Got your hands on a cool new mobile phone? Congrats! But now you're going to want to think about kitting your phone out with the latest in accessories. Buying mobile accessories can be complicated, since some are more essential than others, but not to worry, we've got all kinds covered here. Read on to find out what you might want to get to keep your cool new mobile safe and useful too!
It's All About Protection
The most essential of mobile accessories have to be those that keep your phone safe, and these fall into two classes: screen protectors and covers. Screen protectors really are a no-brainer. That touch screen on your phone is exceptionally delicate, and the last thing you want is scratches, particularly if you're planning on shoving your phone into your bag or pocket. Screen protectors are just transparent films that stick onto the screen of your phone. They won't effect the functionality of your screen, and they're cheap too, but they will protect the display from scratches and dirty fingerprints and can even prevent a screen from shattering if you drop your phone.
Mobile cases come in tons of different styles, and the one you choose is really up to you. Generally a case is going to protect the body of your phone from dents and scrapes, but rugged cases will also protect your phone from smashing when dropped. A case isn't quite as essential as a screen protector, but with today's fragile smart phones it's a good idea to have one just in case.
Sounding Things Out
Yeah, we know, your phone came with some handy little earbuds included, right? If you're serious about your music though, you'll find that those little earbuds just aren't going to do the job. In this case, you'll want to think about investing in some decent headphones. There are plenty of headphone models available to choose from, but check out Senheiser or Audio-Technica for some serious quality. Overear models tend to be a good compromise between the sound quality of circular headphones and the portability of earbuds.
A docking station is by now means essential, but depending on how you use your mobile you might want to look into them. What's a docking station? This is basically a piece of hardware that you plug your phone into, you then get to broadcast your music over speakers and generally your phone will charge at the same time. If you're into music, or you watch a bunch of videos on your device, a docking station can be a worthy buy. Which models should you look at? The iLuv MobiDock is a solid choice for Android users as are the iHome models. Both Fluance and Logitech make some excellent iPhone docks.
Headsets and Bluetooth
Given that it's illegal for you to be on the phone while you're driving these days, a decent headset or car Bluetooth set might be top of your shopping list. A Bluetooth headset will basically allow you to use your phone hands free wherever you are by means of an earbud and a microphone that clips to your collar. Plantronics Voyager Edge is probably the best Bluetooth headset on the market right now, but you should also check out models from Jawbone and Sony.
A car Bluetooth set on the other hand can only be used in your car, rather obviously. This piece of tech will need to be installed into your vehicle and will have a microphone mounted on the driver's side of the windscreen. You'll then use the car radio speakers to hear your conversation. Check out GoGroove and Motorola for the best quality options.
The difference between a headset and a car set? Well, a headset is going to give you more flexibility since you can use it anywhere, and will also mean that your conversations remain somewhat private since sound will go through headphones. A car set will mean that everyone in your car can hear your phone calls, but you won't need to wear anything or fuss with headphones. The choice is yours.
Charge it Up
Unless you've got a fancy new Nokia with its wireless charging capability, your phone will come with a charger, but frankly, you can never have too many mobile chargers. If you're a frequent driver then you might want to think about an in car charger that will let you charge on the go, and frequent travellers can benefit from smaller and more portable travel chargers. In general, it's a good idea to keep a charger where you work as well as at home, and you might even want a couple at home for, say, the living room and the bedroom. Chargers aren't too pricey, and they're worth paying for for the convenience of not having to search out a charger in the bedroom every time you want one.
A Battery Pack
This isn't an accessory that everyone needs, but for some it can be a Godsend. A battery pack lets you charge up the pack itself and then connect your phone when necessary to get a charge. Why would you want this? Well, if you're often away from a plug socket, a battery pack is going to let you keep your phone juiced up. The best model at the moment is the Tylt Energi 10K pack, which holds enough power to charge three phone batteries, and even lets you charge three phones simultaneously, which might make you popular with your friends…
Again, this is an accessory for frequent drivers, but a car mount can be pretty useful. This basically grips your phone to the dashboard of your car, keeping it handy- and it's a lot less dangerous than picking up your phone to glance at it every few minutes. Not only that, but with Google Maps and phone navigation systems getting better all the time, a car mount for your smart phone might be a better buy than a sat-nav. Take a look at Bracketron models for great quality.
Finally, if your new mobile has an SD card slot (and most do, though iPhones don't) then you should really consider getting yourself a little extra storage. An SD card (SanDisk is going to be the most popular brand choice) will let you store data on a small card rather than using up phone memory. For example, you can change the settings on your phone camera to ensure that pics are saved to the card. Why? Two reasons. First, that SD card will plug into your computer, making getting your pictures off your phone simple. Second, the more empty physical memory your phone has the faster and more efficiently it will run. Plus, a good SD card isn't too pricey either.