Mobile Phone Accessory Finder
How to compare mobile phone accessories and find all the essentials you need to pimp your smartphone.
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Key facts about comparing mobile accessories
- If you're looking to get more out of your phone, or just protect what is often an expensive piece of equipment, you'll need to shop around for the best mobile phone accessories.
- From phone cases and screen protectors to wireless chargers and car mounts, the sheer variety of smartphone accessories available is overwhelming.
- Once you know what type of accessory you need, the key is to make sure you find something that's compatible with your phone model.
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What are my main options?
If you want to buy mobile phone accessories online, you're spoilt for choice. There's a huge range of bits and bobs you can buy to protect, charge, enhance and beautify your smartphone. Here are some of the main options:
- Phone cases. The right smartphone case will protect your phone against drops and bumps and maybe even turn it into a much more stylish piece of equipment at the same time. Check out our section on the types of phone cases available further down the page, and take a look at our guide to the best phone cases if you're ready to start shopping.
- Screen protectors. Most of us have cracked or just plain shattered at least one smartphone screen over the years. A screen protector is a film of thin plastic or glass that offers an additional layer of protection against scratches and cracks. Our guide to the best screen protectors can help you make the right choice for your phone.
- Car phone holders. Car phone mounts attach to your dash, window or air vents so you can look at your phone while driving. They're very handy when using your smartphone for GPS navigation, and some also come with in-car chargers so you can boost your battery power while on the move. For more details, take a look at our guide to the best car phone holders.
- Wireless chargers. These handy accessories let you charge your phone battery without connecting it to a cable and wall plug. They reduce clutter and offer a convenient way to ensure you've got enough charge to last the day. Find out more in our guide to the best wireless chargers.
- Power banks. These portable devices allow you to charge your smartphone or tablet while on the move. They use a battery to store power and can be very useful if you're going to be away from power outlets all day long.
- Wall chargers and cables. Lost your phone charger or cable? You'll find plenty of replacement accessories to help you power up your device.
- Earphones and headsets. If your phone comes with a headphone jack, there's a huge range of earphones and headphones available. If there's no jack or you just want to do away with cables altogether, there are plenty of wireless options available too. Of course, if you want to share your audio with the world, you might also want to consider a bluetooth speaker.
- Stands/tripods. Last but not least, you can also shop for a range of stands and tripods. Stands allow you to prop your phone up for easy viewing, and some offer charging capability. Smartphone tripods are handy for anyone looking to improve their smartphone photography skills and experiment with different techniques.
How to compare mobile phone accessories
It's always a good idea to compare mobile phone accessories before you buy. Consider the following features when comparing your options.
The most crucial thing you need to check is whether the accessory you're considering is actually compatible with the smartphone model you own. Read the fine print closely to check which models the accessory is designed for, and if you're unsure what model of phone you have, check the original packaging or instruction manual.
OEM vs third-party products
Buying accessories from the same company that manufactured your phone — original equipment manufacturer (OEM) — means you can find products specifically designed to work with your phone. However, these accessories tend to be more expensive and there are limited options available.
Buying phone accessories from third-party manufacturers opens up a much wider range of options, many with more affordable price tags. However, due to their generic nature in many cases, they may not offer the same performance as OEM gear.
If possible, read some reviews from other customers before you buy — especially if you're buying third-party products online. Was the accessory delivered as described? Does it perform as promised? Have previous buyers experienced any issues or problems with the product?
This will help you buy with a little more confidence, but it's always worth checking the returns policy just in case.
Your budget will also affect the accessories you choose. While you generally tend to get what you pay for, that certainly doesn't mean that the more expensive option is a better choice than the cheaper alternative.
Choosing a mobile phone case
With thousands of choices available, shopping for a smartphone case can be a little overwhelming. Plastic and silicone are popular material options, leather offers a classy look, and some rugged cases combine a hard outer material with a softer inner layer for extra protection.
To help make your decision easier, let's take a closer look at the main options you have to choose from:
- Skin and shell cases. Slimline skin cases allow you to maintain the stylish look of your phone while offering an extra layer of protection, but they're not known for heavy-duty protection. Rigid shell cases are also available, and some include bumpers for added impact protection.
- Flip cases. These cases provide open protection for your phone's screen and can be flipped open when you need to use your device. Many also double as a stand if you want to watch videos on your device.
- Phone wallet cases. As the name suggests, these cases are a lot like a wallet for your phone. They often also include storage slots for your cash, cards and driver's licence.
- Heavy-duty cases. Also known as rugged and tough cases, these accessories are designed to protect your phone against heavy falls and punishing treatment. Great for tradies and farmers, they can absorb impacts and reduce the risk of you damaging your device, but they also tend to be bulky and heavy.
3 things to consider
There are a few other factors you should consider before buying any mobile phone accessories:
- Check the returns policy. When you buy mobile phone accessories online from a third-party manufacturer, there's always a risk that the product you buy isn't compatible with your phone. That's why it's a good idea to check a retailer's returns policy before you buy — so if you buy the wrong thing, you should be able to get your money back.
- Advanced smartphone accessories. We've only scratched the surface of the increasing range of smartphone accessories available. From portable smartphone microscopes to mobile gamepads and video stabilisers, there's an impressive variety of high-tech extras on the market. Do a little research and you might be surprised by what's out there.
- Shop around. Don't assume that you have to pay the RRP for any mobile phone accessory. Compare prices across multiple retailers to take advantage of discounts and special offers, and shop around for coupon codes to help you find a better deal.
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