We scoured the show floor at IFA in Berlin this year and uncovered a veritable bounty of handy, innovative, and stylish accessories worth knowing about. Most of them are new to the market, or are coming soon. All of them offer something a little different or interesting. These are our picks for the best mobile accessories of IFA 2017.
Anker PowerCore II
The new portable battery pack from Anker has a whopping 20,000 mAh of power to charge up all of your devices. If you’re thinking it looks similar to previous releases, it’s worth us pointing out a couple of new features. First is the round power button that also houses a ring of LEDs to show you remaining power — this time there are eight LEDs instead of the usual four, so you get a better idea of how much power is left. Anker also listened to feedback regarding the smooth surface of the last version making it too easy to drop, so the designers have textured the outside of this power bank to make it grip to the back of your phone and your hand.
Cosmo and Power Bank Fusion ($15+)
We liked the clever silicone design of the Cosmo cable store. It’s a soft, silicone cable tidy that comes in a variety of colors and houses a 1 meter long USB to Micro USB, USB-C, or Lightning jack cable. Prices range from 15 euros to 25 euros. The Fusion Mini power bank is from the same manufacturer and has built in USB and Lightning cables that attach magnetically. It will set you back 40 euros (about $50). The company is currently seeking U.S. distribution.
Holdit Style Cables and Matching Power Bank
Cables are generally so dull that these fun, patterned cables really caught our eye. The Swedish company behind them is about to release a range of flat cables for Micro USB, Lightning, or USB-C ports. Because they’re flat, they resist the innate urge that every cable has to wrap themselves into a messy tangled ball. The fresh designs also match up with complementary power banks and cases for your phone, so you can sync your entire phone’s wardrobe. These should be available across Europe and Holdit is keen on moving into the U.S. next, so keep an eye on the Holdit website for more.
Holdit Leather Cables and Cases ($60)
In contrast to the funky designs for the flat cables, Holdit also has a premium leather range. We’ve never seen leather cables before, but they look and feel great. You can can get a range of brown, blue, or black leather cables with solid aluminum ends. They should be durable, but leather also ages gracefully and can look even better when weathered. The matching leather cases are for the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy range. They don’t sell in the U.S. yet, but when they do, you can expect to pay around $60 for a cable.
Buy from Holdit
Mophie Powerstation XXL ($130)
We generally like Mophie designs and this power bank immediately stood out. The exterior has a textured cloth material that’s easy to grip and comfortable to hold. The capacity measures 19,500 mAh and it supports USB-C and USB-A, so you could use it to charge laptops and tablets, as well as phones. It’s an exclusive in the Apple Store for the next three months, but after that you’ll be able to get one for $130.
Pipetto Origami Luxe iPad Case ($50)
The clever design of Pipetto’s origami iPad case allows you to fold back the cover and prop your tablet in landscape or portrait orientation for hands-free movie viewing, reading, or FaceTime calls. There are three varieties of this case from the London-based designer. The original has a soft-touch plastic finish and comes in loads of different colors. There’s also a PU version designed to feel like lambskin, and our pick is the Luxe range, which matches up with the iPad body color and has a kind of metallic finish and a transparent shell section.
Buy from Pipetto
Q2 Power Dock and Charge
This clever mobile accessory plugs directly into the wall outlet and provides a wee platform for your phone to sit on and charge. The Lightning, Micro USB, or USB-C jack is built in. When you’re done charging you can unplug, fold it up, and stick it in your pocket. It can also serve as a stand for your desk, to prop your up in portrait orientation. It also contains a 2,000 mAh battery — just enough to keep you going until the end of the day. The big U.S.P. for Q2 Power is safety, so the new Dock and Charge is rigorously tested and passes all the international safety standards. A U.S. version is in the works and will cost around $50 to $60. Find out more at the Q2 Power website.
Invoxia Roadie Tracker ($99)
This black, anodised aluminum GPS tracker uses low-power networks, so the battery can last up to 8 months between charges. You can attach it to whatever you want – a suitcase, handbag, or even a pet — with the leather strap. It doesn’t require a SIM card and it doesn’t use Bluetooth. It does use a combination of GPS and Wi-Fi networks, so you can track its location on your Android smartphone or iPhone via the app. It comes with a three-year subscription, and will cost about $10 a year after that.
Buy from Invoxia
Urban Armor Gear Exoskeleton ($50)
Since there’s no standard size for Android tablets, it can sometimes prove difficult to score a protective case that fits well. UAG set out ro solve this problem with a clever exoskeleton design that expands to hold any tablet. The corners are heavily reinforced, so it meets military drop test standards. You just pull the center apart, slot your tablet in, and it closes to grip it snugly. There’s also a handy kickstand that folds out of the back to prop your tablet in landscape view. The version we checked out is for 9 to 10.5 inch tablets, but they’re considering a 7 to 9 inch version. It will be on sale soon via the UAG website and at Walmart.
Ventev Wireless Chargestand ($60)
It can prove difficult to find the sweet spot for wireless charging, but Ventev thinks it has the solution. The Wireless Chargestand has a Qi charging pad that can be slotted into different positions in the aluminum frame. That means it will work with cases, and you can place your phone in landscape or portrait position. The frame itself can also be turned around, so you can adjust the angle. But that’s not all, because you can also remove the pad and take it away with you as a portable wireless charger, although the cable attaches to a fairly hefty brick that plugs into your outlet.
Buy from Ventev