BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Beyond reviews, our team aims to provide you with useful, compelling, and fun how-to guides, gift ideas, and deep dives into trendy products consumers like you love. Here are our latest articles.
August 10, 2022  |  Electronics

Is this trendy pocket microscope the summer gadget you didn't know you needed?

A pair of strong binoculars brings far-away objects much closer, letting you examine them from a safe distance. But there is an entirely different world when you look closely at the smallest creatures on the planet. 

Best Carson MicroBrite Plus Pocket Microscope

One of the best ways to learn about the nearly invisible world around you is with the trendy Carson MicroBrite Plus Pocket Microscope. It has 60 to 120 times magnification and a built-in LED light to see samples clearly, and it uses an aspheric internal lens system.

What you need to know


Just like with binoculars and telescopes, magnification indicates how clearly you can see objects. But where a telescope brings faraway planets into a better view, a microscope effectively enlarges whatever is in front of the lens.

The magnification can vary on different microscopes, but the most common is 60 to 120 times. To calculate the magnification, multiply the strength of the eyepiece with the objective. For example, if a microscope has a 10 times eyepiece and a four times objective, the magnification is 40 times. You increase the magnification by swapping the eyepieces and changing the focal length.

Field of view

As with most optical devices, the field of view is how much of an area you can see. When you look through the microscope's eyepiece, the illuminated area is the field of view. The closer the focal range is, the smaller the field of view. Essentially, the more you zoom in, the less of the entire object you’ll see at once. Microscopes with a large field of view let you see more surface area without moving the slide.


Q. Can you see germs with a pocket microscope?

A. No. Pocket microscopes don’t have powerful enough magnification. You’ll need a high-powered microscope with a magnification of at least 1,200 times to see germs.

Q. What is an aspherical lens on a microscope?

A. To ensure what you are looking at isn’t distorted, aspherical lenses are thinner, flatter and even more curved. When light enters a normal glass lens, it does so at a flat angle, leading to a converging point that causes distortion. Light entering an aspherical lens converges simultaneously, producing a distortion-free image.

Q. Can you take photos through a pocket microscope?

A. Yes, but it also depends on the microscope’s eyepiece. If it is large enough, you can simply hold your phone’s camera lens over it and take a photo. Depending on the brand, there are several attachments that help with that. If all else fails, get a small tripod that can grip your phone and keep it steady over the eyepiece.  

What you need to buy for a pocket microscope

Best Microscope Case for Carson MicroFlip

Microscope Case for Carson MicroFlip

Protecting your pocket microscope is the key to it working for a long time. This handy carrying case has a flexible strap in the main compartment to prevent the microscope from shifting. There is an additional pocket in the lid to store slides, cables or batteries. It closes with a zipper.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Carson Clip n'Clean All-in-One Cleaning Kit

Carson Clip n'Clean All-in-One Cleaning Kit

It is important to keep all the equipment as clean as possible when working with samples. This kit is an excellent tool for that, as it includes a two-sided microfiber cleaning cloth and ammonia-free cleaning solution in a spray bottle. Everything is stored in a plastic container with a clip at the top.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Vabiooth 150 Pieces Rounded Edge Microscope Slides Kit

Vabiooth 150 Pieces Rounded Edge Microscope Slides Kit

These blank slides are the perfect tool for collecting and viewing samples. They have rounded edges and are pre-cleaned and shipped in bubble bag packaging. The pack comprises 50 slides and 100 square glass covers to press down on samples. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best AmScope 25-piece Prepared Microscope Slide Set for Basic Biological Science Education

AmScope 25-Piece Prepared Microscope Slide Set for Basic Biological Science Education

Kept safe in a sturdy wooden box, this set of 25 prepared slides includes plant, insect and animal tissue samples with microscopic viewing. Each slide has rounded corners for safety, and it comes with labels for easy identification. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best National Geographic Mega Biology Set Of Prepared Microscope Slideszer Guru Pointed Tweezers

National Geographic Mega Biology Set of Prepared Microscope Slides

You can learn a lot from this large slide collection of biological materials. The 25 slides are kept safe in a wooden box and include small samples of muscle and nerve cells, mold, algae, arteries and plant stoma. It comes with an informational booklet that explains where each sample comes from and its function.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Carson Pocket Micro 20 times-60 times LED Lighted Zoom Field Microscope

Carson Pocket Micro 20 Times-60 Times LED Lighted Zoom Field Microscope

Compact and easy to use, this pocket microscope has a magnification range of 20 to 60 times. It has a built-in LED light so that you can see specimens clearly, and it uses an aspheric lens system. It’s large enough to view bugs, coins and organic matter clearly. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Rs' Science All-in-One Microscope Slide Preparation Kit

Rs' Science All-in-One Microscope Slide Preparation Kit

This kit includes everything you’ll need to prepare your own slides for viewing them under a microscope. It contains surgical gloves, several cotton swabs, two pipettes, a petri dish, two clear test tubes, plastic tweezers and a dissecting needle. It also comes with a small bottle of Eosin Y solution to examine human tissue, cells or fluid.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Microscope Lens Cellphone Adapter

Microscope Lens Cellphone Adapter

This adapter for your mobile phone is compatible with microscopes with a 23.2-millimeter optical tube or 23.2mm eyepiece barrel. It has a built-in 16 times eyepiece and is suitable for most mobile phone models.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews. 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals. 

Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.