Most phones these days are capable of taking beautiful photos, and some even feature multiple lenses that change the perspective of your shots on the fly. But for those that don't, artificially distorting your photos in post to add a fisheye, wide-angle, or macro look can affect the quality and feel of the image. Luckily, external, universal lenses allow you to achieve these unique perspectives naturally, even if your phone only has one lens. Here are the best universal lenses for your Android phone.
While not entirely universal, you can use Moment's high-end lenses with any phone the company makes an accompanying case for, including popular Galaxy and Pixel devices. You can pick up a wide-angle, super fisheye, or telephoto lens for your phone, then simply attach the lens to the case's screw mount and start shooting!
Xenvo takes a more straightforward approach than Moment, with a clip-on mechanism rather than requiring a specific case for each phone. The Pro Lens Kit includes wide-angle and macro lenses, along with a travel case and even a clip-on LED light that you can attach to your phone to ensure you're able to film in almost any situation.
Just like Xenvo, Shuttermoon offers a complete kit at an affordable price, offering a telephoto, wide-angle, fisheye, and macro lens, along with a carrying case. The lenses screw into a clamp that latches onto your phone for maximum compatibility, and the clamp is flexible enough to fit onto most phones, even with a case.
An abundance of lenses and filters
This clip-on kit includes 11 different lenses and filters. Included are four standard lenses: a 0.36x Wide Angle lens, a 198-degree Fisheye lens, a 20x Macro lens, a 2X telephoto lens. You also get a collection of filters that include four color filters (orange, red, green, and blue), a CPL filter that reduces glare off of reflective surfaces, a Starburst filter that makes lights twinkle, and a Kaleidoscope lens just for fun. All that packaged with a convenient and (essential) travel case.
Zooming in closer
Apexel brings many of the elements you'd expect from a standard lens on a camera, including the ability to focus and zoom in on a subject manually. There's 28x optical zoom to work with as a telephoto lens, and if you use a tripod to keep the phone propped up, you can take clearer shots without worrying about jittery hands. The lens even comes with a nifty carrying case to keep it safe when you're not using it.
Photography solutions from companies like Moment can get expensive fast. If you're on a tight budget or just looking to improve your phone's camera for as little money as possible, the Camkix kit is worth considering. Like most of the options listed, it uses a clip system and includes a fisheye, wide-angle, and macro lens.
Why use a photography case?
Why you can trust Android Central
Moment's lenses are by far the most expensive of this list, reaching over $100 per lens when most alternatives include full multi-lens kits for a fraction of the price. So why shell out the extra cash? For one, Moment uses high-quality glass to ensure the absolute best image quality possible, and while it still isn't quite as convenient as having an extra lens built into your phone, it's the next best thing.
Moreover, though, Moment uses its cases for mounting lenses, rather than a clip-on attachment. While this limits how many devices are actually compatible with the company's products, it ensures quick and accurate alignment every time you need to attach a lens, rather than moving a clamp around to avoid blocking your camera's view. If you're shooting something time-sensitive, this quick attachment process could be the difference between getting or missing the shot.
Should I use a clip-on?
Suppose you're unable or unwilling to buy Moment's lenses and cases, absolutely! Clip-on lens attachments are often much more affordable and perhaps just as important because they're more widely compatible. Since there's no special case required, you can clip one of these lens mounts to just about any phone — you can even use them on your front camera if you're so inclined!
Most of these camera kits also include carrying cases for easy travel, meaning you can shoot with different perspectives from anywhere, even if your phone only has one built-in lens.
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Hayato was a product reviewer and video editor for Android Central.