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Smartphone cameras have improved vastly over the last decade, replacing point-and-shoot and even DSLR cameras for many users. Most modern smartphones come with at least two rear cameras, and many include three or four. While the setup can vary by brand, you’ll usually find some combination of a wide, ultrawide, telephoto, and occasionally, a macro lens.
While the iPhone 15 Pro Max is known for its versatile cameras, Android brands have caught up. The Google Pixel 8 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra smartphones feature excellent cameras, and brands like Xiaomi, OnePlus, OPPO, and Huawei aren’t far behind. As smartphone cameras have evolved, we’ve seen bigger sensors, more megapixels, and periscope lenses, not to mention better image processing and AI-assisted camera modes. However, despite all their advancements, digital cameras still have features that we’ll never see in smartphone cameras.
The easiest way to get more out of your phone’s camera is by using a camera lens attachment. You can get standalone lenses like macro, telephoto, or wide-angle, or pick up a lens kit that includes multiple attachments. Most camera lenses feature universal compatibility, so you don’t need to upgrade them when you change your phone.
Moment M-Series 58mm Tele Lens
If you’re looking for a high-quality phone camera lens, Moment is among the best in the business. Its M-Series 58mm Tele Lens has a 4.4-star rating on Amazon but doesn’t come cheap at its $99 asking price. Moment lenses have limited compatibility, and only work with specific phones like the Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23+, Google Pixel 8, and OnePlus 11 smartphones. They feature a twist and lock design to attach to your phone camera, but you’ll need to buy a phone case or mount from Moment in order for this to work.
The Moment 58mm Tele lens adds 2x magnification to your smartphone camera, and this can be extended to 4x when you mount it over your phone’s telephoto lens. This results in more detailed shots since you don’t need to use digital zoom. The extra magnification also makes for better close-up and portrait shots.
The Moment lens is quite sturdy, made of aerospace-grade metal and hand-polished glass. It comes with a two-year warranty, and ships with a lens cap and microfiber carrying bag. If you’re looking for a different type of lens, you can also check out Moment’s macro, wide-angle, and fish-eye lenses. The lenses are priced between $90 and $150, so the cost will add up if you’re buying multiple lenses.
Moment Blue Flare Anamorphic Lens
If you want to give your smartphone photos a cinematic look, the Moment Blue Flare Anamorphic Lens (4.5-star Amazon rating) will help you capture those horizontal lens flares reminiscent of Hollywood movies like “Pulp Fiction” and “Blade Runner.” The lens creates barrel-like distortion when used on headlights, street lights, and directional lights. It captures footage in a 2:40:1 ratio without cropping the top and bottom of the image, resulting in a wide-angle shot with black bars at the top and bottom.
The Moment Anamorphic is priced at $99 and works with the latest Samsung Galaxy, Pixel, and OnePlus phones. However, it requires the use of a Moment case, M-series Universal Mount ($29), or 67mm M-Series Lens Filter Mount ($39) to attach to the phone, which drives up the cost. The lens can be mounted over the wide-angle or telephoto lens of your smartphone. While the Blue Flare Anamorphic creates a warm, distinct blue tone, you can also get the Gold Flare Anamorphic for a more sci-fi look. The lens is made of aerospace-grade metal and hand-polished glass like other Moment lenses and comes with a front lens cover and hex tool.
While the Anamorphic lens is ideal for filmmakers, if you prefer still photography, you can also use it to capture some distinctive wide-angle landscapes and portraits.
Xenvo Pro Lens Kit
If you’re a casual photographer looking for an affordable, multi-functional smartphone lens, the Xenvo Pro Lens Kit is probably among the best options. Priced at $39, the lens kit has over 19,000 ratings on Amazon (with an average of 4.2 stars), making it one of the most popular camera lens attachments. It includes a wide-angle and macro lens, and works with pretty much any of the best Android phones or tablets, thanks to its convenient clip-on design.
The Xenvo Pro lens kit comes with a 0.45x wide-angle lens and a 15x macro lens, the latter letting you get as close as half an inch away from subjects. The wide-angle lens is made of premium glass that prevents distortion around the edges and vignetting, both of which are common problems with cheap lenses. You can switch between the two lenses, or combine them for a wide-angle macro shot.
The kit also includes a rechargeable clip-on LED fill light, which provides a warm glow that’s useful for low-light photography. Other bundled accessories include a charging cable for the LED light, a travel case, a quick-release lanyard, and a cleaning cloth. The Xenvo Pro comes with a lifetime warranty, which is unusual for a lens attachment.
Keywing Phone Camera 3 in 1 Lens Kit
If you like experimenting with different camera lenses, the Keywing Phone Camera 3-in-1 Lens Kit is a great beginner option, with over 3,000 ratings on Amazon and an average of 4 stars. The lens kit includes three lenses, a lens clip, and a storage bag for $25 (currently discounted to $15 on Amazon). You get a 120-degree ultra-wide lens, a 20x macro lens, and a fisheye lens. While this lens kit won’t result in the kind of quality images you get with a brand like Moment, it’s an inexpensive option for casual photographers.
The Keywing lenses can be attached to the clip, which has a soft rubber pad to prevent your phone from being scratched. The lenses are compatible with most smartphones, but given that each phone has differently positioned cameras, you might need to modify where you attach the clip. You can even attach the lenses to your selfie camera, which is great if you want a wide-angle selfie.
Apexel Professional Macro Photography Lens
The weak link in smartphone cameras is macro photography, and if you love taking close-up shots, you might want to invest in a standalone macro lens. The Apexel Professional Macro Photography Lens is currently available for $30 on Amazon and has a 4-star rating. The lens features a multi-layer coating to prevent reflection and improve light transmission. You can get between 1.5 inches and 2.7 inches away from your subject, which is ideal if you want to capture photos of bugs and flowers. Thanks to its wide f/1.8 aperture, the lens can capture bokeh backgrounds too.
It’s worth noting that you can’t use this lens to zoom into a subject. It needs to be attached to the main phone camera and brought as close to the subject as possible. The Apexel lens is compatible with most Android smartphones and attaches to a lens clip that has rubber pads to prevent scratching. You also get a cleaning cloth in the box.