Prioritize photo-taking with these photography cases for Android

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Camera quality is one of the most important factors in a modern smartphone, so we test as many phones and accessories as possible to find the best mobile photography experiences.

The Moment Photo Case is well-known for a reason. On its own, it’s a slim and stylish case that fits on most popular phones, but with the addition of Moment’s high-quality interchangeable lenses, you can turn your phone into a much more versatile camera with options for wide angle, telephoto, macro, and even anamorphic lenses.

Our pick

Moment Photo Case

An impressive selection of versatile lenses

Moment’s Photo Case is slim, durable, and textured for added grip. It’s compatible with the company’s excellent quality glass, and fits on popular flagship phones from Samsung, OnePlus, and Google.

Who should buy this

Mobile photographers who want more out of their phone’s camera(s) than the stock experience can offer. Rather than deferring to a lower quality secondary lens, you can augment your phone’s primary camera with different focal lengths to achieve different effects for your photos and videos.

Is it a good time to buy this case?

Yes. Moment uses the same style for all of its cases (save for a few iPhone-exclusive cases like the Battery Photo Case and Wallet Photo Case), and more importantly, it uses the same lens mount on every case. This means that even if you upgrade your phone after buying multiple Moment lenses, the only thing you’ll need to replace is the Photo Case itself — the lenses will remain compatible.

Reasons to buy

  • Excellent lens selection
  • Multiple options for materials
  • Protective rubberized design

Reasons not to buy

  • Lenses are expensive
  • Brands like LG and Huawei are left out

Interchangeable lenses, interchangeable cases

If you’re someone who likes to take a lot of photos (or videos) on your phone, you’ve probably either picked up a phone with multiple lenses or considered buying one in the future. Phones like the Pixel 3 make great use of a single lens, but for some, there’s just no replacing a dedicated telephoto or wide angle camera.

Even the best single lens can’t beat a collection of dedicated lenses for any situation.

The Moment Photo Case allows you to make your phone more like a pocketable DSLR, with interchangeable lenses and optional accessories like wrist straps, neck straps, and pouches. The case itself comes in canvas, leather, and wood options, and the camera cutouts are shaped to accept Moment’s various lens options.

You can choose from an 18mm wide-angle lens, a 58mm telephoto, a 15mm super fisheye, a 25mm macro, or a new anamorphic lens aimed at videographers looking to get that cinematic effect. Each lens is compatible with every phone Moment makes a case for, which includes recent flagships from Samsung, Google, OnePlus, and Apple.

The downside? These lenses are expensive, ranging from $80 to $150 for the anamorphic lens. That’s relatively affordable compared to similar lenses meant for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, but at the end of the day, you’re still shooting from a phone with a tiny sensor. These lenses allow your phone to take entirely new kinds of photos, but it’s up to you and how often you take pictures to determine whether that’s worth the expense.

Alternatives to the Moment Photo Case

Moment is the biggest name in mobile photography accessories, but it isn’t your only option. RhinoShield offers a similar design, with a slim case and add-on lenses, at a much lower overall price, while Olloclip foregoes the case and instead provides a more direct clip-on lens option.

Value pick

RhinoShield SolidSuit

More phones supported, fewer lens options

$30 at Amazon

The SolidSuit case is available in a wide variety of finishes and allows you to attach one of RhinoShield’s add-on lenses with the help of a lens adapter. You can choose from a 0.6x wide + macro lens or a 0.62x 4K wide + macro lens.

You don’t get nearly as wide of a lens selection with RhinoShield, but they’re dramatically cheaper than the lenses from Moment, and the SolidSuit is far more customizable — you can change everything from the print on the back to the color of the buttons.

Best without a case

Olloclip Essential Lenses

Universal clip-on attachment with more lens options

$80 at Olloclip

Rather than making phone-specific cases, Olloclip allows you to attach its lenses directly to your phone. Its lens selection beats out even Moment’s, though its Essential Lenses bundle should be plenty for most people, offering fisheye, super wide-angle, and macro lenses in a single piece of kit.

Olloclip offers a wide variety of single- and multi-lens attachments that fit onto almost phone, with options for telephoto, wide-angle, macro, and more. The clip obstructs part of your phone’s display, but it doesn’t affect touch operation and can be a great options for phones unsupported by Moment and RhinoShield.

Bottom line

The Moment Photo Case and its lenses are expensive, but the image quality is well worth it if your phone is your primary camera — and let’s be honest, phone cameras are more than good enough these days for most people. If you’re on a budget, though, or your phone is unsupported by Moment, RhinoShield and Olloclip make great alternatives.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Hayato Huseman is a recovering trade show addict and associate editor for Android Central based out of Indianapolis. He can mostly be found complaining about the cold and enthusing about prog metal on Twitter at @hayatohuseman.

Daniel Bader is the Managing Editor of Android Central. As he’s writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there’s a correlation.

Andrew Martonik is the Executive Editor, U.S., for Android Central. Keeping you up to date with mobile news and analysis since 1989. You can follow him on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.

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January 21, 2019 at 02:05AM