Mobile phones are quickly becoming the center of our lives, but the devices themselves only tell part of the story. What really makes a smartphone work for you are the accessories that further enhance the experience. Whether you’re driving, walking, or kicking back at home, the right accessories can level up your smartphone experience. To that end, we have compiled a list of our picks for best mobile accessories that make our smartphones even smarter.
Samsung Gear VR
Samsung is one of the leading smartphone manufacturers in the world. It is also leading the charge in the VR department as well with the Galaxy Gear VR. The Gear VR works with most of the latest Samsung Galaxy flagships, and only those unfortunately. But, since Samsung dominates market share in the Android Space, it’s certainly a leading player in the VR space.
The Gear VR has gone through a number of improvements over the years, most recently adding the hand controller. Plus the Gear VR has a catalog of titles from Oculus – another leading name in VR. Between the two, The Gear VR is a great add on for a Galaxy phone.
Outside of Samsung, Google is pushing VR forward with its own headset – the Daydream view headset. The Daydream view headset is comfortable to wear, and works with a wider variety of devices and manufacturers. Plus, you can cast your VR experience to a Chromecast.
Google has been working with app developers to deliver a high quality VR experience with a robust ecosystem of apps. You can explore worlds, like Mars or various Google Maps areas, watch movies and content from YouTube or Netflix, or play games with Need for Speed or Lego VR builder. Be on the bleeding edge of VR with the Daydream View headset.
Travel USB Charger: Vogek 6-port USB charging station
When you’re travelling, charging your devices can be a challenge. There’s no such thing as a hotel room with enough outlets. So a nice, compact travel USB hub is just what the doctor ordered. The Vogek 6-port USB charging station is just such a device. The device is attractive, and the round shape makes it easy for multiple people to charge and use their devices at the same time.
When you’re home, the easiest way to make sure all of your devices have the juice they need is to invest in a charging station. The JZBrain 5 Port charging station is a base with 5 USB Type-A ports, and dividers for standing up devices. Short cables (included) keep things organized – no cable spaghetti cluttering up your desk. Keeping your devices neat and organized is a great way to make sure that everything has its place and stays where it belongs. It’s also great for kids to charge their tablets.
Qi charging is one of the more futuristic things you can do with your phone. Setting it down to power up is a pretty great feeling. The Azpen wireless charging dock brings you that, plus is adds a bluetooth speaker and extra charging ports to the mix. This is one of the best ways to juice up your phone, and stay entertained. Stream your favorite podcast or turn your phone horizontal and watch a movie while it charges.
Car charger: RAVPower dual-port car charger
If you’re driving with your phone, you’re going to want to keep it charged while you stream music or podcasts, plus map to your destination. To that end, RAVPower has a dual port USB plug with 4.8 A output. You can charge your tablet and smartphone with the dual 2.4A outputs. The charger is smart too – automatically adjusting voltage coming from your vehicle to deliver a consistent charge. iSmart technology delivers the best charge for your device at any given time.
While you’re driving along, navigating to your destination, its best to keep your phone in an area where you can keep your eyes on the road. Your dashboard is a great place to do that, and chances are, you are under-utilizing a component there. Your CD player could be holding your smartphone, with the Mpow that becomes possible. This phone holders mounts inside your CD player (and still allows CDs to play) giving you a secure perch for your phone. Just make sure you’re only using it for mapping, and not for texting. It can wait!
While you’re driving along, if you do get a call, don’t reach for your phone. This device keeps your hands firmly on the wheel where they belong. The Sumind Bluetooth FM transmitter connects to your phone and to your car’s FM radio. Just like that any sound coming from your phone comes out through the car’s speakers. A built in microphone turns this setup into a highly effective speakerphone system, allowing you to talk on the phone and keep your eyes on the road. Plus, as an added benefit, you can stream your music and podcasts through your car’s speakers as well. It’s a great solution for older cars that don’t already have a bluetooth solution.
