In this section, you will find useful information regarding the latest cell phone accessories we've evaluated and compared.
Each category includes our top picks, which we've come to recommend and hundreds of hours researching and testing these products.
Although we might love or enjoy any of the products we use, we narrow our picks down to five to help alleviate some of the hassles in choosing the right product for you. When there are so many options out there, making the right decision can mean the difference between saving and losing money.
Of course, we're always searching for the best value; the fine line where quality meets affordability.
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Beyond our top picks and product recommendations are our key considerations you should know before making the purchase. We'll coach you through evaluating price, functionality, design, quality, and more.
If you're looking to get started pimping out your cell phone with a cover or case, antenna boosters, travel chargers, car chargers, and more, you'll find them all compiled right here for you.
Cell Phone Cases
Like a trusted friend, your phone is always with you, full of important contacts, photos, and information both work-related and personal. You'd be lost without your cell phone. So why not keep it safe and secure with a cell phone case?
Your first thought might be about whether a cell phone case is even worth buying. After all, you're a responsible adult, right? You'd never spill coffee on your phone, or jump into a pool with your Samsung Galaxy in your pocket, or throw it at a wall when you can't get past the next level in Candy Crush, right?
In 2013, a British study declared that the average iPhone was broken or damaged about 10 weeks post-purchase. Whether you have an iPhone, a Samsung Galaxy, or any other device, you've probably spent hundreds of dollars on it. Why let a simple five-foot drop from your desk completely ruin a $500 purchase?
After hundreds of hours, and a few broken cell phones later, we've reviewed the best cell phone cases on the market today.
Before you check out a fancy case for your new iPhone, here are a few things to consider:
- Case Material & Type: From thin to thick to armored like a tank, there are a variety of different cases and skins you can choose from. Common materials include plastic, leather, and hardened rubber.
- Design: Cell phone cases come in a variety of colors, making your iPhone a bold fashion statement.
- Price: You get what you pay for. Simple as that.
- Functionality: A cell phone case can make your phone waterproof. Whether you're taking photos underwater or in the shower, this is a good thing.
Ever wanted to be the star of the party? Your lack of popularity aside, you certainly can be the star with a BlueTooth speaker. Everyone knows that sound quality from your cell phone or tablet sucks, so bust out your favorite tunes and bring the bass--wirelessly--with a portable speaker.
All modern iOS and Android phones, tablets, and music players have integrated BlueTooth technology, bolstering the already portable nature of a wireless speaker. Because they don't need a WiFi connection to work, you can jam out at the park, at the beach, or wherever life takes you.
Before you buy, here are a few things to consider:
- Portability: Portability is king when it comes to deciding on what BlueTooth speaker to purchase. Unless you want one specifically for a PC or laptop to connect to, you want a wireless speaker that can be easily picked up, moved around, and set down again. Look for speakers with rechargeable batteries.
- Durability: Like I said before, a BlueTooth speaker is great to be used outside and by the water, so it's understandable that accidents might happen. Dust, dirt, and water will ruin electronics, so make sure you get a speaker rugged enough to withstand splashes and falls.
- Quality: It's important to consider audio quality and form factor. While not the end-all decision breaker, a BlueTooth Speaker that looks pleasing and is ergonomic to wield is nice. Sound quality can vary wildly between speakers and buyer preferences. Blasting bass that shakes the foundation of your house isn't for everyone. Crisp, clear, balanced sound is more important than sheer power.
For more information, check out our buyer's guide to Bluetooth Speakers.
I think we can all agree that listening to music is something we do practically every day. For some, music is the only thing that can help us get through the day. We listen to music on the train ride to work, working out in the gym, at home, and on the move. Wireless earbuds, then, are a natural extension of our desire to listen to music.
Wireless earbuds allow you to listen to your favorite tunes, podcast, audiobook, and more with the convenience and freedom of operating without a cord or cable. Normal, wired earbuds can be a nuisance while you're moving, and could get tangled or stuck on objects. Larger headphones are often too big and clumsy to wear for a morning jog, could be an obstacle if you bring them to work.
For those who want to seamlessly fuse their music with their active lifestyle, wireless earbuds are essential.
Wireless earbuds now take up about 31 percent of the headphone market, according to Statistic Brain. With their popularity and price point rising steadily, there's a lot to think about before you commit to a pair of the best wireless earbuds.
- Battery Life: If you have to stop and charge your earbuds or replace their batteries frequently, then they're no better than wired headphones. You'll want wireless earbuds with the lifespan to last the workday or more.
