There are lots of useful accessories that you can buy for your smartphone, from rugged cases to screen protectors, headphones to Bluetooth speakers, and the list goes on. Of course, not every Android accessory is what you’d call amazing, and there are at least a few gizmos out there that are just plain pointless or targeted to such a super niche audience you start to wonder why they even exist.
To be fair, some of these products and devices were created with sincere and honest intentions, and just didn’t work out as well as planned. On the other hand, some were clearly made just to make money because of how outrageous they turned out to be.
While there are far too many pointless smartphone accessories to list here, we’d like to highlight 10 smartphone accessories that we can help feel shouldn’t exist. They range from the oddest phone cases you can actually buy (or at least you could buy at one time ) to retro headphones to some actual “As Seen on TV” products. These are so bad, they are actually kind of cool, in a weird “Bizarro World” sort of way.
While some of these products have (thankfully) gone the way of the dodo, there are still a few of them that you can actually buy, if you dare. If you really want to check them out, you can surf over to Amazon, eBay or another online retailer of course. Just don’t blame us when you decide they are actually, you know, pointless.
Retro Phone Handset
Remember landline phones? Your mom or dad, or more likely your grandparents, may still use them at home, but now you can replicate that old fashioned telephone experience (if you really want) with the Native Union Pop Phone Retro Handset. Yes, you can also experience the feel of that big receiver placed on your ear and speaking into the handset that might be full of germs, just like your ancestors did.
The company behind this “so bad it’s good” accessory tries to make the claim that by using this handset to take voice calls on your phone, you will also cut down “up to 99% of the radiation absorbed compared to a direct use of your mobile phone.” Uh-huh. Nice try, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that when you use this version of a headphone (it connects to a smartphone’s 3.5 mm headphone jack), you will most likely look like one of those TV detectives from the 1970s keeping in touch with his or her clients.
You can actually buy this headset on Amazon right now, and it comes in a number of different colors and designs, including the gold color version that you see above. Prices vary, but you should be able to buy one for less than $10. Now if you excuse us, we think we hear a big scoop coming from our phone lines that we need to get out in the paper tomorrow morning before the TV station gets wind of it.
TV Hat Privacy Viewer For Smartphones
This product was first released a few years ago as one of those campy “As Seen on TV” products that you might find advertised on a local television station. The TV Hat Privacy Viewer is, as you can clearly see, a baseball cap that has a pouch at the end of its long, long brim. You just put your smartphone in that pouch, with the display turned towards your eyes, and bingo; you are watching the new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Netflix without having to hold the phone in your hands.
On the surface, this sounds useful. In the real world, this TV Hat just looks way too silly for anyone to wear it in public, except if they are going as “Goofy TV Hat Guy” at a Halloween party. If you want to be that guy, you can purchase this thing on eBay for about $26. Just don’t wear it while walking down the street, please.
Selfie Brush Phone Case
For anyone who wants to make sure they look good before they take a selfie, there’s this accessory that was first made for the iPhone 5. The Selfie Brush lets you place that phone inside a “case” that also doubles as a hair brush. You can whip this brush out of your purse, use it to make sure your hair is just right, and then turn it around to take a quick selfie photo.
This smartphone case not only looks silly, but it also seems to be targeting young women who only care about getting the best selfie shot they can with their smartphone. It’s just dumb and, yes, useless. If you really want this, hopefully as a gag gift, you can buy it now on Amazon. Let’s hope this dies a quick death.
Edible iPhone Case
This sounds like an April Fools Day joke, but this was actually a thing a few years ago. To no one’s surprise, it came from Japan, which is no stranger to wild and wacky products. The Survival Senbei iPhone 5 case was first revealed in 2012 and was made of Japanese brown rice and salt. Unlike most phone cases, which are expected to help protect your device in case of a fall, this edible iPhone case was designed to give people some nourishment in the event of an emergency.
We can’t imagine the type of emergency that would require us to eat our smartphone case, but never let it be said that the Japanese people let logic get in the way of invention. It doesn’t look like this edible iPhone case is still being sold, but we think we have not heard the last of this idea.
Hand iPhone Case
There are useless smartphone accessories that might be considered to be cute, or at least trying to be actually useful and just missed the mark. Then there’s the Hand iPhone Case. It’s a iPhone case with a life-sized human rubber hand that is glued to the back of the case. That’s it.
The makers of this product try to make the case that this rubber hand will make it easier for iPhone owners to hold onto the phone while they make any calls. First of all, we doubt that is indeed the case (no pun intended). Second, even if it were easier to hold onto your iPhone by placing your hand in this rubber shape, it still looks way too creepy to outside eyes. It really does look like you just came from an event where you chopped off someone’s hand and placed it on the back of the iPhone. Even Hannibal Lector might feel this was too over the top, even for him.
The phone thong
This one really doesn’t need much of an explanation. You can see what this is with the pictures above. What we need an explanation for is why did someone come up with this idea (which on the surface is to protect a smartphone’s home button) and why it was made into a product that people could actually buy. Yes, we know this is supposed to be a joke. The problem is that jokes are supposed to be funny. The phone thong is anything but funny. It’s actually the opposite of being funny. It’s just plain stupid.
That doesn’t take away from the fact that it did exist and we are putting in on this list. You are welcome, and at the same time, we are sorry. We are so very, very sorry.
Screen cleaning robot
We know in our head that within a few decades, robots and artificial intelligence will be doing pretty much all of our mundane chores like driving our cars, delivering our food and . . . well, you know…. However, we should try to reserve a few things for humans to do for themselves, no matter how small they may be. That includes the cleaning of our smartphone and tablet screens. Unfortunately, someone thinks we don’t need human assistance to do that job right now.
The Auto Mee S Robotic Smartphone and Tablet Screen Cleaner, like many wacky products on this list, comes from Japan. You just place this device on a mobile display, and it is supposed to move all over the screen and clean it, with no risk of the robot falling off the edges. This sounds super, except we can do the same thing with a little water, a cheap wash cloth, and do it most likely in less time than this robot. If you really want to buy it, it’s available now from Amazon, but do us a favor and not bow down to your future robot masters just yet, please?
GoJo hands free smartphone headset
Fake Cracked Screen Protector
While all of these products qualify as dumb, pointless, or just sadly misguided smartphone accessories, if there is one you find on the list that you believe is legitmately useful, we’d love to hear about it down in the comments. Additionally, if you know of any other really bizarre, cool, or downright stupid smartphone accessories — let us know about that as well!