Summer’s just around the corner and no matter where you’re headed, I bet your smartphone will be going with you. After all, it’s the easiest way for you to reach out to your friends, keep in touch with your social media feeds and even take a few pictures along the way. But maybe this is the summer that your smartphone does a little bit more for you with the help of a few new accessories. Best Buy has a huge selection of neat and portable accessories you can take with you wherever your summer plans take you. Here are a few ideas to get you started
A waterproof case
For most of us, summer involves the water. Whether it’s out on a boat or at the beach, there are few things more relaxing than a summer swim, or the sound of the waves washing ashore. Keep your phone safe from taking a bath with a new waterproof case or underwater case. You’ll have the peace of mind that your phone will be safe from some of those beachfront hazards and you can even take the opportunity to try and capture some pics underwater!
My immediate go-to for my iPhone 6 would be the Lifeproof nuud case. Members of my family have been using it for the last couple iPhone generations and they’ve never had a bad thing to say about it. In fact, we even went and put my cousin’s to the test one night after Thanksgiving dinner and it passed with flying colours.
It goes without saying, but any waterproof case you purchase should be tested for deficiencies before you start using it on your phone full time. The nuud, for example, comes with a testing instructions and encourages you to immerse it beforehand.
If your phone is your music hub, why not pick up a new speaker for those nights outdoors on the deck or at the park? With no wire hookups and a rechargeable battery, Bluetooth speakers are an easy and portable way to get the party, picnic or barbeque started.
If you’re looking for a smaller pocket-sized speaker, the Logiix Blue Piston Speaker offers good sound quality and a long battery life (8 hours) for a device that’s less than 3x3x3. It’s a great option for those smaller family outings.
If you’re looking for something much bigger, the Beats by Dr. Dre experience is available in a handy pill-shaped speaker. The speaker is much larger at 9x6x3 and weighs just under 3 pounds, but it’s a much better option if you want to blast music into the backyard during an evening under the stars or with friends on the patio.
Something to keep your phone alive longer
I find that my phone’s battery drains faster in the summer months. There’s nothing scientific about it; I’m just using my phone more! My smartphone’s constantly in my hand, whether it’s taking pictures of my daughter on the swings or at the waterpark or flipping through and playing music while I’m out for a walk with her. I’ll often find my phone at less than half battery by the middle of the day.
There are a few things you can pick up to keep your phone alive longer if you’ll be doing things like camping and wanting to keep your phone alive and handy for emergency purposes. One of the easiest things to do is get a battery case, like Mophie’s Juice Packs. In addition to being a great and sturdy case, it repositions the output of your music to be front-facing. More importantly, it’s your backup to double the life of your iPhone’s battery and once home, you can simultaneously charge both with one cable.
I admit, I’m not quite that sophisticated yet. I usually keep a power bank close in case my battery starts to run low. It’s a great device to have when I’m driving around or at work and want to charge my phone in the process.
A Phone Camera Lens
To call my photography skills novice would be an insult to all photography novices. Still, I do what I can but sometimes miss out on opportunities to take great shots simply because my phone doesn’t zoom in far enough. While my wife has a great camera, it’s never on our minds to actually take it with us when we go out for the day. If you’re the kind that likes to pack light for the day but you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to capture that summer sunset or nature shot in the distance, consider picking up a lens to enhance the range of your camera.
I’ve become a big fan of olloclip’s offerings. They’re lightweight, simple to use and slip on and off with relative ease. They’re great for adding that extra range and focus to your long distance shots.
If you’re taking binoculars with you anywhere this summer, you may want to consider Carson’s binocular Hookupz. Your phone simply slides into the sleeve and then connects to your binoculars. You might look a bit odd when you’re standing and taking the shot but the budding professional photographer in you won’t regret it later on when you’re looking back.
A new toy
Phone accessories don’t always have to be directly for your phone. Having had the opportunity to test a few drones out, I can tell you that they’re an absolute blast and are something I think you’ll have fun with too.
Ted recently reviewed the DJI Phantom 3 and it passed with flying colours. While I got to test the DJI Phantom 2 and liked it, if this type of drone is in your budget, you may as well go with the latest and greatest technology.
On the ground (and much cheaper,) think about what you want and your budget as well. I really enjoyed the Sphero Ollie which was easy to control (once you got used to it) and zipped along. However, I was a bit more partial to something like Parrot’s Jumping Sumo. While I found the device to be a little bit loud, it has a bit more pizzazz with its ability to do tricks and the on-board camera was great for capturing the Sumo’s travels. It’s a bit more of an advanced drone though and is a bit tougher to control than the others. If you’re a fan of the Parrot brand but are just starting out, stick with the rolling spider. It’s a far more linear driving experience, and a better model for beginners.
Wherever you go and whatever you do this summer, be sure to soak up the sunlight and make the most of your down time with a few new fun accessories for your phone.