Top iPhone accessories
You've just shelled out for a shiny new iPhone 6S. You're cock-a-hoop. Your life feels like it's finally going somwehere. But there's something missing, an up still to be graded, and you can't work out which of the huge numbers of accessories you should be looking at.
Don't worry. We're here to sort the brilliant from the rubbish, the tat from the titillating. We've looked at cases, fitness trackers, power banks, speakers and more to see which bits are worth your cash.
Have your purse primed? Your wallet open? Here are our top iPhone 6S accessories to check out right now.
Many people have an issue with smartwatches: what are they for? That's the main issue. It's not something that's a problem for the Moov Now.
This tiny little activity tracker doesn't try to do everything, or dazzle you with its bright screen. It's much more interesting than that.
This screen-less wonder is a pure activity tracker, but its far more than just another Fitbit step counter. As well as counting your steps, it has preset activities for all kinds of stuff in its app. Guitar Hero-style cardio boxing. Running efficiency training. Cycling. Swimming.
And what it offers over the competition are audio prompts to egg you on. If you need to blossom from couch potato caterpillar to triathlon butterfly, this is the budget fitness tracker you need. Trust us.
Xiaomi Power Bank 10400mAh
Buying a power bank can be a minefield. Some come from high-quality brands but cost the earth. Others promise thousands of mAh power storage, but come from no-name Chinese companies you wouldn't trust to make a phone charger. What do you do?
Well, you could just buy a Xiaomi 10400mAh battery pack beast. You may not see Xiaomi phones down at your local electronics shop, but it's actually one of the biggest phone-makers in the world. It just hasn't made it far out of China yet.
One of its big selling points is awesome value, and the battery pack ticks that box. It has a neat aluminium casing and ridiculously high capacity without any worry that it might blow up your phone. Even higher capacity ones are available too.
Here's one for the big iPhone gamers. The Madcatz C.R.T.L.i is one of the best mobile phone game pads around right now. The new Steel Series Nimbus looks a bit classier, but what the Madcatz gets you is an inbuilt stand that keeps your iPhone in the right spot.
It's not like you're going to want to play Modern Combat 5 with one hand on the pad, the other holding the phone, is it?
While the Nimbus is the first pad to be advertised as 'made for Apple TV', the Madcatz C.T.R.L.i. will work with Apple TV games too if you're thinking of getting an extra Apple box for your lounge. Its design is roughly based on an Xbox pad, a great place to start.
The iPhone 6S camera is sweet. But it's also not the most feature-packed of cameras out there. The Olloclip 4-in-1 goes way beyond just adding an app mode or two. It's a module you plonk on top of the phone, covering the lens and adding another lens element in front.
While an Olloclip 4-in-1 will disappear in your pocket — it's pretty tiny – it actually gets you four new lens modes, all with 100 per cent optical effects. There's no software nonsense going on here.
It's a two-sided little gadget, and there are little screw-on extras that modify the lenses on there. As well as dramatic fisheye and wide-angle views, there are two macro zoom lenses too, offering 10x and 15x magnification. If you're willing to spend a bit more you can get better optics from the Moment lens kit, but it's also much harder to get hold of. And you can create some real Instagram-baiting shots with an Olloclip already.
You don't have to spend loads of cash to get a good wireless speaker. If you want something to fling in your bag to bring out occasionally, you can do a lot worse than the £80 Philips BT6000. It has two drivers and two bas radiators to get you much bigger sound than its dinky-ish size might suggest.
It can take some abuse too, and is splash proof. We like to think of it as primed for parties.
If you're willing to spend a bit more, though, the Bose SoundLink Mini II gets you much beefier sound from a box roughly the same size. But, hey, it's around twice the price.
For years, Bose has made recommending noise cancelling headphones to people very easy. Until recently it just offered the best combo of comfort and noise-nixing abilities. But the AKG N60 have really shaken things up.
This ultra-portable set gets you great sound quality, and can neuter the noise of car engines at fifty paces. Not used a noise cancelling set before? Rather than just blocking out the sound by creating a barrier between your ears and the outside world, the AKG N60 use microphones to monitor ambient noise, then pipe an inverse wave through that cancels that noise out.
That's why it feels a bit weird when you first put a good pair of noise-cancellers on. They actually increase the sound pressure with their ANC tech. Still, that means you can wear them on the train among a bunch of loud drunk people and not have to ramp the volume up. It's a gadget that's good for your blood pressure.
Aircharge Wireless Charging Case
It can take Apple a long, long time to adopt new technologies. Its iPhones have only just received NFC, and there's no sign of wireless charging yet. However, you can crowbar this feature in with a remarkably affordable case, the Aircharge Wireless Charging Case.
It only costs as much as a slightly higher-end phone case, but packs in a Qi (pronounced "chee") sensor that lets you use any Qi charging base to power your iPhone. You'll find scores of these online, and even IKEA has got in on the action.
It now makes sort-of Qi placemats, and a lamp that has a Qi charger pad inbuilt. IKEA also makes Qi phone cases for iPhones, but they're not exactly jaw-dropping gorgeous.
Apple 12W charger
As it only has a fairly small battery unit compared with the big bad Androids on the scene, the iPhone 6S only takes a couple of hours to charge up even though it still uses a very basic charger adapter. However, you can actually get faster charging if you get hold of the more powerful 12W charger Apple reserves for iPads.
Both chargers have the same voltage, you see, but the 12W iPad one is juiced-up with extra current to stop the giant battery units of the iPads from taking a small eternity to fill up. Until the iPhone 6 generation, using this charger for iPhones wouldn't result in quicker charging. But now it does.
We're not talking the sort of fast charging speed you get with Qualcomm Quick Charge, used in a bunch of Android phones. But until Apple gets up to speed and decides to nick this idea, we'll take any improvement.
Plantronics BackBeat Fit
Like running? A good pair of wireless earphones should be right near the top of your Christmas list. Our favourites of the moment are the Plantronics BackBeat Fit, a pair our marathon-running mobile editor Gareth swears by.
The difficulty when designing a pair of wireless earphones is how to get the things to stay in your ears after potentially hours of being jogged about like a pair of socks in a washing machine. Thanks to their malleable rubbery ear hooks, the Plantronics BackBeat Fit nail it.
Their sound is great too, rounding-off a truly great pair of sport-ready earphones. They don't have things like integrated pedometers or HR monitors, but they do ace the basics. And that's what really matters.
Tigra Sport BikeConsole
We've covered the runners out there, but what about the cyclists? The iPhone 6S may not be cheap, but employ a bit of twisted logic and you can convince you've saved yourself a couple of hundred pounds on a cycling computer by buying one. All you need to add is the Tigra Sport Bike Console.
This is a phone mount for your bike's handlebars, to let your phone work as said cycling computer. There are absolutely loads of apps out there that bridge the gap.
The perennial favourite is Strava, which is a bit like a Runkeeper for cycling. Although these days Strava can handle running data too. Other ones you might want to check out include Cyclemeter and Endomondo.