So you own a smartphone, what’s next? For most of us, the answer is “nothing”. Smartphones are expensive as it is, and together with the case and screen protector we usually end up getting (we need to protect our investment after all), that’s about it for smartphone accessories. But that doesn’t mean that awesome ones don’t exist, beckoning and pleading with you to buy them.
Unfortunately for me and my fellow Android users, Windows Phone users, Blackberry users, and all other non-iPhone users, most of the really awesome smartphone accessories out there are made for the iPhone. Why, you wonder? Probably because it’s much easier to design something cool for one device than adapt it for 50 different ones. But don’t despair, even if you own an Android device or something different, some dreams are made for your phone as well.
Wonder what your phone is dreaming about? Below you’ll find the coolest, most gorgeous accessories you can get for your smartphone. So get your wishlist ready, we all have at least one birthday coming up this year!
The iPhone Lens Dial ($250)
iPhoneography is no longer a new word, and it’s taking the world by storm. Not only did smartphones make compact cameras redundant, the new challenge is to produce amazing camera-like photos with smartphones alone. The iPhone lens dial is your dream tool for getting the job done. Not only does your iPhone get a real lens, it gets three or four of them: wide angle, fisheye, and telephoto, with the iPhone 5 version also boasting a macro lens. No, this will not turn your iPhone into an SLR, but it will turn it into a much cooler device, and help you produce iPhone photos that are to die for.
Compatible with: iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5
So you’re out and about with your iPhone, when suddenly you realize you need a knife, screw driver, pliers or a bottle opener: what do you do? You can take a multi-tool with you wherever you go, or you can get the TaskOne multi-tool iPhone case. This sturdy-looking case weighs at around 90g, which is more than your usual case, but much less than your usual multi-tool.
The case packs 22 tools into its slim body, which is also designed to protect your iPhone. While I haven’t used this myself, the tools don’t look like flimsy toy knives — they actually look usable. I wouldn’t exchange an entire toolbox for this, but for an on-the-go solution, this could be a life saver; not to mention the ability to pull a bottle opener out of your iPhone.
Compatible with: iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5
There are many ways to amplify your smartphone’s audio, ranging from rolled up magazines to Bluetooth speakers. If better audio is what you have in mind, but style is still important to you, a designer vinyl amplifier is just what you need to make your phone feel like an old record player. The amplifier can be used in a variety of positions, each achieving a different sort of sound for your music. Don’t like the clear look? Volume has a slightly cheaper sibling called Change the Record, which looks like its made from an old record.
The Volume and Change the Record amplifiers are portable and non-electric, so they’re just the thing for using around the campfire, or anywhere else, for that matter.
Compatible with: All smartphones that fit!
Aiptek MobileCinema i20 (Around $120)
What’s better than a portable battery pack for your iPhone? A portable battery pack that’s also a projector, of course! The Aiptek MobileCinema is an emergency battery pack that couples as a wall projector which you can use to project any content from your iPhone no matter where you are (providing you have something to project on to, of course).
Want to show your friends some photos? Project them on the wall! Want everyone in the room to see the document in front of you? Photograph it and project it! Want to show family videos at a birthday party? Project them from your phone! There are all kinds of creative things you can do with this gadget, and since it’s also a rechargeable battery pack, projecting these goodies might even leave you with some battery to spare.
Compatible with: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S
Optrix iPhone Adventure Suit ($100 & $130)
Always dreamed of getting your very own GoPro camera? If you own an iPhone 5, you might not need to. The Optrix Adventure Kit turns your iPhone into a resilient piece of equipment that can withstand a 15-foot fall and a 15-foot dip in the water. It’s equipped with a wide-angle lens, so while your iPhone is being thrown around or soaked, it can also take photos and videos of its adventures.
The Optrix Adventure Suit comes with rail mounts for attaching your iPhone onto anything, and the $130 version comes with a Super Sucker suction mount as well. If the promises are true, your phone stays intact under all this pressure, and is completely usable, even under water.
Compatible with: iPhone 5
No, I did not forget to include a price. The Snapzoom is not yet for sale, but it’s by far the coolest gadget I’ve encountered on this trip to accessory wonderland. Snapzoom is a recently funded Kickstarter project that can turn any smartphone into a dream come true for photography lovers, nature lovers, science lovers, and pretty much anyone.
Using the Snapzoom, you can snap your smartphone onto binoculars, telescopes, microscopes, and spotting scopes. Once mounted, you can use your smartphone’s screen to view and take photographs of anything you can see through the lens. Imagine telescope-powered or microscope-powered smartphone zoom. This is a smartphone accessory that’s worth keeping an eye on.
Compatible with: Most smartphones
So this is what your smartphone dreams about when it gets a moment of peace. What do you dream about? Are there any awesome smartphone accessories you’ve always wished you could have? Is there one you already own and want to tell us about? Add all your thoughts and comments below!