15 best tech accessories of CES 2020 - from chargers and trackers to pocket translators CES/Alyssa Powell/Business Insider Small tech accessories also had the space to shine and impress at CES, a tech conference that can often favor the big and flashy. These accessories may look simple and fit in your pocket, but they're clever, innovative, and useful in their own right. They also tend to be more affordable than larger tech gadgets. Learn more about all the coolest products we saw at CES 2020 here, from the best smart home tech to the best TVs.
At the biggest tech conference in the country, it can be easy to be swept up in the excited chatter and captivating demos surrounding large tech devices such as crisp
TVs, multifunctional home and kitchen appliances, and other complex gadgets.
But as I found out visiting the various booths and floors at CES, small accessories, like the ones that help protect and charge your tech, can be just as innovative and useful as their larger counterparts.
These tech accessories aim to quietly improve your life, and best of all they fit in your pocket or a small space on your desk. With a few exceptions, they're also very affordable.
Don't sleep on the small but handy tech accessories we saw at CES this year.
The best tech accessories at CES 2020: Best phone case: Incipio Organicore Case Best power bank: Mophie Powerstation Go Best power station: Goal Zero Yeti 500X Best tracker: Chipolo One Best phone grip: Handl Stick Best fashion wearable: Welt Smart Belt Pro Best translation device: Pockettalk Voice Translator Best personal security device: Katana Safety Wallet Best car accessory: Scosche MagicMount with Fresche Scent Cartridge Best wireless charger: PopSockets PopPower Wireless Charger Best iPhone camera accessory: Anker iPhone LED Flash Best iPad accessory for artists: Sketchboard Pro Best GoPro accessories: GoPro Light Mod Best travel bag: Ampere Side Pocket Best sustainable bags: Incase x Bionic Dopp Kit Subscribe to our newsletter. Find all the best offers at our Coupons page. Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Advertisement Best phone case
Best phone case
Incipio Organicore Case for iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max ($39.99 — available now)
We love Incipio's simple designs that don't compromise drop protection, which is why the brand's cases are among the
best iPhone cases you can buy. Now, we love them even more because they're eco-friendly.
The new Organicore Cases are made from plants and are 100% compostable, but they still have the same simple look, 6-foot drop protection, and flexible shell that Incipio fans will recognize. The case fits like a glove and is also wireless charging compatible.
At launch, it's available in four colors for the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max. We're hoping an expansion of phone types and colors is coming in the near future.
— Connie Chen, senior reporter Best power bank
Best power bank
Mophie Powerstation Go ($159.95 — now available)
Sure, most power banks can charge phones and tablets; some can even juice up laptops. The Mophie Powerstation Go goes one step further by including jumper cables to let you jump-start a car battery with its 44,400-mWh battery.
A handy tool to keep in your car for emergencies, the Mophie Powerstation Go is much more portable and convenient than many jumper units. There's also a 65-watt AC port, which you can use for high-power devices like laptops. And, there are two USB-A ports for other gadgets and a Qi-compatible wireless charging panel. —
Les Shu, guides editor Advertisement Best power station
Best power station
Goal Zero Yeti 500X (rolling out in 2020)
At CES 2020, Goal Zero unveiled the Yeti X, an updated series of its Yeti portable power stations. The Yeti X models can provide power faster to a variety of devices but are more efficient and reliable than the previous generation.
The Yeti X can charge via USB-A and USB-C — including one that supports USB-C with Power Delivery, which can charge laptops — AC, and a 12-volt car port. You can plug the unit to recharge or use one of Goal Zero's solar panels. The amount of power will depend on the unit you choose. The
smallest model, the 200X, is currently available, while the rest of the lineup will roll out sometime in 2020. — Les Shu, guides editor Best tracker
Chipolo One ($24.90 — now available)
Chipolo makes item trackers that absent-minded people consider their most valuable accessory. The tiny chips can be attached to anything you need to keep tabs on or frequently lose — your keys, wallet, toy, even a pet — and correspond to the Chipolo app. When you can't find the item, you can ring it from your app. The concept also works the other way around: when you can't find your phone, just double-click the Chipolo chip.
The Chipolo One is the loudest model yet (120 dB) and it's water-resistant. Whether your item is trapped under a couch or sitting outside in the rain, you'll be able to find and salvage it. The tracker has a 200-feet range, plus it gives you free alerts if you move out of range from the corresponding item. Another big feature of the One is that its battery is replaceable and lasts for up to two years (compared to Tile's one-year battery life).
