Accessorize your smartphone
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Some accessories work best with Android phones. Then there are the nifty accessories that work only with the Apple iPhone family. Some useful accessories, however, are not limited to any one phone. We take a bunch of platform-agnostic gear that will work well with different kinds of smartphones. These include battery banks, charging stations, cables, storage, camera-enhancing lenses and more.
Camera lens kits: Aukey optic pro
Depending on what you prefer photographing more, Aukey has two attachments for your phone. The first is a telephoto 2x zoom lens, and the second, an 18mm wide-angle lens. Each costs Rs3,006 (Amazon.in), and will work with most Android phones as well as the Apple iPhone. They clip on to the back of the phone, over the primary camera, and let you use their more powerful optics for even better photographs. Each has an aluminium construction, and five lens elements (elements are the individual glass lens components within a lens)—the more elements there are in a lens, the better the photographs will be.
VR cameras: Insta360 Air
$129 (around Rs8,250; shipping extra)
The Insta360 Air will capture 360-degree-view videos and photographs. It has a lens with f2.4 rated aperture, and will capture 3,008x1,504 resolution (3K, simply put) photographs and 2,560x1,280 resolution videos at 30 frames per second (fps). You can livestream videos too. The Air is just 37.6mm in diameter. The connector type you will need (micro USB or USB Type-C) on the camera will depend on which Android phone you have.
Portable amplifier: FiiO A3BK
Some smartphones offer weak sound output (not all phones have the same audio- processing hardware). This amplifier connects to your phone, and the earphones connect to this. FiiO’s A3BK has an aluminium alloy chassis, and a 1,400 mAh battery. It will boost detailing, retuning the music to recover lost detail (this is common in digital music) and improving bass as well.
Cables: Belkin mixit Duratek cables
Rs1,949 (Apple Lightning); Rs1,999 (USB Type-C)
This isn’t any ordinary cable. It has a double-braided nylon jacket for flexibility, and Kevlar reinforcement, which can withstand rough use such as bending. Kevlar is used, for instance, in bulletproof wearables, and aircraft. The length of each Mixit Duratek cable is 4m.
Power bank: Ankerpowercore+ 20100
You probably think a power bank will just charge phones. The PowerCore+, however, will also charge your iPad and MacBook computing device. It has a 20,100 mAh battery, and a smart-charging feature called PowerIQ. For USB Type-C devices that support fast charging, it can adjust the power to a rapid maximum output of 5 volts/3 amperes. The power bank has an aluminium casing, with a secondary reinforcement layer to protect the cells packed inside. You can charge three devices at the same time.
Desktop charge station: Tronsmart Titan
A powerful charging station, the Titan is rated at a maximum power output of 90 watts/10 amperes. It supports Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 2.0 standard, as well as the VoltIQ to guard against extra voltage. You will get the maximum charging speeds your phone is capable of handling on all five ports.
Storage: SanDisk iXpand Mini
Many of us bought the 16 GB iPhone because we really wanted it, but were limited by budget. Problems of limited storage, however, were quick to show up. SanDisk’s iXpand Mini flash drive has a lightning connector at one end (to plug into an iPhone or iPad) and a full USB 3.0 connector (for PC or Mac). Use this to back up your iOS data, complement its storage or simply transfer files to and from a PC. The small form factor just adds to the ease of use.
Earphones: Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear
The very powerful earphones handle bass as well as vocals better than most similarly priced rivals. Even at high volumes, the typical Sennheiser sound signature remains unmistakable. The only downside is that the mid-range frequencies are a bit less vibrant. But it is built very well, the dual-colour cable just emphasizing the attention to detail. We would recommend the red option because it stands out. It also has a microphone, and can be used for phone calls too.