Clever companions for your Android phone

Long live the king. With the rise of the Samsung Galaxy S7, Huawei Nexus 6P and other amazing Android flagships, Apple’s position at the top of the heap looks to be a precarious one. Companies like OnePlus, Xiaomi and Huawei have, over the past two years, consistently shown that premium quality doesn’t have to come solely from the United States or South Korea.

Where Android really shines is its customisability. Where iPhone users are forced to accept whatever “upgrades” Apple forces on them (remember the debacle that accompanied the release of Apple Maps?), as an Android user, you can take your pick of the litter when it comes to phones. Want a wide-angle rear camera? Check out the LG G5. Or maybe you want the best speakers available on a phone. The HTC 10 gives you that stereo experience.

But why stop at the choice of phone? Trick out your new Android device with some of these universal peripherals.

Optoma NuForce HEM-2/4/6/8

Image: Optoma UK

With the upcoming iPhone 7 rumoured to be doing away with the 3.5mm audio jack, Android users can gloat about the wealth of audio options still available to them. While most phones come with a set of accompanying earphones, there are far better choices available to audiophiles on the go.

The HEM series, for instance, is Optoma NuForce’s latest line of in-ear monitor (IEM) earphones, aimed at providing an audiophile experience at an entry-level price. Newcomers can settle for the HEM-2, with a single balanced armature driver, while those with a bit more experience and spare change can spring for the flagship HEM-8, which has an incredible four drivers for thumping bass and soaring high frequencies.

MOKO Universal Waterproof Case

Image: Selloscope

Android phones are no stranger to waterproofing. Starting the ball rolling in 2013, Sony’s Xperia Z had its audio jack, speaker port and SIM card slot hidden behind small waterproof seals – a revolutionary concept at the time. Fast-forward to today, and Samsung’s newly-released Galaxy S7 Active claims to be able to survive being submerged under five feet of water for 30 minutes.

But if you’re not willing to take any chances whatsoever with your phone’s safety, or if you’re simply reluctant to spend the extra money for waterproofing features, simply invest in a waterproof case. The MOKO Universal Waterproof Case fits devices up to a massive 8.3 inches across – for reference, the iPhone 6s Plus phablet has a screen size of 5.5 inches – and even floats. So if you lose your phone on an open-water dive, you don’t have to worry about retrieving it from the ocean floor.

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank

Image: Xiaomi

While most manufacturers have decided to leave the removable battery behind, there are a few stalwarts like LG and Asus who continue to see the value in letting users swap batteries out as and when they need. Once you’ve had the experience of having your phone revert to a fully-charged state almost instantaneously, there’s no going back.

But if you don’t have the luxury of the removable battery, a cheap powerbank will do the job almost as well. Xiaomi is the manufacturer of choice in this case, providing powerbanks from 5,000mAh to 20,000mAh. Sleek, silver and stylish, these powerbanks manage to be both useful and fashionable at the same time.

JBL Clip 2

Image: Forbes

While Pokemon GO may finally have couch potatoes out of the house and searching far and wide, some of us prefer an old-fashioned run to sweat it out. But no run is complete without some pulse-pounding music. Sure enough, there are plenty of earphones for the active user on the market out there, ranging from Jabra’s Pulse Sport to Jaybird’s Freedom to Plantronics’ BackBeat GO. But what about those fitness junkies who want to hear their music and the outside world?

Consider the JBL Clip 2 instead. A tiny Bluetooth speaker just 3.7 inches in diameter, the JBL Clip 2 fits neatly into the palm of your hand, and attaches unobtrusively to a belt or keychain via carabiner. With an estimated battery life of 8 hours, you could run a marathon with this tiny titan and still have plenty of juice left to spare.

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