Remember when mobile phones were brick-sized brutes, capable of little more than making calls and sending texts between the odd game of Snake? Well, we’ve come a long way since then, with today’s smartphones compatible with thousands of clever apps. Your phone can now double up as a fitness tracker or high street bank; or even a TV. But to really get the most out your phone these days, you have to look beyond the device itself.
There are now all sorts of gadgets and gizmos you can hook up to your phone that allow you to do even more. And rest assured, whether you’re a fully-fledged fitness freak or a committed couch potato, there’s a piece of kit out there for you. So from smartwatches and ‘virtual butlers’ to state-of-the-art headphones, here are seven tech-savvy accessories that’ll leave you wondering how you ever coped without them.
Nudge this incredible ‘virtual butler’ into life with a hearty “OK Google”, and like a 21st century genie, your wish is its command. Fire up your latest Netflix binge-watch, blast out your favourite Apple Music playlist – or, get this, even turn up the heating when you’re feeling a bit chilly! And no matter how random your question, just ask and this impressive piece of kit will find an answer – this is Google, after all. It’s about as close as you can get to your very own J.A.R.V.I.S. without moving into Stark Tower.
Samsung Gear VR
Fancy livening up your daily commute with the thrill of a big screen movie experience? Of course you do, and with Samsung’s clever virtual reality headset, it’s now gloriously possible. Strap it on and you’ll be transported to your very own private cinema where you always get the best seat in the house. Oh, and as an added bonus, you’ll never be caught out by that unexpected racy scene on the bus ride home again. Phew! It’s not just great for movies, by the way. Take your gaming to the next level with Gear VR’s highly intuitive controllers, and ‘virtually’ meet up to chew the fat with friends and other VR buffs in an Oculus Room.
Samsung Gear S3 Smart Watch
With its impeccable styling, Samsung’s G3 Smart Watch would earn pride of place on your wrist, even if it was a mere timepiece. But telling the time is just half the story with this slick, Bond-like gadget. It’s loaded with state-of-the-art functions like GPS, a heartrate monitor, activity tracking and contactless payment – all accessed via a slinky, seamless touch-screen face. Whether you’re mountain biking in the hills or just going for a quick run around the block, you can still take calls, pay for a bottle of water or keep the momentum going with a pounding Spotify playlist.
Beats by Dre headphones
Since launching his first pair of headphones way back in 2008, one-man hip hop mega-brand Dr Dre has captured an incredible 70% of the premium headphones market. Strap on a pair of colourful Beats By Dre cans and it’s easy to see why. This is your favourite music as it’s meant to be heard: crisp, punchy and clean, with incredible breadth and balance. Clever Beats technology twiddles those invisible digital knobs, equalising the tunes as they’re played back on your smartphone. The end result is music that sounds exactly as the artist heard it in the studio. Quite simply, your favourite albums will never sound the same again.
Samsung Gear Fit 2
Fairweather joggers and fitness fanatics alike will adore this smart, stylish and fiendishly clever wristband. Still running around the block with a cumbersome smartphone bouncing up and down in your pocket? The Gear Fit 2 lets you ditch the phone and enjoy complete freedom while you train. Map your run accurately with built-in GPS, keep track of your step count and how many calories you’re burning off, monitor your heartrate – all while receiving and responding to calls, texts and notifications. The Gear 2’s even clever enough to figure out the exact moment you start your workout, so there’s no need to fumble around with it on your way out of the door.
Kitvision Bluetooth Selfie Stick
Love it or loathe it, grabbing that all-important selfie to prove you were really there has become part of everyday life. But head for any tourist attraction and the chances are you’ll be jostling for the best spot to take a shot. So if selfies are your thing, take your photos up a notch with this nifty bluetooth selfie stick. It extends to a whopping 110cm long, so you’ll always manage to get everything in the shot, and it’s telescopic, so you can easily fit it in your bag. Best of all, it connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, which means no more straining to hold that cheesy grin for the 30 second timer.
Kit Premium Power Bank
Is there anything worse than your phone running out of battery in the middle of a call? Or how about when you’re using maps on the car ride home? Let’s face it, we’ve all been caught short now and again; and with today’s smartphones running more complex, power-sapping apps than ever before, it’s a good idea to have some backup. The Kit Premium Power Bank is a bag-sized gizmo that’ll lend you up to five hours of emergency charging time, so you’ll never have to put up with a boring bus-ride home ever again.