It's undeniable that the smartphone camera has become an important part of most people's lives. While it used to be a backup for most, it has, over the past several years, evolved into most folks' primary camera - and for good reason. Though you might have a dedicated camera with you sometimes, you will most often carry your smartphone with you all the time. Furthermore, the quality has improved greatly in the past decade, with smaller improvements being made year after year.
Like with anything, there are some that will always demand a bit more and for that, there are accessories like external lens attachments. A majority of lens attachments clip onto the phone using an awkward mechanism, but the more pressing issue is that it can lead to compromised quality of images and video. This is where Hitcase comes in with its Crio case, that allows for quick and accurate mounting of external lenses through the use of magnets. Not only will the case support magnetic lens attachments, but can also support a wide variety of other accessories with its integrated magnetic backplate.
Currently, Hitcase offers three lenses for consumers: macro, wide, and super wide. Despite the firm stating that the case is a prototype, the fitment with iPhone X is near perfect. It isn't a huge case, which allows the phone to still be pocketable, but does have enough materials to protect the iPhone in case it encounters a small fall. The TrueLUX lenses snap onto the back without issue and there is even a tiny notch around the lens area to let you align it properly each time. The magnetic system is a world of difference from the clip method and makes shooting images and video quick and easy.
(the first image is standard, the second is with the lens attachment)
As far as the quality, it is still definitely a hit and miss. Some images look good, but even with the magnetic connection, there is the chance that vignetting will occur. Again, this could be an issue with the case not being a final production unit. Also, while the images appear sharp in the center, the edges can appear quite soft. With the macro lens, things are a bit different. You can get really close to your subject, but finding that perfect sweet spot where things are in focus is tough. The wide and macro aren't perfect, but it is convenient, and worth having a look for those that want to experiment.
The Crio case is currently available to order from the Hitcase website for the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, iPhone 8, and 8 Plus. The firm is currently offering the iPhone X case for pre-order and will begin shipping in April. The cases cost $39.99 and the lenses by themselves start at $34.99. If you purchase the lens with a case you will receive a discount, where the case will still cost $39.99, but the lens will start at $20.