The iPhone is an amazing device. While smartphones existed before this wonderful gadget entered America's hands, iPhone and Apple did what no one prior quite could: they made it simple, intuitive and at the same time, incredibly powerful. Still, as great as the iPhone is, it can be amazingly enhanced with a little bit of accessorizing. Here's the Top 10 Best iPhone Accessories.
1. Anker E5 Back-Up Battery Charges an iPhone 3 and a Half Times, $50
It may not be the most glamorous accessory, but for functionality, it's by far the most practical thing you can buy. Everyone has had to deal with a dying phone, and really, nothing quite ruins your amazing smart phone like it being dead. While $50 isn't exactly dirt cheap, it's a low price to pay for constant insurance that your lifeline to Facebook, your camera, music, books, etc. is but seconds away from backup power. This puppy will charge your phone three and a half times, which means that you don't have to worry about charging the Anker E5 more than a few times a week. Bring your iPhone on a road trip, plane, or to a concert, and with this thing in your back pocket (or purse), you'll know that you can Instagram/GTA: Vice City/Reddit/Facebook the night away without risk of the dreaded plug-me-in-I'm-dead screen.
2. V-MODA Crossfade M-100s Like Dr. Dre's Beats, Except Worth The Price, $269
While Dr. Dre Beats have reached insane popularity recently, people have slowly become aware that one of rap's greatest hip-hop producers of all time didn't exactly make the headphones out of commitment to amazing sound.
The M-100 was tuned and created in collaboration with the audiophile community — it was essentially a giant crowd-sourcing project, and because of that, these things sound amazing. Compare Amazon reviews of the Beats with the M-100 and the recurring theme is simple: The Beats are loud and bassy, the M-100 is crisp and clear. These are premium headphones for people who like their headphones to sound like they cost $300. While it's tough to to out-style the wonderfully sleek Beats, if you're looking for the best-sounding consumer headphones on the market, these are the ones for you, and of course, they'll plug straight into your iPhone's 3.5mm audio jack.
3. MagicFiber MicroFiber Cleaning Clothes (2 Pack) for the Obsessive, the Clean, and Those Obsessed with Shininess, $5.95
Some people don't mind smudges on their phone and I like to call those people psychopaths. For the rest of us, having our $700 portable computer AKA an iPhone look sleek and immaculately shiny is a constant concern. If you are part of this rather obsessive group, this is the right product for you. Ultra gentle MagicFiber cleaning cloths will keep your iPhone unblemished and at its maximum shininess potential. Bonus: these things can be used to clean camera lenses and any sort of of glass surface that needs that extra gentle scrub.
4. Eco-Fused Waterproof Case, an Affordable Way to Bring Your iPhone to the Sea, $11.79
While mankind's endless march of progress gets us faster microprocessors, higher megapixel cameras, and louder headphones, one might not be so excited about a waterproof case. Still, water is a reality of life, and for $11.79, having absolute water protection on your $700 phone is just plain stupid-cheap. Depending on your lifestyle and where you live, this can range from useful novelty to indispensable savior. On a boat? In the snow? Sea World employee? Look, I'm not saying this is an accessory for anyone, but at such a cheap price, this thing is unbelievably great at what it does — keep your telephone dry.
5. Panasonic Earbuds For That Inconspicuous Bass Solution/Back-Up Headphones, $7.53
Finally, an item on this list that I have three of. Yep, at around $8, I bought three of these puppies a few weeks ago. No reason not to, I'm the kind of dolt who loses headphones on the regular and these buds pack a serious punch without really affecting my wallet's weight. The bass is MUCH better than stock iPhone headphones, and while the highs aren't exactly M-100 clear, they fit in your ear snugly enough that you'll be more than happy with the quality, even if they are just back-up buds. Plus, they're perfect to stuff in your pocket and forget about them. That way, if you leave them in the wash, you're out $8, not $30 for Apple's offering. In any case, these are some very solid cheapies to keep around and even use daily.
6. Manfrotto Hotshoe LED Light Panel & Case For Enhanced Flash, Video Recording $62.99
For that soft, natural light look, you can't do better than LED lighting and this all-in-one solution from Manfrotto (legendary camera accessory makers) is too dope. While the light is relatively small, this is the perfect solution for tight interview shots, late-night facetiming, and better portraits. Combined with the Olloclip 3-in-One lens (below), you've got yourself something that is very comparable to a decent D-SLR rig, a must for the budding iPhone photographer & videographer.
7.AmazonBasics USB to Lightning Compatible Cable, $13.99
Ok, buying a cable is about as fun as getting your car's oil changed, but let's face it, you're bound to lose your primary wire, and nothing is worse than having a perfectly good iOS device and no way to put power in it. I have more wires than I'm willing to admit because well, I don't like to unplug things, or move wires across my house, but I recommend everyone get at least one back-up for trips, for their back-up battery (see number one), and for peace of mind, people. You know you're going to need it at some point!
8. Anker BlueTooth Audio Receiver, It's Portable Airplay, on the Cheap, $19.99
While there are plenty of ways to achieve iPhone's audio output out of other devices (Apple TV and a long cable to name two), at $19.99, Anker's solution is tough to beat. Simply link up your iPhone using Bluetooth to this creature and you will have your iPhone's music library on whatever device you please, assuming it has audio-in. You may need to pick up a cable like this to be able to use this, and I recommend Monoprice if you do, but for wireless audio transmitting, this Anker product is definitely the way to go. If you're looking for something with more features, Apple TV is an obvious suggestion, but at 1/5 of the price, this is the way to go if you're on the budget.
9. Olloclip 3-in-One Lens System for Next Level iPhone Photography, $79.95
Boasting a decent range of close and far, the Olloclip lens system will take your Instagram/Facebook pics to the next level. The kit features three lenses: wide-angle, fisheye (extreme wide angle), and macro (extreme close-up). While we would like to see a more mid range option, maybe something like a 50mm, these three lenses will cover most usage situations and turn your iPhone into something pretty close to a changeable lens D-SLR. Sweet. Check out a sample fisheye picture below (not full resolution at all).
10. Otterbox Case for People Who Drop Their Phone Once a Year or Daily Like Me, $24.99
Otterboxes are so ubiquitous these days, they're barely worth mentioning as most people have heard of them. Still, they're included here because well, you just can't get a better case. I have dropped my iPhone 5 to the GASPS of passersby countless times (ok, maybe the gasp thing only happened once), but this case is relentlessly tough. In full disclosure, I have gotten drunk and bragged that I could throw my phone and it will be fine. Yes, I have willingly thrown my $700 smart phone to prove how tough these cases are, which is thoroughly stupid, but the point is made: this the best case you can get if toughness is your concern. Drop your phone as much as you want, it's not going to break.
Hope you found an accessory that met your heart's desire. Questions/Comments? Email danny at heavy dot com.