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The iPhone is one of the most popular pocket-friendly computers in the world, and while its features are myriad, accessories can help you get even more out of the device. The most basic of accessories will prevent accidental damage to the handset. Others, on the other hand, will improve the performance of their cameras or turn the device into a believable mobile podcast recorder. However, the options can feel overwhelming for new iPhone owners, so we’ve put together this list of some essential iPhone accessories if you’ve recently received a gift or upgraded to Apple’s signature smartphone.
Most of the accessories we recommend are compatible with any iPhone released within the last three to five years, but some – specific cases – are designed for a specific model. We’ve chosen to highlight the iPhone 14 version of those accessories, even though case and screen protector manufacturers have the same offerings for multiple phone versions.
A thing that gets better with age: Nomad modern leather case
Choosing the right iPhone case depends on your color, material, and size preferences. That’s why we have a whole guide with over a dozen recommendations. That said, after testing several cases per year, I always come back to Nomad’s modern leather case. It’s luxurious, but the cover is protective and patina over time, which means that small signs of use actually make the cabinet look better. I dropped my iPhone face up from a height of 10 feet onto a stone surface and the back and sides of my device showed no damage.
A durable screen protector: InvisibleShield Glass Elite VisionGuard Screen Protector
A case protects the back and sides of your iPhone, but a screen protector prevents damage to the screen. InvisibleShield’s Glass Elite VisionGuard screen protector is the one I get based on my testing. The accessory comes with a handy manual that prevents you from installing it incorrectly, useful if you’ve never used one before. In my experience, the Glass Elite has no impact on the iPhone’s touchscreen performance or color accuracy. The material InvisibleShield uses does filter out some blue light, which can make your iPhone more comfortable to look at in the dark. If you’re worried about your iPhone’s screen cracking, this accessory will put your mind at ease (it’s also much cheaper than a trip to the Genius Bar).
A battery pack: Anker 733 Power Bank
Anker’s 733 is one of the best iPhone accessories we’ve tested, as it has two functions. First, it’s a three-port 10,000mAh battery pack that can fully charge your smartphone a few times, or extend the life of your tablet, handheld game console, or laptop by a few hours. But the 733 has a built-in plug that plugs directly into a wall outlet, then turns into a three-port 65W power adapter, capable of charging all your devices while you’re at home. This dual functionality helps Anker’s 733 Power Bank stand out in a crowded category, especially for its travel-friendly size.
A magnetic charger: Apple MagSafe charger
The iPhone 12 (released in late 2020) was the first Apple smartphone to support MagSafe. This magnetic connector system uses an array under the iPhone’s back plate to attach it to what is now a wide world of compatible wireless power transfer accessories, among other useful add-ons. A MagSafe charger tops up an iPhone’s battery up to twice as fast as a standard Qi wireless charger (up to 15W) and magnetically aligns with the back of your iPhone to create and maintain a solid connection. retain. Apple’s MagSafe charger gets our recommendation because it’s relatively inexpensive and delivered rock-solid performance in our tests. If you’re looking to move from wired to wireless charging in 2023, this is the accessory to get.
A camera lens kit: Xenvo Pro Lens Kit
The iPhone’s cameras are world-class, but smartphone photographers looking to up their game should check out Xenvo’s Pro Lens Kit. The accessory clips onto the top of the iPhone’s wide-angle lens and allows you to screw on a macro or wide-angle lens to take photos that would be difficult (or impossible). The kit also includes a clamp light with three brightness settings to help you take better low-light photos.
An external microphone: Shure MV88 portable iOS microphone
If you use your iPhone to record podcasts or want ultra-high quality audio with your 4K video, Shure’s MV88 is the right accessory for the job. The miniature condenser microphone plugs directly into your iPhone’s Lightning port, so it never needs to be charged. You can use the MV88 to record audio in true stereo and monitor your recordings live by connecting headphones to the 3.5mm input. Shure bundles the microphone with a windshield, making it a handy tool for use in the field, and a carrying case to protect it when not in use.
