I am a very, very big fan of Peak Design products. I use and abuse a everyday backpack, Slingand travel tripod, and I couldn’t imagine covering events for our site without them – at least, back when we had tech events. As a borderline fanboy, I was pretty excited to test out the company’s next suite of magnetic-mount mobile accessories. It’s a promising system, but some of the pre-production hardware we were able to check out could use a little more work.
Once again, I would like to repeat: all the accessories that Peak Design sent us were pre-production models, many of which will change before release. We withhold final judgment to see how some of these changes make a difference.
Peak Design’s new “Mobile” accessories (yes, that’s the name of the series) will include cases designed for the iPhone 11, 12, and Galaxy S20 series of phones. While the case that was sent to us to test out the various mount attachments was for an iPhone 11 (which I don’t have), there is also an adhesive-backed “universal adapter” that you can apply to any what box.
On that note, you have to be a little careful choosing a case to launch this universal adapter. Unless it’s a hard case or “hybrid” case, any cables in the case itself could cause the adapter to jump. Using it on a very flexible case like the Pela Pixel 4a 5g case caused it to come loose quite easily when flexed – which can happen just by removing these types of cases from your phone without being very careful. The final version of the actual cases will also include a revamped magnet configuration to support Apple’s MagSafe on supported devices.
The mount for Peak Design’s various accessories is magnetic, highlighted by a square insert for alignment, although some accessories don’t actually use it. There was a little more play in the mechanism of some accessories than I would have liked (an issue Peak Design is aware of), and the magnet strength varies. To complement this, some mounts like the Bike Mount Pro have a spring mechanism that attaches more securely. These sturdier mounts are much stronger, which leaves me with confidence that your phone won’t come out of this socket on the road.
The legs are made of rubber for better grip on more types of surfaces.
Given Peak Design’s usual photography-focused audience, one of the most popular accessories for this system is bound to be the mobile tripod, and I’m not sure it delivers the experience I expect from the Mark. I have two major complaints: the magnetic mount on the pre-production model has too much play and fits a bit too loosely, and in practice the tripod isn’t as adjustable as I hoped or expected. was expecting it.
This first issue is something the company is aware of, and the final model won’t even use the square insert that this version does – sounds to me like this might make the issue worse, as it won’t have the insert at keep it in place, but the company says it will be a better solution.
My second problem probably can’t be solved without a more substantial overhaul. Mechanically, the mobile tripod is just a set of three legs that pivot from a plate into position under the phone, secured by a small ball-head mount. All parts have almost perfectly tuned resistance, but it’s a simple design that offers limited positions and doesn’t have a wide enough stance to compensate for the weight of larger phones at the limits of those positions. I think I would prefer the legs to be a bit longer for a lower center of gravity, and paired with a bit more height the tripod could be used in a wider variety of positions.
In my opinion, the mobile tripod is easily the flagship accessory of the new range, but the design needs a bit more work before it’s ready. While there are a few nice touches, like the nifty built-in magnetic hex key for tightening the legs, it’s otherwise not up to the legitimately impeccable standards I’ve come to expect from Peak Design, and I hope the version final will be up to par.
Other mounts like car and bike mounts work great, however, with no corner issues that I can see. The car mount isn’t spring-loaded like the bike mount, but it’s so strong that I can’t imagine a phone would fly unless there was a major accident – then you probably have biggest concerns. The same goes for the wall mount, which is more than sturdy enough to hold a phone vertically (or even upside down), although it could be a little thinner for a more flush feel.
More accessories are also planned, although we couldn’t get our hands on any of the expanded range.
|Product||MSRP (USD)||Presale discount (Kickstarter)|
|Front bike rack||$59.95||$50|
|Universal bike stand||$49.95||$40|
|Mobile Creator Kit||$39.95||$32|
|Wall bracket (pack of 2)||$29.95||$16|
|charging car holder||$69.95||$58|
|motorcycle bar bracket||$69.95||$58|
|motorcycle rod holder||$69.95||$58|
|Wireless charging stand||$89.95||$72|
Pricing details – with and without the crowdfunding discount.
Customers who are heavily invested in Peak Design’s ecosystem might be interested in giving this new set of phone accessories a shot, regardless of our initial feelings, as the company is sure to offer more integrations over time. time with the rest of its product line. But it’s worth remembering that Peak Design products are expensive, and that’s the case here too. As usual for the company, Peak Design starts sales with a slight discount through Kickstarter. The full accessory suite is $332, and that’s with savings from crowdfunding. However, the company managed to raise $1.75 million from tens of thousands of individual pledges, so people are clearly interested. But there is one final caveat to consider.
As we mentioned before, Peak Design only promises to make cases for iPhone 11, 12 and Galaxy S20 series. Again, you can use the universal adapter on any phone, but the actual cases will definitely provide a better and slimmer experience. We’re told that Peak Design has no plans to support any other devices until its Kickstarter completion. However, the company will re-evaluate support for other Android devices once its ecosystem of accessories is up and running.
While I like the Peak Design stuff, maybe this is a case where I would encourage people to wait for the products to materialize first.
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