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Mobile Accessories

The iPhone 7 Plus takes a longer Moment (lens, that is)

Moment puts a redesigned lens and cases for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus on Kickstarter, including a combo photo and battery case. And it might expand to the Pixel and the Galaxy S7, if you ask nicely.

Phones, cameras and batteries go together like the legs of a tripod. So Moment's going back to Kickstarter for funding its revised case and lenses to support the dual-lens iPhones, including capability to add a lens in front of the phone's telephoto camera. But this time the company's floating an option for a battery case that adds its lens mount and shutter button in addition to the new camera-only case design and an updated wide-angle lens.

The battery case incorporates a 3,500mAh (iPhone 7 Plus) or 2,500mAh (iPhone 7) power supply, which Moment claims boosts the charge by at least 100 percent. It has a Lightning pass-through connector to let you recharge both the case and the phone's battery, and the updated app will let you control when the phone uses the auxillary battery.

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The Moment battery case with the redesigned wide-angle lens.

Moment

It's slated to cost the same as Apple's own Smart Battery case, $99 (Apple's case is £99 in the UK and AU$165 in Australia; Moment's price converts to about £80 or AU$130). It has more capacity than Apple's and I think it's a lot more attractive. I saw a late prototype of it, and it's pretty slim and comfortable.

The battery case and the thinner photo-only version ($30; directly converted £25 or AU$40) also change the way the shutter button works. The current version, like many add-ons that provide a physical shutter, uses Bluetooth. Moment's modified it to use the Lightning connector, which allows it to create a two-stage shutter -- like a camera's half press for focusing, full press for shooting. The new button lies flush with the case as well.

Both also offer two strap slots. Note that you don't have to use Moment's lenses to take advantage of the physical shutter operation, though you do have to use Moment's camera app for it.

If you do choose to use its lenses, the wide-angle is first to get a version 2 treatment ($100, directly converted about £80 or AU$130), though the new mount has been retrofitted to all its existing lenses. According to Moment, it's optimized the new wide-angle lens for cameras with larger apertures, like the iPhone 7/7 Plus' f1.8. Moment's telephoto lens can increase the magnification on the iPhone 7 Plus' 56mm lens.

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The slimmer photo case will come in two-tone Walnut or Black canvas.

Moment

The wide lens offers a new optical formula, incorporating an aspherical element; aspherical elements help lenses improve focus while remaining compact. The company claims it delivers better edge-to-edge sharpness with no vignetting (dark corners). Like all Moment's lenses, it's made of glass and metal, making it heavier than cheaper designs.

If you already invested in a Moment lens but want one of the revamped cases, never fear: Moment will offer a lens adapter to fit on the old mount. Otherwise, its old metal mounting plate -- which I didn't really like anyway -- is going away. The new mounting interface is a little easier to manipulate, too.

The updated lenses stand ready to work on other popular phone cameras, notably those of the Google Pixel and Galaxy S7. However, those currently aren't in the Kickstarter. Moment will consider development of those cases based on feedback it will solicit via the campaign.

If funded, the company plans to ship the photo case and lens in late May or early June; the battery case in late June or early July.