A video graphics kit: Rode VideoMic Vlogger Kit
The iPhone has been able to shoot sharp 4K video for years, but Rode’s Vlogger Kit can help you get even more out of its cameras. The kit comes with a microphone (with windshield), light cube (with colored film), phone holder and a tabletop tripod that doubles as a handle. Using these tools makes a big difference to the audio and video quality of your recordings, especially when you’re recording at night. A big part of the appeal of the VideoMic Vlogger Kit is its portability. By always having all these tools with you, you can easily set up and break down a shoot within a few minutes.
A travel charging kit: Mophie snap+ multi-device travel charger
If you no longer want to carry around multiple charging cables while you travel, Mophie’s snap+ multi-device travel charger is the best option. The standalone kit includes a charger with a MagSafe charging pad, Qi wireless charging pad, USB-A port, USB-C port, a USB-C cable, and a power adapter. The charger folds up and fits neatly into a padded carrying case, with slots for the power adapter and cable. We took this kit with us on our travels and can’t imagine stepping on a flight or a multi-day car trip without it.
A car holder: iOttie Easy One Touch 4 Dash & Windshield universal car holder
Your eyes have to stay on the road while driving, but that can be a pain if you’re using your iPhone as a GPS. If so, we recommend this windshield car holder from iOttie. The One Touch 4 can be mounted on any flat part of your dashboard or windshield. The articulating arm lets you position your iPhone at a safe, comfortable angle, and a cradle holds it in place. In our experience, iOttie’s mounts are strong enough to hold an iPhone securely over bumpy terrain, and they can stay attached to your car for years without a problem.
A car charger: Satechi 40W Dual USB-C PD Car Charger
If you want to charge your phone while driving, Satechi’s Dual-USB-C Charger is the accessory you need. The power adapter plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter and can quickly charge two iPhones at the same time. The second USB-C port can also charge a tablet, portable gaming device or even a laptop.
If you often drive alone, you can also buy a combination of MagSafe car holder and charger. For example, the Belkin BoostCharge Pro attaches to your air vent (don’t forget to close it when the heater is on) and can charge up to 15W fast from your car lighter (adapter and cable included). It’s an easy one-handed motion to insert or release the iPhone, and it stays docked in portrait or landscape mode for convenient navigation assistance, etc., while driving.
A durable charging cable: Amazon Basics Nylon Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable
Apple ships a charging cable with the iPhone, but it’s been known to fray long before you need to upgrade your device. The Amazon Basics USB-C to Lightning cable has a braided outer shell that can be bent or twisted without showing signs of wear. In fact, Amazon says you can bend this cable up to 4,000 times without it breaking.
Wireless earbuds: AirPods Pro 2
The iPhone connects to any pair of Bluetooth headphones, but it’s designed to work best with the AirPods Pro 2. Apple’s new earbuds automatically pair with your iPhone the first time you open their battery case lid and automatically connect makes with your iPhone. after that every time. When you listen to music or watch TV shows and movies with a Dolby Atmos mix on your iPhone, you can use the AirPods Pro 2 to listen in “Spatial Audio”, a headphone-friendly version of surround sound. You can even personalize your Spatial Audio experience on iPhone by taking a photo of the shape of your ears. You can also use the iPhone’s Find My app to locate your AirPods 2 if you misplace them. Finally (and most importantly), we’ve found from our own experience that the AirPods 2 are a solid pair of true wireless earbuds, with excellent sound, surprisingly good active noise cancellation and very good battery life.
A smart speaker: HomePod Mini
Again, the iPhone can connect to any Bluetooth or AirPlay 2 speaker, but the HomePod Mini is designed to work best with other Apple hardware via HomeKit. You can ask Siri on your iPhone to play music on your HomePod, and even “hand” audio from the smartphone to the speaker by placing them close together. The HomePod Mini sounds really good considering its size – and even better when you pair two together for true stereo listening. You can even send messages to the HomePod Mini from your phone to use the speaker as an intercom. If you want to pair your iPhone with a speaker that’s fully integrated into Apple’s ecosystem, the HomePod Mini is the way to go.