Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Sure enough… here’s the K800i with the slider. Yikes! It’s huge, 21mm thick, 2–3x the acceptable thickness of a modern smartphone. That’s a 3.5 megapixel camera with an f/2.8 lens. It’s coupled with a a xenon electronic flash, no LED flash/light as you’d find on a modern phone. You only got 64MB of internal memory, so for much camera use, you had to add a Memory Stick Micro format memory card, which could be up to 16GB.

That sliding cover adds a not insignificant additional thickness to the phone, and you can’t make it lie flat. What’s the benefit? Lens protection? I can’t find much about this lens online.

Is that protection even necessary? Does this phone really expose its lens to the world? It was good enough for James Bond (Daniel Craig) in Casino Royale, but that was mostly for blowing stuff up. Okay, for blowing up Carlos the terrorist. Maybe Bond needed the shield over his camera.

Most smartphones today have multiple cameras. The lenses in those cameras are nearly always made of molded optical plastic, which composes both the lens and a piece of the lens barrel. Each element snaps into the next, and to ensure the whole camera/lens assembly is protected from dust, water, and scratches, a very hard, optically neutral piece of glass, sometimes sapphire glass, covers it all.

Where do you put the lens cover? And would that be worth disrupting the clean design of a phone like this Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra? Most companies have voted “no” on this subject.

If you did want one of these, you’re probably going to want a case too, since the whole freakin’ phone is made of glass. Such things do exist. This one is from Pinnacle Luxuries. I have not used it, since I don’t really need a camera cover and I don’t own a Galaxy S22 Ultra.

I do have an Honor Magic4 Pro, which has a bunch of cameras on the back as well, all covered with hard protective glass. If I wanted a case with a camera cover, here’s an option. This one is from Nillkin, and I would have to buy it on eBay, maybe Alibaba, since like the Honor, the case isn’t normally sold in the USA. An identical looking case is available on Amazon as well, also drop-shipped from China.

I do recommend a good case for an smartphone that’s not a rugged design, but that’s because I do actually use my phone out in the world. Prior to Honor sending me the Magic4 Pro for evaluation, my phone was the Motorola One 5G Ace, and that’s still the phone I primarily use. First thing I did when I bought that was buy a good but not excessive case for it, Avesfer’s overly named Motorola Moto One 5G Ace Case Military Grade Heavy Duty Corner Protection Defender Cover TPU Anti-Fall Anti Impact Scratch Resistant Shock Absorbing, from Amazon.

This is basically a heavy TPU case, nothing that seems all that special. But last spring I was working up in my garage attic, putting in a floor to allow for easier storage. Climbing the 12ft into the attic, just as I reached the top, the phone popped out of my pocket and landed on the concrete slab floor. I figured it was a goner — there goes $250! Nope. Not a scratch or dent. Well worth the six bucks!

I can apparently buy a cover with camera slider or a tempered glass stick-on to protect the built-in lens protectors in this phone. I think the industry has pretty much decided that phones get built-in lens protectors, and if you’re very hard on them, or just paranoid, you can find aftermarket accessories that provide additional protection.

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