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Top 10 iPhone accessories for 2018

Over the course of 2018 I've used a lt -- and I mean a lot -- of different iPhone accessories. Many were abysmal, some were good, but there were some that were just awesome. Here are my top 10 iPhone accessories for 2018.
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1 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Anker PowerWave 7.5 Pad

While I think that USB-C charging is the best way to charge an iPhone, wireless charging is a good way to recharge the iPhone at night, or when it's sitting on your desk.

The PowerWave 7.5 Pad features WaveBoost technology, which makes use of advanced components and a state-of-the-art cooling system to charge up to 30 percent faster than other wireless chargers. The silent cooling fan not only keeps the charger cool, but also allows the charger to keep charging at the fastest speed possible.

Charge times are also pretty good. While many wireless chargers take 4.3 hours to recharge the iPhone X, the PowerWave chargers cut that to 3.1 hours (the supplied wired charger takes around 3.2 hours), and it can recharge a Samsung Galaxy S8 in 2.6 hours (the supplied wireless charger takes around 3 hours).

Omnicharge Omni 20 USB-C
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Omnicharge Omni 20 USB-C

Without a doubt the Omni 20 USB-C is the best, most fully-featured power bank that I've every used. Think of this not as a power bank, but a $200 computer-controlled USB charging station.

Tech specs:

  • - 2 x USB-C output: 60W single/100W total
  • - 2 x USB-A output: 15W single/30W total
  • - USB C hub feature to allow file transfer and charging
  • - USB C input: 45W total
  • - Full recharge time: 3 hours
  • - OLED display
  • - 12-layers of electrical protection
  • - 20,100 mAh capacity
Anker PowerPort+ 5 Ports USB-C
3 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Anker PowerPort+ 5 Ports USB-C

To go along with Apple USB-C-to-Lightning cable, you need a charger capable of supporting Power Delivery.

If you have a lot of devices to charge, you need a charger with plenty of outputs, and the Anker PowerPort+ 5 is the perfect charger.

Not only does it have four 2.4A USB-A ports and a single USB-C Power Delivery port that's capable of charging the newer USB-C-equipped MacBooks and MacBook Pros, as well as the new iPhones (with a compatible USB-C-to-Lightning cable).

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Anker USB-C In-Car Charger

Once you get used to the speed of USB-C charging, you'll want it everywhere. That will mean not only needing more USB-C-to-Lightning cables, but also chargers. And one place you'll need one is the car.

Not only can this charger be used to charge USB-C smartphones, but it will also charge bigger devices, such as the newer MacBooks.

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5 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Unicorn Beetle Pro Rugged Case

There's no shortage of cases out there for the new line of iPhones, but I keep coming back to the one that works for me.

Over the years I've tried a lot of iPhone cases, and settled on the Unicorn Beetle Pro. It's tough and stylish, and offered a high level of protection against both drops and the elements.

It also adds much-needed grip to the iPhone, which is about as grippy as a wet bar of soap.

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Moshi IonSlim 10K USB-C Portable Battery

What's the point in investing in a new slim and sleek iPhone if you need to carry around a bulky power bank to keep it going?

The IonSlim10K USB-C Portable Battery has two outputs - USB-A and USB-C that supports Power Delivery - and a 10,300mAh battery capacity that can also be used to recharge your USB-C MacBook.

Crazybaby Air 1S wireless earbuds
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Crazybaby Air 1S wireless earbuds

I'm always on the lookout for wireless rechargeable earbuds that are good for sweaty activities, so when I was given the chance to test out the Crazybaby Air 1S wireless earbuds, I jumped at it.

There's a lot to like about the Air 1S earbuds. They're lightweight, they fit well, they're water and sweat proof (yes, I've tested this, extensively), they have a nice ergonomic design and fit well in the ear, they have great sound, an awesome 12 hour battery life and recharge fast using the case (a 5 minute recharge takes them from zero to 20 percent charge), and they have an easy-to-use one-button control.

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Jabra Elite 65t

It would be a no-brainer to suggest that you pair your new iPhone XS or XS Max with a pair of Apple AirPods, but to be honest they are not my favorite earbuds.

I've tried a lot of earbud-type headphones, and nothing comes close to the comfort, quality, and performance of the Jabra Elite 65t. They're great for both music and making and receiving calls, feature wind noise cancellation, and the iOS app allows for advanced features, such as allowing ambient sounds to be mixed with the audio from the iPhone.

The buds have a five-hour battery life, with the recharging case offering two more recharges. And recharging is fast, with the buds getting 1.5 hours of battery life with only a 15-minute recharge.

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9 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick

Where you too cheap to go for an iPhone with more than the base level of storage capacity? Don't worry, all is not lost!

While I like the "flash drive" type accessories that plug into the Lightning port, I find the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick to be far easier and less hassle to use. This is a flash drive - with capacities ranging from 16GB to 256GB - that has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and battery, allowing you to access the data when you're out and about.

The drive can be recharged using a USB-A port, and can stream to three devices simultaneously.

Apple USB-C fast-charge cable
10 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Apple USB-C fast-charge cable

No one has the time to wait ages for an iPhone to charge up using a regular USB charger. You need to switch to USB-C to get a 0 to 50 percent charge in 30 minutes.

As much as I hate paying $19 for a cable -- $35 if I wanted to supersize up to the 2-meter version - Apple's USB-C-to-Lightning fast charge cable really is the best way to charge up a new iPhone.

Note that there are no third-party USB-C-to-Lightning cables that support fast charge (no matter what the Amazon or eBay listing says).

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