Bluetooth Headphones: Jaybird X3 Sport
Headphones are an important accessory to today’s smartphone, and with so many OEMs ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack, bluetooth is more important than ever. The Jaybird X3 Sport headphones are a great solution to this problem. They have great sound, are sweat resistant, and rugged. The battery lasts for over eight hours, getting you through a full work day, plus 15 minutes of charging gives you an extra hour in a clutch.
If you are a cord disciple, then 1MORE has a great solution for you with its triple-driver in-ear monitors. They’re under $100 and they provide great sound and great value. The inline remote allows you to intelligently control your music, or even your phone’s assistant. The headphones are solid across the sound spectrum from the deepest bass to the highest treble. There headphones deliver quality.
If you’re on a trip, or commuting, and you just want to kick back and drown out the noise, you need a great set of noise-cancelling cans. Our Sound Guys have evaluated a number of different headphones and the CB3 Hush headphones are the best bang for your buck. These headphones give you great sound and great isolation. Plus they are wired, or can work via bluetooth depending on your preference. This is a great overall solution for those eight hour plane rides with a screaming toddler.
But if none of these are your cup of tea, be sure to check out your personal sound guys and see what other recommendations they make!
Lightweight, for on the go: Heloideo 5,000 mAh charger
Smartphones are great – when they’re working. But the problem with most smartphones these days is they don’t last a full day. So it’s often necessary to carry some extra power with you. The Heloideo 5,000 mAh charger is extremely slim, and fits in just about any pocket. What’s more, everything you need to charge the battery and charge your phone are built into the case. The device has a USB type-A and Type-c connector built in, along with an AC plug. Plus, there are two USB Type-A ports on the end of the device for charging other devices if needed. This is one of the most versatile chargers out there.
Heavy, for going off the grid: RAVPower 32,000 mAh battery pack
If you are heading out of town for the weekend, or even just a long trip, you’re going to want more juice. For that RAVPower has a power brick that will keep you going for days. 32,000 mAh will go a long way toward keeping your phone and tablet charged. In fact, there are three USB Type A charging ports, you can can even top off a friend while you’re at it. With 6A output, you’ll be keeping your devices rearing to go for days and days.
Somewhere in the middle: Anker 20100 mAh battery pack
Then there are the times that you need a lot of juice, but you also want it to be portable. The Anker 20100 mAh battery pack has enough power to charge your phone and tablet a couple of times, and it compact enough to fit into a bag or a pocket. Two outputs will keep your devices going, and the battery even ships with a Micro USB cable for charging the battery, plus a travel pouch.
Best sound: JBL Flip 4
Let’s face it. The speaker on your phone probably sucks. When you’re trying to listen to your music, it comes out tinny, and just not very good. And that’s ok. Phones are small, and speakers in phones are small. So a bluetooth speaker can take your sound and kick it up to 11. The JBL Flip 4 not only has great sound, but is Ipx7 waterproof meaning you can submerge the speaker and it’ll keep on pumping out the tunes. Plus, if you have more than one, JBL Connect allows you to link up to 100 JBL connect enabled speakers together to fill the party with sound. That’s what we call booming sound!
Sometimes, you want more out of your speaker. The Zealot S1 has a lot of utility to it, beyond just a Bluetooth speaker. In addition to playing music and podcasts, the S1 also mounts to your bike, so you can stay on the go. Plus, it has a 4,000 mAh power bank built into it so you can keep your phone charged and ready. A flashlight on the front end also serves as a headlight for your bike. Plus, it’s waterproof. There is a lot of utility packed into this little device, so it might just be your next camping buddy.
Most Fun Speaker: Arc Star floating speaker
That’s not a moon. Nor is it a space station. It is a floating bluetooth speaker that definitely does not resemble any kind of spacecraft in a galaxy far, far away. This floating, spinning bluetooth speaker is sure to get the conversation going at parties. The 360 degree speaker is sure to fill a room with sound on all sides. Plus the magnetic base works as a charging station for your device. This is an all around solution that definitely does not have an exhaust port that leads straight to its central reactor.
Best mobile accessories – Conclusion
That’s our look at our picks for the best mobile accessories. Let us know what you think of our picks in the comments!
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