Oowa Pro Lens Kit hands-on review

Oowa’s iPhone camera lens kit definitely won’t make you snap happy

The Oowa Pro Kit lenses show promise, but poor fitment and an easily broken case ruins the product.
The Oowa Pro Kit lenses show promise, but poor fitment and an easily broken case ruins the product.
The Oowa Pro Kit lenses show promise, but poor fitment and an easily broken case ruins the product.


  • Lenses, especially the wide-angle, take great photos


  • Cheap case
  • Fiddly, imprecise fitting system

The iPhone 7 Plus’s camera is already very capable, so can adding a set of telephoto and wide-angle lenses make it even better? The Oowa Pro Lens Kit promises its special rotationally asymmetrical lenses will produce high quality images, and the two lens styles will add more versatility to the iPhone’s camera. In our Oowa Pro Lens Kit hands-on review, we find out if there’s any validity to the claim.

High quality lenses, terrible case

There are two lenses in Oowa’s Pro Kit. A 15mm, 110-degree wide-angle lens, and a 75mm telephoto for faraway objects, equal to a 2.5x zoom. The iPhone 7 Plus offers a 2.0x hybrid zoom on its own, but this cannot be used in conjunction with Oowa’s lens, which attaches over the regular lens on the dual-lens setup. Distortion rates are very low, with less than one percent on the wide-angle, and less than 1.5 percent on the telephoto.

We used the Oowa lenses and the special iPhone case to which they attach for a few weeks, and while the lenses impressed, the case was a disaster. Imagine the cheapest case you can get for your phone: The plastic that surrounds the volume and sleep/wake key broke within a few days, and after another couple of weeks, the top part of the case sheared, making it impossible to attach the lenses to it. It rendered the lenses unusable after less than a month’s worth of occasional use.

The iPhone 7 Plus needs a good case, and the Oowa Pro Lens Kit isn’t cheap at $150, so to use one of such poor quality is almost unforgivable. Even before the case broke, it was a fiddly affair getting the lenses attached, and when you don’t get them in the right place, the pictures you take are ruined because of light leaking in from the sides. It’s not very satisfactory. (Note: The Oowa Pro Lens Kit also comes in a version for the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S , and 6S Plus.)

Epic wide-angle photos

How about the photos it did take when the lenses fitted? The results were excellent. For once,  around the special lens design — an asymmetrical free-form lens for improved sharpness and vivid colors — proved to be real. At least, until the case broke.

It’s a fiddly affair getting the lenses attached.

The 15mm wide-angle lens is epic. It does a great job minimizing the distortion seen in the LG G6 and LG V20’s wide-angle lens, keeping lines straight and true even at the frame edge. It made pictures look more realistic and natural.

The 75mm telephoto lens also performed well, but had more problems than the wide-angle. For example, taking pictures of a plane passing overhead as it came into land introduced some annoying lens flare. Oowa does include a flare shield to help prevent this, and also addresses the situation in its FAQ.

Taking close-ups sometimes saw the iPhone focus rather awkwardly, leaving the foreground a little blurred. However, when it worked, the results were stunning. Close-ups look superb, with bright colors, plenty of pop, and a very strong bokeh effect. The 75mm’s extra zoom effect over the iPhone 7 Plus’ native 2.0x makes a difference, but arguably it won’t suddenly make a wealth of other pictures possible, unlike the Hasselblad True Zoom kit for the Motorola Z range.

Two lenses that increase the versatility of your iPhone’s camera, and take strong pictures, are only as good as the case to which they attach. For the Oowa Pro Kit, the case is more than just an Achilles’ heel — it’s a deal-breaker.

We contacted Oowa and have been informed improvements have been made to the case, with markings on both it and the lens to assist with lining them up for fitting, and some design alterations made to the case itself. We haven’t tried this case, so can only base our impressions on this version.


When the lenses are attached and lined up, the pictures captured by the Oowa lenses were excellent, especially from the wide-angle lens. However, we can’t recommend any product that doesn’t even last a month. Unless Oowa changes the design of its case, and overhauls the fitting of the lenses, don’t let the Oowa lens’ picture quality lure you into buying a set.

Oowa lenses started life on Kickstarter, and have also been on Indiegogo. They’re the work of lens experts DynaOptics, and can be purchased directly through the company’s website. A case and lens pack for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus is available at $150. Alternatively, each lens can be purchased individually for $100, and a case for $15.


Yes, we really are getting a special McLaren edition of the OnePlus 6T

OnePlus has announced a partnership with McLaren F1, emphasizing a shared interest in speed. The phone company is known for producing special edition devices. Here's what we know about the OnePlus 6T Mclaren Edition.

Which new iPhone is the best? iPhone XS vs. iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone XR

Apple has three new iPhone models to choose from this year, making the choice a little harder than usual. What's the difference between the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR, and which is best?

Replace your iPhone's battery now before prices jump

Want to get your iPhone's battery replaced? There are a couple ways to go about doing so, but they'll all either cost a bit of time or a bit of money. Here's how to replace your iPhone's battery.

Simplify your life with one of these wireless smartphone charger deals

Banish nightly cable fumbling with a wireless smartphone charger. If your smartphone is compatible with wireless charging, the simplicity of placing it on a pad is a beautiful thing. Wireless chargers are also excellent gifts for coworkers.

Microsoft Outlook for iOS gets big redesign, with Dark Mode coming soon

Microsoft has deployed a huge redesign for its Outlook for iOS app, which includes new blue branding and some quality-of-life improvements. Dark Mode isn't included, but it's coming soon.

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

Vanquish lag for good with the best routers for gaming

Finding the best routers for gaming is no easy task. With so many out there, how do you know which to pick? We've looked at the many options available and put together a list of our lag-free favorites.

Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 now available on the Apple Store

The Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 is now available on the Apple Store for $150. The sensor strip, which is only 2 millimeters thin, automatically tracks a wide array of sleep data when placed under the user's sheets.

Save up to $750 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $750.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Google to end support for Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich

Anyone with an old phone that is still running Android 4.0 may want to look into upgrading their phone, as Google has announced that it will be ending support for this older version of Android.

Amazon knocks $30 off its Paperwhite ebook reader in limited-time deal

Amazon is running a couple of limited-time deals for its Paperwhite ebook reader. One offers a $30 discount, while the other throws in a pair of headphones and a free, extended Audible trial.