DP Review | Pixlplay turns a smartphone into a big, durable 'camera' for kids

This article was originally published on Digital Photography Review by Brittany Hillen.

A new Kickstarter project aims to make digital photography easily accessible to children, with a product that is relatively inexpensive and durable. Called Pixlplay, the device is essentially a smartphone case shaped like a classic 35mm film camera, and it includes moveable dials and knobs, as well as a functional shutter button.

The Pixlplay case features a pair of rubber handgrips, adjustable clamps for accommodating phones of various sizes, and a 3.5mm cable that plugs into the phone's audio jack to power the case's shutter button. Photos can be snapped through the phone's built-in camera app using the shutter button, or by touching the phone's screen (a touch-sensitive screen protector is built into the case). Camera settings can also be adjusted by touching the screen.

Pixlplay features child-resistant dual latches to help prevent children from removing the smartphone, which is offered some protection from drops and dirt while inside the case. Included activity sheets, meanwhile, teach kids the basics about photography, while a dedicated iOS photo editing app allows kids to add frames and silly stickers to their photos. There doesn’t seem to be an Android app, however the case itself can be used with Android and Windows phones.

The case’s maximum phone dimensions are 5.59 x 2.95 x 0.374 in / 142 x 75 x 9.5mm, making it suitable for the iPhone 7 and older models, as well as most Android smartphones. The product’s maker, Pixl Toys, is currently seeking funding for Pixlplay on Kickstarter...