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This basic, but well-built, smartphone lens kit from Aukey includes a wide-angle lens with a 140-degree view and a 10x macro lens for close-ups. Both are constructed from sturdy aluminum alloy and are coated to help prevent lens flare and other anomalies. At $20, it's a good value for those who want to keep things simple but have some flexibility with their smartphone shots.
Editor's Note (5/31/18): The Aukey Ora lens kit is currently unavailable on Amazon. As an alternative, we suggest the Xenvo Pro lens kit, which costs around $34, and includes an LED light.
I was impressed with the front lens cap; its squeeze-release design is similar to what you find on caps for DSLR and mirrorless camera lenses. Another notable feature is the rubberized contact points on the clamp. This helps prevent slippage when attached to the phone (we tested the lenses on an iPhone 8 but it also works on the iPhone 7/6s/6 Plus as well as Samsung and other Android smartphones). The clamp spring is a little tight and requires a stronger squeeze, but that helps ensure a good grip.
Because of its size, the lenses and clip won't fit into smaller pockets — especially if you're wearing skinny jeans — but they will slide easily into a jacket pocket or even a small purse. And, although this may not bother most people, it's a little noisy when you screw the lenses on to each other (you need to use the wide-angle mounted to the macro lens), causing some metal-on-metal noise. Still, the lenses are solidly constructed and the threads are well-machined for easy and accurate attachment.
With the kit you also get a microfiber lens cloth, front and back caps, a pouch, a 45-day money-back guarantee and a 24-month warranty.
Wide Angle Lens Performance
Impressively sharp throughout most of the field of view, the 140 degree/0.45x wide-angle lens (which equates to about 45 percent more coverage than the iPhone 8 unassisted) exhibited only minimal curvature.
Even on a sunny day, there was no evidence of lens flare. There was minor softness and a little haloing along high-contrast edges, but to a much lesser extent than other lenses we've tested.
Macro Lens Performance
The Aukey Ora's 10x macro lens delivered equally pleasing results. Fine details were sharply focused while the shallow depth of field produced a soft blur to the remainder of the image. A relatively high profile (the distance between the phone's surface and the front of the lens) combined with the suggested 0.4-1 inch lens-to-subject distance made it easier than other macro lenses to capture focused images.
There's also enough room between the camera/lens combo and the subject to light the scene if needed, although the in-camera flash might be a little too bright for some setups.
Although this Aukey Ora only comes with a macro and a wide-angle — it's a great value for those looking for an inexpensive lens kit for their smartphone. Those looking for some extras, such as an LED light, should check out Xenvo's kit, but Aukey's lenses cover the basics, and well.
Credit: Tom's Guide
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Theano Nikitas is a freelance journalist and photographer. She's been writing about photography for more than 20 years, contributing countless reviews of cameras, lenses, accessories and software packages to Tom's Guide. Her work has also appeared in dozens of other magazines and websites, including CNET, DPreview, PopPhoto, Professional Photographer and Shutterbug.