Charles holds a Master’s degree in Physics Engineering (optics and photonics specialization), has been teaching physics at school for almost 15 years and recently has star read more
Last updated: December 30, 2022
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An impressive, high-quality microscope for your iPhone is harder to come by than most people give it credit for. Remember that marketing can paint a picture of a microscope that makes it seem better than it is. This, of course, explains the growing number of disappointed buyers. However, if you simply want the best microscope for your iPhone, there are ways to ensure you get it, as we explain below.
Like traditional microscopes, you should judge options based on type, magnification, power source, illumination, resolution, and construction quality. The magnification and type dictate the types of specimens that you can observe. As for the resolution and illumination, the image quality is what will be most affected. There is also the matter of where the microscope gets its power from. Another thing is that the microscope’s construction quality can make or break the product. Finally, connectivity to your iPhone and other smart products is bound to affect the use of the device. The best microscope for your iPhone is one that proves satisfactory in all these areas. Some contenders for that title are listed below.
Other features: connects with mobile device via Wi-Fi, 3-hour runtime
The Skybasic Digital Microscope is an inexpensive model that you can pair with your phone or computer, so you can take videos or photos at a high magnification. Whether you want to inspect the components on circuit boards or examine insects, crystals and fibers, this microscope is a great option. The microscope has a micro USB interface and minimal controls, including a wheel for zoom and two buttons to adjust the magnification.
If you want to pair the microscope with your phone, you simply need to download the app from Google Play or the App store. Just join the WiFi network and launch the app. The app will load in a few seconds and you can start streaming video from the microscope. The microscope is remarkably easy to use. All you need to do is place an object under the optic and set up the microscope stand in the area of interest, using the wheel to focus. There is also a snapshot button that is helpful when paired with the app. You can hold an object with your hand and you don’t want to lose focus while reaching for your phone to snap a shot.
Why is it special?
What we liked about this model is that despite the modest price tag, it has a superb LED ring. This is around the lens and is great to illuminate the subject. You can adjust it using the LED wheel or turn it off altogether if you don’t need it. The unit charges quickly and you can expect a battery life of over two hours. But there isn’t a battery level indicator, so you may not be able to monitor the charge level.
What are the flaws?
A potential downside is that you cannot wirelessly connect the microscope to your computer. This does mean that you can’t use the zoom or photo buttons with this type of connection. However, it does offer a more responsive video feed with little to no lag. This makes it easier to film and position objects without overshooting your target.
Power supply: 110V, 50/60 Hz; 5 V, 2 A output or Li-ion, 3.7 V,1050mAh battery
Other features: manual focus, 90-min worktime, 100-min charging time, Levenhuk DTX software, video recording
Our upgrade pick, the Levenhuk 67948 DTX 720 Wi-Fi Digital Microscope, also deserves its title and its place on this list. Magnification is one crucial area for any microscope, and with a 10-200x capacity, the tool doesn’t disappoint.
Like the Barska AY12584 Wi-Fi Microscope, six LED lights are placed on the front end of the device and illuminate specimens. Consequently, even minimal ambient light shouldn’t stop you from checking out specimens you come across. Additionally, the adjustable brightness of these lights is an asset.
The camera itself is 1.0MP. This translates to 640×480 (VGA) and 1280×720 (720P) resolution when you observe specimens from your phone. Since it’s on this list, iPhone compatibility is guaranteed. However, Android smartphones are not left behind either.
If the screen on your phone is too small, there is no reason not to use a PC for observation. However, unlike with mobile devices, a USB connection rather than a wireless one is needed for this to work.
Power supply, as mentioned above, comes in a 1050mAh battery. Also, not recognizing the microscope’s video recording capabilities would be a failure on our part.
Something that this digital microscope has that was omitted from the editor’s choice is a stand. As such, blurry specimen images will be all but eliminated.
A microscope stage with clips for holding specimens in place is as well provided. In this way, a similarity to traditional microscopes crops up.
