But buying a new iPhone is just part of your upgrade journey, and kitting your new device out with accessories is a big part that we often forget about. This has become even more important now that Apple no longer includes a power adapter or earbuds. Citing environmental concerns, Apple now only includes a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box with your iPhone, and instead encourages you to reuse old power adapters and headphones.
But that doesn’t really help if you’re upgrading from an old iPhone with a headphone jack, or you don’t own a USB-C-enabled power adapter. Sure, you can reuse an older Lightning charger, but you won’t get to experience the new iPhone’s fast charging. Similarly, if you don’t have Bluetooth or Lightning headphones, you’re suddenly in need of a new way to listen to music or watch videos in private.
So, we put this guide together directing you to some great (and cheap) accessories that you might need for your new iPhone 12.
A power adapter
Unless you plan on charging your iPhone from a MacBook’s USB-C port, the first thing you’re going to need is a USB-C power adapter. The change to USB-C ports on power adapters may seem odd when USB-A is still so common, but it’s worth getting on this bandwagon now. USB-C is the next generation of USB-C port, and even if the iPhone still uses a Lightning port on the device itself, USB-C has plenty of advantages. The major one is charging speed though, and by grabbing a USB-C power adapter, you’ll supercharge your speeds.
There are plenty of USB-C power adapters out there, but many are expensive. One that isn’t a big investment is Anker’s Nano charger.
Anker’s Nano is small, but don’t let its size put you off. It packs a potential 20W of charging power, meaning it’s up to the task of matching the iPhone 12 Pro’s maximum 18W charging rate, and the diminutive size means it’s easy to take with you. It only has a single USB-C port, but if you’re looking for something with more ports, check out Anker’s larger options.
Check out some other great options in our list of the best fast chargers.
Headphones for music
While you may be fine with your Lightning Earpods, if you’re upgrading from a more recent iPhone, the lack of any headphones with the iPhone 12 means anyone upgrading from older iPhones is left out. Without a headphone jack, you’re restricted to grabbing some headphones with a Lightning connector or upgrading to some Bluetooth headphones. For us, Bluetooth headphones should be your choice. While having a limited battery life is daunting, most modern Bluetooth headphones come with a battery case and offer decent battery life. Plus, you’ll be able to keep using them even if Apple does away with the Lightning port in the future.
It can be tough to find a good pair of cheap Bluetooth headphones, but we think the JLab Go Air is a strong contender for a good, cheap option.
Available at a rock bottom budget price, JLab’s Go Air true wireless earbuds offer good sound, a good connection, and they look pretty great as well. They have touch controls to change volume, play/pause, answer calls, and more, and while the five hours of battery life isn’t exceptional, it’s up to standard with other earbuds, and comes with an additional 15 hours of charge in the battery case.
A solid case
All right, so you may be one of the people who dare to let their iPhone go naked into the world, but if you’re not, then you’ll want a good protective case to keep it safe. A good case can protect against bumps, scratches, and other hazards, and while this sometimes means you have to hide your phone’s gorgeous design, it can be worth it to keep it safe.
There are a lot of cases to choose from, with options for any budget or style. However, if you’re looking for solid protection at a great price, then check out Spigen’s Ultra Hybrid.
This case ticks a lot of boxes. It’s clear, so you can see your iPhone’s design, and the build of TPU and polycarbonate offers good protection against bumps, drops, and scratches. Raised edgings mean the camera lenses and display are protected from dirt and scratches, and the price is more than reasonable.
A few more things to consider
We’ve outlined some of our favorite accessories that we think are must-haves. However, there are a few more accessories you might want to consider, as they might well improve your new device. Here are a few more accessories you might want to purchase.
A wireless charger for convenience
We’re moving into the range of convenience rather than “must-have” now, but there are few gadgets more convenient than a wireless charger. Simply drop your phone on your charging pad, and it’ll start charging automatically. Every iPhone currently available from Apple supports wireless charging, so grabbing one is a good way to futureproof yourself.
You can spend a lot of money on a wireless charger, but you don’t have to. The Choetech Wireless Charger two-pack offers you everything you need from a wireless charger at a low price.
This charger is fairly generic looking but adds plenty of value to the package and packs a lot of charging tech into its slim body, with up to 10W of fast wireless charging and the ability to charge horizontally and vertically. The two-pack is especially versatile for your home and office as it comes with both a wireless charging stand and a wireless charging pad. Use the charging stand for your phone vertically or horizontally and use the charging pad for your Airpods.
For more, check out our list of the best wireless phone chargers.
A Bluetooth speaker
Why not grab a Bluetooth speaker alongside your Bluetooth headphones? Bluetooth speakers can be some of the most useful items to have to hand if you want to play some tunes in the garden, play songs around the house, or throw into a bag to take with you.
Since Bluetooth speakers have been around for quite a while, there are some excellent options to choose from, and Oontz’s Angle 3 is one of our favorites.
While it may not have audiophile levels of sound, the Oontz Angle 3 is an exceptional piece of kit for the price. It sounds great, is cheap, and is water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry too much about showers while you’re outside. It has 14 hours of battery life, which should see you through most listening sessions, and the price is unbeatable.
Fancy something different? Check out our list of the best Bluetooth speakers.
A car holder
While using a phone while you’re driving is a bad idea, there’s no reason why you can’t still have your phone easily available. If you have a CarPlay-compatible car or like to stream your favorite podcasts and songs, then having your iPhone immediately visible could be a big thing for you. Or if your car can connect through Bluetooth and route through your calls, you’re going to want to be able to see your phone’s display.
Grabbing a great car holder isn’t hard, and IPOW’s mount is one of the best cheaper options around.
It has a strong suction cup that attaches to the dashboard or windshield, and it’s fully adjustable, thanks to a ball socket that allows for resting at almost any angle. The cradle has rubber feet at the bottom to keep your phone safe, and it opens big enough to hold any iPhone. While there’s no built-in charging, it has a space for a charging cable, and it’s available at a bargain price.
But that’s not your only choice. Check out our list of the best iPhone car mounts for more.