tech makes life easierOur phones are like a fabulous dress: you can take them to the next level with the right accessories. Every year, accessory makers promise smartphone a lot, but frequently fail to deliver. With that said, we’re finally seeing numerous products come to market that enhances our cellphone’s capabilities in useful and practical ways.

Let’s take a look.

Wireless External Battery Chargers

Hooking up your phone to a charger seems so old-school, yet it’s something that we unthinkingly do every day. It’s just a normal part of modern life.

Or it is?

A company called Mophie has developed a power station and external charger with no wires at all. You just place your phone on the docking bay, and the system will charge it up remotely. It’s like magic.

Optical Cell Phone Cameras

If phones had remained the size of bricks, then we might be seeing more optical cameras in phones today. But with things as they are, there’s no physical way to pack a good optical lens into a device 8mm thick. This reality has led many manufacturers to conclude that the only way to give phone owners the ability to take quality photos with realistic zoom is to create optics that bolt on to the back of phones.

The problem with digital zoom is that you lose detail with each magnification. With optical zoom, people can use their phones as they would a DSLR, enabling them to take great photos without having to get up close to whatever object they’re trying to snap.

Camkix has begun creating cell phone camera lenses that’ll do things like fisheye or close up effects that aren’t possible with regular in-built setups.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Are we looking at the end of the humble earbud? Possibly. Earbuds have served us well, but there’s definitely a movement towards wearing larger headphones. Headphones have almost become a fashion accessory in their own right.

Granted, noise-canceling headphones aren’t cheap, but when paired with a SIM only contract, you can bring down the overall cost to more manageable levels. Sony, for instance, makes a Bluetooth noise canceling headphone set that helps to drown out external sounds and create exceptional audio quality.

Sports Headphones

Sports headphones, sometimes called “hearables,” are a new kind of earbud that doesn’t have any wires. Instead, two speakers slot into the ear and are piped music through a Bluetooth connection. With no wires, these devices are ideal for people who want to listen to music while they work out but don’t want any annoying wires getting in the way.

Many companies, including Bose, are making inroads into the market. Just a couple of years ago, you were lucky if you could buy any hearables at all, but now the market is booming, and they’re turning up all over the place.

Protective Cases With Kickstands

Protective cases are great for protecting your phone, but often they add a lot of extra bulk without any additional utility. Spigen wants to change this sorry state of affairs. The company makes a protective case for the Samsung Note 8, which comes with a kickstand.

The stand flips out from the back, allowing Note 8 users to type with both hands while sending emails or word processing, instead of having to use their thumbs.

The product makes a lot of sense for a device like the Note 8. The Note was the original “phablet,” a smartphone designed to be half cellphone, half tablet. Samsung originally intended the device for business-oriented use, but due to device constraints, it never really made notebook computers obsolete. However, with the kickstand, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the Note could once again threaten the traditional computer market. After all, if you can do your work on your phone, why would you need a laptop as well?

Google Daydream View

VR hasn’t quite made the inroads that many people expected in 2015 when the hype was at its zenith. But despite that, the technology is trudging along slowly and finding more applications.

Google’s Daydream View VR headset is an example of a product that has the potential to be popular. The device hooks up to your smartphone via and Bluetooth link and allows you to consume content in full 360-degree surround. It works seamlessly with popular apps, like YouTube, and costs much less than you’d think: just $100.

Granted, it’s not going to offer the same fidelity as the HTC Vive, but the device does make virtual reality more accessible for the masses.

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