Which camera lens protectors for phones are best?

No matter the make or model, there is no denying that mobile phones are expensive. More complex phones have a higher retail price. If you have a model with an impressive camera, it makes it imperative that you protect your gadget.

The easiest way to do that is through a mobile phone case, but the lens isn’t always a consideration. Unless there is a special lip or ridge, it affords almost no protection to the lens. This is where a camera lens protector comes in handy.

Protection choices

Don’t get your hopes up for finding a lens protector that goes well with your Van Gogh phone cover. Your choice in design, color and material is vastly diminished in this category, and you’ll have better luck matching your cover with a lens protector than the other way around. But if you want to add more personality, you can always add a phone charm.

But with that said, accessory makers must attract your business before you choose the competition. And since the lens protectors cost only a few cents to produce, you’ll often find them in packs of three or four. 

To further sweeten the deal, many offer bundle packs that include a few lens protectors and some screen protectors as well. This is an excellent deal if you recently bought a new phone and are looking for a complete setup to keep your device safe.

If the standard clear protectors aren’t for you, ones with a bit of bling around the edge are becoming increasingly popular. They are often sold in packs of single caps that go over each lens instead of one solid piece that covers the lens.

Tempered glass vs. plastic

Plastic lens and screen protectors are incredibly cheap to manufacture, but it comes at a cost to phone users. The see-through material is terrible at remaining blemish-free, and while it does stop scratches on your lens, it can still be visible in photos.

The better alternative is a tempered glass lens protector. The technology is widely used because it doesn’t splinter like ordinary glass. Some common applications for tempered glass are passenger car windows, shower doors and diving masks.

The glass is thermal or chemically treated to put the outer layer into a compression state and the inner layer into a tension state. These opposing forces are what give the glass increased strength. 

In addition to the strength, it is resistant to most forms of damage, such as scratches and scuff marks. This makes it an excellent choice for lens covers and display protectors. Some mobile phones use tempered glass directly for their displays with Corning’s Gorilla Glass as a favorite.

What to look for in a camera lens protector for your phone

Conforming to your style is important, but so is your phone. It’s easy to go for a colorful or bling design, but if the protection is inferior, it won’t help much. Therefore, look for camera lens protectors made from toughened glass, and steer clear of polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, or thermoplastic polyurethane, or TPU.

Another critical factor to consider is hardness. Measured on Moh’s scale, it represents how tough the material is. Most tempered glass covers will have a Moh hardness of 9H.

For reference, anything rated above 6H can’t be damaged by coins, keys or knives. The scale is made up of minerals that the hardest drawing pencil can damage. The lowest is 1H for talc, and the highest is 10H for diamond.

So, a hardness of 9H means that a pencil can’t damage corundum. Unless you have a pocket full of diamonds, your phone’s cover will be scratch-free.

Lens protectors with metal rings on the outside are less common and slightly more expensive. These feature tempered glass protectors in a specific pattern to the phone model, sitting firmly on a metal plate that slots over the lens array. It is popular with users who want lens protectors to match the color of their phones.

Best camera lens protectors for phones

Best Tamoria Metal and Tempered Glass Lens Protector for iPhone 13

Tamoria Metal and Tempered Glass Lens Protector for iPhone 13

This two-pack of lens protectors features a metal base with tempered glass lens protectors. There are 11 colors to perfectly match your phone, and the base has three cushions underneath to prevent shocks and is waterproof.

Sold by Amazon

Best Goton Glitter HD Tempered Glass Camera Lens Protector

Goton Glitter HD Tempered Glass Camera Lens Protector 

Perfect if you want to protect your lens and look fashionable, this pack includes three separate protectors with a glitter band on the outside. Protection is provided through tempered glass, and the covers are easy to place over the lenses.

Sold by Amazon

Best WSKEN 3+1 Tempered Glass Camera Lens Protector

WSKEN Tempered-Glass Camera Lens Protector 

Compatible with the Pro and Max iPhone 13 models, this pack has three individual lens protectors plus one spare, just in case. Each cover has a metal ring on the outside for added robustness, and the clear protector on top is made from tempered glass. There are several colors to match your phone’s looks.

Sold by Amazon

Best AKWOX Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Camera Lens Protector

AKWOX Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Camera Lens Protector

The protection pack for the Note 9 includes four lens protectors. Since the lens design is different from Apple’s iPhone, the lens protector is a solid piece of tempered glass that covers both lenses. The display cover is also tempered glass and is compatible with the fingerprint reader.

Sold by Amazon

Best Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Five-Pack Screen and Lens Protector

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Five-Pack Screen and Lens Protector

If you have a valuable smartphone, such as the Galaxy S20 Ultra, then you need great protection and a couple of spare parts. This five-pack is made up of two tempered glass display protectors and three lens protectors, which neatly fit into the phone’s camera groove.

Sold by Amazon

Best Hlija Three-Piece Rear Back Camera Lens Protector for iPhone 13

Hlija Three-Piece Rear Back Camera Lens Protector for iPhone 13

This three-pack lens protector bundle is accurately cut out to fit around the iPhone 13’s camera array. The tempered glass protects the lenses from dirt, scratches and scuffs, and it doesn’t affect the brightness of the flash.

Sold by Amazon

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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