We're in the waning days of summer, which means that the new school year is just around the corner. Sure you've got your book list and all the supplies you need to get your work done, but you should also consider some phone accessories, so you're ready to dominate the college experience. That means never worrying about keeping your phone charged and sprucing up your dorm room with cool tech that works seamlessly with your Android phone.
We've got some quick recommendations for accessories you need to pack before heading back to campus.
College life can be really busy, and you might not have the time to stand around tethered to the wall waiting for your phone to charge. That's where a quality battery pack comes in real handy.
The Anker PowerCore 10000 is a great option that holds 10,000mAh of power, which Anker claims will charge most phones at least three times or a tablet at least once. Thanks to Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 technology, it should charge a compatible phone up to 80% in around 35 minutes, so you can get on with your day without worrying about your phone's battery life. And best of all, the PowerCore 10000 is about the size of a deck of cards, making it incredibly portable — it fits perfectly into a pants pocket or bag.
You won't have to worry about this charger overcharging your phone or causing damage; the PowerCore 10000 has surge protection and temperature control to keep both your device and you safe when the phone is charging. Best of all is the price, starting at around $26.
If you're looking for other battery pack recommendations we've got you covered:
Best portable batteries for under $25
A spare wall charger is one of those accessories that you can leave in your backpack and know that it's always there for you when you need it. But which wall charger you buy is going to depend slightly on the phone you're using.
If you've got a Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, or Motorola phone (or any other phone that uses Qualcomm Quick Charge), we'd recommend the Aukey dual-port Quick Charge 3.0 wall charger. It supports both the latest rapid-charging standards, and is also backwards compatible with Quick Charge 2.0. Best of all, you can charge multiple devices simultaneously at full speed, which is great for sharing your charger with a study buddy.
Check out our list of best wall chargers for other recommendations if you own a OnePlus, Huawei, or Google phone, but otherwise grab the Aukey wall charger for $20 on Amazon.
Extra charging cables
Along the same line as the wall charger, a charging cable is another thing that's seemingly always in short supply when you need one. If you're not looking for one yourself, it's your friends and classmates asking to borrow one.
Fortunately, it's fairly cheap to stock up on some quality cables. Depending on what your device uses, check out our list of the best Micro-USB cables or check out this 5-pack of USB-C cables from Aukey, available for around $15.
Dorm room entertainment options can be quite lacking, but a Chromecast is the easiest way to change that! All you need is a TV with an HDMI port and an extra power outlet and you're ready to cast video, music, and games from a ton of different apps all over Wi-Fi.
There are three styles of Chromecast to choose from, which are all completely controllable from your phone. There's the 2015 edition of the Chromecast, which are both around $35 and the Chromecast Ultra at $70, which supports 4K. If you don't have a 4K TV in your dorm, you'd be fine saving some money on the older edition of the Chromecast.
Then there's also the Chromecast Audio, which plugs into the input on the back of your favorite pair of speakers and lets you cast music from your phone over Wi-Fi. Chromecast works pretty flawlessly with Android and will take your Netflix and Chill to the next level (because it's college, right?).
On the subject of dorm room entertainment, you're going to want a quality Bluetooth speaker that sounds great and is portable enough to take with you to the park.
I'll recommend the new SoundCore Boost from Anker. It features BassUp technology that gives an extra boost of low end to all your music. It's also water-resistant, supports NFC pairing, and boasts 12 hours of playback time when fully charged.
Available on Amazon for around $80, it's actually one of the best values you'll find, but if you're looking for more recommendations we've got a list of other great portable Bluetooth speakers.
I'm a huge fan of the Spigen Style Ring because it's got so many different uses. For starters, it's designed to help you with your grip — simply slip your finger through the ring and your phone isn't going anywhere. You can also use it as a kickstand for watching Netflix or YouTube while you're studying, and it also includes a minimalist mounting hook for your car.
It's compatible with most smartphones with a flat back and can be applied directly to your phone or to a case.
You may have seen comparable grip accessories such as the PopSocket, which offers much of the same functionality just with a different design. It's also available in a bunch of different colors and styles, so check them both out and pick the one that's right for you.
What accessories would you recommend?
Whether you're a current college student or a graduate, we'd love to hear what you'd recommend. Share your opinions in the comments below!
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