Your smartphone's camera may perform 10 times better than the best camera phone from three years ago, but they still leave much to be desired compared to dedicated point-and-shoots and their large capture sensors. Someday, camera hardware will shrink small enough to fit inside ever-thinning smartphone bodies. In the meantime, the Sony Cyber-Shot QX Lens Cameras might offer a more feasible alternative.
While it looks nothing more than those add-on magnetic lenses you attach on top of a smartphone's camera sensor, it's actually a standalone camera with hardware comparable to those inside Sony's own point-and-shoots. That's right, you get shot quality that should put your smartphone's camera to shame. You can use it on its own or pair it with a smartphone (via WiFi or NFC) so you can use the phone as a viewfinder, controller, and backup storage.
The Sony Cyber-Shot QX Lens Cameras comes in two models: QX10 and QX100. The former packs an 18.0 megapixel sensor with an f/3.3-5.9 lens, while the latter boasts a 1-inch 20.2 megapixel Exmor R sensor and f/1.8-4.9 Carl Zeiss lens. Both are based on existing Sony point-and-shoot devices, namely the WX150 and the RX100m2 for the QX10 and QX100, respectively, with their own memory storage slots (microSD and Memory Stick) and tripod mounts. Each one comes with a clip for attaching the assembly onto the back of a phone. It can pair with both Android and iOS phones.
Set for availability later in the month, the Sony Cyber-Shot QX10 and the Sony Cyber-Shot QX100 will retail for $250 and $500, respectively.