Hands-on with the Manfrotto Klyp+ for iPhone

With the iPhone being the camera of choice for some of us, some of the functionality we left behind on our point-and-shoot cameras can be frustrating. A few new accessories from Manfrotto could help bridge the gap, though, even making your iPhone a bit more useful in the process.

The Klyp+ case offers up a photo-centric utility, but still keeps sleek styling in mind. The all black case is handsome, but a small ridge on either side helps the add-ons stay put. The rubberized material makes for a solid grip, and the shinier plastic adds a nice finish to the device. It's a harder mold than you might be used to in a case, but is still flexible enough to not make you worry it will shatter if dropped.

The cutouts for the speakers, lighting port, and silence toggle switch are all ample, and allow enough room for operation. The parts covering the power and volume rockers work just fine, but we'd have preferred the same cutouts found for the other hardware stuff. Four small, block indentations sit on the sides to cradle the add-ons, and the camera/flash cutout has a unique feature, too.

You're probably curious about the add-ons by now, so let's get right to them! With the Klyp+, you get a lipstick-sized tool that serves two really neat purposes. On one side is a screw-in port for a tripod, which can be slid off the larger portion. The bulk of the accessory is a flash, where three small bulbs pack quite a punch.

The flash is chargeable via micro USB, and while Manfrotto supplies a nice cable, any will do. It charges quickly, too (less than an hour for us). The flash has a power button, which you'll long press to turn on. It can be pressed quickly for adjusting the flash level, where you'll find three modes to make sure you get the right lighting. A 225 lm lumens with 60-degree beam angle light the way, and Manfrotto says you'll get 80% color consistency.

Once you detach the two add-ons, you see they both have gripping sides. Remember that ridge we spoke of, and the indention spots on the case? Now we're getting to the good stuff.

Slide the accessories on from the side, and they settle right into their spots. The flash is meant to settle in the spot just above the flash (in landscape mode), while the tripod mount sits just under the center of the phone on the other side.

We coupled this with the Manfrotto Pixi mount, and it was a great little camera set-up. The Pixi also serves as a handle so it was useful in more scenarios than your normal tripod. An adjustable head mount could make for the perfect selfie if you wanted.

The camera port accepts Manfrotto's Klyp screw-in lenses, where you'll find a wide-angle, fisheye, and macro offering. The lenses are all plastic, but screw into the case nicely. The threading of the lenses and case held up nicely to daily use-case scenario, so we can recommend them on that level.

As for the picture quality, we were happy there as well. It's exactly what you'd expect with a small lens, adding just enough to make the shot worthwhile. We are particularly fond of the wide-angle offering, which gave us something we'd likely use in more scenarios than any other.

If you're interested in getting better pics, but don't want to tote around a bunch of stuff, Manfrotto's new mobile offerings are great. They don't take up much room, and the case is fine for daily use, photography or not.

Manfrotto also tosses in a small lanyard which can be attached to the case via tow tiny holes on a corner. If you want to ditch your point-and-shoot camera, but haven't found the nudge yet — here's your perfect opportunity.