APEXEL 3-in-1 PhoneMicro 5 Kit review – Turn your phone into a 200x microscope

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REVIEW – I’ve been interested in macro photography since childhood when my dad got into photography and won an award for a macro shot of a dandelion. His love of cameras and close-up photography rubbed off on me. Current smartphone cameras usually have decent close-up capability, but special lenses like the APEXEL 3-in-1 PhoneMicro 5 Kit are designed to take your macro shots to the next level. Let’s take a closer look (ha!).

What is it?

The APEXEL 3-in-1 PhoneMicro 5 Kit is a spring-loaded quick-release mount for iPhones and other phones. It includes a 100x, 150x, and a 200x lens module.

What’s included?

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  • Quick-mount smartphone microscope lenses 100x, 150x, 200x
  • Quick-mount smartphone stretch clip
  • USB Type-C cable
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Draw string storage bag
  • EVA pads

Tech specs

Click to expand Specs

Materials – ABS+ Aluminum + Glass
Field Diameter – Φ18.5~20mm
Focus Distance – 4.7~5.9mm
Number of Lenses – 4 Elements in 4 Groups + CPL
Coating – Full Surface Optical Coating
Charging Port – USB Type-C
Input Current – 5V/1A
Battery Capacity – 5V 100mAh
Battery Working – 5.5h
Lighting – 12 High-Brightness LED Lights (6 Yellow + 6 White)
Brightness – 3-Level Brightness Adjustment, Yellow/White Light (Full Circle, Half Circle), One-Level UV Light
Ultraviolet Light – Yes,365nm
Color Temperature – White Light 7200K ± 200K
Yellow Light 3500K ± 200K
CRI 80+

 

Design and features

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The APEXEL 3-in-1 PhoneMicro 5 Kit includes an easy-to-use spring-loaded mount that works really well with iPhones, but it can also work with other phones. I did 99.9% of my testing with an iPhone 15 Pro Max. I also tried this mount on a Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and it worked just fine with it too. Of course, your mileage will vary with other phones.

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You can buy the APEXEL with your choice of individual lens module or get the kit with all three, as I have here. Each lens is an oval plastic module with a built-in lens, rechargeable light, and a clip mechanism.

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The light is an LED ring around the lens. In the image above, you’ll also notice a button on the end of the lens module. This is the unlock button.

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Pressing this button allows you to easily remove the module when it’s clipped into the mount.

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The opposite end of the lens module has a USB-C charging port for charging the light’s battery.

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The LED light has modes for warm, cold, and UV lights.

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The mount features spring-loaded clips that wrap around the phone’s sides for a secure hold.

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The mount is designed to slide vertically, and then the lens clip can slide horizontally to line up the lens over the iPhone’s standard lens (shown below).

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The images above demonstrate how the lens module can slide horizontally in the mount so that you can easily line up the APEXEL lens over the phone’s lens.

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Here’s a side view APEXEL mount on my iPhone 15 Pro Max.

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Here’s a top down view of the clip on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. You can see the hand-twist knob that locks the sliding lens clip in place.

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The image above shows the correctly installed APEXEL clip over the iPhone’s standard lens. In this position, the lens module will be perfectly lined up to take macro pics.

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Here’s everything correctly installed and ready to use.

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With the lens installed, the iPhone’s display becomes the viewfinder. In the image above, I have the 200x lens installed, LED light turned on, and placed directly over the lens cleaning cloth included in the kit. You can see each individual stitch in the material.

Example pictures

You can click the images above to see the full-sized image. The image on the left is a regular image and the image on the right is a 200x magnified image.

Using an APEXEL 3-in-1 PhoneMicro lens isn’t difficult, but it does take some practice and patience. If you use the 100x lens, you can’t get closer than 10mm from your subject, but if you use the 150 or 200x lens, you have to practically be against the lens to get a good pic. If you’re trying to take pictures of flowers, this can be hard because the flowers might move with the breeze, etc. As you can see from the image above, you can see that part of the subject is in focus, whereas other parts are blurry. This is the nature of lenses like this one.

What I like about APEXEL 3-in-1 PhoneMicro 5 Kit

  • Easy to install
  • 100 – 200x magnification modules are available separately or all in one kit

What needs to be improved?

  • Nothing

Final thoughts

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If you enjoy macro photography with your phone, using the APEXEL 3-in-1 PhoneMicro 5 Kit will allow you to get much closer pictures than your built-in phone’s lenses can give you. I find this kit to be affordable, easy, and fun to use.

Price: $31.99 – $99.99
Where to buy: APEXEL and Amazon (save 10% code: FJ2PSS43)
Source: The sample for this review was provided by APEXEL. APEXEL did not have a final say on the review and did not preview the review before it was published.

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