Which phone accessories do you use every day? [Roundtable]
Gadgets nerds love accessories almost as much as the gadgets they are used with, and we're no exception. Really. You should see our Amazon order history.
But some of the accessories we use get a little more attention than the others and we really don't want to go without them. Check out the phone accessories we rely on.
I am a recent convert on the whole Spigen Ring fad, but I'll admit that it does make it easier to one-hand increasingly tall and cumbersome phones. I am putting my ring on a Caseology case rather than on the phone itself, both because I am an ardent case-user and because it makes it easier to get it off when I need to take pictures.
Oh, and my most important phone accessory is, of course, my headphones. You'll be hearing more about those next week, so stay tuned!
I have so many gadgets, accessories, add-ons and doodads around that I could go on for days here. But there are a handful that I can guarantee I'll use just about every single day, no matter which phone I'm using.
On my desk, I have a Ventev 6-port charging station to keep all of my devices topped up when not in use. Rather than keep a Micro-USB cable around for older devices, I have these USB-C to Micro-USB adapters. I have so many different USB-C cables I haven't standardized on one brand, but I do like the styling and robustness of the OnePlus Dash USB-C cables. I'm wearing my Bose QC 35 headphones all day, every day.
When I'm out of the house, I've taken a liking to carrying this massive 26,800mAh battery from Anker because it can charge up everything, including my MacBook Pro. I've also been using the iOttie One Touch 3 car mount for my phone because it's sturdy and highly adjustable, and I'm now using Android Auto every time I drive.
Phone accessories are like potato chips: once you start, you can't stop. I usually buy a few good, solid cases for a new phone, but after swapping out a bunch in the early days and weeks I tend to settle on one, and that usually comes from one of two companies, Speck or Spigen. I love Speck's quality, and its Presidio case for the Galaxy S8 is the perfect blend of protection and unobtrusiveness. Similarly, I love Spigen's Liquid Air Armor for the Galaxy S8, which has held up incredibly well since I bought the phone in April.
To charge the phone, I've lately been lugging around this admittedly overpriced Nomad Powerpack battery, which combines USB-C fast charging with Tile Bluetooth locating into a compact, rugged package.
When I have a wall plug handy, my Anker six-port USB wall charger does the trick, and to listen I music I've recently been enjoying the heck out of V-Moda's Crossfade 2 Wireless headphones, which you must buy if you don't need noise cancellation. They're amazing.
My go-to phone accessory is a Spigen Style Ring, which I make sure to slap on any phone I use. Admittedly, a style ring is not for everyone and arguments that it ruins the flow of the design of a phone are totally valid. But it's just so handy on its own. I'm constantly using it as a kickstand to watch videos on a table, and I instinctively use it to keep my phone secure when taking a photo or talking on the phone.
Then there's the included car mount, which is one of the more minimalist options you'll find for mounting your phone on the dash. There are cheaper versions of the style ring available, but I trust the build quality that Spigen consistently delivers. Speaking of in-car accessories, I use the Flexsmart X2 Bluetooth FM transmitter to connect my phone to my ancient car stereo while the included USB port lets me charge my phone on the go. How well it works in your car will depend on the location of the 12V port in your car.
I tend to go pretty simple with my day to day accessories. These include my Belkin USB-C car charger which works with both my Pixel XL and my Samsung Galaxy S8.
The only other accessory that I use on a daily is a case. I haven't found one for my S8 that I'm particularly fond of, but I used an Incipio case with my Pixel. I managed to drop it a half dozen times without so much as denting the case, and since I am the clumsiest person on the planet a solid case is a must have.
I don't use one of those Spigen Ring thingies, but now I think I might want to ...
Anyhoo, I use a lot of stuff but have very few single things that stand out. I have a mishmash of USB-C cables, but I really like this 10-foot braided USB-A to USB-C cable from iOrange and just leave it plugged into my desktop. It's great as a charger or when I need to copy something from a phone to my computer. I have the business end tucked into this slick little cable organizer. Best $7 I ever spent.
I also get a little (OK, a lot) OCD when it comes to smudgy screens. I have several of these microfiber mist sprayer screen cleaning things from AM and keep one in my laptop bag and the glove box in the car as well as on my desk. A couple of quick pumps of magic juice (it tastes horrible) then you wipe it clean with the little block and everything is clean and shiny. Until I touch it again and smear it. I swear I must have frog slime in my fingers or something.
What about you?
Take a minute to let everyone know your essential accessories in the comments. We'll probably use them for our wishlists!
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Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.