The Best iPhone Accessories
Whether you're getting a new iPhone 12 for the holidays or looking to upgrade your existing iPhone, accessories can add style and convenience. Here are our favorite iPhone accessories (which also make great gifts).
A stylish wireless charger
iPhone 8 models and later are capable of wireless charging, making it fast and convenient to charge your device back up to 50 percent battery in around 30 minutes. Moshi's Lounge Q Wireless Charging Stand is an adjustable-height stand charger that supports fast-charging up to 15W and will wirelessly charge through a phone case up to 5mm in thickness. The stand is covered in an attractive soft grey fabric that lets you position your phone in either portrait or landscape mode while it charges.
A 4-foot USB-C cable is built into the charger, which you'll need to plug into a USB-C wall power adapter (not included, see our suggestions below). In order to enjoy fast charging speeds, make sure the wall power adapter supports fast charging.
Fast wireless charger for iPhone 12
If you have an iPhone 12 with MagSafe, ESR makes a wireless charger specifically for the new series. The ESR HaloLock Magnetic Wireless Charger works with the magnets in the phone to align and keep your device perfectly centered on the charging pad. It supports 7.5W charging when you use it with a QuickCharge 2.0/ 3.0 or 18W Power Delivery (PD) wall power adapter (not included, see our suggestions below). It's slim and portable with a metal frame designed to dissipate the heat. I especially like that the blue status light turns off after a minute, so if you use this in your bedroom, it won't keep you awake.
A car mount with Alexa built-in
Going hands-free in the car has never been easier. iOttie's Easy One Touch Connect Pro is a smartphone mount with Alexa built-in, so you can ask for driving directions, make a call, play music or stream Spotify, even control your home's smart lights before you arrive.
The Easy One Touch has a super-strong suction cup that mounts on either the windshield or the dashboard, whichever you prefer. And it really is easy to use. The mount slides open to fit any size phone, automatically securing it in place with the touch of a button. Getting it out is just as simple, squeeze on the trigger, and the sliders release your phone. The iOttie app connects to the device for seamless firmware updates.
A multi-port car charger
Take fast charging on the go Anker PowerDrive III Duo car charger. Its two PowerIQ 3.0 high-speed USB-C charging ports support fast charging iPhones, Samsung phones, and any phones compatible with USB-C Power Delivery. So the PowerDrive III Duo is an excellent choice for families with iPhone and Android phone users. Using a USB-C to lightning cable, you can charge iPhones and iPads, while a USB-C to USB-C cable lets you charge Samsung and other Android devices. This little charger outputs 36W of power so that it can deliver 18W to each port simultaneously. You'll be all charged up before you reach your destination.
For even more power and not a lot more money, get the Anker PowerDrive+ III Duo. The two USB-C ports on this compact charger put out a combined 48W of power. One port provides 30W of power, enough to fully charge a MacBook 12 on the go, while the 18W port provides high-speed charging for phones.
A fast-charging wall charger
There's been much talk about Apple not including a wall power adapter in the box with the new iPhone 12. You get a USB-C to lightning cable, but you'll need the plug that goes into the wall outlet. We recommend getting one that supports at least 20W of power, like the Aukey Omnia Mini 20W. It packs a lot of charging power into an ultra-compact design. I really appreciate how the smaller size keeps it from blocking a second outlet in a wall plug or a charging strip. This charger also supports Quick Charge 2.0, so it will work with Samsung and other Android devices.
If you need to simultaneously charge more than one device, get the 4-port Aukey Omnia Mix4 100W 4-Port PD Charger. It outputs 100W of power with 2 USB-C ports and 2 USB-A ports so that you can charge laptops and phones at the same time. The Omnia Mix4 can fast-charge an iPhone 12 Pro Max up to 50 percent in 30 minutes while also recharging a Type-C equipped 16" MacBook Pro at full speed.
A more affordable multi-port wall charger is the Baseus 65W Triple Output travel charger. It has 2 USB-C ports as well as a USB-A port, delivering 65W from a single USB-C port so you can use it to charge almost any USB-C laptop quickly.
Price: $26.59 on Amazon
A fast-charging portable battery charger
Even when we're not next to a wall port, our devices need power, so a portable battery pack is a must-have. The Anker PowerCore III Sense 10K offers everything you want in a power bank: wireless charging, high-speed charging at 18W, and dual ports for charging multiple devices at once. You can cable into the 18W USB-C port or PowerIQ-enabled USB-A port, or place your phone, earbuds, or other Qi-enabled devices directly on the pad for 10W of wireless charging power.
For those times when you don't need quite as much power on the go, check out our favorite ultra-portable chargers.
A clip-on portable battery pack
If you need to use your phone while it is charging, Mophie's Juice Pack Connect attaches to any lightweight phone case (up to 3mm thick) to deliver wireless Qi charging. Its 5,000mAh battery works with any Qi-enabled smartphone, meaning any of the latest devices from Apple, Samsung, and Google. It has a USB-C port for charging it up, or it can be recharged wirelessly.
