Peak Design, a leader in photography accessories, has jumped into the smartphone space, and its first product, Mobile, knocks it out of the park.
Mobile is a comprehensive set of products that matches the ways people use phones. We use cases for protection, car mounts for hands-free driving, and we prop them up against things for video calls, watching YouTube, and reading stories.
Peak Design created a product for every practical way we use our phones and even a few extras.
In short: Mobile is a solid product I didn’t know I needed until I used it. With the case or Universal Adapter (see more below) everyone can use it. As expected with Peak Design, the mounts are elegant, surprisingly functional, and well-designed. Even if you already have a phone case and mount, I’d say it’s worth switching to Mobile — it’s a worthy upgrade.
To date, Mobile has over 9,000 backers and has raised $1.67 million. The campaign and early-bird prices end on Dec 17.
Peak Design Mobile Review
The beauty of Mobile comes from simple, effective magnets. The magnetic slot on the case/adapter and all the mounts work vertically and horizontally. You just rotate your phone 90 degrees and it clicks in. The magnet is strong enough to hold yet not so strong that it’s difficult to remove from the other accessories.
This design feature gives it that why-didn’t-we-think-of-this-earlier feeling, and it makes this product stand out.
The Everyday Case is the marquee product in the Mobile line. It’s like your existing phone case but better, as it has a magnetic slot that allows it to attach to all kinds of rad mounts. And it has a “loop” option that has a loop for your finger to prevent the phone from slipping out of your hands.
For this initial launch, the Everyday Case is available for the following phones: iPhone12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11, Samsung S20, Samsung S20 Ultra, Samsung S20+.
Don’t worry — if your phone isn’t on the list, you’re not out of luck. Check out the Universal Adapter below.
Full disclosure, I have an iPhone X, so I wasn’t able to test the Everyday Case. It looks awesome, and, based on the other products in the line, I expect that it’s dialed. When I upgrade my phone, I will most definitely be getting the Everyday Case.
Mobile Universal Adapter
The Universal Adapter is for those who already have a phone case they love but still want the benefits of the Mobile products. I’ve been testing the pre-production Universal Adapter for 5 weeks now for this review.
At first, the installation was a little intimidating because I wanted it to line up and be perfectly centered. It comes with a cardboard tool that makes the application straightforward. Be warned that the adhesive is super sticky, so once you touch it to your phone case, there’s no moving or nudging it at all. In the end, I didn’t get it perfectly straight, but it doesn’t affect performance at all.
Initially, I wasn’t excited about adding extra weight or thickness to the back of my phone, but the adapter is quite small. I notice it, but not in a bad way. My phone still lays flat, and the little slot on the back actually gives my finger a place to grip if I’m not using the Tripod. Note that the final production model appears to be slightly larger than the unit I tested.
I try to clean my phone every few days, and it’s held up well through cleaning wipes and sprays.
I use the Tripod every day, and I absolutely love it. If I could choose only one phone accessory, this would be it. The Tripod is the thing I never knew I needed. Before, I would try to prop up my phone against random things around the house to watch videos or balance it on a rock for photos. Now, I have the tiny Mobile Tripod with me all the time, and life is good.
You can position the legs of the Tripod in a few different ways, and the ball joint allows you to adjust the angle of your phone. Again, you can use your phone vertically or horizontally with the Tripod. I can’t stress how nice this is and how easy it is to flip.
As a bonus, if you position all of the legs of the Tripod straight down, it doubles as a selfie stick/handgrip, which comes in handy for photos and videos. Plus, unfolding and refolding the legs has a smooth and satisfying feeling that you won’t understand until you try it. I find myself playing with it, almost as a fidget, during the workday.
Hands-free driving is essential — and the law in most states. I installed the Car Mount in my Jeep and have used it in both warm to cold weather. I didn’t have a smooth, flat surface as the brand recommended, so I mounted it to the leather-like material of my dash. It does have a small amount of texture, but so far it has held strong. If that changes, I will update this review.
I like the dash mount much better than the phone-holders that clip to air vents or the ones that sit in cupholders. The magnet locks the phone in place and makes it easy to grab as you exit the vehicle. And, you guessed it, you can mount your phone horizontally, which seems unique compared to other car mounts.
Out-Front Bike Mount
I don’t typically mount my phone to my mountain bike, but I wanted to give it a true test on rugged trails. The Out-Front Bike Mount adds a button to the magnet system to hold it in place. I logged 20-plus miles of singletrack and gravel riding with the mount, and it was very secure. I had no issues.
Having a phone on your bars seems better suited for commuting or biking when you need a screen to help navigate. There are ways to use the mount with your phone and a GoPro or a bike computer, which is a great option for those who want it.
The Wall Mount is a great option for a workbench, kitchen, even your bathroom. For example, you could use it to glance at recipes as you cook in the kitchen. The downside is that you can’t move it like the Tripod, so make sure you pick a spot where you know you’ll spend a fair amount of time.
Because the Case and Universal Adapter are magnetic, you might be able to stick it to random things around the house.
There are also a few other mounts in the lineup, as well as a Kickstand Wallet. Check them all out on the Kickstarter page. If you want early-bird prices, be sure to back the project before it ends on Dec 17.