If you've just bought a new smartphone, or if you're thinking of buying one, there are always a few bits and pieces you can purchase to make your new toy just a bit better.
Whether it's a case to protect it from accidental drops, a spare charging cable, or a pair of headphones to make your commute more bearable, we've rounded up five accessories that any new smartphone would be lucky to have.
A protective smartphone case
Having a case on your phone can make all the difference when you accidentally drop it (and trust us, that will happen).
A good case for your smartphone -- hell, even a bad case -- will protect the screen, sides and rear of your shiny new phone, stopping it from getting scratched or from cracking on impact with the ground. You can spend a lot or spend a little on a case for your phone, but we think it's a wise investment overall.
A portable battery pack
As impressive and amazing as they are, all smartphones eventually run out of power. There's no way around it. Unless you're obsessively plugging your phone in at work or at home or whenever you have a free moment, odds are you'll find yourself with a flat phone battery eventually.
Picking up a spare battery, or a portable USB-powered battery pack, can be a lifesaver in times of crisis. They're pretty cheap, but as soon as you're in need, having spare power handy is priceless.
A Bluetooth speaker
A Bluetooth-enabled, battery-powered, rechargeable portable speaker like the Ultimate Ears Boom or the Jawbone Big Jambox means you don't have to listen to your phone's internal speaker for music and voice calls.
If you're using a streaming music service like Spotify or Rdio around the house or office, a Bluetooth speaker is one of the best investments you can make.
A pair of headphones or earbuds
If you're not so keen on broadcasting your music or phone calls to the outside world, a good pair of headphones is a smart choice. Buying a pair of over-the-ear headphones may seem like overkill, but they're a godsend if you're on busy public transport and want to block out other commuters.
Most new headsets have an inbuilt microphone and volume control so you can make calls without putting your phone up to your ear -- if this sounds good, find a pair with this capability.
A spare USB charging and syncing cable
Image via Shutterstock
Cables are the worst part of owning a smartphone. It's true -- they always go missing, or break, or stop working for entirely inexplicable reasons.
Picking up one or two spare cables -- whether it's from the same store that you bought your phone in the first place, or whether it's from eBay or another online store -- is an excellent idea. Bonus: you can keep one at home, one at work, and one in your bag for emergencies.
Bonus: App Store gift cards
If you're looking for a gift for a friend who's just bought a new phone, or if you're thinking of treating yourself down at the shops, here's an idea -- find a voucher or gift card with credit for Google Play, Windows Phone Apps+Games, or Apple iOS App Store.
They're usually available at a discount somewhere, too, which means you can save money and stock up on apps, music, or movies at the same time.