After exchanging gifts throughout the holiday season, you may have spending money to treat yourself to some tech accessories in the new year. With so many useful gadgets on the market, we put together our top picks for enhancing your phone. From a virtual reality headset to a rugged case that will withstand cringe-worthy falls, these options will help you get more usefulness and enjoyment out of your device.
Virtual reality transformed the gaming world by immersing players in the action, and this accessory lets you take the experience with you, whether you pair it with your phone or tablet. The Oculus gaming library has over 550 titles to match your gaming style, so you can decide whether to solve a mystery, challenge yourself with a puzzle or take part in a sci-fi world such as Star Trek: Bridge Crew. Aside from gaming, Gear VR can be used to elevate your next Netflix binge, making it feel as if you’re in a private theater.
Otterbox has a reputation for rugged phone cases, and while it may not be as exciting as immersing yourself in VR, protecting your phone is a must. With an Otterbox case, you can rest easier when your phone slips from your hand or off the desk. Three layers of protection help prevent screen scuffs, block dirt and dust, and deflect impact, which will save you the hassle and cost of phone repair or replacement. Plus, the Defender Series offers a range of colors including our favorite, Big Sur Blue.
Next to protecting your phone, charging it is likely one of your top priorities. If you’ve enjoyed the increasing prevalence of wireless charging pads in coffee shops, you know how easy they are to use. Without cords and cables for different devices, all you do is place your phone on the pad. Use the fast charge accessory if you need to power up more quickly. We prefer the charger duo as it allows you to charge a phone and smartwatch simultaneously, and you can offer it easily to guests whose phones are running low.
With 8 hours of playtime, Onyx Studio 5 is a portable Harmon Kardon speaker with exceptional sound quality, and it performs well beyond streaming music. Noise and echo cancellation ensure that you can use it for conference calls. When you want to immerse yourself in a sound experience, wirelessly connect two speakers to fill the room. You’ll want the speakers to be visible to show off their sleek design.
When you want to listen to music privately, Beats headphones offer award-winning sound and an ergonomic design that allows for hours of listening. The cushioned ear cups make them comfortable to wear, and they also function to buffer external sound, giving you an immersive listening experience. Providing 40 hours of battery life, you won’t have to charge too often, but the 5-minute quick power capability is a good option for the times when you need a boost. With the built-in Apple W1 chip, you’ll also experience seamless transition between Apple devices.
Unlike typical round earbuds, Apple EarPods were designed specifically around the geometry of the ear to offer a comfortable listening experience. They also deliver on sound quality, making them a great choice for times when full headphones are just not practical. The lightning connector that accompanies the EarPods ensures you can use them with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Have you resolved to pay more attention to fitness in the new year? After a season of holiday parties and dinners with friends, many of us are returning to regular exercise routines. With the Withings Body Cardio accessory, it’s easy to track progress on your phone. If you choose to set a weight goal, you will receive tips to help you along the way. Otherwise, you can simply refer to the readings for weight, body mass percentage, muscles mass and other health indicators to keep yourself motivated. With the capability of retaining 8 individual user profiles, this accessory can be used by the whole family to track progress over time. Beyond body composition, each user can measure heart rate as well.
Whether you bike for fitness or transportation, the Lumos Kickstart Helmet will help you travel around more safely. Built with gesture-recognition algorithms that correlate with your Apple Watch, the helmet translates your hand signals into helmet signals, making it clear to everyone on the road where you’re headed. Bright LED lights ensure you’re noticeable. You can also connect the helmet to an iPhone app to track ride and health activity.
Unlike clunkier folio cases, the Uunique leather version features a streamlined design while still providing ample storage for credit cards. Even when the slim profile case is filled like a traditional wallet, your contents won’t interfere with its wireless charging capability. The flat surface of the rear back shell ensures you can charge up when needed.
When you need to charge an Apple Watch and iPhone simultaneously, the Belkin valet charge dock lets you do it quickly. Its magnetic charging module aligns with the watch instantly while the phone dock adjusts to fit any size case. With its elevated design, you can easily see the devices as they charge, making accidents less likely to occur.
What phone accessories do you find most useful? Let us know in the comments below!