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The best accessories for your new iPhone


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New iPhone 13 owners should think about the accessories they want for their new phone soon after opening it in the case. As with last year’s iPhone 12s, this year’s models don’t come with a charging adapter, so you may need to have this thing on hand. If you plan to complete wireless charging can I skipped that, and thankfully, there are many more MagSafe extensions to choose from now compared to last year. We tested some of the latest iPhone accessories available and collected the best ones here.

Apple MagSafe Wireless Charger

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

There are often better and cheaper alternatives to first-party accessories from Apple, but the company’s MagSafe wireless charger is worth considering if you have a new iPhone. Like all other MagSafe accessories, this charging pad uses magnets to secure it to the back of the latest iPhones and is surprisingly strong. Not only can you safely hold your phone and use it with the disk still attached, but your iPhone can hang from the charger cord without falling off. (You still likely won’t do this.)

The charging pad itself is about a quarter of an inch thick, so it hardly adds any heft to the iPhone. The magnet only connects to the latest iPhones, but will still wirelessly charge older models, way back to the iPhone 8. I only wish the cable was more than three feet longer so you had more room to use your iPhone on the couch or in bed while it’s on.

The Apple accessory comes in at $39 (although we’ve seen it go on sale a few times), but if you’re willing to spend a little less, Spigen’s $25 ArcField Magnetic Wireless Charger is a fitting trick. Magnets are nowhere near as strong as those on an Apple charger – so you definitely You shouldn’t grab your iPhone by this cable – but it will power your phone and stay in place while you do it.

Buy the Apple MagSafe Wireless Charger on Amazon – $39 Buy the Spigen ArcField on Amazon – $25

Mophie 4-in-1 Wireless Charging Mat

Mophie 4-in-1 Charging Mat

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

You’ve probably collected a number of wireless charging-enabled devices at this point, and Mophie’s 4-in-1 Charging Mat is an easy way to get them all working. It’s an 11″ x 8″ rectangle with four spaces for charging different items simultaneously. Two of these spots are big enough to hold smartphones while the other two in the middle are smaller and perfectly fit things like AirPods. It also has an optional Apple Watch attachment, which means it can actually charge up to five devices at the same time.

I’ve found the mat to be useful as a charging hub, and I turn to it every night to charge my iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods Pro. It’s worth noting that both my iPhone and AirPods Pro work in cases, and I didn’t have to remove either to charge them with the Mophie mat. But while the size of the rug allows it to do so much at once, it’s also hard to find a place big enough for it. Fits most bedside tables, but you may have to rearrange things first. Mophie has a 3-in-1 charging station that takes up less space and has dedicated compartments for your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods.

Buy the Mophie 4-in-1 Charging Mat from Amazon – $150 Buy the Mophie 3-in-1 Charging Station from Amazon – $110

AirPods

Apple completely overhauled AirPods for the 3rd generation version with the biggest changes in design and sound quality.

Billy Steele / Engadget

AirPods are now known to be the best wireless earbuds for those with iPhones. Apple has made its standard AirPods even better this year with the introduction of the third-generation models, which feature an improved design, noticeably better sound, and longer battery life. We appreciate the new “surround” design, which is more comfortable than previous AirPods, and the H1 chipset that makes features like hands-free Siri, pairing and quick switching possible. They’re well worth their $179 price tag—but if that’s a bit too high for you, Beats’ new Studio Buds are a good alternative. At $150, they have the same H1 chip inside along with the balanced sound that doesn’t sacrifice the powerful bass that Beats are known for.

Buy AirPods (3rd Generation) on Amazon – $179 Buy Beats Studio Buds on Amazon – $150

Anchor Nano II 45W GaN Charger

Anchor Nano II 45W charger

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While Apple’s 20W charger works well, you can opt for a more versatile adapter in the Anker Nano II 45W charger. Not only can it charge your iPhone quickly, but it can also power the 2020 MacBook Air at full speed, along with mid-sized devices like iPads. It’s 34 percent smaller than other 45W chargers, and uses GaN technology to prevent overheating. We also appreciate that its prongs flip down to make the adapter more compact when you need to travel with it. The 45-watt model will set you back $40, but Anker also makes a $34, 30-watt version and a $66, 65-watt two-port model for when you want to charge your phone and laptop at the same time.

Buy a Nano II 45W Charger from Amazon – $40 Buy a Nano II 30W Charger at Amazon – $34 Buy a Nano II 65W Charger from Amazon – $66

Apple AirTag with cases

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

Apple’s AirTags make it easy for iPhone users to spot things they might go wrong. Simply attach one of the mini bluetooth trackers to your keys, backpack or purse and then use the Find My app to track it. If you know your stuff is close at hand, you can force AirTag to play a tone to direct you to it. And when you don’t really know where something is, you can enable Lost Mode to be automatically notified when the Find My network identifies that item. AirTags only work with iPhones, but iPhone users have other options for Bluetooth trackers (which are Tile’s). But Apple gadgets have a similar level of convenience to AirPods — your iPhone will automatically identify a new AirTag nearby and pair with it instantly, and it’s very easy to manage multiple AirTags in the Find My app.

