will.i.am, i.am+ foto sosho for iPhone 4 and 4s, iPhone 5

Following up on a post here from a few days ago, Black Eyed Peas’ Will.i.am launched his line of iPhone accessories in London today. There was no sight of the promised 14MP camera — that’s coming next year. But there was still plenty of bling to be had. Fortunately, there are two more sedate options. But doesn’t the gold-trimmed i.am+ remind you of Hipstamatic’s Mr. Bling case? More after the jump. >>>

Two of the three accessories will launch this year. Each has different functions and pricepoints. In my opinion, these are luxury items for a luxury item and I doubt I’ll be receiving a review unit. Regardless, if having the latest and greatest iPhone has lost its clout for you, here’s a few stylin’ ways to get it back and add a little to the usefulness of your iPhone.

All three units will have additional optics, including the standard wide angle/macro and fisheye lens rigs. I suspect these are very similar to optics currently found on the versatile Olloclip 3-in-1 Lens for about $70 now. There’s a high-end 5x zoom on next year’s model. Each unit has a built-in flash — from the look of it, it’s a brighter, more powerful unit than the iPhone’s flash.

There is also a forthcoming iPhone app which taps into the new social photo network, i.am. Users of the network will have access to new collaborative and social features. They’re going up against Instagram, Starmatic, and Facebook so it’ll be quite a daunting task to successfully launch the hip but fledgling network.

Two models will be available this year, both for iPhone 4 and 4S.

foto.sosho C.4 (modern, black look camera for iPhone 4/4s).

  • Lens included: Standard, 0.67x Wide Macro, 0.28x Fisheye.
  • Point and shoot available in two body colors: black or white.
  • Price: £199 or about $319 USD

foto.sosho V.4 (a bling-free and admittedly cool-looking vintage-look camera for iPhone 4/4s), which also includes a slide-out keyboard.

  • Lens included: Standard, 0.67x Wide Macro, 0.28x Fisheye.
  • Available in two colors: white & gold or black & silver.
  • Price: £299 or about $479 USD

Models for the iPhone 5 launch next year:

foto.sosho V.5 (vintage look camera for iPhone 5)

  • Available in silver and brown leather, all white leather or all black leather.

foto.sosho L.5 (luxury camera for iPhone 5), includes slide-out keyboard

  • Available in silver and brown leather, all white leather or all black leather.

iPhones not included.

The L.5 is the model which will replace your iPhone 5’s camera with a 14MP camera with 5X zoom. The L.5 adds a lot of bulk to a very slim and light iPhone 5. From the look of the lens barrel, it may be a higher quality optical zoom, which would definitely make this accessory more interesting (and functional). Whether an iPhone 5 optical zoom is worth five Benjamins is up to you.

Despite my personal skepticism about these accessories, overall I don’t think the line is a bad idea, especially if the technology really is cutting edge. These devices are yet another way to personalize our iPhones and look flashy but pretty cool for fashionistas with the cash to spare.

Engadget has more including hands-on video with the devices here.

You can sign up to be notified when the device is available for purchase (and presumably when you can claim your corner of the i.am+ social photo network) by checking out the i.am+ website.



Updated 11.29.12. Now with more whine. =M=