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Sony Smart Lens QX10 and QX100 Hands-on: Game-changing Smartphone Accessory

Yep, that's a smartphone accessory on a completely new level!
Yep, that’s a smartphone accessory on a completely new level!

Game changing smartphone accessory from Sony for Photography

We managed to snag some hands-on time with the Sony Smart Lens QX10 and QX100. These “smartphone accessories” literally take “accessories” to a completely whole new level. Both the QX10 and QX100 are actually fully functioning cameras (without the viewfinder) that you can attach and pair to your Android smartphone or iPhone to transform them into Cybershot cameras that can deliver superb photos. The two models feature different specs as you will see below. The QX10 will most likely be the more popular of the two due to the price tag while the QX100 will be more for photography enthusiasts and professionals.

Here’s a quick look at the specifications of both lenses.

Sony Smart Lens QX10

  • 18.0-megapixel sensor
  • 10x optical zoom
  • F3.3(W)-5.9(T)
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • HD Video Recording Support
  • Base with expandable brackets
  • NFC, WiFi
  • SRP: $250

Sony Smart Lens QX100

  • 20.2-megapixel sensor
  • 28-millimieter lens
  • 3.6x zoom
  • F1.8(W)-4.8(T)
  • Carl Zeiss Optics
  • Manual Focus Option
  • ISO 160-6400
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • HD Video Recording Support
  • Base with expandable brackets
  • NFC, WiFi
  • SRP: $500

How does it work? Simple really!

The base bracket
The base bracket

As we mentioned earlier, both lenses are actually standalone cameras without viewfinders. They even have a microSD slot for storage! Once connected to your smartphone either via NFC or WiFi, your smartphone turns into a viewfinder (you have to download the app). The images taken are also transferred via your wireless connection to the phone’s storage. You have the option of attaching the lens to the back of your smartphone using the built-in expandable brackets or you can just use it with both hands so you can get better angles for your photos.

Easy pairing
Easy pairing
The QX100 attached to the Sony Xperia Z1
The QX100 attached to the Sony Xperia Z1

It’s a good alternative to bringing a separate camera with you especially if you’re the type that likes to travel light. All you have to do is keep the lens in your bag and bring them out when you need to take photos. Unfortunately there’s no flash here so you’ll only be able to really use it when you have good lighting (or until Sony sells a Xenon flash accessory, lol).

Does it take good photos?

Yes. But unfortunately we weren’t able to save the photos we took using the demo unit on the floor (argh). Based on our experience, there’s a huge difference between the quality of the photos between the QX100 and the QX10 mainly because the QX100 has more features you can customize and tweak and it uses the Exmor sensor. As soon as we get our hands on a review unit we’ll snap a couple of shots and share it with everyone here.

Will we buy one?

Perfect for our Xperia Z1
Perfect for our Xperia Z1

Definitely. This level of innovation definitely deserves a much more comprehensive review. As soon as it becomes available locally we will get our hands on one.

Congratulations to Sony for their successful launch of the Xperia Z1 and the Smart Lenses! Looking forward to seeing both products in the shelves of your stores (hopefully not overpriced) in October!

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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  1. Can we attach the phone to a tripod? With a hefty attachment like that lens it would be quite hard to maintain a stable grip on the whole thing, and specially in low-light conditions where the slightest movement almost always results in blur.

  2. it’s not either nfc or wifi. nfc is only for the initial connection/pairing. data will be transferred via wifi. a smartphone does not need nfc to use those camera lenses. nfc makes the pairing easier.

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