Buy AirTag from Amazon – $29

Anker 637 MagGo Charging Station

Anker 637 MagGo Charging Station

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

Remember Amazon’s awesome Echo Spot, the orb-like smart screen that was eventually replaced by the Echo Show 5? Well, Anker’s latest magnetic charging station looks a lot like it, just without the tiny touch screen and with plenty of connectivity options. The 8-in-1 has a magnetic charging pad on the front and a bunch of ports on the back: three AC outlets, two USB-C ports, and two USB-A ports. The magnet in the charging pad is so strong and able to hold the iPhone 13 Pro Max that it appears to be floating in the air. You can even use it when your iPhone has a MagSafe case as well. Since the iPhone screen is tilted upwards and is clearly visible while charging, the Anker would be a good addition to a desk, or even a nightstand for those who like to use their phone as an evening clock. On top of that, it’ll keep all of your other cables organized and (mostly) out of sight.

Buy MagGo Desktop Charging Station on Amazon – $100

Anker Powerline II USB-C to Lightning Cable

anker powerline cables

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

We’ve been fans of Anker Powerline charging cables for a long time and the Powerline II USB-C to Lightning cord is no exception. First, it’s more expensive than Apple—you’ll pay $19 for a three-foot cable from Apple, while Anker’s three-foot cord costs $13. It also has MFi certification, which means it has passed enough tests to get Apple approved as a secure and reliable iOS accessory. Although not all are made of braided nylon, the ones that do have a life of 12,000 folds so you can use them without fear of wire fraying after a few weeks. Anker also has a similar USB-C to C cable in the Powerline III series that should work just fine for charging the latest iPads and MacBooks.

Buy this USB-C to Lightning Cable from Amazon – $13

Belkin MagSafe Car Vent Mount Pro

Belkin MagSafe Car Vent Mount Pro

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

Belkin’s MagSafe Car Mount is easier to use than one of those hard-to-connect clips that will stay vented while you’re driving. Strong magnets really make this an accessory – iPhone 13 snaps into place on the holder’s credit card-sized plate and doesn’t budge even if you have to swerve quickly to avoid hitting a squirrel. The clip that attaches to your car’s air vent is also very convenient and you can rotate your phone in landscape or portrait mode.

Even if you no longer drive to work every day, this will come in handy on the days when you are in the office and when you need to consult Google Maps during your next road trip. Just remember that this holder will not charge your iPhone; It is just a magnetic holder. However, you can weave a charging cable through a hole in the back of the mount so you can operate your phone precisely while you’re driving.

Buy MagSafe car mount on Amazon – $40

Pick Design Mobile Tripod

Pick Design Mobile Tripod

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

There are plenty of ways to prop up your iPhone, but the new Peak Design portable tripod is one of the most elegant solutions I’ve tried. It is a 0.3 inch thick plate made of anodized aluminum with strong magnets inside and three legs that fold out. It attaches to the back of the latest iPhones and offers plenty of height over the surface it sits on. Of all the mounts I’ve used, it feels like a tripod thanks to its small ball head, which allows you to adjust the angle of your phone nearly 360 degrees, and its three legs, which provide much more support than a standard phone case mount.

The Mobile Tripod is a powerful choice for those who use their phone’s cameras for everything from family photos to vacation landscape shots, and those who want to use their phone almost as a second screen while traveling. It’s a bit steep at $80, but you’re paying for a sturdy accessory with a thoughtful design—plus the Peak name. Of course, there are plenty of affordable MagSafe phone mounts like Moft’s Snap-On Stand and Wallet, which supports your iPhone while carrying a few credit cards, Anker’s MagGo phone grip, and PopSockets everywhere now. Just keep in mind that while MagSafe accessories like these are convenient, in the end they won’t be as powerful as anything that installs securely on your smartphone. All MagSafe mounts, wallets, chargers, and other accessories I tried eventually fell off if I used enough force.

Buy Peak Design Mobile Phone Tripod – $80 Buy Moft Snap-On Stand and Wallet at Amazon – $30 Buy MagGo Phone Grip from Amazon – $16 Buy the MagSafe PopGrip on Amazon – $30

MagSafe cases

Apple Silicone MagSafe iPhone 12 Case, Otterbox Symmetry + MagSafe iPhone 12 Case

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

There are many more MagSafe cases available now than there were just a year ago, and they range from affordable to pricey. If you like silicone cases, it’s usually better to save some money and get a third party instead of buying an Apple one. However, the first-party silicone MagSafe case is worth considering due to its luxurious look and slim design. It does not add much heaviness to the iPhone at all and gives you more protection against scratches and drops. It also has an excellent soft feel that makes it nicer to hold than cheaper silicone cases.

Apple also makes hard-shell MagSafe cases, but we usually prefer Otterbox for this level of protection. The company’s Symmetry+ line is only a hair thicker than Apple’s but slightly more flexible, making it easier to insert and remove your iPhone. They also have Otterbox’s signature rubber bumper around the edges, and while you can’t remove it like you can with some other heavy-duty cases, it does provide extra cushion if you accidentally drop your iPhone.

But Otterbox cases will set you back $60 or more—for something more budget-friendly, Spigen’s Mag Armor series is well worth considering. At about $20 each, these cases are made of shock-absorbing TPU and have a raised lip around the camera assembly to protect it. They are compatible with MagSafe accessories and only add about 0.15 inch of thickness to your iPhone’s overall profile. These are good options if you want to add just what’s necessary to your phone to protect it from accidental drops or bumps.

Shop Otterbox Symmetry Bags + Buy Spigen Mag Armor Bag on Amazon – $20



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