Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Review: Skybase 50-1000x Wi-Fi Microscope | Low Cost, Solid Performance

I added the Skybasic 50X-1000X Wi-Fi Microscope to my Amazon Wishlist for both practical and creative purposes. On the practical side, I wanted to use it to help identify and solder tiny electrical components. On the creative side, I'm always looking for novel photography ideas, and I thought the scope would give me a unique way to capture the world around me.

My parents bought me the Skybasic for Channukah (thanks Mom & Dad!) and I was eager to play with it.

I unboxed the device, turned it on and installed and launched Max-See, the companion app. The app had me connect to the microscope via Wi-Fi and in a few moments, I had an image on my screen. In terms of setup, I was impressed: the device and app more or less worked flawlessly out of the box.

After a bit of adjusting the focus / zoom and positioning the scope, I captured this image:

That red smudge is one of these dots:

While hardly great art, it does give a sense of how zoomed in one can get using the device. The Amazon description for a device like this is always hyperbole. There's no way a $40 device is capable of the 1000x high def view that the description promises. But, it's certainly significantly more zoomed in than my Galaxy S22+ can do on its own. The app is easy to use and the images are more than adequate. Sure, there are limitations in the magnification, focusing and depth of field. And because the wireless connection works over Wi-Fi, you can't access the web when you're using the microscope. But for $40, it's hard to argue with any of this.

Over the last couple of days Shira and I have been cataloging jewelry that were part of her parent's estate. I found the Skybasic to be surprisingly functional in helping us learn about and capture the details of a number of pieces. Here are some examples of my S22 vs. the scope:

In these examples, the zoomed in view is sort of nice to have. We could probably have discovered the same markings by digitally zooming in on the cell phone images. But that's not the case on this Lucien Piccard watch. The cell phone's shot makes it appear as though the back has no markings, while the Skybasic clearly shows the model number and 14 caret gold stamp.

I have to say, I'm impressed by what this budget microscope can do. I expected it to be a novelty, but it's already proven its worth as a functional tool. Sure, I'm excited to take this on my next hike to try capturing some interesting field pics. And I'm eager to have my nieces and nephews play with this, to let them experience a unique point of view. But it's already earned a spot in our kitchen's utility drawer for doing quick, close up inspections. And for that, it's already a winner.

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