If you own a smartphone, it’s a good bet you own a few mobile accessories as well. A heavy-duty case adds protection against bumps and drops, and a portable charger keeps the power flowing—but that’s all you need, right?
Wrong: mobile accessories can really enhance the experience of owning a smartphone, especially once you venture beyond the usual items. Here are four that you’ll quickly come to find indispensable:
Blue-Light Filter Screen-Protector
Studies have shown that blue light—the kind emitted by your phone’s screen—can have all kinds of adverse health effects, many of them stemming from disrupted sleep. Android phones and iPhones offer software-based blue-light filtering, but it’s only a half-measure. A better solution: a screen protector that doubles as a blue-light filter, like the Tech Armor RetinaShield.
Your phone can serve up an endless supply of music, podcasts, and other audio, but who wants a headphone cord constantly in the way, constantly getting tangled?
No one does—which is why you should spring for a pair of wireless earbuds, also known as “neckphones.” These connect to your phone via Bluetooth, so the only wire is the one keeping the ‘buds together. And because that cord wraps around the back of your neck, they have a place to hang when you need to pop them out.
The Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones from Monoprice can play for up to 20 hours on a charge, and the built-in microphone lets you take calls without interrupting your workout.
Running out of space for all of your music, movies, and photos? That’s a common smartphone problem; luckily, there are mobile accessories designed to solve it. What you need is external storage—a readily accessible place to store your media.
Products like the iAccess iOS microSD Reader from Leef plug into the bottom of an iPhone, and loop around back, so as not to stick out too far. Pop in a microSD card, and you’ve got virtually unlimited extra storage. Android and iPhone owners alike should check out the RAVPower FileHub, a wireless microSD card reader that doubles as a mobile charger and triples as a travel router.
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best—like a strip of fabric that allows you to carry your phone either around your neck or clipped to your belt, instead of within one of your pockets or deep in your bag.
What’s so great about that? The phone is safely held within a silicon waterproof case, and still offers full functionality (even when underwater). And now that your phone is “strapped” to you, you’re much less likely to accidentally drop it. That’s the Dri Cat Underwater Case by iCat in a nutshell. Once you start using it, you’ll never want to take your phone anywhere without it.