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The best lenses for iPhone and Android phones in 2020: add on phone lenses

Best lenses for iPhone and Android camera phones
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Want to transform the way you think about smartphone photography? Pick up one of the best lenses for iPhones and Android smartphones, which allow you to experiment with macro shooting, telephoto images and more, all with the smartphone you carry everywhere with you.

The good thing about smartphone cameras is that they're getting better all the time, to the point where in many ways they can keep pace with contemporary mirrorless and compact cameras. Today's flagship smartphones like the iPhone 11 Pro and Google Pixel 4  are perfect examples of this, capable of producing images that need to be seen to be believed.

What makes this possible is a series of big changes under the bonnet. New smartphones come equipped have been new multi-camera arrays that include regular, ultra-wide and telephoto lenses, even zooms. So while this may make you think that the best camera phones may not need any add-on lenses, new smartphone-specific optics are being released all the time and many of them are still outpacing what the phones can do internally.

So no matter whether you're using a brand new phone, and older phone, or one of the best budget camera phones, add-on lenses can still represent a wise investment. They can add greater magnification, wider angles, macro capabilities and more – and there are plenty of clip-on lenses available for different models of smartphone. Some are universal, while others are designed for specific models.

As you will see, prices can vary massively depending on the manufacturer. Olloclip is considered the market leader, however there are plenty of other options from different manufacturers, and sometimes different models are available in Europe and the US. Some are also more expensive than others.

However much you want to spend, we reckon you'll find the right lens for your phone in our guide to the best add-on lenses available for iPhones and Android smartphones. 

(Image credit: Olloclip)

1. Olloclip iPhone 11 Pro ElitePack

The latest lenses for the latest iPhones come in a useful pack

Compatible with: Pro Max | Number of lenses: Three | Lens types: Telephoto 2x, Fisheye 180, Macro 15x

Excellent image quality
Works with caseless phone
Limited compatibility
Expensive

If you want to get the most out of the impressive camera tech of the iPhone 11 Pro Max, you'll want to invest in some of market-leader Olloclip's latest glass. This kit contains a 2x telephoto lens to give you more reach, as well as another lens that's actually two lenses in one: a 180-degree fisheye and a 15x Macro. This complete set gives you real versatility, which helps ease the pain of its slightly hefty price tag (we suppose that's the benefit of being the leading name in the business), and if you're planning on doing a lot of shooting with your iPhone 11 Pro Max, the investment is definitely one that's worth making.

(Image credit: Olloclip)

2. Olloclip Multi-Device 3-in-1

Three compact, high-quality lenses compatible with most smartphones

Compatible with: Most Apple, Google and Samsung smartphones | Number of lenses: Three | Lens types: Fisheye (180°), super-wide and 15x macro zoom

Made by market leader
Fits most smartphones
Pricey
Clip obscures display

While not the newest Olloclip product, the Multi-Device 3-in-1 is still pricier than some other options on this list. Try not to let that put you off, however, as these are high-quality lenses and mounts which could be worth in the investment if you use them a lot.

This particular Multi-Device set is designed to fit to almost any Android smartphone by clipping to it. Of course, this means the clip obscuring part of the display, but this shouldn’t be too much of an issue for most users. 

Olloclips three-lens sets are available for a number of Apple phones including the iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and iPhone XS Max.

The set comes with 15x macro, fisheye, and super-wide lenses, giving you a broad range of options for extending your phone camera’s capabilities.

(Image credit: Moment)

3. Moment Wide Lens for iPhone, Pixel and Samsung Galaxy

A high quality lens that requires a compatible phone case

Compatible with: iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, X, XR, XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max; Samsung Galaxy S8, S9, S9+, S10; Samsung Galaxy Note 8, 9 ,10; Google Pixel 1, 2, 3, 3a, 4, 4XL | Number of lenses: One | Lens type: 0.63x wide angle

High-quality lens 
Fits to dedicated case
Expensive
Requires case sold separately

Moment produces a small range of high-quality, award-winning lenses for smartphones. Unlike most other options, these do not clip to the phone; instead, they attach to a case which is designed specifically for a range of smartphones from Apple, Google and Samsung.

As such, this means they fit securely but require you to purchase a new case to fit the lens to your phone. 

As well as this 0.63x wide lens, there are also other Moment lenses that can be used with the case – including a fisheye, a telephoto, and an anamorphic lens. 

(Image credit: Moment)

4. Moment Fisheye Lens

Superwide lens that gives a spectacular 170° vision

Compatible with: iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, X, XR, XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max; Samsung Galaxy S8, S9, S9+, S10; Samsung Galaxy Note 8, 9 ,10; Google Pixel 1, 2, 3, 3a, 4, 4XL | Number of lenses: One | Lens type: 0.63x wide angle

High-quality lens 
Fits to dedicated case
Cost
You also need to buy the appropriate case

This lens works in the same way as the Moment wide lens, but gives a much wider view. In fact, it gives a 50° wider field of view than the ultrawide lens on the iPhone 11. It gives the coverage of a traditional 14mm fisheye lens - filling the frame with a distorted image that can be used to create dramatic effects, but is also good for taking pictures in tight spaces. The ultra-wide 170° will appeal to those who need to shoot interiors or architecture – or want portraits with a cartoon like appearance.

(Image credit: Aukey)

5. Aukey Ora Smartphone Camera Lens

2-in-1 lens set for iPhone 6, 7 and 8, Samsung Galaxy and others

Compatible with: iPhone 5, 6, 7, 8; Samsung S6, S7, S8; Google Pixel 1, 2, 3; iPad | Number of lenses: Two | Lens types: 120-degree wide angle and 15x macro

Aluminium construction
Simple clip-on design
Incompatible with dual rear cameras
Mostly for older phones

A highly regarded phone camera lens which has reviewed well and is sensibly priced, this offering by Aukey looks the business and attaches uses a spring-loaded clip. A 120-degree wide angle lens is included along with a 15x macro lens.

