- Buyer's Guide
Mobile By Peak Design: Bringing Stability to a Dynamic Tool
For their tenth Kickstarter, the team at Peak Design is focusing on the one camera they can be sure every person has – their smartphones. With Mobile, they are introducing a whole ecosystem to make your phone “a better tool”. Let’s dive in and see what this means.
The secret sauce to Mobile is obviously: magnets. Peak Design uses a magnet array placed at four corners of a zirconia ceramic ring (really more of a square). This allows the phone to attach to a variety of accessories and mounts. The ceramic ring gives it a stable mating surface and assures the two pieces home in on each other, while the magnets assure the pieces stay attached.
The magnets are at their strongest perpendicular to the plane of the phone so pulling it straight out gives the most resistance while levering the accessory, or rolling it sideways means an easy release.
But what happens when you want to make sure the mount doesn’t come loose?
SlimLink: Dual Mechanisms
Mobile actually has two types of locks. The first, what I described above, is called soft-lock and it relies strictly on the magnets for security. However, there is also a hard-lock option that uses mechanical claws (think: tabs) that position in the ceramic ring. Examples of accessories with hard-lock include both bike and motorcycle mounts and the Creator Kit.
Mounting Options Galore
I described Mobile by Peak Design as an ecosystem and it’s truly staggering the products and solutions they’ve created. For starters, you’ll need to get their case or the Universal Adapter if your phone isn’t one of the ones supported at launch. Right now that’s iPhone 11, 12, and the Samsung S20.
Once you have the case, you can pick your poison. For cyclists, there’s an Out-Front mount that keeps your phone forward of your stem. There’s also a Universal Bike Mount that keeps it on your bars. Similarly, motorcycle owners can mount their phone on their stem for a low and centered approach, or on their bars.
Drivers have access to two mounts (one with a built-in charger and the other without). These attach with 3M VHB tape and have articulating ball heads. Speaking of adhesive backs, the Wall Mount means catching up on last night’s sports scores while you shave in the morning, or referencing a recipe while cooking dinner, is just a glance away.
There are a few fun accessories as well like the Mobile Tripod and Wireless Charging Stand. Be sure to check the campaign to see the full list.
Clean Design, Built To Last
In some ways, the way Mobile is constructed is the opposite of the Everyday Bags we’ve come to know Peak Design for recently. The bags were mostly soft goods with some small details of in-house custom-designed hardware bits. Mobile is primarily hardware but the Everyday Case is where Peak got to flex their material and soft-goods design muscles and they didn’t disappoint. It’s thin at 2.4mm with full drop protection and is covered in a weatherproof nylon canvas that is Bluesign certified. It has a slight texture to it and a soft touch which is really a joy to use compared to a plastic or even leather case. You’ll also find this material in the Kickstand Wallet which features a hinge to let you prop up your phone for those important Zoom calls, while holding seven cards.
Peak Design has really pulled out all the stops here. They created an auto-aligning magnetic connection mechanism that allows your phone to effortlessly be used in a variety of situations where you need it. You are already using your phone on your bike, in your car, and by your bedside. I’ve always felt that in each scenario, there’s always a compromise. The phone doesn’t quite prop up in a stable way or the car mount loses suction right as you are exiting into an unfamiliar town. By having a simple and secure mount and a cohesive collection of mounts and accessories that just work, you can continue using your phone, in the way you want, without it feeling like half a solution.
Mobile by Peak Design is on Kickstarter and runs to December 7, 2020.