The Best Phone Mounting System

The team at Peak Design are back at it and just have a few days left on their Kickstarter campaign for their new product line: Mobile. Peak Design’s designers want to make carrying, placing, and using your mobile device as easy as possible. I received a set of some of the new products for early evaluation and the short of it is, I’ll continue to use and invest in this ecosystem. Like everything from Peak Design, the form and function are given equal value so these items look and work great. I only have some minor and very specific criticisms which won’t apply to all.

No Case for SE

I’ll start with my first gripe: They only made cases for iPhone 11, 12, and Samsung Galaxy S20. I have the SE2 so I’m out of luck (for now) to build from the primary foundation of the system. The case looks amazing and along with the svelte  built in connecter for the various mounts it has a holding finger loop to improve the security of grip. The case also allows for wireless charging when the phone is on one of PD’s charging mounts.

Get in the system

To get into the system with my iPhone SE2, I had to use the Universal Adapter—a sticky rectangle applied to the back of my Torrey Case from Lander. While it’s not as low profile as the Everyday Case itself, it’s just 2.5mm thick and I haven’t had any problems with it catching on a pocket hem or anywhere else. While I haven’t tried to un-stick the adapter from my case, it has not shown any signs that it would detach under normal circumstances.

The Universal Adaptor

A Magnetic Personality

Peak Design calles the connection system to accessories Slimlink. There are two types of mounts on the various stands available: hard and soft. Both types use magnets to guide the phone onto the mount.

The hard-lock includes a male-to-female connecting square with an interlocking beveled system that requires physically squeezing a trigger to release the phone from the stand. The hard-lock system is for more active uses like on a bike, motorcycle, or the Creator Kit (see Kickstarter campaign for details).

The soft mounts just use the magnets to connect the accessories to the phones. Within the soft-mount system there are two kinds: flat and nubbed (my own term). Flat is what it sounds like. The smooth surface of the accessory magnetizes right up to the flat surface of the case or adapter. It should be noted here PD’s magnets are compatible with Apple’s new MagSafe system found on the latest iPhones. Examples of this flat soft mount include the wall mount and wallet.

The nubbed soft connection refers to the recessed square (female end) in the Everyday Case and the Universal Adapter. The tripod and car mount have the male end of the connection but don’t include the hard lock trigger or tabs. This adds a little more security and prevents the phone from rotating on the case. Again, the design of the magnet array sucks the two together without the user needing to make sure it’s all aligned.

The Accessories, Reviewed

In the test kit, Peak Design included accessories using each of the mounting styles. Of the flat soft mount style I tested the Wall Mount and Wallet. The Tripod and Car Mount use the soft nubbed mount and I also received the Out-Front Bike Mount with the hard lock mount.

Wallet & Wall Mount

The Wall Mount is pretty self explanatory and simple in design. That does not diminish the usefulness of this mount however. It’s helpful to be able to stick a phone (or tablet) to the wall at eye level for recipes, DYI instructions, or just to show the album art on Spotify while the music is playing.

The Wallet is more involved, but also awesome. I carry four cards and a few bills. The description claims it will hold seven cards but I found the covering flap magnet has a hard time reaching all the way around and laying flat when it’s that full. Getting to the cards is slick. By opening and lifting the covering flap, the cards are lifted partially out of the case to make it easy to select one to get out and use. It also has a hinge which opens to act as a kickstand in either portrait or landscape orientation.

Car Mount & Tripod

Like the Wall Mount, the Car Mount is pretty simple. It has a strong adhesive base to stick to any flat and smooth surface in the car, including the windshield. It also has an articulating ball head to angle the phone as desired. There will also be a wireless charging version.

The Tripod folds down to about the size and thickness of five credit cards stacked. A small ball joint allows the collapsed legs to fold out and they have rubberized feet to hold on uneven surfaces.

Out-Front Bike Mount

I don’t really use my phone much while I’m riding. But on the rare occasion when I’m riding somewhere new and need directions, this is very helpful. The general functionality of a phone mount on a bike makes sense and there are lots of styles out there. The standout feature of this one from Peak Design is the simplicity and functionality of the lock to keep the phone from bouncing off when the trail gets rough. At first I thought I had to depress both triggers on either side of the mount, by reaching all the way around the phone. But it just needs to be released from one side and the phone comes right off. Brilliant.

It’s true, I’ve been a big fan of Peak Design since they launched with their Capture Clip in 2011 and the incredibly functional and useful bags and other photography accessories they have since released. This mobile line rings true to those standards and it’s just a matter of time before everybody is in. Jump on the Kickstarter pricing (which has already blown past their goal) before Thursday 17 December.

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