Smartphone accessories.

The market is flooded with all kinds of accessories for smartphones. Everything from silicone cases to big battery packs. You probably don’t need all of these accessories for your iPhone or Android phone. Which ones are worth having?

It’s no mystery why there are so many smartphone accessories on the market these days. Essentially everyone has an iPhone or Android phone in their pocket and there are plenty of companies hoping to sell you more things to go with them.


Phone cases.
Ja Crispy/

Let’s start with the most common smartphone accessory—a case. Some people are anti-case, others use multiple cases. While cases may not be as protective as you think, they can serve a valuable purpose.

I think there are a few reasons why it’s worth buying a case for your phone. First of all, a case does offer some level of protection. Even a thin TPU case will protect your phone from scratches, and an Otterbox can save it from more serious damage.

Cases are for more than just protection, though. Some phones are made with slippery glass or metal backs. A simple case can make it a lot easier to grip. You can also add a touch of personalization to your phone with a case. Make it a reflection of your personal style.

Do you absolutely need a case? Of course not—but I don’t think you’ll regret having one.

The Best iPhone 13 Pro Cases of 2023

Best iPhone 13 Pro Case Overall
Apple Silicone Case with MagSafe for iPhone 13 Pro
Spigen Liquid Air Armor
Best Budget iPhone 13 Pro Case
Spigen Liquid Air Armor
Apple Clear Case with MagSafe
Best MagSafe iPhone 13 Pro Case
Apple Clear Case with MagSafe
Best Wallet iPhone 13 Pro Case
Smartish iPhone 13 Pro Wallet Case
Best Rugged iPhone 13 Pro Case
Otterbox Defender Series Case for iPhone 13 Pro
Best Clear iPhone 13 Pro Case
Otterbox Symmetry Clear Series Case for iPhone 13 Pro
Best Thin iPhone 13 Pro Case
Totallee Thin iPhone 13 Pro Case
Apple Leather Case with MagSafe
Best Leather iPhone 13 Pro Case
Apple Leather Case with MagSafe

Charging Cables

USB-C cable capable of fast charging
Kris Wouk / How-To Geek

Your smartphone most likely came with a charging cable in the box. Obviously, that’s a pretty essential accessory to have. Another essential accessory to have is more charging cables.

Charging is a necessary part of using a smartphone. Most people charge their phones overnight, but you may also need a little extra juice from time to time before bed. That’s where it’s nice to have extra charging cables.

You can have a charging cable next to your bed, by the couch, in your backpack, and your car. They’re usually pretty cheap and it’s much easier to spread them around than move the same one from place to place.

3-in-1 Retractable Charging Cable

The 3-in-1 charging cable retracts into a compact size, making it perfect for taking with you. It can charge devices with USB-C, Lighting, and microUSB.

Battery Packs

A set of lithium ion battery packs with one standing out.

We’ve covered the essentials; now it’s time to move into the more optional accessories. While certainly not a necessity, I think a good battery pack is something every smartphone user should have.

Why? Well, you never really know when you might be without power. A battery pack can be a lifesaver in certain situations. Maybe the power in your home went out before you could charge your phone or you’re stuck somewhere without any outlets.

The key to having a battery pack ready for these situations is to keep it charged. A combo wall charger/portable charger is great because it can stay plugged in for regular charging, but it also has its own battery. You’ll be happy you have one when you need it.

Anker PowerCore Fusion 5000

This 5,000mAh battery pack can double as a wall charger so it's always fully juiced up when you need it.

Wireless Earbuds

Sony LinkBuds earbud vs AirPods Pro bud.
Justin Duino / How-To Geek

Whether we like it or not, the headphone jack is a dying feature in modern smartphones. iPhones and many Android phones no longer include it. That makes wireless earbuds an unfortunate necessity if you want to listen to music or podcasts on your phone.

It doesn’t have to be unfortunate, though. Wireless earbuds offer a few advantages over wired headphones. You have more freedom to move since you don’t need to have your phone tethered to your body. The charging cases are much tidier than a tangled mess of cables, too.

If you feel like wireless earbuds are not an accessory worth having, you may just need to find the right pair. Amazon is stuffed to the brim with cheap wireless earbuds that simply aren’t very good. A pair that fits your ears well and sounds great can make all the difference.

The Best Wireless Earbuds of 2023

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
Soundcore by Anker Life P3
Best Wireless Earbuds Under $100
Soundcore by Anker Life P3
Soundpeats T3
Best Wireless Earbuds Under $50
Soundpeats T3
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)
Best Wireless Earbuds for iPhone
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Best Wireless Earbuds for Android
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
JBL Reflect Flow Pro
Best Wireless Earbuds for Workouts
JBL Reflect Flow Pro
Sony WF-1000XM4
Best Noise Cancelling Wireless Earbuds
Sony WF-1000XM4

These four accessories will greatly improve your smartphone experience (and the case is probably the only one you need to change with a new phone). Other types of accessories don’t have the same widespread utility, but they may be useful for certain situations. For example, a PopSocket can be essential to people with small hands or dexterity constraints.

While it may seem like there are a lot of unnecessary accessories on store shelves, some of them are genuinely useful. Your phone is likely one of the most used items in your life. Make sure it’s the best it can be.

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
Read Full Bio »