Monocle for Windows Phone - a simple photo editor for lens effects

Monocle is a simple Windows Phone photography app that allows you to apply a handful of lens distortion effects to your photos. The app also has a small collection of basic editing tools, tonal effects and a vignette tool to further edit your photos with.

As far as Windows Phone photo editors are concerned, Monocle falls in with the more basic editing apps specializing in a particular effect. I'm not sure it could hold up as your main photo editor but Monocle might not be a bad supplemental editor for the lens effects it offers.

Monocle has the ability to edit existing photos from your Windows Phone Pictures Hub or launch a very basic camera app to edit newly captured images. These two options greet you on the main menu when you launch Monocle.

Once you've decide which image to edit, Monocle's editing pages cover:

  • Basic: This editing tab has tools to crop you image, adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation, hue and sharpness.
  • Monocle: This is a collection of lenses that can be applied to your photo. While the thumbnail examples are not labeled, most of the lenses are a variation of soft focus, saturation and haze.
  • Tone: This editing tab has ten different tonal filters ranging from gray to sepia.
  • Vignette: Here you can darken the edges of your photo.

Applying the edits is simple, once you have made your adjustments with the Basic tools or tapped an effects thumbnail to apply the effect all you need to do is tap the check mark at the bottom of the page. Effects and edits can be stacked and an undo button is available at the bottom of the page as well, if you do not like the end result.

Once you have all your edits applied, tap the save control button at the bottom of the page and the image is saved to your Pictures Hub. Edited images are saved at lower resolution. A 2640 x 3520 pixels image captured with a Lumia 830 was saved at 1500 x 1200 pixels. The resizing of an image will be more should you crop the image.

Overall Impression

Monocle is a nice, very basic phot editor for your Windows Phone. The app isn't overflowing with features but does a nice job of applying the lens effects to your images. I would have liked to have seen the thumbnail images labeled but you're likely to choose one based on appearance than on name.

I also would have liked to have seen support for horizontal orientation. Portrait orientation isn't terrible but having the ability to rotate your Windows Phone and work on images in horizontal or landscape view gives you more elbow room and a better feel for how the edits look.

Overall, I cannot say Monocle is a bust but may have a limited following. I did experience periodic bouts of instability with the app crashing after applying a filter. The frequency wasn't frustrating to the point of wanting to uninstall the app but noticeable. If you are looking for a simple editor to add to your Windows Phone library for the times you want to apply lens effects, Monocle is worth trying.

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

  • At first when I got the toast notification, I thought it would be a game :D
  • Oh man, this is what we needed so bad for our store - another photography app. Now, bring us another weather app...pllleeaaasssse
  • BTW, where or what happened to denim? It seemingly, suddenly, just stopped or stopped being reported. My AT&T 1520 can actually use the features.
  • I just can't see the purpose of this when I already have the Lumia Creative Studio...
  • Me too
  • Or 360sight
  • Or Sophielens HD
  • Microsoft f***ed,up the creativity in that app.....
  • Or PicsArt
  • Looks like Avery or whatever it was called.
  • Aviary :D
  • Photo editor by aviary.
  • It does not look like worthy enough to buy for ₹55.
  • It's just one dollar.
  • I don't really see the interest of this quiet simple photo editor, using basic telerik control.... How do you choose App to publish ? Cause, I am the developer of 4shot, but you never wrote a single line about my app that I consider more interesting, in all modesty. I am Just asking, to know what to do to have chance to Read something about 4shot in your lovely App :)
  • Wow. Your app has a 4.4 rating and looks really good in the screenshots. Going to try it now. thanks :)
  • I support you, my friend. Moreover, how you addressed your complaint was eloquent and fair. After all, look at the "free" app which was not free for stolen Windows backgrounds which was showcased the other day. Thanks to whomever had shared a OneDrive file with all backgrounds in both horizontal and vertical orientation. Good man.
  • Just downloaded
    Showing support to people who deserve it
  • Reviews are generally driven by reader's suggestions, developer's request or by stumbling on the title ourselves. I do not recall seeing 4Shot suggested or requested in our tip emails but will be glad to take a look at 4Shot later this week.
  • Yeah man, I hadn't even heard of your app. The guys at Windows central don't just spend all day trawling the app store, someone needs to tell them about an app if it doesn't show up in the top 20 in the store categories.
  • Thanks all for your replies, I really appreciate. Yes, I understand that wpcentral guys can't be aware of all App, this is why a sent, weeks ago, tweet with #wpcentral tag. I should send messages, again and again, marketing life, my bad :) I'm glad your heard my call. Guys are doing Great job and have a real impact on how App can grow.
  • This is a really cool editor! I found many other photo editors in this blog: check it if you are a photo maniac like me! :)