REVIEWED: Incipio Focal Camera Case for iPhone 5/5s

Transforms your phone into a ‘proper’ camera, though it lacks any kind of optical enhancement 

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Phonoegraphy is all the rage, and if you’ve not yet dumped your compact camera for short trips, you probably will very soon. But smartphones are slippy, fiddly, and not made to be cameras. Step forward the Incipio Focal Camera Case, which makes the iPhone 5/5s far easier to hold – and it adds some handy manual adjustments, too.

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The first important thing the Incipio Focal Camera Case adds to a phone is a lanyard, which prevents you dropping your beloved smartphone while taking a snap. That’s probably both its simplest and its most effective feature.

Build

It’s a tad plasticky, but at least the Incipio Focal Camera Case tries to create a vintage-style camera leather look. On that hard case are dedicated shutter and zoom buttons, as well as a place to grip your phone with two hands. Good thinking.

Cut-outs

There are the usual cut-outs you’d expect from any iPhone case – for both the iSight camera and the flash – but the way it connects to that camera is slightly bizarre. It wrests control of all photo functions via Bluetooth, which is a bit fiddly, but the ports everything into Incipio’s own inCAMERA app.

The app

The Incipio Focal Camera Case lives or dies on the strength of this app, which attempts a more camera-like interface, though it’s nothing more than window dressing.

Limited use

We do like the Incipio Focal Camera Case – and it shouldn’t be overrated as a protective case for trips – but we do with it went a bit further and added a wraparound battery and perhaps some kind of wide-angle or macro lens capabilities (or options). Those are what would would enable more versatile, and even all-day photography, which is our main gripe with using an iPhone when on holiday.

Price as reviewed: £49.99

Buy the Incipio Focal Camera Case