The only real downside here is that, due to a snug fit, the lens isn’t suitable for smartphones which have two rear cameras, like the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S9. 

That may be okay for some reader – we know consumers are now holding onto their smartphones for longer than ever – but it could be an issue for those who demand the newest handset every year.

The clip is made from soft rubber so it shouldn’t leave any marks or scratches on the screen of your smartphone.

(Image credit: Apexel)

6. Apexel 36x telephoto

Need a little more reach? Or how about a lot more?

Compatible with: Most smartphones | Number of lenses: One | Lens types: 36x telephoto

Huge reach
Comes with mini tripod
Some vignetting reported
Remote not that useful

If you like telephoto shooting, this is the last word in terms of reach. The Apexel 36x telephoto transforms your phone into a powerful long-distance shooter, and comes with a useful mini-tripod to ensure you can keep your shots stable. 

It also has a remote shutter for capturing images at a distance; less useful when working with such a long lens, but it hardly hurts to have it, and the overall price of the kit is still pleasingly low. 

It's not the highest-quality lens, with some users complaining of a little vignetting in images, but for the price and the uniqueness, it can't be beat.

Best lenses for iPhone and Android camera phones: Nelomo Universal HD Camera Lens Kit

(Image credit: Nelomo)

7. Nelomo Universal HD Camera Lens Kit

Compact design with three lenses and carry case

Compatible with: Most smartphones between 7mm and 10mm thick | Number of lenses: Three | Lens types: Super wide angle, 15x macro and 230° fisheye

Compact screw-fit system
Comes with a carry case
Expensive for what it is
Only fits certain phone sizes

Where most universal lens kits fit to phones with large clips, this solution from Nelomo employs a rubber-ended screw. 

This means the lens mount can clamp to phones measuring between 7mm and 10mm thick, which caters for most recent handsets including the iPhone 8 and X, the Samsung Galaxy S9, and the Google Pixel 3.

The kit comes with three lenses, including a wide 230-degree fisheye, a ‘super wide angle’ lens, and a macro lens which offers the equivalent of a 15X zoom. There’s also a microfibre cleaning cloth and bag, plus a protective carry case and hook for clipping it to your backpack.

The only drawback here is how the lens mount might not clamp around your phone if it’s already wearing a thick case, given the 10mm thickness limit.

Best lenses for iPhone and Android camera phones: Olloclip Multi-Device Filmer's Kit

(Image credit: Olloclip)

8. Olloclip Multi-Device Filmer's Kit

A one-stop-shop including five lenses and video grip

Compatible with: iPhone 7, 8, 7+, 8+ | Number of lenses: Five | Lens types: Fisheye (180-degree), super-wide, ultra-wide, macro and 2x telephoto

An all-encompassing kit
Includes carry case and grip
Expensive
A bit much for casual users

Perhaps the ultimate kit for any smartphone photographer, this bundle includes macro, 2x telephoto, fisheye, super-wide and ‘ultra-wide’ lenses, which cover most circumstances. 

The protective carry case also includes Olloclip’s universal clip system for fitting lenses to almost any recent smartphone, and a grip mount for securing holding your smartphone while shooting landscape video.

This kit can also be purchased with dedicated lens mounts designed for the iPhone X, XS, XS Max, XR, and the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8 and 8 Plus.

It’s not cheap, but if you’re looking for the complete package this could well be it.

(Image credit: CamKix)

9. CamKix Universal 3-in-1 Lens kit

Remarkably cheap for a universal three-lens system

Compatible with: Most smartphones and tablets | Number of lenses: Three | Lens types: Fisheye, macro and wide-angle

Macro and wide screw together
Cheap
Doesn't feel too premium

This three-lens kit represents excellent value for money, as under £10. For that you get a fisheye lens, macro lens and wide-angle lens. 

Conveniently, the lenses screw over the top of each other, making it quick and easy to switch between one and the other.

You’ll want to make sure you keep these lenses clean and scratch-free though, as when using the wind lens you’ll actually be shooting through both that and the macro lens underneath.

The kit comes with a carry pouch and the clip mechanism means the lens mount should fit most smartphones and tablets. 

You could even fit it to the webcam above the screen of your laptop if you’re ever feeling creative during a Skype chat.

Best lenses for iPhone and Android camera phones: Bamoer 22x Telephoto Lens and Tripod

(Image credit: Bamoer)

10. Bamoer 22x Telephoto Lens and Tripod

Four-in-one universal lens kit with a huge telephoto zoom

Compatible with: Most smartphones | Number of lenses: Four | Lens type: 22x telephoto, wide angle, macro and fisheye

Impressive zoom
Useful protective case
Large zoom of limited use
Tripod necessary for zoom

Going a step further than the previous kit, this Bamoer kit boasts a telephoto lens with a 22x zoom, plus a miniature tripod for keeping your phone steady, a Bluetooth shutter controller, and three extra lenses.

These three include wide-angle, macro and a fisheye, with the first two screwing into each other for each storage. There are also lens caps for protecting the glass, a cleaning cloth, two soft storage pouches and a hard case to keep everything safe.

While it may be tempting to always go for the telephoto lens with the largest magnification, you should also bear in mind how you’ll go about taking such zoomed-in photos. 

Your hands will likely shake too much, so the included tripod is crucial, and you may even want to invest in a more substantial alternative - which is possible, given the telephoto lens’ universal screw mount.

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