— Connie Chen, senior reporter Advertisement Best phone grip
Best phone grip
Handl Stick (from $9.99 — available later in January 2020)
I've been pretty loyal to my
Scooch phone case for the past six months, but after seeing and trying out this cool new phone grip, I might have to give the Handl a long-term whirl.
Like many other phone grips, it sticks to the back of your phone, but rather than snapping open (like Scooch) or extending open (like PopSockets), the Handl uses a stretchy elastic brace-like system. It feels really comfortable between my fingers, yet it's also secure and tight, making it virtually impossible to drop my phone when my fingers are laced in the grip.
It also converts to a stand if you pull it out and fit the top edges into the corresponding notches. This converting design is a little less convenient to take advantage of compared to that of Scooch or Popsockets, but the learning curve seems low. The affordable accessories are available in various colors and patterns, so if you want an easy, stylish, and simple way to upgrade your phone, pick up a Handl Stick or two.
— Connie Chen, senior reporter Best fashion wearable
Best fashion wearable
Welt Smart Belt Pro (from $395 — available later in 2020)
Many people wear belts every day to keep their pants up, but this belt from Welt is a little different. The smart accessory boasts unique tracking features, including step tracking, monitoring for overeating, and waist measurement.
Not only that, the Smart Belt Pro analyzes gait speeds and patterns to help predict falls. Wrist wearables also have fall detection features, but they only detect the fall
after it's occurred. By sensing and tracking irregularities as the user walks, Welt's belt can alert them of future falls. This smart integration can benefit groups often underserved by the consumer tech industry, from older adults to the physically disabled.
You won't have to worry about sporting something overly flashy or "tech-y," either. The smart belts look just like regular belts, with straps made from premium Italian leather available in a variety of colors and metal alloy buckles.
— Connie Chen, senior reporter Advertisement Best translation device
Best translation device
Pockettalk Voice Translator ($299 — now available for pre-order and ships on March 16, 2020)
Clear and accurate communication is a big challenge while traveling abroad, whether for work or pleasure. If you haven't had the chance to master at least the basics of a foreign language, you've probably defaulted to Google Translate, but found the process unwieldy and inconvenient.
To help you overcome your communication challenges, Pocketalk has created the newest model of its two-way translation device, a small and light gadget that translates verbal and written text across 74 different languages. It aggregates results from multiple sources, including Google Translate and Baidu, so you can find the best translation for deciphering public transportation signs, menus, and more. The Pocketalk does require data to work, but the newest model includes a complimentary two-year data plan.
— Connie Chen, senior reporter Best personal security device
Best personal security device
Katana Safety Wallet ($69 — available for pre-order)
Attached to a smartphone, the Katana Safety Wallet has both a siren and a silent alarm that you can trigger in case of an emergency, either by pressing a button or via the quick-trigger wristband. Working in conjunction with an app, the Katana Safety Wallet can send alerts to trusted contacts and even send your location info to a 24/7 response center.
A new feature in the app is Walk-With-Me — in situations where you're alone and feeling uncomfortable, an operator from the response center stays on the phone with you until you're able to continue on your own.
An upgrade to the Katana Safety Arc, the Wallet has room for credit cards and is compatible with the popular PopSockets phone grips. —
Les Shu, guides editor Advertisement Best car accessory
Best car accessory
Scosche MagicMount with Fresche Scent Cartridge (from $20 — available in June 2020)
Scosche's bestselling mountable car chargers now have a small design addition that will also keep the inside of your car smelling fresh. These chargers include replaceable air freshener cartridges that fit right into the mounting head, so you don't have to waste precious interior car space on multiple accessories. The air freshener cartridges will come in scents like New Car and Lemon and can be refilled through a subscription service.
Of course, the mount itself is worth praising. It attaches to your car vent and has a swing arm that lets you swing your phone in any direction, and the magnet that attaches to your phone is very strong. Even though I have a thick case over my phone, it still sticks quickly and securely. Some models of the mounting bases also accommodate wireless charging. Thanks to Scosche's cleverly designed mount, you can look at your phone or take calls hands-free, charge your phone, and enjoy a subtle fragrance at the same time.
