You’re smiling bright for a selfie, but there’s no flash on the front camera. You’re playing a great new video game on your phone, but you can barely see what you’re doing. There are some things an app just can’t fix – so vendors and e-stores are offering offline fixes instead.
Slide your phone into a plastic box and watch your screen magnify by five times. Or slip it into a cardboard projector, and make every night movie night. You can also plug a miniature USB floodlight in for a twilight selfie – or attach a USB fan for that perfect breezy look.
For those more serious about photography, there’s even a clip-on ‘telephoto lens’ that offers 8x the zoom.
“I am passionate about photography. I took the mobile telescope along to Leh-Ladakh, and got some stunning, detailed photos of the hills, lakes and valleys,” says 25-year-old PR and marketing manager Vaidehi Desai. “It’s also lightweight and easy-to-use.”
Mobile gaming controller
Gamers, unite. If touch screen gaming just doesn’t cut it for you, here’s a fix: connect your smartphone or tablet to a PlayStation/Xbox-style controller and get the full experience, on-the-go.
You can either place your phone or tablet onto a telescopic holder attached to the controller, or connect via Bluetooth. The controller is compatible with Windows, Android and iOS platforms.
“This product is perfect for a gamer like me, and I can now play heavy-duty racing and shooting games, anytime, anywhere. I prefer to play wirelessly over Bluetooth, and the controller also makes usual smartphone games such as Temple Run and Pacman more fun,” says Anzar Mohammad, 25, a marketing manager.
3D enlarger screen
Along with magnifying your screen five-fold, the 3D enlarger screen. It folds into a flat box, and can be carried along on your travels. You can also use it to read books or news online, without straining your eyes.
“I would definitely recommend the screen for a great movie experience while you’re travelling — with the screen magnified significantly, the box becomes almost like a portable TV,” says graphic designer Chetna Pandya, 72. “However, the 3D effect did not work as well as advertised.”
Carry your home theatre around with the smartphone projector. Place your phone into the portable cardboard box, and have photos, movies or documents project onto any blank wall, magnified up to eight times.
“I bought the projector four months ago, and I’m still using it,” says Nishi Shah, 21, a student at KC College, Churchgate. “I carry it to the office sometimes, where we get together for watching movies. “It’s user-friendly and gives you the cinema experience at home.”
You probably can’t see the stars on this ‘mini-telescope’, but it can zoom in up to 8x and still yield sharp photos. It comes with a stand to place your phone in, so the frame doesn’t shake.
Available in black, white and pink, the portable selfie flashlight can brighten up your twilight photos. With 16 LED bulbs built-in, the flashlight connects to your phone’s camera via a free app called iBlazr. It sports three lighting modes, and is battery-operated, so it can work as an independent light source too.
“I am a selfie addict, so this is perfect for me. I use it frequently at night — it makes low-lit pictures less grainy and so much better,” says Pooja Khanna, 19, a student at HR College, Churchgate.
Insert the mini-fan into your iPhone’s charging port, and beat the heat. The plastic fan works with USB as well as micro-USB ports, and can connect to your power bank for portable charging too. Available in white, pink, blue and black, it sports noiseless and hurt-less blades. You could also use it to get that perfect flying-hair selfie!
“I got the fan as a thoughtful gift from a friend, and I used it frequently while travelling in the local train through the summer,” says chartered accountant Neville Vankadia, 24.
Cost: Rs 499