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Product Review

The best Apple Watch accessories for 2023

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It didn’t take long for the Apple Watch to become perhaps the most ubiquitous wearable. Even more so than the iPhone, the Apple Watch is a device you can truly make your own with the right accessories. It is, after all, a watch, and like traditional timepieces it’s meant to reflect your personal style. While the most obvious way to customize your Apple Watch is with funky bands, there are cases, stands, wireless chargers and other accessories you can buy that can inject a bit of you into all aspects of Apple Watch ownership. We tested out a bunch of Apple Watch accessories to see which are worth your money.

Spigen Thin Fit case

Spigen

While plenty of us use cases to protect our smartphones from drops and scrapes, you may not think to use a protective case for your smartwatch. After all, a device that’s literally strapped to your body isn’t as prone to accidental drops as a device that moves in and out of your pocket all day. Chalk it up to me being clumsy, but I’ve knocked my Apple Watch on more door frames than I’d like to admit. For less than $25, a case is a good option if you don’t want to take any chances with that $279-plus smartwatch on your wrist.

“Cases” are basically bumpers that surround the edges of the Apple Watch, and some of them even cover the screen. I personally prefer a bumper-style case because, if I’m going to cover the display, it’ll be with a dedicated screen protector. Spigen’s line of Apple Watch cases are solid and they come in two different levels of bulk. The Rugged Armor series has a shock-absorbent layer and raised bezels, making it especially well suited for those who prioritize protection over fashion. Spigen’s Thin Fit series is more my speed: It sits flush against the Watch’s display, but still gives you an extra layer of protection. You can even choose a color that matches your Watch to help it blend in. Two added perks of Spigen’s cases are that they snap on quickly and easily, and they’re quite affordable at around $14 a piece.

Zagg InvisibleShield screen protector

ZAGG InvisibleShield Ultra Clear for Apple Watch

ZAGG

If you don’t want the extra bulk that comes with a case, a screen protector will give you at least a bit more of a safeguard than sporting a naked Watch. Zagg’s InvisibleShield line is a reliable one that provides shatter protection, clarity and enhanced touch-sensitivity. When installed properly (Zagg gives you clear instructions and all the tools you need to do so), you’ll probably forget you have a screen protector on your Watch. This accessory blends in almost seamlessly with the Watch’s hardware, and if you do accidentally ding the screen, the protector should take all of the damage.

Anker Nano 3 30W charging

Anker Nano 3 30W GaN Charger

Anker

Anker Nano 3 30W GaN Charger

Anker’s compact adapter is a good accessory to have on hand because it’s compact, foldable and has ActiveShield 2.0, an improvement on Anker’s temperature-monitoring technology.

$22.99 at Amazon

The latest Apple Watches don’t come with power adapters, so you’ll have to dig one out of your drawer or get a new one to charge it up. Anker’s 30W Nano 3 is a good pick because it’s compact, foldable and has ActiveShield 2.0, an improvement on Anker’s temperature-monitoring technology. In brief, it just means that the charger will keep an eye on its temperature to prevent overheating or damaging your device while it’s powering up. It has more than enough wattage to charge your Apple Watch quickly and efficiently, and enough to fast-charge your iPhone whenever you need to switch off and use it for that.

Apple MagSafe Duo charging

Apple MagSafe Duo Wireless Charger

Apple

Apple makes one of the most elegant solutions to charging your iPhone and Apple Watch while traveling. The MagSafe Duo has spaces to wirelessly charge both devices and folds up into a neat square when not in use. The Apple Watch pad flips upward as well, allowing you to use the gadget in Nighttime mode while it’s charging. While this wireless charger does come with a USB-C to Lightning cable to provide power to the system, it does not come with an AC adapter so you will have to remember to pack your own.

Belkin Boost Charge Pro portable fast charger

Belkin Apple Watch Fast Charger Travel Pad

Belkin

Apple Watch chargers are a bit different than Lightning cables in the sense that you probably have only one of the former and many of the latter. Those who travel or commute often should consider getting a second Apple Watch charger, that way you’re not stuck if you forget to pack your one and only before a long weekend trip. Belkin’s Boost Charge Pro portable fast charger is a great option, particularly for those who have a Series 8. The square pad uses Apple’s new fast wireless-charging module, so it’ll be able to power up the Series 8 from 0 to 80 percent in about 45 minutes.

You can simply sit your timepiece on the module to charge, but it also flips up so you can use the Watch in Nightstand mode while it’s powering up on your bedside table. To support different Watch sizes and protective cases, the pad also has a dial on its underside that lets you adjust the height of the charging module. Plus, the attached USB-C cable that tucks away on the bottom of the pad is four feet long, giving you a bit more placement flexibility than other chargers.

Incase Bionic organizer

Incase Bionic Accessory Organizer

Incase

Incase Bionic Accessory Organizer

This organizer is relatively compact at 9.5 x 6 x 2 inches and it has a number of internal pockets and loops to hold things like extra Watch bands, charging cables and adapters, and even your AirPods.

$49.95 at Incase

You’ll likely have your Apple Watch strapped to your wrist while traveling, but it’s a good idea to have a pouch or case that can hold the gadget along with any accessories you need when you’re not wearing it. We’ve recommended Incase’s Bionic organizer in the past, and it remains a great option to hold all of your tech essentials while you’re out and about. It’s relatively compact at 9.5 x 6 x 2 inches and it has a number of internal pockets and loops to hold things like extra Watch bands, your charging cable and adapter, and even your AirPods. We also appreciate the semi-hidden external pocket in which you can store things you need quick-access to. And you can feel good about picking up this bag as it’s made out of 100-percent recycled, ripstop fabric.

Elago W6 Apple Watch stand

elago W6 Apple Watch Stand

elago

If you want to use the Apple Watch’s handy Nightstand mode while it’s charging, a stand or holder can make that experience much easier. There are tons of options in this space, but Elago’s stands have a lot of personality and are pretty affordable to boot. The brand’s W-series comes in a number of fun designs, including that of a retro handheld gaming system, an old Mac and even some Line characters. They’re not the sturdiest stands out there (they’re mostly made of lightweight plastic, making them prone to sliding around if you pull on the charging cord), but they will inject some cuteness into your space – and for only $15, what more could you want?

Spigen ArcField MFi-certified charging

Spigen for Apple Watch Charger Stand

Spigen

Most Apple Watch stands you’ll find have a spot for you to weave in the magnetic charging pad that comes with your Watch. But if you want to keep that in your travel bag, or simply want a second charger, we recommend Spigen’s ArcField stand. It has a built-in wireless charger for your Apple Watch, with a weighted, non-slip base that prevents the whole thing from moving around on your nightstand. Attached to the stand is a 6.6-foot USB-C cable, so all you’ll need to provide is an adapter. We also like that it comes with an assortment of rubber strips that you can use to get the right position and viewing angle for your specific Apple Watch. That means this stand works with all Apple Watches, even the beefy Ultra.

Apple Watch band multi-packs

OYODSS 5 Pack Bands Compatible with Apple Watch

OYODSS

One of the easiest ways to make your Apple Watch your own is by picking up a couple of bands that suit your style. Like with iPhone cases, you could easily turn to Apple’s first-party options – but you’ll spend more money in the long run if you do that. It’s easy to find good Apple Watch bands online from other brands in a variety of styles and materials. When it comes to basic silicone straps, you can find packs of three to six bands for less than $20 but the quality may be questionable. Look for brands with many high ratings on Amazon if you insist on getting the best bang for your buck. You can also use FakeSpot’s Amazon integration to get an idea for how trustworthy a product’s reviews are.

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