it into any USB port and you are ready to go. When the battery is full, the charging light goes from green to red.
The pad itself provides good grip on the phone, so theoretically if for some reason the surface you had it set on wasn’t completely flat, the phone should still sit on top without sliding to a reasonable degree.
It’s hard to go wrong for the price that this device costs. It does the job and while it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing device on earth, it’s definitely not bad either.
Yootech Qi Wireless Charging Pad can be purchased from Amazon.com
8. Bluetooth Speaker – Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II
Bose is an American audio manufacturer that is best known for its home audio systems, speakers, noise cancelling headphones, and high-quality portable Bluetooth speakers.
The SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker II is so small that you can easily take it anywhere with you, yet it is able to deliver booming bass that you would otherwise expect from a much larger setup than this. The built-in Lithium-ion battery is able to last up to 10 hours on full charge and pairing is very simple thanks to voice prompts and the speaker’s ability to remember the last eight devices used.
It comes with a dedicated charging cradle that keeps your SoundLink Mini II fully charged and ready to go. You can just grab the device and be sure that it is charged and ready to provide with long hours filled with music and entertainment.
The SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker II also comes with optional soft covers that are available in Gray, Charcoal Black, Navy Blue, Energy Green and Deep Red. Its aluminium casing is highly resistant to scratches and with the extra cover, you have nothing to worry about.
This amazing Bluetooth speaker is available from Amazon.com
9. Car Holder – iOttie Easy One Touch 2
iOttie Easy One Touch 2 provides a safe, versatile and highly functional smartphone mounting solution. This versatile smartphone holder features an easy one-touch mounting system locks and releases the device with just a push of a finger. The redesigned bottom foot ensures a comfortable access to all ports that are present on your device.
The holder is fully adjustable with 360-degree rotation for quick portrait and landscape views. The newly redesigned telescopic arm added 2 inches to allow for closer device viewing.
You can use this holder with devices with widths of 2.3-3.2 inches. Super sticky gel pad sticks securely to most surfaces (including textured surfaces), yet is still easily removable.
We would definitely recommend this product or any iOttie products. They always manage to deliver a very high quality for great price. Their products are tested in real-life conditions and engineered to perfection.
This smartphone holder can be purchased from Amazon.com
10. Touch Screen Gloves – Agloves
Only one thing is worse than cold hands in the winter – the inability to use touch screens when wearing gloves. Luckily, with these, you can kill two birds with one stone. Agloves are lightweight gloves compatible with any and all of your touch screen devices. They come with several different unisex sizes and one color.
They can be purchased on Amazon.com