Most of us are content with our phones, or PCs, and don’t see the use for any further accessories. There are, however, a few that will actually make your life easier.
From power banks to multi-functional phone cases, here are a few great tech accessories, which are exceptionally useful:
1. Power Banks
Gone are the days where your phone lasts a week without charge. For style and performance, we’ve had to sacrifice battery life.
Thank goodness power banks are there to help out our short-lived batteries.
Even if your smartphone has a relatively long-lasting battery, power banks are an extremely useful accessory to have.
And, if your phone struggles to make it through the day, power banks become a life saver.
Luckily, power banks are produced by a variety of manufacturers. From budget buys, which just give your phone a little more battery life, to powerful devices which have quick-charging capabilities and will recharge your phone several times over.
Quick charging is a very useful feature, but will come at a higher cost. However, you can get power banks from as little as R150. While premium power banks hover between the R800 to R1 300 range.
Power banks are also now available for notebooks – a very useful tool for professionals on the move.
Solar-powered charges are also part of a growing niche market, making sure you can keep your devices charged even when camping.
2. Wireless Headphones
Wireless headphones are becoming increasingly popular, especially as manufacturers like Apple and Xiaomi have begun removing headphone jacks from their flagship phones.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend excessive amounts of cash on wireless alternatives, as the market is already overflowing with various accessories.
Depending on sound quality and functionality, wireless earphones and headphones can cost anything from R200 to around R5 000.
Their usefulness, however, doesn’t only extend to iPhone 7 and Mi 6 users. The tech is, in general, a convenient accessory for all users.
Whether you’re a runner who doesn’t like the tug of wires while you play your jogging music, or someone who doesn’t like to be tethered to their smartphone during calls – wireless earphones are a great solution.
Ask any person who uses voice chat on their computer for long periods but is able to roam around the room freely.
3. A Mobile Modem
Many South Africans will know that public WiFi services are woefully inadequate in our country. And, where they are available, there is usually a very limited cap or time allocation.
Having a mobile modem, linked to your internet or mobile package, is a great way to make sure you have access to the internet when you need it.
There are some areas where internet is going to be inaccessible, such as remote getaways or rural areas where cellphone towers are rare.
A mobile modem will, however, secure you access everywhere else.
4. Media Streaming Devices
Increasingly, consumers are moving towards video streaming services instead of traditional TV packages.
This is where media streaming devices come in. Devices like Google’s Chromecast allow you to stream video from your phone, or other devices in your home network.
Therefore, instead of having to open Netflix on your TV, possibly through a browser, you can just click a button on your phone’s app to cast it to the TV.
This applies to services like Netflix, Showmax, and YouTube.
More apps are becoming compatible with streaming devices. You can now even use specific apps to stream media files from your PC to your TV.
This means you no longer have to transfer files via USB to your TV, which can be a hassle that delays your entertainment.
There are a few Chromecast alternatives. These include Apple TV or Samsung’s AllShare – as well as some smaller brand devices.
5. Multi-Purpose Phone Cases
The beauty of competition in the smartphone accessory market is that phone covers with more than one purpose now exist.
You can get covers that double as power banks, toolkits, wallets, or even tasers and self-defence devices.
Depending on your needs, you can choose from a variety of phone cases. There are also cases that will turn your vulnerable phone into a water and dust-resistant one.
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6. Adaptors For Common Input / Output Formats
While most manufacturers stick to common input / output formats, there are a few outliers.
Furthermore, the switch to USB Type-C for newer phones, and Intel’s preference for Thunderbolt 3, mean that there is going to be a period of older devices clashing with newer ones.
Rather than throwing out a bunch of your old devices (especially since many people don’t have the funds to replace all of them), adaptors can be a great alternative.
While we frown upon device manufacturers who intentionally use adaptors to milk more money from their customers, most changes to formats are due to the introduction of new, more efficient technologies.
There are also adaptors which can turn regular devices into wireless ones.