Our smartphone does many things for us, sometimes even without us realizing it. Some accessories can not only help it work better for us but also maximize its durability. First-party accessories are made specifically for the product so quality is guaranteed most of the time. That said, you can imagine that the variety is limited and prices are often high.
A good alternative is third-party products which are more affordable and have a wider variety of accessories. The downside is the lower quality since they are more generally-fitted. Thus, when purchasing third-party accessories, it is important to read reviews while ensuring that the reviews are real and not sponsored. Getting the right accessories is just as important as picking the right apps, like the Phone Truth App, for instance.
This list briefly covers all you need to know about these mobile accessories.
Smartphone cases serve two main purposes; keeping the phone safe from damage and making it look great.
If you’re looking for a light-weight case, thin cases are the best. Since they only have one layer, polycarbonate or TPU is usually the material of choice. However, the protective factor is not as strong.
If protection is a priority for you as well, then hybrid cases should do it. Either two thin layers are included or a variety of materials placed smartly will get you the lightweight yet tough protection that your phone needs.
The next category of cases is rugged cases. As its name implies, it’s heavy-duty and equally bulky. Usually, it comes with holders that let you hang your phone off a belt.
The last category is the wallet case. They let you keep your cards and some cash together with your phone and most of them come with flip covers that protect the screen as well. The protective factor depends on the brand but it will surely make your device look luxurious.
The screen of our smartphones is the most vulnerable part. Therefore, the longevity of a phone relies on a good screen protector.
TPU protectors work well on curved surfaces and protect your phone from scratches. However, they require a wet fitting which is quite troublesome. Then there’s the PET which is thinner and easier to install but like TPU, it merely prevents scratches. Finally, we have the tempered glass which is the best option out there. It does the most protecting and has plenty of alternatives that can offer users screen privacy. A caveat is that poorly made ones will affect the touch response and screen visibility.
Holders for your devices
These holders might have a simple job (i.e. to hold your phone), but it might one day save your life while driving or riding.
CD players and auxiliary power port are great places to mount your holder if they’re no longer in use. The air vent is tricky because mounting the holder there might interfere with airflow. The best place would be the windshield or the dashboard. However, even then you have to get a good holder that can be adjusted after installation and won’t leave a residue upon removal.
Some features to look out for when shopping for a holder is the grip, ease of installation, and range of movement.
Charging up your devices
Like other accessories, research is important when choosing the right charger for you. Some things to look out for in your research would be the charging time, suitability of the ports, reliability of the brand, and the bulkiness of the charger. For power banks, you also want to ensure the capacity is sufficient for your device.
With all these factors in mind, here are some of the best chargers for each type of use.
For multi-port wall chargers, RAVPower two-port and Anker Power Strip are great. For wireless chargers, try the Samsung Wireless Charger DUO Pad and the Anker PowerWave. A good car charger option would be the Anker Power iQ charger. Finally, the RAVPower 15000mAh PD Power Bank and the Samsung 2-in-1 Portable Fast Charge Wireless power bank are great for charging on the go.
Cables can make or break the charging experience. The best options out there for fast-charging cables are Anker PowerLine III Plus and the Intel-certified Thunderbolt 3 cable.
We have a lot of Bluetooth products that keep us connected yet physically free to roam. Even though they sometimes disconnect, it hardly stops anyone from using their Bluetooth accessories because of its convenience.
Some features to look for in a good wireless earpiece is functionality, battery life, size of the charging case, affordability, and sound quality. Some of the leading models are the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus and Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless. While the latter has great sound quality, the former offers a balance between quality and price.
The other mainstream wireless accessory is Bluetooth speakers. With Bluetooth speakers, you want to look for durability, specifically whether it has waterproof features and long battery life. Needless to say, sound quality is also a priority. The Marshall Stanmore II not only looks good but produces high-quality sounds that justify its price. If that is a little bit of an overkill for you, consider the JBL Charge 4 which strikes a balance between quality and price. It is also portable and waterproof.
Storage drives and cards
When looking for ways to get extra storage for your precious data, you want to ensure that you don’t get more than you need. If the storage is not compatible with your device, you would have wasted all your money. For example, some phones only allow microSD cards with a maximum of 32GB.
When researching for external storage, look out for the speed class of microSD cards. These tell you the minimum write speeds and should be chosen according to your device. A standard phone should ideally be fitted with a microSD card of 10 or U1 speed class. The Video Speed Class refers to the speed in Mbps. If you’re filming a video with high-resolution demands, a microSD card with a Video Speed Class is essential. For smartphones and tablets, the App Performance Class is important to open apps and run them swiftly. A rating of A2 is faster than A1.
SanDisk Extreme Pro and the Sandisk Ultra Dual Drive are both highly recommended microSD cards.
We have come a long way from traditional watches to smartwatches and fitness trackers that not only monitors multiple aspects of our health but also allows us to be phone-free for a short while.
The Fitbit Charge 4 and Fossil Gen 5 are both great options for watches that do more than just tell the time. The former focuses more on fitness tracking, although it does feature Fitbit Pay and GPS functions. The latter on the other hand is more of a smartwatch with a great exterior and even greater interior. The navigation is easy and its superior software allows users to have access to multiple Google apps.
Phone camera accessories
As our mobile camera replaces professional cameras, it might be important for some to consider investing in these gadgets for a better output.
For tripods, consider the JOBY GorillaPod 1K Kit which offers great functionality for a reasonable price. The best lenses for smartphone cameras are from Moment which offers a beginner set as well. The Mpow Selfie Stick and Tripod offers great variability in use and comes with additional helpful features like Bluetooth remote and a fill light.
While some products are more of a luxury than a necessity, others can help prolong the lifespan of your phones. To minimize the damage while maximizing the use of your smartphones, consider both first-party and third-party accessories for a more comprehensive effect.