Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Dock
Wireless charging docks come in two different forms: flat charging pads and ones that angle the iPhone upwards. While flat pads are simple - just rest your phone on the surface and watch it charge - Macworld argues that angled chargers make it easier to use your mobile while its being topped up.
US tech firm Belkin are among the best in the business when it comes to smartphone accessories. The company’s Boost Up Wireless Charging Dock not only props up your iPhone while its charging, but there’s a separate space next to it for Apple Watch users to power up their smartwatch.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
It’s worth noting that there are two types of wireless charging standards. The main wireless standard is called Qi and is compatible with Apple’s latest batch of iPhones and is used by Belkin. The other, Powermat, is not compatible - but these products are somewhat uncommon.
Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Dock, £139.95, apple.com
Anker PowerCore 20100
The iPhone 11 range may eek out more power from their batteries than the old iPhone XS lineup, but some avid users might want to bring a portable battery pack along just in case they find themselves running low on power.
Anker is one of the top power bank brands on the market, and its PowerCore 20100 “one of the company’s best portable chargers”, hails TechRadar. As its name suggests, the power bank comes with a 20,100mAh battery, so you’ll be able to charge your iPhone or iPad “multiple times before it needs a recharge.”
You can also connect up to three devices at once courtesy of two regular USB ports and a smaller micro USB input.
Anker PowerCore 20100, £27.99, amazon.co.uk
Tech21 self-healing screen protector
All three of Apple’s latest smartphones come with stunning displays. But as the 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max screens are made of glass, you’ll want to pick up a sturdy screen guard to protect your phone just in case it takes an unexpected tumble.
Thankfully, there are a number to choose from and many of them will prevent a nasty repair bill. DigitalTrends ranks Tech21’s self-healing protector as one of the best options on the market, as it’s capable of smoothing out marks when scratched.
While it’s not as tough as some thicker screen protectors, the tech site says the Impact Shield “is a good middle-ground” for both protection and retaining the sleek look of your iPhone’s display.
Tech21 self-healing screen protector, £19.99, amazon.co.uk
Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Adaptor
Frustratingly, Apple decided to stop bundling in a free headphone adapter on its smartphones that don’t have an in-built 3.5mm port back in 2018, with the release of the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. The same goes for this year’s line-up.
If you own a pair of headphones that aren’t wireless, you may want to pick up Apple’s own Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter. It may cost £9, but it’s a lot cheaper than spending a few hundred pounds on a pair of wireless headphones.
Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Adaptor, £9, apple.com
Conversely, if you’re looking to pick up a new set of earphones, Apple’s wireless AirPods are among the best on the market.
They are “super easy to pair” with your new iPhone and allow you to issue voice commands to Siri without taking your phone out of your pocket, says TechRadar.
Regular models come with a charging case as standard, which wirelessly charges the earphones when they are put away – but the case’s battery has to be charged through a cable. Buyers can pay £40 for the wireless charging case version, swapping the wired carry case for one that can be charged cable-free.
AirPods, £159, apple.com
For audiophiles who prefer to seal-off the rest of the world while listening to music, Apple’s AirPods Pro might do the trick.
The AirPods Pro are essentially a premium version of the company’s regular wireless earphones, complete with silicone earbuds and noise cancelling technology for a more comfortable fit. The earphones even come with a “vent” system, says The Verge, which “equalises pressure on both sides of each earbud so you never have that buildup of air.”
Sound quality gets upgraded on the AirPods Pro, too. The earphones come with a new adaptive EQ (equaliser), which modulates bass and mid-range frequencies depending on the shape of the user’s ear.
Apple even throws a wireless charging case into the box - a £79 accessory for the regular AirPods.
Snugs custom earphone tips
And if good sound is important to you, the best way to make the most of your earphones is by isolating your ears properly from the outside world. To do so, custom-made earphone tips offer the best protection, and can now be purchased for a relatively reasonable rate through British company Snugs.
The process is simple: choose the pair of Snugs you want and the colour you prefer, then make your way to one of Snugs’ fitting centres to get impressions of your ear canals made. Ten days later your bespoke pair of Snugs will arrive in the post.
There is a simpler option as well, SnugsGo, which allows you to take photos of your own ears rather than having to venture in to an audiologist.
Snugs sells earphones on its website, but you can also simply have tips made to match to the earphones you already own. The earphone tips can be designed to fit everything from mainstream brands like Apple and Sony to more niche audio providers such as Etymotic.
Audio quality will depend on your earphones but having a tight seal means you can turn the volume down even on a noisy tube train and still get high-quality sound.
One slight annoyance is that for wireless earphones that dock in a case, you will have to remove your Snugs before putting them away - but if you have headphones with a decent battery life, then this can just be done at the start and end of the day.
Snugs, from £99.95, snugs.com
Totallee iPhone cases
Design guru Jony Ive may have left Apple, but form remains a key reason for buying an Apple device. Consequently, many iPhone owners will be on the lookout for a thin, unobtrusive case to protect their mobile - and they don't come much thinner than Totallee.
At about 0.5mm, these cases are roughly the thickness of a fingernail. Totallee are also incredibly light at about 2.8g so it won’t add too much extra weight to your device.
The design has no logos, meaning your mobile still looks like an iPhone, and - in part due to the thinness of the construction - wireless charging is still supported.
The company also produces tempered glass screen protectors, which, with careful application, will be barely noticeable, but will protect your screen from nicks and scratches. An ideal case for design obsessives.
Cases from £35, screen protector from £11, totalleecase.com
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.