Available from: Argos
The LuMee is a selife case with a difference, allowing social media aficionados the ability to take the perfect snap thanks to built-in strip lighting.
Front facing cameras rarely take flattering photographs. The combination of bad lighting and a wide-angle lens which distorts facial features usually results in something that you don’t really want to post on social media. For the majority of us that’s not much of a concern, however there exists a certain group who demand those perfect selfies. Enter the LuMee, which aims to fix a common lighting problem by offering a case which takes inspiration from the humble make-up mirror. Invented in 2011 by Jersey-based professional photographer Allan Shoemake, it’s been through several prototype stages. The final product which we have in our hands has been endorsed by people such as Oprah and Kim Kardashian West… so it must be good right?
Taking it out of the box, things are pretty simple. You get a case and a USB cable for charging purposes. Fully illuminated, the lights will last for around 2 hours of continuous use. A button on the back controls brightness levels. You hit it once to get full brightness, while a long hold of the button will slowly dim things until you’re happy with the amount of sparkle in your photographs. The model we got was for an Apple iPhone 6/6s and unfortunately, we had an iPhone 7. We managed to make it fit and, aside from alignment issues on the rear sensor, put it through a test spin with various faces around the office.
Considering I’m the type of person who doesn’t really care much for the ‘ultimate selfie’, I handed it to the only girl in our office and asked for her opinion. Her reaction wasn’t exactly stellar. She seemed to be a little freaked out by the amount of light it emits, though a demonstration of how to dim the levels reassured her confidence a little. Handing it over to the guys, they got busy snapping themselves in a multitude of silly facial expressions. The general consensus was that it worked, but it felt a little unnecessary. Putting it side-by-side with a conventional flash which uses the panel showed a definite difference, with a more evenly lit face that accentuates features better.
So why didn’t it quite get four stars? Protection. Despite being very cheap and genuinely useful as a selfie enhancer, it feels like a plastic slab. We expect phone cases to protect our devices, but the LuMee is encased in a slim plastic body that feels incredibly fragile. Dropping it on the floor made us cringe and we definitely wouldn’t trust a smartphone inside.
The LuMee is an excellent idea that offers the ability to take much better selfies but unfortunately, it doesn’t offer the protection needed to really recommend it as a solid case.