- Signal Range: Most wireless earbuds are BlueTooth integrated to operate. This means that you can only move so far away from your phone before losing signal.
- Sound Quality: Although technology is constantly improving, wireless earbuds are inferior to their wired counterparts and traditional headphones when it comes to delivering deep bass and crisp audio. However, more expensive wireless earbuds usually equate to better sound quality.
- Utility: Whether you're using your wireless earbuds for exercise, work, or relaxation, you'll want a pair that is built tough enough to withstand the rigors of your daily activities.
For more information, check out our buyer's guide to wireless earbuds.
If you want to enter the future early and impress all of your friends, then it's time to pick up a wireless charger. These little buddies make it easy to charge select cell phones by simply placing your device on top of the pad or sliding them into the mount.
With a wireless charger, you won't have to fiddle around with micro USBs or any other similar cord - and if you're like me, tripping over cords is a common occurrence. Additionally, if you're in pitch darkness, you won't have to find your phone's charging or USB port and instead set the phone on the wireless charging dock.
They're not entirely wireless, however, because they still have to be plugged into a wall outlet, but they do free you from your nightly plug-in. You can just pop your phone on a pad, and know that in the morning it will be good to go.
The biggest issue with wireless chargers is that only certain phones are compatible. Otherwise, you may have to purchase certain phone cases or even a special back for your cell phone. Before you decide to splurge, make sure you do your research.
For more information, check out our buyer's guide to wireless chargers.
USB Car Chargers
Remember the days when you dreaded charging your phone on the go? Car cell phone chargers used to be so agonizingly slow, it hardly seemed worth the effort.
Times have changed. Instead of those clunky wired battery chargers that plugged into your 12V socket, all you need now is a USB cable and a compact little charger adapter. The good news is you can pick these up practically anywhere.
Here are some things you should know about car chargers:
- USB Required: It's in the name, and there's no real way around it. To plug in and charge your phone, you'll need USB cable to connect your phone to the charger.
- Charging Speed: It's important to know that most car chargers can't fill up your battery as fast as a normal wall socket charger. That's usually not a deal breaker because the charge your phone will get during the drive is usually enough juice to last for another few hours.
- Cable Length: If you're in the backseat and want to charge your phone, make sure that cable is far enough. Some USB car chargers come with lengthy cables already.
For more information, check out our buyer's guide to USB car chargers.
USB Battery Packs
We offer guides on a multitude of different methods to charging your phone, tablet, eReader, and other electronic devices. A USB battery pack, however, is what I feel is an essential accessory you should own.
It's a lifesaver when you're out of the house and a wall socket and charger is nowhere in sight. Best of all, USB battery packs are often tiny enough to fit in a pocket, purse, or workout bag, and can give a full charge to your phone in just a few hours.
Before you make a purchase, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Battery Capacity: Even a battery pack needs to be charged. Find out how often you'll need to recharge your USB battery pack.
- The length of charge: As I said before, you want a charge that can last for enough time until you can properly charge your phone. Alternatively, you may be interested in certain USB battery packs with quick charge technology, that can fill up your phone in under an hour.
- Number of USB Ports: Both the amount and type of USB ports are important before you buy. Be sure to look at your phone, tablet, and whatever devices you wish to charge and see what USB types they are. Most modern phones and some tablets use micro-USB.
For more information, check out our buyer's guide to USB battery packs.
Cell Phone Signal Boosters
Depending on where you live, you may find yourself susceptible to poor mobile phone reception, where a cell phone signal booster may be required.
According to a Pew Research Center survey held back in August 2012, 72 percent of cell phone owners experienced dropped calls at least occasionally. 32 percent of cell phone owners encountered the problem a few times a week.
Of course, the number could have most certainly improved with time, but the point is dropped calls are no fun. But if you happen to live in an area or at least visit an area where cell phone reception is rather lacking, then you may want to consider using a cell phone signal booster.
- Compatibility: This isn't something as important as it used to be. However, you need to know what service provider the signal booster is compatible with, or else unless it won't work.
- Coverage: The wider the coverage area, the better.
- Installation: The installation procedure should be either short, simple, or both. If the kit is plug-and-play, even better.
- Price: Unfortunately, most cell phone signal boosters are expensive. Before you make a purchase, do your research and find the suitable pick for you.
For more information, check out our buyer's guide to cell phone signal boosters.
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The birth of the mobile phone has been followed by dozens (if not hundreds) of unique and useful accessories and add-ons that create and enhance our experiences. To see how the gadgets talked about here have had a profound impact on our world, take a look at our top wearable tech roundup of 2017.