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The iPhone is one of the most popular pocket-friendly computers on the planet, and while its features are endless, accessories can help you get even more out of your device. The most basic accessories will prevent the handset from being accidentally damaged. On the other hand, others will improve the performance of the cameras or turn the device into a credible mobile podcast recorder. However, the options can feel overwhelming for new iPhone owners, so we’ve compiled this list of some essential iPhone accessories if you were recently gifted or upgraded to Apple’s signature smartphone.
Most of the accessories we recommend are compatible with all iPhones released in the past three to five years, but some—specifically cases—are designed for a specific model. We’ve chosen to highlight the iPhone 14 version of this accessory, although case and screen protector manufacturers have the same deals for multiple phone versions.
A matter that gets better with the years: Nomad Modern Leather Bag
Choosing the right iPhone case will depend on color, material and size preferences, which is why we have an entire guide with over a dozen recommendations. That said, after testing multiple cases each year, I always end up gravitating back to Nomad’s modern leather case. It’s luxury, but the cover is protective and patinas over time, which means that small signs of use actually make the case look better. I have dropped my iPhone screen 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 will protect the back and sides of your iPhone, but a screen protector will prevent damage to the screen. InvisibleShields Glass Elite VisionGuard Screen Protector is the one you get based on my tests. The accessory comes with a helpful guide to prevent you from installing it incorrectly, which is useful if you’ve never used one before. In my experience, Glass Elite does not affect iPhone touchscreen performance or color accuracy. The material InvisibleShield uses filters out some blue light, which can make the iPhone more comfortable to look at in the dark. If you’re afraid of cracking your iPhone screen, this accessory will put your mind at ease (it’s also way cheaper than a trip to the Genius Bar).
A battery pack: Anchor 733 Power Bank
Ankers 733 is one of the best iPhone accessories we’ve tested because it has two functions. First, there’s a three-port 10,000mAh battery pack that can charge your smartphone a couple of times, or extend the life of your tablet, portable gaming 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, which can charge all your devices while you’re at home. This dual functionality helps Anker’s 733 Power Bank stand out in a crowded category, especially due to 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 contact system uses a row under the iPhone’s back plate to attach it to what is now a wide world of compatible wireless power transfer accessories, among other practical additions. A MagSafe charger will top up your iPhone battery up to twice as fast as a standard Qi wireless charger (up to 15W) and will magnetically align with the back of your iPhone to create and maintain a solid connection. Apple’s MagSafe Charger gets our recommendation because it is relatively affordable and has delivered solid performance in our tests. If you’re looking to jump from wired to wireless charging in 2023, this is the accessory to get.
A camera lens kit: Xenvo Pro Lens Kit
iPhone cameras are world-class, but smartphone photographers looking to up their game should check out the Xenvos Pro Lens Kit. The accessory attaches on top of the iPhone’s wide-angle lens and allows you to screw on a macro or wide-angle lens to get photos that would be difficult (or impossible). The kit also has a clip-on light with three brightness settings to help you get better low-light shots.
An external microphone: Shure MV88 Portable iOS Microphone
If you use your iPhone to record podcasts, or want ultra-high-quality sound to accompany 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 packages the microphone with a windshield, making it a useful tool to use in the field, and a carrying case to keep it protected when not in use.
A video set: Rode VideoMic Vlogger Kit
The iPhone has been capable of shooting crisp 4K videos for years, but Rode’s Vlogger Kit can help you get even more out of your cameras. The kit comes with a microphone (with windshield), light cube (with colored film), phone mount and a table stand that doubles as a grip. Using these tools makes a big difference in the audio and video quality of your footage, especially if you’re shooting at night. A big part of the VideoMic Vlogger Kit’s appeal is its portability. Having all these tools on you at all times makes it easy to set up and break down shots in just a couple of minutes.
A travel charging kit: Mophie snap+ multi-device travel charger
If you want to stop carrying multiple charging cables while traveling, the best option is Mophie’s snap+ multi-device travel charger. The self-contained 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 can be folded up and fits nicely in a padded carrying case, with slots for the power adapter and cable. We’ve taken this kit with us on trips and couldn’t imagine going on a plane or multi-day road trip without it.
A car mount: iOttie Easy One Touch 4 Dash & Windshield Universal Car Mount
Your eyes should stay on the road while you’re driving, but it can be tough if you’re using your iPhone as a GPS. If that’s the case, we recommend this windshield car mount from iOttie. One Touch 4 can be attached to any flat part of the dashboard or on the windshield. The articulated arm allows you to position your iPhone at a safe, comfortable angle, and a holder will keep the device in place. In our experience, the iOttie mounts are strong enough to keep a firm grip on an iPhone in bumpy terrain and can remain attached to the car for years without incident.
A car charger: Satechi 40W double 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 fits into the 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.
Alternatively, if you ride solo more often than not, you can buy a MagSafe car mount charger combo. For example, the Belkin BoostCharge Pro attaches to your valve – remember to close it if you run the heat – and can deliver up to 15W of fast charging from your car’s lighter (adapter and cable included). It’s a simple one-handed motion to place or release your iPhone, and it stays attached in either portrait or landscape mode for convenient navigation assistance, etc., while you’re driving.
A durable charging cable: Amazon Basics Nylon braided USB-C to Lightning cable
Apple includes a charging cable with the iPhone, but it has been known to struggle long before you need to upgrade the device. 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 can connect to any pair of Bluetooth headphones, but it was designed to work best with the AirPods Pro 2. Apple’s new earbuds will automatically connect to your iPhone the first time you open the battery cover and automatically connect every time after that . When listening to music or watching TV shows and movies with a Dolby Atmos mix on iPhone, you can use AirPods Pro 2 to listen to “Spatial Audio”, a headphone-friendly version of surround sound. You can even customize the spatial sound experience on iPhone by taking a picture of the shape of your ears. You’ll also be able to use the Find My app on your iPhone to find your AirPods 2 if you lose them. Finally (and most importantly), we’ve found from first-hand 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-enabled speaker, but the HomePod Mini was designed to work best with other Apple hardware through HomeKit. You can ask Siri on your iPhone to play music on HomePod, and even “deliver” sound from your smartphone to the speaker by placing them near each other. The HomePod Mini sounds very good for its size – and even better if you pair two together for true stereo listening. You can even send messages to HomePod Mini from your phone to use the speaker as an intercom. If you want to pair your iPhone with a speaker that is fully integrated into Apple’s ecosystem, the HomePod Mini is the one to get.