Phone Skope Review
by Jared Bloomgren, Rokslide Prostaff
Setting the stage
I use an iPhone 5s protected by a LifeProof case. Phone Skope gave me the capability of marrying that unit up with my Vortex Razor 20-60x85 spotter. It was very user friendly when it came to ordering the necessary pieces that I needed for my kit. They have nearly every fitting for phones that are popular in today's markets as well as mounts that will fit the cases that may go along with those same phones. Various sized optic housings are offered for popular sized optic rings.
Simple, Easy, Economical
My first reaction to the Phone Skope was how simple they are. Simple design and easy to use will always make you money! Most Phone Skope systems will come in between $75 and $85, a small investment for a good tool. I am not sure if I was expecting something more technical than the plastic kit, but I did worry how it would stand up in the cold. Testing to be done!
When I was able to use it for the first time, it was very easy to put together but when it came time to snap my LifeProof case into the Phone Skope case, that was a different story. The fit wasn't quite spot on and it tore off the protective rubber layering of my case when trying to remove it. The camera lens did not match up perfect in the housing as well which limited my field of view in certain situations. I was able to remedy this by varying the zoom of my phone. The tolerances of the Phone Skope case are not quite there yet for this LifeProof case. I have talked to others who have had great fit with other brands of phone cases, just not me.
The optic adapter fit on my Vortex spotter just fine and became one with the case when snapped together. When fitted to my spotter, I was able to take some decent pictures and the Phone Skope did just as it said it would.
I had some issues with clarity and suspect the fit of the Phone Skope to the LifeProof case was the cause. See the updated photos below, taken with the correct case.
A Few Downsides
For some reason I had issues with getting it to provide clear and crisp images. Maybe user error or perhaps because the lens and housing didn't match up perfectly? There have been plenty of images posted on Rokslide that were very clear. My images were still good enough to study the animals I'd digiscoped.
Also, my fear came true when I was hunting the late season in MT. With temperatures near 0 degrees, the plastic of course became more brittle. When trying to remove it from my phone the snap on the Phone Skope case broke off due to the very tight fit with the Lifeproof case and cold temps. Phone Skope offers a lifetime warranty if you send the broken part back, so my new one will be on the way shortly. Talking to the company, they experience very few breakages, but if you do, you're covered for a lifetime.
I feel that Phone Skope has the market when it comes to this type of gear. However, I feel that they could re-spec their pattern a bit on the fit for my application. I cannot say how other phones or phone cases fit with each application. This was only based on my review of the LifeProof case that I have.
Even with a few downsides, the Phone Skope system will go along with me on all scouting and hunting situations when the spotter is by my side. The system is economical and remains a great product. Phone Skope is something that everyone who has a spotting scope should consider!
8-15-16 Update. Turns out there were some problems with the fit of the Lifeproof case. Phone Skope identified the problem as multiple cases available and quickly sent out the correct case. It solved the problem and Jared was able to take these photos with ease and without changing his phone zoom. Make sure you order the right case.
You can ask Jared questions or discuss this article here here