There are hundreds of different accessories available for cell phones, but how many can one little device accommodate – and how many do you really need? Depending on how you use your phone, certain add-ons offer great advantages, such as better lenses for those who use their cameras for serious photography. But other phone accessories are all flash and no function, and that’s where we run into a problem.
Here are 4 accessories you phone needs and 3 more you can do without. Save your money for your data plan and limit your phone accessories to the bare necessities.
Team Need It
- Bluetooth Headset: If you drive at all, a Bluetooth headset is a must have. While it’s preferable to drive without distractions, for many of us, talking hands-free while we drive is as close as we can get. Pair it with a car mount and you’re ready to go – just resist the temptation to reach over and text.
- Portable Charger: You’ve probably been seeing a lot more of these lately. Portable chargers typically look like large USB drives or other small, sleek implements with a phone cable attached. Charge the device from a computer before you leave the house and take some extra battery life with you.
- Heavy Duty Phone Case: Everyone needs a case for their phone, but some cases are tougher than others. Sometimes termed “ruggedized,” this type of phone can take anything you throw at it. This is great for the more adventurous or accident-prone among us who frequently find we’ve dropped our phones in the toilet or the river. Your standard heavy duty case can help you avoid water damage and protect your screen from breaking, the most common phone damage complaints. Assess your phone case options and scale the level of protection to fit your personal needs.
- Quality Camera Lens: With Instagram being one of the most loved apps around, many people consider their smartphone to be their primary camera. What’s more, Instagram connects to many other apps, allowing users to share their photos easily.For those who want to take their photography up a step, add-on lenses are a great option, allowing you to get better focus or a wider range without having to upgrade your device. Plus, with all of the filters and editing tools available right on your phone, why make things more complicated? Flip the lens on when you’re shooting photos and then tuck it away when you’re editing or otherwise occupied. If you leave it on, your phone probably won’t fit in your pocket.
Team Leave It
- Portable Speakers: We all love being able to blast our tunes for our friends, but the speakers built into our phones just aren’t strong enough. That’s why so many people invest in clunky wireless speakers. The problem is that unless you’re playing that music at home, you probably don’t have them with you.What you probably do have – no matter where you are – is a paper cup or similar object. Finished that Starbucks beverage? Grab a napkin, dry out the cup, and you’ve got a speaker. Putting your phone in a cup is an easy way to magnify the volume. If you’re at home and you want to do even better, a metal mixing bowl or sauce pot will play your music louder than an average pair of speakers.
- Smartphone Printer: Maybe you didn’t even know you could buy such a thing – but you can. Smartphone printers are a pricy way to turn your phone into a Polaroid camera. You can transmit photos from your phone straight to this tiny device. Alternatively, you could email them to yourself or drop them into an app for a print service and get those pictures a lot less expensively – though with a slightly longer wait time.
- The Selfie Stick: These are available from a number of different companies now, but the proliferation isn’t really worth it because most major attractions are banning the popular photography tool. Selfie sticks are no longer welcome in Disney parks, most museums, the Kentucky Derby, many music venues, and even the Colosseum in Rome. If you can’t take it anywhere, why buy it?
Stop overburdening yourself with phone add-ons that end up piling up in your desk drawer. When you think about what you really need your phone to do, you’ll realize you don’t need most of that stuff – but the stuff you do use will stand out, as anyone with a ruggedized phone that they dropped in a swimming pool can tell you.
Know yourself…know your cell phone accessories – it may not be the traditional Greek aphorism, but it holds true.
The ancient Greeks didn’t have selfie sticks anyway.