Samsung’s smartphones have always been one of the best when it comes to camera quality, and the company’s focus on imaging has increased even more starting with the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. The company made meaningful changes to the camera. The resolution was dropped from 16 megapixels to 12 megapixels, but the pixel size has been increased from 1.12µm to 1.4µm, thereby providing improved image quality in low-light conditions.
Apart from these improvements and the introduction of insanely fast Dual Pixel phase-detection autofocus mechanism, Samsung also released a lens kit for smartphone photography enthusiasts. The Lens Cover for the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 edge provides more flexibility to those who want to be creative with mobile photography.
The Lens Cover kit for the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge comes with three things: a thin-fit case, a wide-angle lens, and a telephoto lens. The case acts as an accessory using which the lenses can be attached to the smartphone. This is the closest one can get to DSLR-esque interchangeable lenses on smartphones.
Design & Build Quality
The case is slightly thicker than most thin-fit cases, but the overall design is similar. There is threading around the camera lens opening in the case where you can screw in the lens attachment. The case has a velvety material on the inside, which saves the devices from minor scratches. The phone fits snugly inside the case, and if you want to remove the case, you’ll have to apply some effort.
The lenses come packed inside two cylindrical plastic containers. These containers can be attached to each other, which makes it easy to carry them around. However, it’s quite a chore to remove lenses from their containers, and it’s entirely possible to drop lenses in the process.
Both lenses are made out of aluminium, and they feel very well-built. The wide-angle lens is wider and shorter than the telephoto lens. You can simply screw these lenses into the case, but you won’t hear any ‘click’ sound as there is no locking mechanism that firmly secures the lens in its place.
These lenses stick out quite a bit, and there’s a chance that you’ll end up bumping them against things, which could ruin the whole setup. Also, you can’t carry the phone in your pocket while the lens is attached to the device. The LG G5′s dual-camera setup is certainly a better choice if you want an always present wide-angle lens.
You can use the 110-degree wide-angle lens to capture landscapes and a large group of people. It comes in quite handy in situations where you have to capture a group of people in a closed room. The telephoto lens offers 2x magnification, which allows you to capture a distant object from a comfortable position.
Now coming to the most important part of this review, the image quality. Images and videos shot using the wide-angle lens showcased visible corner softness and a slight loss in details. There is barrel distortion around the corners. The telephoto lens, however, preserves details and turned out to be a great tool to click portraits as well as objects. Images shot using the telephoto lens lacked barrel distortion or corner softness.
It’s a bit hard to click images in low-light conditions using the Lens Cover as the lenses block the LED flash on the Galaxy S7 edge (and Galaxy S7). You will have to rely on ambient light, and your S7 or S7 edge’s low-light prowess, for clicking images in low-light conditions.
Is it worth the price?
The Lens Cover for the Galaxy S7 edge retails for around $119.99 on MobileFun (and for the Galaxy S7), and we feel that it’s quite overpriced for what it offers. Even though it allows a creative way to capture moments, it’s too bulky a setup to carry around. The image quality suffers a bit. You can spot corner softness, and there is a loss of detail when compared to the stock camera setup. Most probably, the Lens Cover will end up in your drawer, and you’ll forget to use it after the novelty wears off.
|Lenses have great build quality||Image quality suffers while using the wide-angle lens|
|Lens cover fits perfectly on the device and provides protection from drops and bumps||It’s a hassle to carry around the lenses|
|Wide-angle lens is a great tool to capture a group of people in a tight situation||Impossible to place the device in the pocket while using the lenses|
|Telephoto lens is quite useful in capturing an object or a person from a distance||Lenses block the LED flash on the device|
|Overpriced and not available widely|