Review – 12x Telephoto Lens for the Nokia Lumia 920

If there is one thing Lumia 920 owners are happy about, it’s their camera. So it’s finally nice to see some aftermarket-accessories build off of what Nokia has started (though personally, we’d like to see Nokia get involved in this area too).

We’ve covered some magnetic lens adapters in the past, and while “cheap” they did offer users a new creative ability with their phones. After all, if you’re a good photographer, you can make “art” out of anything and those lenses enabled some neat options.

Now we have a 12x telephoto lens that comes out of Guangdong, China and it goes for just slightly less than $20 (plus shipping). We ordered ours through and it took about 10 days or so for the product to arrive.

So how is it? It’s surprisingly well built. It’s a solid, elegant machined aluminum body with a sturdy tripod. Truth be told, we’re a bit shocked about how nicely it all works together—nothing feels “cheap” about it, including the box that it came in (it’s one of those nice ones with a magnetic flap).

Of course the big issue is, quality of the photos. The lens is a fixed 12x telephoto, meaning you have to "frame the photo with your feet", so to speak. The lens can be manually focused and it too excels beyond our expectations. Anyone who knows a quality lens knows it should have a smooth, slow and steady rotation and this lens actually has that, making it feel like you’re focusing an old-school prime lens for a DSLR.

Photos themselves are “ok”. Let’s be clear: this is not Nikkor, Canon or Carl Zeiss making the glass and there’s a reason why some of us pay $1K+ for our lenses in the first place. Purple fringing, darkened corners and a narrow focal area are all side effects of a $20 lens.

Having said that, it’s still pretty cool.

Hey, for $20, we can think of worse things to spend our money on. Will we use it often? Who knows. But the 920’s camera is a work of art and it’s fun to play around with such add-ons, even if they are niche or novelty.

You can order your 12x Zoom Lens through right here. Make sure you watch our video walk through for our impressions.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.