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, smartphones are just a platform which can be enhanced using awesome accessories. 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.
Essential Smartphone Accessories You Should Buy in 2019
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 has, 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.
Another cool offering is the Lurbon 10000 mAh portable charger ($36.99), which is very pocket friendly and includes built-in cables with microUSB, Lightening, and USB-C connector. It even brings a built-in AC plug that allows you to directly connect the power bank to a wall outlet to easily charge it. 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 something different, check out this graphene power bank from Apollo ($110) which recharges in just 18 minutes. Finally, if you are looking for USB Type-C power banks, you can click on the link to check them out.
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 ($16.95), 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 ($8.49), 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. While the list is made for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, the car mounts mentioned on the list are versatile and will work with any smartphone.
3. Arm Bands
It would be great if everyone of us could buy a separate fitness tracking device. Hoewever, they cost a lot and not all of us can spare that kind of money. Well, that’s when an fitness arm band comes in handy. Since our smartphones can also track our fitness, you can use these arm bands to attach your smartphone to your arm to track your exercise. If you own a smartphone that packs in a display that is around 4 to 6-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. You can also check out Trianium arm band ($8.99) which brings all these key features and supports most smartphone sizes even with case on them.
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.
Another very portable and compact offering is the Mpow iSnap Selfie Stick ($9.99), 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 Fugetek Selfie Stick ($23.99). it comes with a Bluetooth remote that supports both iOS and Android smartphones. It will come in really handy if you want to include all your family members or friends in your selfies. 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 MACTREM 9 in 1 Camera Lens Kit ($29.97), which supports almost all the smartphones & tablets out there. The package brings macro lens, wide angle lens, zoom lens, universal macro lens, fish eye lens and more. You can also check out the Waulnpekq Camera Lens Kit ($18.99) if you are looking for something cheaper. It brings different lenses for fish eye, macro, wide angle, and more.
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 $7.99).
For a USB Type-C OTG flash drive, you can buy the SanDisk Ultra USB Type-C version (starting at $9.99). In you want both USB-A and USB Type-C flash drive, you can buy Samsung’s 2 in 1 64 GB USB OTG flash drive ($19.99). If you own an iPhone, you’d know that there’s no support for USB OTG but don’t worry, SanDisk offers its iXpand Flash Drive (starting at $23.92), which works on iOS devices using an app.
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 1MORE Triple Driver in-ear earphones ($69.88) is arguably the best in its price range. If you want something way more affordable but still pretty great, you can get the Panasonic ErgoFit ($8.99).
Talking about headphones, if you want the best, you should check out the much regarded Audio-Technica ATH-M50x ($137.55). They don’t only sound great but are also quite comfortable to wear.
8. Bluetooth Earbuds
The world is going wireless, as all the new smartphones including iPhones, the OnePlus 7, the latest Note 10, and more cancelling the headphone jack. While you can use adapters to use your old wired headset, I suggest that you invest in a decent wireless earbud. If you are looking for something affordable, you can check out the TaoTronics Playtime TT-BH053 ($32.39) but if you want something premium you should get the Jabra Elite Active 65t ($169.99), which is arguably one of the best wireless earbuds available right now.
If you are looking for a pair of over the ear wireless earphones, you should check out the Bose Noise Cancelling 700 ($399) which are currently the best wireless noise cancelling headphones on the market. That said, if you fall in the Apple camp, there are no better pair of wireless earbuds then AirPods ($169.99). The Gen-2 AirPods bring wireless charging case which makes them easier to charge. If you want something more substantial, you should check out the PowerBeats Pro ($249.95). They bring the convenience of AirPods with much better sound quality and noise cancellation. Wireless earbuds have become the most essential smartphone accessories right now and you should definitely invest in one.
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 ($29.99) and an iOS, macOS and Apple TV version dubbed Nimbus ($45.95). 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.
As you might know, with the update to iOS 13 and Apple Arcade, iPhone and iPads now support both PlayStation ($46.32) and Xbox wireless ($43.99) controllers. If you own an iPhone and have extra cash to spare, I believe that they will serve you better than the SteelSeries controller mentioned above. If you play games, these are the best smartphone accessories that you can buy.
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 SlickWraps, 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?
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. We cover cases and covers for almost all the popular smartphones. Some of our latest coverage include Note 10 Plus cases, Galaxy S10e Cases, iPhone XS Max Cases, Pixel 3XL cases, and more.
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. Some of the recent coverage includes, iPhone XS Max Screen Protectors, iPhone XS Max Screen Protectors, Note 10 Screen Protectors, Galaxy S10e Screen Protectors, and more.
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 3 ($119.99) is a great Bluetooth speaker, with features like 360-degree sound with bass, IP67 rating for water & dust resistance, and 15-hour battery life. If you are looking for something cheaper, you can check out the OontZ Angle 3 ($25.99) wireless speaker which brings great range (up to 100 feet) and sound quality with emphatic bass. It is also available in multiple colors.
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 RAVPower 40W car charger ($12.99) which brings QC 3.0 fast charging.
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 (Apple might introduce its own NFC tag soon), you can use NFC tags for different tasks 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 TimesKey ($12.99).
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 Encased USB-C Charging dock ($18.99). For an iPhone-only charging station, you can get Bebetter charging station ($8.99).
If you want a charging station that charges multiple devices of yours, you can buy Vogek 5-Port 50W Charging station ($29.99) that looks great and gets the job done.
17. Wireless Chargers
If you own a device that supports Qi wireless charging, it is a good idea to get a wireless charging pad. If you are looking for something cheap, you can get the Choetech wireless charging pad ($19.99) or the Itian wood wireless charging stand ($18.99). Both of them support all the Qi-enabled devices and they are highly rated products on Amazon. I especially love the wood charger as it looks phenomenal. If you are looking for something premium that supports fast wireless charging, check out the Mophie wireless charger ($34.98). It’s also optimized for iPhones so it’s great for Apple users.
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 ($69) or Gear VR ($35.96), which offer a decent virtual reality experience. note that Samsung GR VR has been discontinued by the company so you might not receive support in the future.
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.
Check out Useful Smartphone Accessories for Android 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.