18 Essential Smartphone Accessories You Can Buy

Last Updated: February 19, 2017

There’s no doubt that modern day smartphones are pretty great. Android smartphones and the iPhones come with some great hardware, and operating systems that feature millions of amazing apps. So, when you buy a new smartphone these days, you get a great package. However, if there’s one thing that really enhances smartphones, it’s the various accessories on offer. While there are various accessories designed specifically for some smartphones, some accessories are compatible with almost all devices. So, we are taking a look at the 18 most essential accessories for smartphones you can buy:

1. Portable Chargers

Portable chargers or power banks are something that almost everyone buys these days and that’s because, no matter what the battery capacity your smartphone packs, it’s never enough. If you are looking for a power bank that covers almost all your devices, you should get the RAVPower 20100 mAh Portable Charger ($45.99), which packs in three ports, two USB ports with one supporting Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 tech and a USB Type-C port. That’s not all, it can even be charged with those ports, so the battery can be juiced up pretty quickly.

ravpower-20100-mah-portable-charger

Another cool offering is the Flux 4000 mAh portable charger ($33.95), which is very pocket friendly and includes built-in cables for microUSB devices and a Lightning cable, so you don’t have to carry cables around.

If you just want an affordable portable charger that gets the job done, you can check out Anker PowerCore 10000 mAh portable charger ($23.99). If you are looking for USB Type-C power banks, you can check out our article on the same.

2. Car Mounts

If you tend to use your smartphone to navigate around in your car, you must get a car mount. We’d recommend you to get iOttie’s Easy Touch Car Mount Holder ($19.99), if you want to set up the mount on the car’s dashboard or the windshield. You can also get WizGear magnetic car mount holder ($7.99), which fixes on the car’s air vent. Both these car mounts support almost all types of devices, so no matter which smartphone you use, these should be fine. If you want more options, you can check out our list of the best car mounts.

iottie-car-mount

3. Arm Bands

With fitness apps and services integrated in our smartphone, we can’t really part ways with our device even when we are working out. Well, that’s when an fitness arm band comes in handy. If you own a smartphone that packs in a display that is around 4 to 5-inches, you can get Tribe AB37 Sports Arm Band ($9.98), which is water resistant, features a key holder, full touch screen coverage, 3.5 mm jack support and more. The arm band is even available in a bigger version aimed at devices with larger displays ranging from 5.2 to 6-inches. The arm band is available in different colors too.

tribe-arm-band

4. Selfie Sticks

Selfies are all the rage these days and if you love taking selfies, you must be planning to get a great selfie stick, right? While there are numerous selfie sticks available, if you want a Bluetooth selfie stick that offers great battery life, you should get the Anker Selfie Stick ($13.99), which offers 20 hours of battery life. The selfie stick is very compact, features a highly adjustable cradle and can be extended to 29-inches.

anker-selfie-stick

Another very portable and compact offering is the Mpow iSnap Selfie Stick ($14.99), which is only 7.1-inches long when collapsed, so you can even carry it on your pocket. If you want a selfie stick that even works as a tripod, you should buy the Accmore Selfie Stick ($29.99). Want to check out more selfie sticks? Check out our article on the same.

5. Camera Lens Attachments

Most smartphones these days come with great cameras and while they take decent pictures, what if you want to improve their performance even more? Well, you can always buy a camera lens attachment. There are different camera attachments available for fish eye lenses, macro and wide-angle but you can get all of those lenses in CamKix 3 in 1 Camera Lens Kit ($15), which supports almost all the smartphones & tablets out there. The package brings a 2 in 1 macro and wide angle lens and a fish eye lens. You can also check out the OldShark Camera Lens Kit ($7.99), which brings different lenses for fish eye, macro and wide angle.

camera-attachments

6. USB OTG Flash Drives

The USB OTG feature on Android smartphone has been here for quite some time now and you can use it in a lot of different ways. Having said that, it comes in especially handy when you have a smartphone with a rather modest internal storage. USB OTG flash drives are to smartphones what portable hard drives are to computers. If you are an Android smartphone owner, there are a plethora of great USB OTG flash drives available. If you are looking for a microUSB OTG flash drive, you can buy SanDisk Ultra offering (starts at $9.44). For a USB Type-C OTG flash drive, you can buy the SanDisk Ultra USB Type-C version (starting at $14.99) and if you want both microUSB and USB Type-C flash drive, you can buy Roofull’s 3 in 1 64 GB USB OTG flash drive ($24.98).

roofull-3-in-1-usb-otg-drive

If you own an iPhone or iPad, you’d know that there’s no support for USB OTG but don’t worry, SanDisk offers its iXpand Flash Drive (starting at $42.92), which works on iOS devices using an app.

sandisk-ixpand-flash-drive

7. Headphones

Most smartphones come with an in-ear headphones that are just fine but nothing great. However, if you are a music aficionado, the first accessory that you will get is a decent pair of headphones. When it comes to in-ear headphones, the Bose SoundTrue Ultra ($129.99) is arguably the best of the lot. If you want something way more affordable but still pretty great, you can get the Panasonic ErgoFit ($9.44).

bose-soundtrue-ultra

Talking about headphones, if you want the best, you should check out the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 headphones ($328.99), which is arguably the best all around headphone. It’s available in a wireless as well as a wired version ($218.88). There’s also the much regarded Audio-Technica ATH-M50x ($137.55) that you can check out.