When using the included battery, runtimes and charge times also matter. For the former, an hour and a half is as long as you’ll get. If you are charging the invention, it should take one hour and forty minutes to fill the battery.
What makes it special? We loved that this microscope works with both phones and PCs. The stand and provided stage allow more stable specimen viewing. The camera, resolution, and video recording capabilities can also help you observe specimens in a better light. Finally, having a well-performing rechargeable battery is another asset.
What could be better: Compared to other portable microscopes for iPhone, this pick is rather expensive.
Other features: 4.3-inch LCD screen, freely adjustable metal stand, manual focus, 4-hour working time, 5-hour charging time
Another digital microscope for iPhone with a stand is the YINAMA LCD Digital Microscope. The 4.3-inch LCD screen sets this apart from others listed. Nonetheless, iPad, Android, and PC connectivity and compatibility are still part of the package.
With the freely adjustable metal stand and the manual focus, getting the most out of specimens should be a piece of cake. Notably, the manufacturer had electronic repairs in mind when creating this invention. Its suitability for observing tiny electrical components is thus unmatched.
Also, the most impressive runtime so far is exhibited by this model. However, it comes at the cost of an even longer charge time.
The 4-hour runtime isn’t possible without the Lithium-ion, 1800mAh battery. When it comes to optics, the invention has a 2.0MP camera and the ability to zoom 1000x into the image. Depending on the various needs, this could be perfect for some of you.
Also, similar to the Levenhuk 67948 DTX 720 Wi-Fi Digital Microscope, connections to phones will likely be via Wi-Fi. PCs are a bit different in that a USB connection is needed.
The importance of lighting is also not forgotten in this microscope. Consequently, eight LEDs, all of which can be dimmed or brightened up, are present.
The resolution also seems to surpass all other options listed. Lastly, both image and video recording can be done with this microscope.
What are its best features? The microscope is capable of recording images and videos in high resolution. Working time seems more than sufficient for most projects. Additionally, video and image recording is possible in PCs and mobile smartphones with this device. The invention comes with a screen just in case your other devices are unavailable. Lastly, a metal stand provides stability for the tool.
What could be better: Five hours seems a long time to wait for the digital microscope for your iPhone to charge.
Other features: 12-pack slide collection, Wi-Fi connectivity, manual focus (0-40mm)
This Pancellent Wireless Digital Microscope might be perfect for viewing biological life such as insects, plants, and skin up close. A unique highlight is the 12 random color slides included in this purchase. Notably, these colored slides are ideal for a variety of specimens depending on the color.
Magnification allowed is between 50x and 1000x. Even as you choose the magnification level, remember that focusing is manual, and you will thus have to use your hands to get it right.
Having a 2.0MP camera also helps. Compared to other microscopes, the camera resolution is top-notch. Wi-Fi also features in this Pancellent microscope. You can connect your iPhone to this device with no hassle. However, moving the phone more than 10m away from the invention will lead to a disconnection.
Video resolution in this microscope doesn’t disappoint either. Like the YINAMA LCD Digital Microscope and multiple other options listed, an 8-LED light setup has been added to this small machine.
The image of this microscope above also shows a stage of some sort alongside a stand. The stand is adjustable, allowing you to position your microscope however you want.
Why are we impressed? Resolution in this microscope is a huge selling point in terms of both photos and video capabilities. The colored slides provided will also make details on some specimens clearer. A stage and an adjustable stand make positioning the microscope and holding it steady relatively easy.
What could be better: Users have noticed some lag both in the PC and smartphone software for this invention.
Other features: video recording, 1mm to 90mm focus, free carrying bag
For the money, the Jiusion Wi-Fi USB Digital Handheld Microscope is quite impressive. It comes in a case along with various accessories, which include: an OTG cable, ruler, phone suction, Wi-Fi box, metal stand, and a CD driver.
The lowest magnification for this microscope is 40x, while its highest is 1000x. Within this range, you can view hairs, skin, plants, coins, and even tiny circuit boards.
The Wi-Fi box mentioned before is of particular note. Since it is availed as an accessory, it is safe to say Wi-Fi isn’t built-in. That being said, if you connect the microscope to this Wi-Fi box, you should be able to link to smartphone devices, i.e., your iPhone, relatively easily.
Bypassing the Wi-Fi box and connecting to a PC box directly is also possible. The camera in this tool is 0.3MP, just like the one in the Barska AY12584 Wi-Fi Microscope.
Additionally, the metal stand will provide stability where your hands are unable to. As for lighting your specimens, eight LEDs with adjustable brightness get the job done.
Unlike some microscope models mentioned above, this pick doesn’t come with a battery. Instead, the 5V USB port should be the one to provide power. Finally, the video recording allowed by this microscope should also serve you well.
Why are we impressed? The accessories, e.g., the stand, Wi-Fi box, OTG cable, and more, add functionality to the microscope. This tool is usable with both PCs and smart mobile devices. The magnification range also is quite extensive. Finally, buyers can carry the microscope and all needed accessories in the carry case provided.
What could be better: The software that allows buyers to use this microscope with a PC is buggy.
Other features: flip-down slide base, aspheric lens system, built-in UV flashlight, a smartphone digiscoping clip
The Carson MP-250 MicroFlip Portable Microscope also deserves praise and a spot on this list. It fits most pockets quite easily alongside the smartphones you carry every day. As such, it can be close by any time you need it.
Like the Nurugo Micro 400X Smartphone Microscope, this microscope will be positioned over your phone camera. Since there is a clip to help with the attachment, this process should be a walk in the park.
This tiny machine also has a cover flip-down slide base that protects some components of the microscope. Further, it has LED illumination. A feature that’s unrelated to the device’s ability to magnify specimens is the UV flashlight that is added. However, that still might be useful in different scenarios.
A slide for your specimens is also included. Finally, this microscope is affordable, and the manufacturer still provides a lifetime warranty.
Why are we impressed? This microscope fits most pockets and attaches easily to smartphones. The mini machine is easy to use. Further, an extra feature in the UV flashlight is provided. The lifetime warranty should protect this affordable investment.
What could be better: A wobbly focusing wheel in this microscope doesn’t give the user’s confidence. Also, it can make focusing difficult.
Other features: compatible with all smartphones, 1-year warranty
A unique digital microscope for use with your iPhone is the Nurugo Micro 400X Smartphone Microscope with its 18-400x magnification. The digital device is compatible with most smartphones. Unfortunately, use with PCs is unsupported.
This invention is attached to a smartphone and works in conjunction with your inbuilt camera. You’ll thus be able to take images of your specimens relatively easily.
Downloading the Nurugo box app will give you control over how you use this device. Slow-motion, regular video, burst shot, and time-lapse images are just a few ways you can use the product to record microscopic information.
The Nurugo app also allows the sharing of recorded information to social media. We should mention this microscope’s simplistic design makes figuring it out a breeze.
What makes it special? Carrying this should as well not be problematic given its compact body. The compatible app for this microscope allows images and videos to be taken and shared on social media.
What could be better: With easier calibration, this microscope could be usable in a professional setting
Other features: connects with mobile device via Wi-Fi, 2.5-hour runtime, a USB charging cord
The Barska AY12584 Wi-Fi Microscope may look and feel like a small handheld flashlight, but its usability as a microscope is impressive. Notably, you’ll still need to hold it by hand as you use it.
If you have an iPhone on standby connecting it to the microscope will be child’s play. A free application is instrumental in allowing you to connect the phone and the microscope. This can work with an android device as well from over a 50-feet distance.
Of course, once the app is installed and connected, you can get to view your specimens. You can also easily store images of the same after recording them on your phone.
Recording these images from the microscope is thanks to an incorporated 0.3MP camera. Further, magnification levels of between 75x and 300x are achievable if you have this microscope working for you.
The higher levels of magnification also need special care when you’re using the invention. If you’re not careful, the shakiness in your hands will inevitably lead to blurred specimen images.
For clearer images, try to look into how you can stabilize the device a bit more. Additionally, there is zero chance your specimens will not be well lit. After all, there are six LED lights at the front of this microscope.
The resolution provided by the microscope is not the best in its class. Nevertheless, it does suffice and is clear enough for most people to see and record the information they want from specimens.
As for power, a 1500mA Lithium battery is present in the microscope. It is rechargeable, and a USB charging cord is provided to help with that. Finally, a peak 2.5-hour runtime is expected.
What makes it special? Additional android connectivity is added to this microscope. The connectivity range of more than 50-feet is another likable feature. Also, the rechargeable battery means no battery-buying costs. The magnification range of 75x-300x is impressive. LEDs included also allow for optimum specimen lighting scenarios.
What could be better: An extra means of stabilizing the microscope may be needed where higher magnifications are used.
Things to Consider
With varying microscope for iPhone features, designs, and prices, the options may overwhelm you making it impossible to choose. As such, you need a system that would simplify your choices a little bit. This system is in the buying guide our team has curated below.
Why should you invest in a high-quality microscope for your iPhone?
Most standard microscopes find a permanent home the moment the vendor delivers them. They are bulky and a chore to carry around, so most people would rather bring the specimens to them.
Microscopes for your iPhone or Android device are designed as compact products and are therefore a suitable alternative that you can take everywhere. Consequently, missing out on examining some specimens will be a thing of the past.
Investing in a high-quality microscope for your iPhone guarantees you the same results you would get in the lab, while you’re in the field, or wherever you would choose to set up shop.
Features to consider when choosing the best microscope for iPhone
Even before the microscope for your iPhone arrives, you can know everything about it, including how it performs on various jobs. However, this is impossible without knowing the features of the mini machine, as outlined below.
Even if you do know all about these microscope features, reading the section below will serve to confirm whether you have a handle on everything or not.
Of the microscopes that are compatible with iPhones, different levels of magnification are bound to come up. If you want to see larger objects, a microscope with a lower magnification is perfect. These microscopes are classified as stereo microscopes.
Alternatively, wanting to see tiny specimens such as cells or anything too small to see with your eyes is also a viable reason to get a microscope for your iPhone. However, for this, you’ll need compound microscopes characterized by their high magnification levels.
Connectivity in such a microscope also dictates how it can be used as well as its versatility levels. The Levenhuk 67948 DTX 720 Wi-Fi Digital Microscope and multiple other microscopes listed offer Wi-Fi connectivity. This applies when using both iPhone and Android devices. Further, using a USB will also allow the images and video to be recorded on a computer.
Picking a microscope like the Carson MP-250 MicroFlip Portable Microscope will mean you can’t use it with a personal computer since both Wi-Fi and USB are not supported. Whether you need the extra connectivity or not is something only you would know.
Magnification in microscopes is a matter of preference. As we mentioned before, some of you would be content with viewing some relatively larger specimens such as insects, coins, or circuit boards. If a digital microscope for your iPhone comes with lower magnification, it would suit this purpose perfectly.
Viewing cells and bacteria is another reason some of you would get a portable microscope for your iPhone. Again we reiterate the importance of higher levels of magnification for such a task.
If you haven’t decided what type of specimens to focus on, a microscope like the Jiusion Wi-Fi USB Digital Handheld Microscope would be a fantastic pick. After all, the wide range of magnification allows you to tackle both types of specimens.
Concerning image and video resolution, deciding on how clear you want your images to be beforehand may save you from disappointment. The resolution is also going to be affected by the camera in the microscope if there is any.
A rule of thumb is that higher resolutions lead to better quality images. As such, the YINAMA LCD Digital Microscope’s image quality will impress most buyers thanks to the 1920 x 1080P resolution.
