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The big Pocket Gamer accessory guide 2018
Travel essentials: extra gear for happy travels
Product: Hardware Group Test | Publisher: Steel Media Ltd | Format: Android, iPhone
Updated 3rd June: We've added some new travel gear to keep you moving on your summer break.

We call them smartphones, but their key attribute is wrapped up in what we used to call them: mobile phones.

You have a more capable computer and games console at home, while you still can't beat a dedicated sat nav for directions. But the reason we use our phones for all of these things is that they can do them all wherever we are.

Of course, as this suggests, every smartphone - even the very best from Apple and Samsung - represents a bundle of compromises made to meet its demandingly compact form factor.

No smartphone is a complete travel tool. Fortunately, you can cover these flaws with a range of handy travel accessories.

Google Pixel Buds

Android owners don't really have a set of Apple AirPods to call their own, but one of the main contenders to fill that role is the Google Pixel Buds. The sound quality is adequate at best and you'll only get the maximum out there if you have a Pixel 2. However they're wireless, they're easy to set-up, they have a case that doubles as a fast charger, and they have Google Assistant built in.

Suggested price: £159
Buy from Google

Sony WH-1000XM2

Okay, so this one's a little on the extravagant side when it comes to price. But if you have a long-haul plane, train, or coach journey ahead of you, you'll thank us for recommending the Sony WH-1000XM2. These are pretty much the best noise cancelling headphones in the business, effectively sealing you off in a beautifully serene aural bubble while pumping through top notch sound from your phone.

Suggested price: £300
Buy from John Lewis

XD Design Bobby

This backpack doesn't just have a handy USB pass-through built into it for charging your smartphone, it also has a clever anti-theft design that stashes the zips and pockets away against your back. It's also made of an anti-cut material, so thieves won't be able to get sneaky with a knife.

Suggested price: £75
Buy from Amazon

Apple AirPods

Apple's AirPods hold a unique appeal for the travelling iPhone owner on a tight space (if not money) budget. They're ridiculously small and portable, and they work with the latest headphone portless iPhones (via Bluetooth). They're also easy to setup and charge and they last ages - though the sound quality isn't the best.

Suggested price: £140
Buy from Amazon

Moleskine Smart Note Pad & Smart Pen

For jotting down notes on the go, you still can't beat a good old pen and paper - though knowing your notes are safe in the cloud is a big plus for note-taking apps. With this Moleskine gadget, you get the best of both worlds, as your thoughts from the road are scanned into your phone.

Suggested price: £185
Buy from Amazon

Jabra Move Wireless Bluetooth headphones

If you've just upgraded to an iPhone 8 or iPhone X on a two year contract, you may have had a nasty surprise - there's no headphone jack. You might want to consider a set of wireless headphones, with the Jabra Moves giving you the best bangs-per-buck.

Suggested price: £68
Buy from Amazon

Pokemon Pokeball portable power bank

Portable smartphone charging solutions tend to be drab, slab-like affairs that you drag around out of necessity. This neat 5000mAh charger has official Pokemon branding, and will provide most phones with around two full charges.

Suggested price: £9
Buy from Currys

Master Lock smart padlock

Whether you're securing your luggage or locking your stuff up in a public locker, it's amazing how handy a good padlock comes in on your travels. Of course, those fiddly little keys tend to go walkabout. With this smart padlock, you simply use your phone to unlock, while you can also add multiple users.

Suggested price: £55
Buy from Amazon

TP-Link LTE Wi-Fi router

Getting an internet connection at your residence while you're traveling can be a bit of a lottery. Here's one solution - though obviously it won't be the fastest. Purchase this portable Wi-Fi router, insert a local SIM card loaded up with credit, and share the 4G data connection with up to 10 simultaneous users.

Suggested price: £75
Buy from Amazon

Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

If you're traveling any extended length of time by plane, train, or automobile, a decent set of noise-cancelling headphones can be a live-saver. It can shut you off from the stress around you and even help you sleep. Over-ears headphones can be a little space-consuming, but these in-ear examples do a fine job with a lot less.

Suggested price: £200
Buy from Amazon

Anker PowerCore 5000 Portable Charger

If you're traveling a lot for work or pleasure, the chances are you'll often find yourself without access to a power point. The Anker PowerCore 5000 provides a 5000mAH portable battery for iOS and Android devices that can slip unassumingly into most pockets or bags. It can provide at least one charge for all modern smartphones, and often two.

Suggested price: £14
Buy from Amazon

Plantronics Voyager Edge

Setting off on a biking or driving holiday? Then the matter of using your smartphone may also rear its head. You can mitigate that to a certain extent with a Bluetooth headset, so you can at least talk hands free. The Plantronics Voyager Edge is widely held to be one of the very best on the market thanks to its sound quality, comfort and battery life.

Suggested price: £120
Buy from Amazon

UE Roll 2

If you want to project music on the go - perhaps in a hotel room or by a pool - the UE Roll 2 is a great choice. It's small, tough, water-proof, and its sound outputs is surprisingly punchy.

Suggested price: £64
Buy from Amazon

Tile Mate

If you're the sort who's forever losing their phone or keys, check out the Tile Mate. It's essentially a keyring with tracking capabilities, so you'll be able to see where your mislaid keys are through the related app. Conversely, you can double press the button on the Tile Mate to make your phone ring.

Suggested price: £16
Buy from Amazon

Anker Power Drive 2

Perhaps your travels involve a lot of sitting in cars. If so, you have a constant source of smartphone-recharging power at your fingertips. Just plug the Anker Power Drive 2 into the cigarette lighter port, and you'll be able to charge two smartphones at top speed.

Suggested price: £7
Buy from Amazon

Samsung EVO Plus MicroSDXC

If you own an Android smartphone with memory expansion capabilities, one of the best travel accessories you can buy yourself is a large and fast microSD card. Pop the speedy 128GB Samsung EVO Plus in and you'll be able to store loads of music, games, and videos locally on your phone - roaming charges and signal black spots be damned.

Suggested price: £29
Buy from Amazon

Bluesmart One

Now this is the ultimate smart travel accessory - a suitcase that lets you track its location on your phone. In addition, you can use your phone to check its weight, lock it remotely, and you can even charge you phone using the Bluesmart One's in-built battery.

Suggested price: £280
Buy from Amazon


Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 13 January 2018
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