While there’s plenty to explore and discover with your new smartphone purchase, accessories are always a tempting purchase to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your latest gadget. While the basic screen protectors, cables, and cases are a given, this list aims to point you in the direction of some of the more interesting and exciting accessories that you can pair up with your new smartphone.
Boost your battery life with a battery pack
You’re bound to be using your shiny new gadget non-stop for the first few days, so it might be wise to pick up a battery pack to keep you juiced up all day. There are plenty of options to pick from, but if you’re willing to spend just a little bit more money you can grab some more capable battery extenders. Battery packs don’t have to be boring either, you can also find wireless charging options and even packs that can be charged up with solar power.
If you’re looking for something sleek and stylish, you should check out the ultra-thin Lepow Portable charger, which packs in 5,000mAh cell. That will be enough to extend your smartphone battery life by at least double.
If you’re after more of a monster, the RAVPower 20,100 mAh pack comes with a huge amount of extra juice. Not only that, but it is also equipped with Quick Charge 3.0 and 2.0 ports, a USB Type-C port, a 2.4A regular USB charging port, and 4 LED indicator lights to tell you how much power you have left. If you’re looking for a fast charging solution, this is an option virtual guaranteed you have you covered.
If you’ve bought a Samsung Galaxy S6, S7 or Note 5 flagship lately, then you should definitely consider picking up a wireless charging dock to go with it. Wireless charging really is the height of convenience, and your new gadget deserves the best. Get rid of those tangled up USB cables and simply pop your phone on the charging pad at night and be ready to go in the morning. Not to mention that you can make the most of those free charging spots in Starbucks too.
Unfortunately, not many other smartphones are shipping with wireless charging capabilities out of the box these days. However, it is possible to buy a low cost wireless charging receiver that plugs into your phone’s charging port, which should work with most models. Simply tuck pad inside your phone case, or even inside the back panel if it’s removable and non-metal, to turn any virtually handset into a wireless charging device.
A decent pair of headphones
Don’t waste your time with those nasty little buds that are packaged with your smartphone as little more than an afterthought, your swanky new smartphone deserves a proper pair of headphones to do it justice if it’s become your new portable music player.
There are tons of options out there, but you could choose to grab a Bluetooth pair to make the most of your phone’s wireless capabilities, or opt for a noise cancelling pair to eliminate that street noise while you’re out and about. One of our top picks from 2016, which won’t break the bank, are the Symphonized NRG Wood in-ears priced at just $25. The Jaybird X3 pair are also worth a look at for those willing to spend just over $100 for some Bluetooth connectivity.
Fitness tracking / smartwatch
While 2016 hasn’t seen a lot of new smartwatches released, there are already plenty of products on the market to help augment your mobile experience. As well as taking notifications from your phone and pushing them conveniently to your wrist, Android smartwatches can offer you turn-by-turn directions, search using your voice, and can be used to control the music playing on your phone.
The market for fitness trackers is actual even more diverse than the smartwatch market, and a variety of well known sports brands are established in the market already. All of these trackers feature an Android app for your phone that will help pair up the devices and help you keep track of your fitness goals and progress. You can check out our list of the best products this year at the link below.
Immerse yourself in Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is the hot new trend in the mobile space. While the more serious mobile VR enthusiast will want to grab a Google DayDream ready handset, you can dip your toes in the waters of virtual reality with pretty much any smartphone and a low cost headset. Experiences range from games and 3D videos, to exploring virtual stores and even the solar system.
There are a range of manufacturers making virtual reality headsets these days, including Samsung’s Gear VR for its flagship phones, or the incredibly low cost Google Cardboard at the other end. Once you have a headset, you can find a selection of virtual reality apps to try out over at Google’s curated Play Store list.
Amazon Echo or a Chromecast
While phones are fine for video and audio playback on the go, nothing quite compared to sticking a film up on the big screen or blasting your tunes back through a decent pair of speakers. Fortunately you can easily send your media library around your connected home with a Google Chromecast or Amazon Echo.
If you’re into films or TV, then the Chromecast is the way to go, as you’ll be able to quickly push shows, Youtube videos, and music streaming services directly to your living room TV. You can even start playing a video on your phone and pick up where you left off on your TV.
Those looking for standalone audio or smart home integration should opt for the Amazon Echo. Not only is the Echo compatible with a wide range of music streaming services and features its own speaker so that you can place it anywhere in your home, it also comes with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. Want to know what the weather or traffic is going to be like on your way to work? Just ask Alexa. The Echo now has over 1,200 voice commands, many of which can be integrated with information from your smartphone, such as contacts, calendar, and music library.
Takes to the skies with a drone
Did you know that you can control drones from your smartphones? Well you can, and you probably should give it a try. DJI’s entire range of drones can be controlled from your smartphone, which means that you can view a livestream of the drone’s camera while you’re flying it. They’re not cheap, starting at over $300 for the Phantom 2, but it will come with everything you’ll need to get started with your new drone hobby.
Alternatively, you can find some cheaper drones that will still allow you to fly in first person using your smartphone from brands like Walkera or the U45W Blue Jay. If you pair this up with one of the virtual reality headsets that we mentioned earlier, you can really feel like you’re taking to the skies.
Hopefully this list has given you some great starting points to start making even more out of your new Android smartphone. If you have any of your own amazing accessory suggestions, feel free to let us know about them in the comments below.