Apple announced its latest smartphones, the iPhone 11 and the iPhone 11 Pro (and Pro Max), a week ago, but now they’re officially in stores. If you decided to upgrade, you might want to consider getting a few accessories to go along with your new purchase. Unsurprisingly, there’s a vast array already on sale, but here are a few that caught our eye. Every accessory here can be used with either the 11, the 11 Pro, or the 11 Pro Max (You just need to select the right case to fit your preferred model).
The iPhone 11 and 11 Pro are clad in pretty durable glass, so you could keep them naked if you want. Still, they’re not impervious to the occasional scratch or ding, so a case is not a bad idea. Plus, some do double duty as wallets, battery packs or just as a fashion statement.
Smartish Kung Fu Grip / Honorable mention: Dancing Queen
We were clued-in to the Smartish line of iPhone cases by our friends at the Wirecutter last year, and thankfully the company has made new cases for the iPhone 11 line too. The favorite is the Kung Fu Grip model, and for good reason: At $12, it’s very affordable. We like that it has a slim profile, grippy finish and enough cushioning at the corners to protect your phone in the event of a fall. Our other Smartish pick is the Dancing Queen ($30), which doubles as an ultra-compact, crossbody purse for nights out on the town.
Spigen Liquid Crystal Clear Case
The new iPhones come in an array of different colors; the iPhone 11 comes in six bright shades, while the 11 Pro and Pro Max ship in three, slightly more muted hues. If you want to show off your pretty new phone, then a clear case is an obvious option. Yet, Apple’s own Clear Case is an eye-watering $39, which is a lot of money for a piece of plastic. Spigen’s Liquid Crystal case, however, is a much more palatable $11, and it appears to have just a bit of extra grip so your new phone won’t slip out of your hands that easily.
Bellroy 3-Card Phone Case
iPhone wallets are nothing new, but the Bellroy 3-Card Phone Case ($75) is one of the most unique we’ve seen. Instead of a folio-style design with multiple card slots, this features just one slot and a magnetic closure that can hold up to three cards (hey, sometimes that’s all you need). It even has a tiny hidden spot for a spare SIM card and a SIM card removal pin, which will be handy for international travelers. Plus, it’s made out of premium leather and flex polymer, so it promises to look and feel lush as well.
BATTERY PACKS (one of which is also a case)
Mophie Juice Pack Access and PowerStation XL
Mophie’s been making battery cases for iPhones for a number of years now, and 2019 is no different. The company recently announced an updated Mophie Juice Pack Access that’s made for Apple’s latest smartphones. It can be charged wirelessly, has a USB-C port for wired charging and comes with up to 2,200mAh of extra battery life. And, of course, it functions as a case as well, with rubberized pads and raised corners to help prevent damage from a fall. It’s not available just yet, but if you head to the company’s website for the Juice Pack Access ($99.95), you can submit your email to be notified of its arrival.
If you’d rather have a standalone battery pack that can charge more than just your iPhone, Mophie makes those, too. One of our favorites is the PowerStation XL ($60), which we’ve recommended in our recent Back to School buyer’s guide. It’s small and lightweight, but packs a serious 15,000mAh punch, enough to charge your iPhone several times over. It has two USB-A and one USB-C port, so you can charge your other gadgets (like your AirPods) at the same time. The PowerStation XL even comes in surprisingly colorful fabric finishes. [would need to image credit Will Lipman if we’re using]
WIRELESS CHARGER (which also acts as a battery pack)
The Otterbox OtterSpot ($129.95) wasn’t made exclusively for the iPhone 11, but it would be an excellent accessory for it all the same. It’s a wireless charging system with the ability to power up multiple stacked batteries all in one shot. Each layer of the OtterSpot is a portable 5,000 mAh battery that also acts as a wireless charging pad, making it much easier to charge your device while on-the-go. You can also charge up to four wireless charging batteries ($69.95ea) at once so you’re never without an extra battery.
If you want a pair of wireless earbuds but don’t want AirPods hanging out of your ears, then the Sony WF-1000XM3 ($230) might be for you. Senior Editor Billy Steele said that these are best true wireless earbuds he’s ever tried, with excellent sound quality and active noise cancellation. There’s even a custom EQ thanks to the accompanying headphones app. They’re a little more expensive than Apple’s offering, but you’re also getting superior quality.
WIRED LIGHTNING HEADPHONES
Audeze iSine 10
If you mourn the loss of the 3.5-mm headphone jack and miss the good ole’ days of wired buds, Lightning headphones are still an option. To a discerning ear, they might even sound a little better. The iSine 10s by Audeze ($230) is an especially attractive pair, with large 30mm magnetic diaphragms that promise quick response times and zero distortion. The CIPHER Lightning cable even has a built-in amplifier and DSP. Prepare to pay for it though, as they usually cost $349.
Anker PowerPort III Nano and USB-C to Lightning Cable
All of the new iPhones are capable of fast-charging, but only the 11 Pro and the Pro Max get a fast 18W charger in the box. The iPhone 11, on the other hand, will get the same 5W charger that’s been bundled with the iPhone since 2007. Apple does sell its 18W charger separately for $25, but you can get a slightly cheaper one with the Anker PowerPort III Nano ($20) which is also an 18W fast charger. It’s just as tiny and compact as the official Apple model but performs just as well.
That charger does require a USB-C to Lightning cable, however, which also does not come in the iPhone 11 box. This is especially annoying when you consider that the current crop of Apple’s very own laptops are USB-C only. Again, you can purchase Apple’s aftermarket cable for $19, or save a few bucks and get Anker’s version ($12).