We first met Olloclip's tiny pop-on camera lens more than three years ago. The iPhone accessory got its start on Kickstarter, in the crowdfunding site's infancy, and became our very first featured Insert Coin project. Today, it's a staple at the Apple Store and a slew of other retailers -- you can even pick one up at those Best Buy vending machines in the airport. Several more iPhone versions have since debuted, but we've never seen an Olloclip for Android smartphones, until today. The first Android versions are compatible with two recent Samsung flagships, the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5. Because photo effects are created using a physical lens rather than an app, Olloclips are designed for specific devices. If you don't own a Galaxy S4 or S5 (or an iPhone), don't lose hope -- we may see models for other handsets in the near future.
This Galaxy model has a slightly different design than the Olloclips we've seen for iPhone. Rather than rotating the attachment 180 degrees to swap lenses, the Android version has two optics positioned side by side. It's still quite compact -- you can easily carry it in a jacket pocket -- but you'll need a bit more patience to snap it into place. Depending on whether you want to use the wide-angle lens or the 180-degree fisheye, one end of the clip will be covering either the phone's power button or volume rocker -- it takes some skill to attach the lens without turning off the phone. You also get two macro lenses, with a 10x macro (18mm focus distance) below the screw-off wide-angle lens and a 15x macro lens (12mm focus distance) beneath the fisheye.
I spent an afternoon shooting around Berlin with the Android Olloclip ahead of IFA. The lens is a ton of fun to use -- the black finish contrasted with my white Galaxy S5, attracting a fair amount of attention from fellow tourists, just as the original iPhone lens prototype did several years ago in NYC's Union Square Park. The results are comparable to what you'll get with the iPhone version, but there's no Android app available yet, so you're on your own for correcting lens distortion with the wide-angle lens (naturally, there's a ton of distortion with the fisheye, but that's part of the fun). The alignment is also a tad off with the fisheye lens, so there's some awkward cropping on the left side of the frame. The images above are completely unaltered, so click through the gallery to get a feel for what this thing can do. You can buy your own for 70 bucks.
- Key specs
- Type Smartphone
- Operating system Android (Jelly Bean [4.2])
- Screen size 5 inches
- Internal memory 16 GB
- Carriers (US) AT&T
- Dimensions 5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 in
- Weight 4.59 oz
- Released 2013-04-27
Samsung Galaxy S5
Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens