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Sony QX10 Review - A Camera for your Smartphone?

Updated on February 7, 2014

One of the worst things about smartphones is often the lack of a decent camera. And, although the cameras in our phones have been steadily improving, even the best cell phones on the market struggle from a really powerful, professional camera fit for taking quality shots. The Samsung Galaxy and iPhone series both have cameras that take ‘ok-ish’ pictures, but what about those times you really want to capture a beautiful scene or a once-in-a-lifetime moment? Even the highest megapixel camera phones don’t always do what you need them too, due to their restrictions on zooming and an often poor camera flash.

Well, instead of investing your money into a separate camera, Sony has come up with a brilliant and novel idea = the Sony QX10.

Features at a glance

  • 18.2MP
  • 10x Optical Zoom,
  • Optical SteadyShot

What is the Sony QX10?

The Sony QX10 is a smartphone camera add-on – bear with me here. In essence, if you’re unsatisfied with the quality of your phone’s snapshots and are looking for something that really boosts the quality to a digital camera level, then the QX10 is for you.

A relatively inexpensive option, the QX10 is a small lens that plugs right into your smartphone and allows you to take excellent pictures almost instantly. Easy to use, and cost-effective compared to buying a camera with the same specifications, the Sony QX10 is ideal for those looking for a high-tech smartphone camera they can take anywhere, and which also takes pictures with fantastic quality.

How does it work?

You simply plug the QX10 into your smartphone, then use the supplied app (included in the price) to shoot your pictures. Then you can view the pictures on your cell phone as usual, print them out, and so on.

Although simple, some things are best left to the makers themselves. We’ll let Sony explain how it works in just 3 steps in the picture below.

How good is it really?

When taking snapshots with my smartphone, the worst thing is always low-light. Even with the standard flash, the shot is never, ever good enough and always looks low quality. The Sony QX10 solves this instantly, capturing remarkable detail in very low-light situations.

The stabilisation features are fantastic too – no more shaky, blurred shots that capture nothing and make you feel as if you missed the moment forever. Just open your smartphone with the QX10 attached and shoot away!

The best thing about the QX10 is the huge improvement in megapixels you’ll get. iPhones and Samsung smartphones rarely ever get past 8 megapixel cameras, and the iPhone has absolutely no optical zoom – meaning that every time you zoom in, you lose huge amounts of detail. The QX10 solves this by bringing 18 megapixels and 10x optical zoom to the table, meaning crisp, clear shots with little to no loss in quality when you zoom.

Lastly, the device comes in both black and white, so you needn’t feel out of trend.

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Are there any negatives?

Common complaints state that the QX10 can be fairly slow to load and shoot pictures, but this seems to be with older devices. If you have a new device, this doesn’t seem to be too much of a problem.

In addition, the software was reported to have been buggy with frequent crashes at launch, but these are continually being smoothed out by the Sony team. We are waiting to see if Sony integrates native smartphone camera adaptability, meaning you won’t have to use their app but rather your smartphones default one, but this doesn’t seem likely any time soon. Regardless, once you get used to the app it’s very little effort compared to your smartphone’s normal one.

Why would I need one?

If you love taking high-quality shots of nature, people, landscapes and scenery, yet don’t want to carry a digital camera and your smartphone around at the same time, the QX10 is for you. You can leave it plugged into your phone and little space will be used, and that means you’ll always have your camera-smartphone on hand to snap a shot when the need arises.

A tripod can also be used with the QX10 and your smartphone, allowing you to take professional shots of static items.

If you’re an avid or even casual photographer, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this piece of kit. If you like to take your photos and play around with them, such as enhancing them in Photoshop, you’ll be surprised at the quality of the QX10, which is a fairly inexpensive and new idea.


A great idea, and well-executed by Sony, the QX10 has laid the foundations for what could be a huge market. Almost everybody with a smartphone is eventually disappointed by the lack of quality photos, so instead of going out and buying a separate camera which could cost upwards of $400, the QX10 is a quick-fix and definitely enough to sate the desire for better photos.

If you love taking photography of wildlife, or want great holiday/travel pictures without having to take along your digital camera, then this solves the problem. For expert photographers this may not do the trick, but it’s always useful to have in your pocket, and marks a huge improvement upon the standard smartphone camera.


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    • Adityapullagurla profile image

      Aditya Pullagurla 4 years ago from Sydney

      Interesting hub , i should get one for my smart phone.