The battery is clipped onto the back of the phone, connected with an anchor system. Once you've attached the anchor, slide on the battery, and your phone begins to charge. Mophie integrated a phone grip into the battery that can be used for a more secure hold or as a phone stand for video calls.
A cable that supports fast charging
To take advantage of the new wall power adapters' and portable chargers' high-speed charging capability, you need a cable that supports fast charging. So, throw away all those old cables in your kitchen drawer and get an Anker PowerLine+ III USB-C to Lightning Cable. When you use this with an 18W (or higher) USB-C charger, you can charge up an iPhone 8 or later to 50 percent in just half an hour. It's Apple MFi certified and has a sturdy metal connector and braided nylon cables, so it's safe and durable. We like this cable because of all the options available: it comes in several colors and 3-foot and 6-foot lengths. Get a few in different lengths because you can never have enough charging cables.
Easy-connect magnetic-tip cables
Magnets make it a lot easier to connect things, as evidenced by the new MagSafe capability of the iPhone 12. The NetDot Gen10 3-in-1 Nylon Braided Magnetic Fast Charging Cable comes with a set of magnetic tips for your devices: you can choose from Lightning, Micro USB, and USB-C or get one of each. Once you insert the magnetic tip into the device, you never have to take it out again. This places less stress and wear and tear on finicky ports and makes it super easy to connect the cable, even when you can't see the port. I especially like using the magnetic cable in the car when I realize I've forgotten to connect my phone for CarPlay. With the magnetic lightning tip in my phone, I'm able to hold the magnetic cable in one hand near the port where it's attracted to the tip, making a seamless connection. The NetDot Gen10 would also be a great gift idea for people with limited manual dexterity.
Price: starting at $8.90 (check price on Amazon)
Full screen protection
Cases help protect your phone from drops and scratches, but your screen often needs an extra line of defense. Zagg's InvisibleShield Glass Elite VisionGuard+ is a glass screen protector with reinforced edges to prevent chips and cracks from spreading. Also, there's a blue light filter built into the glass screen to block the effects of prolonged exposure to the screen, as well as an antimicrobial treatment to inhibit the growth of bacteria.
A stylish wallet case
The easiest, most affordable way to change up your phone's look is with a new case. Protect your phone in style with a Mujjo Leather Wallet case, available in Monaco Blue, Slate Green, Black, and Signature Tan. The soft full-grain leather wraps the back and sides, while the inside is lined with microfiber to cushion your phone. On the back, there's an integrated holder to store credit cards and cash.
True wireless earbuds
Jabra's Elite 85t earbuds are among the best truly wireless earbuds you can get right now. They have adjustable active noise cancellation, so you can let in as little or as much outside noise as you like, depending on your environment. The audio sounds rich and full with powerful bass, and call quality is excellent with three mics in each bud. The 85t's get 5.5 hours of battery life with ANC on, and the Qi-certified wireless charging case supplies up to 25 hours of battery life. If you want earbuds without compromises, these are the ones to get.
For more affordable buds, check out Soundcore's Liberty Air 2. At under $100, they sound good when playing music and have excellent call quality. The Liberty Air 2's have four built-in microphones with noise reduction technology, which are great for conference calls or sharing space while working from home. You'll get about 7 hours of battery life before needing to recharge, and the wireless charging case extends that to 28 hours of playtime.
Even more affordable at $49 is the 1More PistonBuds. You'll get 3.5 hours of battery life, 20 hours with the case, and four mics for amplifying your voice when making phone calls. The PistonBuds have touch controls on the earbuds so you can play music, pause, or answer a call with just a tap.
Back up for your iPhone
Some people are diligent about backing up photos and videos from their phone; others never remember to do it. SanDisk has a device that backs up for you while you're charging your phone – something you likely do every day.
The SanDisk Ixpand Wireless Charger Sync is a 10W wireless charger that does double duty as a backup device. Every time you set your phone down to charge, the device automatically backs up your photos, videos, and contacts.
The Ixpand Wireless Charger Sync supports multiple personal user profiles so others in the family can back up, depending on the drive's size. Drive capacities range from 64GB - 256GB, and the charger supports any Qi-compatible device.
If you need to free up room on your phone, you can safely delete those videos and photos that take up precious space, knowing they're backed up to your charger.
If you don't need the wireless charger, get the SanDisk iXpand Mini Flash Drive for Your iPhone. It's a flash drive that plugs into your iPhone or iPad to offload photos. You then plug the flash drive into your computer to transfer them. Capacity ranges from 32GB - 256GB.
[Image credit: Zagg, Mophie, ESR Gear, iOttie, Anker, Aukey, Baseus, NetDot, Mujjo, Jabra, 1More, Western Digital ]