Also, where light available is not enough, seeing the specimens clearly would be impossible. Most manufacturers include LED lighting for this very reason. The Levenhuk 67948 DTX 720 Wi-Fi Digital Microscope, for instance, has six LED lights while some of the competition come with eight lights. Further, adjustable brightness allows microscope users the freedom to work with varying ambient light situations.
Another important checkpoint is the software. Phones, computers, and other smart devices don’t come with inbuilt support for the microscopes. As such, apps and software need to be downloaded to allow them to function together.
If the software is top-notch with zero bugs and a smooth interface, users will enjoy their experience all the more. However, buggy and difficult-to-use software can be problematic and may result in a less fun experience.
Getting a microscope for your iPhone with an excellent power supply should be a priority item on your checklist. However, the definition of an excellent power supply will vary from user to user. Some want to use their devices without needing to recharge or replace their batteries. The YINAMA LCD Digital Microscope would be ideal for them.
However, others only want to use their microscopes for short periods. Consequently, even an hours’ worth of runtime won’t be challenging to work with. Remember, there are rechargeable and non-rechargeable battery options as well.
These microscopes are sold on the premise of being lightweight and compact. However, their sizes and weight will vary. The Nurugo Micro 400X Smartphone Microscope, for instance, is so compact you might even forget that it is in your pocket.
Forgetting may be harder to do with the Jiusion Wi-Fi USB Digital Handheld Microscope. The size of the microscope isn’t too big. However, the accompanying accessories may make it strenuous to carry around unless it is in a carry bag.
Other options even come with stands, and that increases their size and weight some more. However, some microscope buyers are comfortable with the extra size and weight.
Accessories included in these digital microscopes for your iPhone also come with various functions. The Jiusion Wi-Fi USB Digital Handheld Microscope, for instance, doesn’t have inbuilt Wi-Fi. However, it’s still usable with a smartphone, thanks to the Wi-Fi box.
On the other hand, the Barska AY12584 Wi-Fi Microscope is sometimes unusable since it is a handheld option. Competing manufacturers eliminate shakiness that leads to blurry images by including stands and stages on their offerings. Consequently, having more accessories in their purchase usually bodes well for the buyer.
The built-in UV flashlight in the Carson MP-250 MicroFlip Portable Microscope qualifies as an extra feature. Another example is the adjustable stand in the Pancellent Wireless Digital Microscope. Both these features can be seen as adding to the advantages of owning the microscopes in question. Other such features will have the same effect on the various digital mini microscopes you look at. These other features can add to the cost of the microscope. Nevertheless, as we’ve already mentioned, the extra benefits may be worth it.
As the list above implies, you can use your iPhone in your pocket as a microscope. However, you’ll need the right accessory to bring out this functionality. The list our team has provided above gives you some options.
Most portable microscopes for your iPhone mentioned above do allow you to take pictures. Recording video is also entirely possible. The Nurugo Micro 400X Smartphone Microscope, through its Nurugo app, even facilitates the sharing of these photos and videos to social media.
1000x is the limit for a lot of light microscopes, and with it, you can see an area of 180 microns or 0.180mm in size. Bacteria, cells, and other such tiny organisms will thus be easy to see at 1000x magnification.
The Skybasic digital microscope is an excellent starter tool if you want to explore microscopic functionality and macro photography. Despite being inexpensive, you can achieve good image quality with a reasonable amount of control. While there are some limitations, it is a generally excellent hobbyist device, which is particularly useful for general work with small components and circuit boards and cellphone repairs.
As our upgrade pick, the Levenhuk 67948 DTX 720 Wi-Fi digital microscope is even more impressive. The present stand is definitely appreciated by those who pick the Levenhuk over the Barska. The resolution is pretty good in this microscope as well. Further, adjustable lights in any microscope can lead to clearer images of your specimens, and they are added to this device.
Our favorite parts about the YINAMA LCD digital microscope are the inbuilt screen and the battery life. Its resolution also deserves praise. Out of the seven picks we selected to feature on this list, we saw our favorites to be these three. If there’s another microscope you’ve come across you feel should have been listed, tell us about it by commenting.