So you’re the proud owner of a new iPhone 4S, or maybe you’ve saved yourself a bit of cash and picked up a now quite well-priced 3GS or iPhone 4 instead. We all know that the iPhone, at least in theory, just works â€“ but do you need anything else for it? Cases, headphones, docks? We take a look at the offerings in each category.
Best iPhone 4/4S Case:Â Pico Genie A400
The top of the range has to be the Pico Genie A400, just because it’s so much more than a case. If the iPhone is a Swiss Army Knife, the Pico Genie turns it into a toolbox, without much extra weight. As well as providing a durable, sturdy case, it includes a battery extender that gives another 3 hours’ worth of power, and most impressively of all, a mini-projector that can show whatever is playing on the screen on any flat white surface, along with 2-watt speakers for your soundtrack. This is inevitably bulky, but not as much as you’d expect: it effectively doubles the thickness of the phone.
It will set you back around Â£250. It’s not a bad deal for what you get, but maybe only worthwhile if you plan to use the projector part a lot. So, the perfect Christmas gift for the movie buff who spends a lot of time in a place with white walls, or for the travelling speaker or academic who wants a reliable backup for when her laptop doesn’t synch up with the provided projector.
Next Best: Case Mate. Case Mate have two offerings that are particularly good, the Tank (Â£31) and the Barely There (Â£10). The Tank is thick rubber, with a built-in screen protector, giving you maximum protection even if you have quite an active lifestyle. The Barely There, as you’d expect, is sleek and almost unnoticeable, for maximum style.
Best Headphones: Opera S5+ KLEER Earphones
The Opera S5+ KLEERs are wireless, but use an advanced digital technology that offers far clearer sound reproduction than Bluetooth can. At around Â£90, you’re paying the price for perfect audio, but that’s no exaggeration â€“ the KLEERs can give you CD-quality sound reproduction, which is a little better than you need for playing MP3s. They’re interference- and drop-out-free, too, thanks to using the 2.4GHz waveband so as not to interfere with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi signals in the area. With a weight of only 22g, and a 10-hour battery life, the only drawback to the KLEERs is the price.
Next Best: Sennheiser i300 Mobile Music Headset. The Sennheiser headphones give you probably the best sound reproduction of any in-ear, wired speakers, for Â£50.
Best Dock: Elevation Dock
It’s not out yet, but if you find the Elevation Dock kickstarter web page and pledge $79 (Â£51, including UK delivery), you can have your own aircraft-aluminium, adaptable, hand-milled iPhone dock. The anodised, bead-blasted finish looks like high-end Apple products such as a unibody Macbook Pro, and the ergonomics are also perfect: the heavy weight and grippy feet mean you can undock just by picking your iPhone up, and the slot is easily adjustable to accommodate almost any size of case or a naked iPhone.
Next Best: Apple iPhone Dock. At Â£26, this seems like a lot compared to the far superior Elevation Dock, but it’s an improvement on other third-party docks.