8. Bluetooth Earbuds

The world is going wireless, what with the latest iPhone 7 & 7 Plus, Moto Z and more smartphones not featuring a 3.5 mm jack. While you can use adapters to use your old wired headset, you can invest in a decent wireless earbud. If you are looking for something affordable, you can check out the SoundPEATS Q12 Bluetooth headset ($27.99) but if you want the best, you can get Jabra Elite Sport ($249.99), which is arguably the best wireless earbuds available right now. For more details, you can check out our list of the best wireless earbuds.
jabra-elite-sport

9. Gaming Controllers

While most games available on the App Store or the Play Store are designed for the touchscreen, there are games that can be played better using a controller. Games running in emulators or VR games will be a lot of fun when played with a controller. Although there are various gaming controllers out there, you should check out SteelSeries’ Bluetooth gaming controller. It’s available in an Android & Windows version dubbed Stratus XL ($49.99) and an iOS, macOS and Apple TV version dubbed Nimbus ($49.95). The controller features a design reminiscent of the Xbox controller and offers a number of features. It packs in a phone holder, customizable triggers and more.

steelseries-stratus-xl

10. Skins

Not all smartphones look great, some just look too bland, but don’t worry, you can always install a custom skin on your device. You can use Dbrand or Gadgetshieldz to create your very own custom skin. You can just head over to their websites and customize the look of the back, front, side, camera lens and even the company logo through different textures and materials. Now that’s cool, isn’t it?

dbrand-skins

11. Cases and Covers

For most people, cases or covers are the first accessory they buy for their smartphones. Well, it’s important because smartphones are prone to drops, which can result in minor scratches or even shattered display. You can check out for the best cases and covers from popular manufactures like Spigen, Incipio, Otterbox or you could just head to Amazon and search for your specific device’s case. You can even check out our articles on cases and covers for different devices.

google_pixel_cases_featured_image1

12. Screen Protectors

Screen protector or screen guard is another very essential accessory, because no matter what phone you have, the display will get scratched after a point of time. Thus, it’s best to apply a screen protector on your device’s display. For screen protectors, you can again check out the aforementioned makers or head to Amazon or check out our lists of screen protectors for different devices.

Vinve Tempered Glass Screen Protector

13. Portable Bluetooth Speakers

While some smartphones pack in great speakers, some just offer lackluster sound quality. In that case, it’s always better to get a portable Bluetooth speaker that you can carry around with ease to your different trips. The Ultimate Ears Boom 2 ($149.99) is a great Bluetooth speaker, with features like 360-degree sound with bass, IPX8 rating for water & dust resistance, and 15-hour battery life. You can also check out JAM Heavy Metal Wireless Speaker ($80.99), which offers 20W speakers, 8-hour battery life, voice prompts etc.  If you want a more affordable and portable offering, the DOSS Touch Bluetooth Speaker ($39.99) is a good bet.

doss-wireless-bluetooth-speaker

14. Car Chargers

While you can always use portable chargers, carrying it with you all the time can be a hassle. So, if you want to charge your Android smartphone or iPhone while you are on the go, you should get a car charger. Like most other accessories on this list, there’s no dearth of great car chargers. You can check out the Amazon Basics Dual USB Car Charger ($7.99), which is an affordable offering that brings two 2A USB ports and an LED indicator. There’s also Anker’s 50W USB Car Charger ($16.99), which offers 5 ports, so that you can juice up multiple devices.

amazon-basics-car-charger

15. NFC Tags

Not many people are aware of the NFC tags but they can make up for a great accessory to smartphones. While iPhones only use NFC in Apple Pay payments, you can use NFC tags for different usages on your Android smartphone. Firstly, an NFC tag is a small piece of circuitry, with a coil, and a microchip that can be programmed to perform specific actions whenever it comes in contact with an Android smartphone that supports NFC. NFC tags are available at dirt cheap prices, so you can buy any one from Amazon and it should work fine. For instance, you can check out the NFC tags from WhizTags ($9.99).

nfc-tags

16. Charging Stations

If you want your smartphone to act as a nightstand at night while it charges or you want to make sure that charging your multiple devices does not look like a mess, you can get a charging station. If you want a single device charging station, you can check out Pin Yuan microUSB dock ($9.99) or USB Type-C dock ($9.99). For an iPhone-only charging station, you can get Winstion’s charging station ($16.99).

pin-yuan-charging-station

If you want a charging station that charges multiple devices of yours, you can buy Levin’s Bamboo Charging station ($31.99) that looks great and gets the job done.

levin-charging-station

17. Wireless Chargers

If you own a device that supports Qi wireless charging, it is a good idea to get a wireless charging pad. You can get the Choetech wireless charging pad ($19.99) or the Itian wireless charging stand ($14.99). Both of them support all the Qi-enabled devices and they are highly rated products on Amazon.

choetech-wireless-charging-pad

18. VR Headsets

When it comes to VR headsets, the options are pretty limited. All the high-end offerings like HTC Vive, Sony Playstation VR, Oculus Rift etc. require either a computer or a console. When it comes to smartphones, the options are Google Cardboard (compatible with phones that have gyroscope and magnetometer), Daydream View (compatible with Google Pixel, Pixel XL or Moto Z, as of now) or Samsung Gear VR (compatible only specific Samsung devices). However, if you own a compatible device, you should definitely try out the Daydream VR ($79) or Gear VR ($95), which offer a decent virtual reality experience.

best-daydream-games

If you are looking to buy a set of cables, adapters, headphone pouches, camera attachments, repair tools etc., you can check out the “Accessory Kits” section on Amazon. The section categorizes various accessory kits, so you can check them out accordingly.

Also, while we have mentioned USB Type-C accessories above, if you are only looking for accessories compatible with your brand new USB Type-C device, you should check out our article on the best USB C accessories.

SEE ALSO: 9 Great DSLR Accessories for Beginning Photographers

Check out these useful accessories for Android smartphones and iPhones

A smartphone is only as good as the apps available on it and the accessories available for it. Thankfully, there are some great accessories available for both Android and Apple devices. So, check out these essential accessories and do let us know you like them. Sound off in the comments section below.

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