— Connie Chen, senior reporter Best wireless charger
Best wireless charger
PopSockets PopPower Wireless Charger ($60 — available now)
Anyone who owns a PopSockets phone grip can relate to this struggle: when the grip is attached to your phone, you can't wirelessly charge your phone. PopSockets heard the complaints and responded with its own specialty wireless charger, which has a recessed center to account for the presence of your circular grip.
The Qi-certified charger delivers 15 watts of fast wireless power and has a fun, recognizable design. It also still works if your phone has a case over it (up to 5mm thick). The PopPower is a pretty specific new product that only a subsection of the population will appreciate, but with tens of millions of PopSockets grips being used around the world, it's also clearly a much-needed innovation.
—Connie Chen, senior reporter Advertisement Best iPhone camera accessory
Best iPhone camera accessory
Anker iPhone LED Flash ($49.99 — available in late January-to-early February 2020)
LED lights for iPhones aren't anything new, but what's unique about Anker's iPhone LED Flash is that it's synced to your camera app. That means when you click on the shutter button, the flash goes off at the exact moment — no delay. And because it's a flash and doesn't stay on the whole time, it doesn't suck up as much battery.
This is achieved through a physical connection between the light and the iPhone. Note that the light supports only the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro models, however, it can still be used as a standard continuous LED light for all other devices.
— Les Shu, guides editor Best iPad accessory for artists
Best iPad accessory for artists
Sketchboard Pro ($50 — available for pre-order)
Created by artists, the Sketchboard Pro is a portable iPad stand that gives artists a more comfortable space to draw on the tablet. It helps to eliminate cramping thanks to the larger surface area to rest a drawing hand. Rest it on your lap, place it on an easel, or set it on top of a desk by flipping out the legs.
Compatible with most iPads that support the Apple Pencil, the Sketchboard Pro is ideal for anyone who draws often with apps like Adobe Fresco. It turns drawing on an iPad into a paper-like experience, similar to sketching boards used in art classes. One of its creators — artist JJ Harrison, who founded the studio Braintreehouse and has worked on the animated series "Adventure Time" — said the product was developed to help alleviate the pain developed in hands and necks from extensive drawing on an iPad. —
Les Shu, guides editor Advertisement Best GoPro accessories
Best GoPro accessories
GoPro Light Mod ($49.99 — available now)
Announced last year alongside the new Hero8 Black, the Light Mod is one of three new accessories designed to pair nicely with the Hero8 Black. GoPro unveiled a working sample at CES 2020, as well as the two other Mods: the Media Mod, which adds a directional mic, 3.5mm mic port, HDMI-out port, and cold-shoe mounts, and the Display Mod, which adds a flip-up LCD that's handy for vlogging and selfies.
With four adjustable brightness levels, the Light Mod's LEDs shine a nice bright light onto whatever you're shooting — improving overall picture quality. Like the Hero8 Black, the Light Mod is waterproof, so you can use it to shoot underwater. The Light Mod is available now, while the Media Mod and Display Mod are coming soon.
— Les Shu, guides editor Best travel bag
Best travel bag
Ampere Side Pocket ($119.99 — now available)
Once derided, the fanny pack is now a hip accessory (wear it across your torso like the kids do, not around the waist). Besides being waterproof, the Side Pocket from Ampere has an internal battery that wirelessly recharges smartphones that support wireless charging. Simply place the phone in a dedicated pocket and your phone will start recharging. The power bank is removable and can be used to recharge any USB device.
Designed for travel, the Side Pocket has an easily adjustable strap and room to carry essentials like a passport, hotel room key, sunscreen, and even a small camera. The battery itself is rated at 13,400 mAh, which can recharge a phone at least twice.
— Les Shu, guides editor Advertisement Best sustainable bags
Best sustainable bags
Incase x Bionic Dopp Kit (available in 2020)
Incase has teamed up with Bionic to develop a new line of sustainable bags. Bionic is a company behind a strong fabric that's been developed using recycled marine plastics. According to Incase, the dopp kit shown here is made with the equivalent of seven plastic bottles that have been reclaimed from oceans.
Besides the dopp kit, products made with Bionic thread are versions of existing Incase gear, which also includes a notebook sleeve and a backpack. Incase has been pursuing eco-friendly materials for its products for some time, and the Bionic lineup is the latest example of the company's sustainable approach.
— Les Shu, guides editor Check out everything you need to know and all the best products we saw at CES 2020 here:
Check out everything you need to know and all the best products we saw at CES 2020 here: