Smartphone accessories - six of the best
Aren't smartphones brilliant? Having a little computer in your pocket lets you do all sorts of things, from navigating in your car to checking the reviews of that restaurant you're just passing. And with the careful selection of accessories you can do even more with the now-ubiquitous devices. Here is our selection of six of the best...
Soundmagic E10 headphones - £20 to £40
With most modern smartphones having storage capacity of 32gb or 64gb, there's loads of room on them to store your favourite music, podcasts or even videos. Whether you're commuting, walking the dog or zoning out in the office, the Soundmagic E10 headphones offer really good sound quality at an affordable price. They're also tougher than they look, with our pair having survived two runs through the washing machine. Oh, and the wire is just the right stiffness to prevent knotting – but still be comfy in use.
%VIRTUAL-AFCSponserAds%JBL Flip 2 portable speaker - £50 to £100
Sometimes you don't want to wear headphones, either because you're moving around too much or because you'd like someone else to listen at the same time. That's where handy little portable bluetooth speakers like the JBL Flip 2 come in – letting you listen to your audio while you're cooking, working in the garden or even camping with friends. Well made, easy to charge via mini USB lead and packing an impressive level of volume and control for its size, the device is just the right size for everyday use. It slips easily into a cargo pocket, handbag or manbag and the charge lasts long enough for most circumstances.
Xiaomi 10,000mAh Power Bank - £8 to £12
Because smartphones can do so much for us, we sometimes find it difficult to put them down. And if we're out and about, this can mean that we zip through the battery life quicker than we'd like. If that sounds like you, then you need to get a power bank to recharge your device while you're away from normal charging facilities. We find these gadgets really handy for camping trips and touring holidays as well as long trips out of the house. You charge them up from a PC's USB port and then flip the lead around to charge your phone from the power bank. The snappily titled Xiamoi 10,000mAh Power Bank is one of the best on the market. It's small, it's stylish, it packs a decent charge – and most importantly it is VERY reasonably priced.
Fitbit Flex - £50 to £65
Fitness tracking bracelets are booming in popularity right now as more and more people get seduced by the idea of monitoring their progress as they get (or stay) in shape. Seeing how you're progressing can be a great motivator when it comes to making the right choices – and the Fitbit Flex has a lot to offer for a relatively low price. It can tell you how many steps you have taken and how many calories you have burned, as well as the total distance you've travelled and how long you've been working out for. And even when you go to sleep, the Fitbit carries on working – analysing your sleep and reporting back in the morning.
Olixar Charge Key - £10 to £15
You know how chargers can cluster into a tangle of wires in a drawer and it's awkward to find the one you need? Buy one of these clever keyrings and you'll never be lost for a charger again. One end has a standard USB plug and the other is forked into a "lightning" plug for Apple phones and micro USB (for most Android and other handsets).
Looq DG selfie stick - £15 to £30
Compatible with iOS or Android, the selfie stick (or "monopod" as manufacturers like to call them) allows you to extend the distance at which you're holding your smartphone – so you can get more of the view or some friends in the shot too. It also has a remote trigger to take the picture and the Looq product is well-regarded for its continuously updating app, easy syncing and lack of battery drain. Watch out Kim Kardashian!
What's the phone accessory you can't live without? Leave a comment below...