Peak Design is best known for their camera and travel bags. In Fall 2020, they launched a kickstarter campaign for a line of products geared towards content creators and mobile users in general. Called simply “Mobile”, this line of product was delayed thanks to the global pandemic and Apple’s launch of their MagSafe accessories. The product line is now globally available, and I have been testing several of its components for a few months, long enough to form a solid opinion.
Mobile Case and Adapter
The lineup hinges around mobile phones. As such, the company offers a line of mobile phone case, currently available for a number of Samsung, Google and Apple products. For every phone without a compatible case (including mine), the company proposes what they call the Universal Adapter. This is a square which attaches to the back of any rigid phone case (silicone is not recommended).
The adapter comes with a guide to properly line it up. As it is moderately thin, the Universal Adapter does not prevent wireless charging. I verified with Peak Design’s chargers (see below), but also with four different models of wireless chargers from four suppliers; charging was identical with and without the adapter. The company does recommend confirming compatibility beforehand; this can be done by placing the adapter on the phone without attaching it.
The adapter, and the phone cases, come in Peak Design’s classical charcoal color, and are covered with fabric. This is a nice departure from typical phone cases.
Bernard Dery | Light And Matter Peak Design Universal Adapter
The cases and adapter have a square recess edged with ceramic called SlimLink. Magnets are concealed around this recess. Together, these two elements allow the phone to be connected with the mounts and other accessories in the Mobile line. Thanks to the square shape, in all cases a phone can be connected to an accessory in portrait or landscape orientation.
As a side note, I have successfully attached my phone to many other metallic surfaces: fridge, dishwasher (in the interest of science), metal desk, tool box. The adhesion is strong in all cases.
One of the simplest elements of Mobile’s lineup is the Wall Mount. A simple rounded square covered with fabric, it can be placed anywhere and holds the phone in place. Useful in a kitchen, workshop, maybe over the bathroom sink? It is a simple and convenient accessory. It has a nice thickness to it. It is available in charcoal and off-white.
The wallet comes in two versions: Slim or Stand. I have the Stand. Both are identical except for a hinge on the Stand, which lets the wallet act as a phone stand for selfies, video calls, or just to hold up the phone on a desk. The hinge has good friction and doesn’t move on its own.
Even with the hinge, the wallet is very slim. It will bear up to 7 credit cards, as well as folded bills, but not coins. A flap, held closed by magnets, prevents spills. Pulling on this flap gets the cards out of the wallet for easy access. To put them back, simply push on the cards.
The wallet is made of the same fabric as the case, and can be kept attached at all times, to carry the phone and wallet together.
This is a simple, but well-made product. I personally have been using a slim wallet for a few years, and the jury is still out whether I prefer my older Secrid to the Peak Design, but it’s clear that the latter is excellent for a minimalist, but multi-purpose, wallet.
The tripod folds down to a surprisingly slim form factor, only a bit thicker at the bottom end. One of its faces is covered by rubber-like material to protect the phone. The other side is full metal and shows the folding legs.
Unfolding the legs turns it into a full-fledged phone tripod. Friction is excellent, holding the phone in place but allowing easy adjustments. The tips of the legs are coated in grippy material. The phone can be mounted horizontally or vertically.
A tiny hex tool, held in place by (of course) a magnet, is stored on the rear leg and can adjust the tension of the “head” as needed.
Just like the wallet, the tripod can remain attached at all times. It doesn’t adds much bulk but does increase the weight. It fits well with my Universal Adapter, but will sit completely flush on a full case.
Made entirely of metal, the Out Front mount is leagues above inexpensive clamping mounts found on internet stores. Its attachment is secured with a hex screw, much more robust than a thumb screw (you CAN use the supplied thumb screw, but I find this less secure in general). There are adapters to fit various bar diameters. I had no trouble fixing it on my hybrid urban bike.
The accessories listed so far only use magnets to hold the phone. The Out Front mount does use magnets, but also the square recess in the center. Sturdy spring-loaded tabs completely lock the phone in place in portrait or landscape. The magnets guide the phone and add a level of security, but the tabs do the bulk of the work. There are buttons on both sides of the mount; pressing either is sufficient to release the phone.
I tested the mount on smooth and damaged paved roads, dirt, gravel. At no time did I feel that the mount was unsafe. I don’t do mountain biking but there are numerous reports of bikers using the Out Front mount this way with confidence.
The mount comes with an accessory to attach an action camera or light underneath it. It is also possible to orient the mount vertically on the handlebar, to record videos. Last, the mount can be oriented towards the back of the bike, freeing up space for a bike computer.
Bernard Dery | Light And Matter Peak Design Up Front bike mount
The Out Front bike mount is a close second in my list of favorite accessories. It has no flaws, and its small size coupled with the slim figure of the case make it more compact than competing systems.
For those unable to attach the Out Front mount to their bike, or wishing to attach their phone to a stroller, cart, scooter, or any other type of bar, the go-to option is the Universal Bar mount. This mount uses the same phone attachment system as the Out Front and is just as secure. The difference resides in the bar attachment system. The Universal mount uses a thick silicone band and a metal hook. As such it can adapt to thicker bars, or even irregular shapes. I have used it on tripod legs and, with some success, on the shoulder straps of a backpack.
The Universal mount presents one advantage (other than its versatility). The mounting square can rotate and be adjusted at any angle, with solid clicks to hold it at the desired orientation.
The silicone band is extremely robust, and the attachment hook is also sturdier than usual. The extra length of silicone folds back and attaches with an extra hook so it doesn’t get in the way.
This mount won’t move easily, but the Out Front mount is more robust thanks to its screw. The silicone band on the Universal Mount should be secure enough, but the Out Front inspire a bit more confidence.
The picture above shows the only problem I experienced with any Mobile element. On my first Universal mount, one of the two locking pins is stuck inside the mount. I raised this issue with Peak Design and got a replacement within a few days (I was advised not to try and fix it myself). I thoroughly tested the springs on this new mount and my Out Front, and have confidence that I was unlucky this one time. The damaged mount would still serve on a stroller or any bar not subjected to strong vibrations.
The stand is made of aluminum and has a hinge to fold it flat or tilt it. It is heavy and stays in place when pulling off the phone. This is not a wireless charger that I would bring when traveling, as it is compact but heavy.
The charging stand comes with a USB-C cable, and the company sells an optional 20W wall brick. It works with lower power bricks, albeit with lower charging power too.
It will not charge if extra accessories, such as the tripod, are attached. It does, however, charge perfectly well with the thicker Universal Adapter.
Bernard Dery | Light And Matter Peak Design Wireless Charger
The stand also charges more than just phones. For instance, my Galaxy Buds 2 are compatible, and even stay in place via the magnets, if I offset them a bit from the center. I was not able to test other wireless earbuds.
There is no shortage of car mounts on the market. The Peak Design version is interesting mainly because it integrates with the Mobile system. Thanks to magnets, it does not require a clamp or claw to hold the phone in place. It can be tilted and oriented easily, but still allows the phone to be removed one-handed.
There are two versions: one without charging capabilities, and one including a wireless charger with performances identical to the charging stand. The form factor is similar except for the USB-C port at the bottom.
I had no problems attaching the mount to my old Jeep. The logical location means that the phone covers the center vents when placed horizontally, but leaves them free when placed in portrait orientation.
This mount is a vast improvement over the clamping mount I used before. Again, it’s a matter of convenience The phone attaches with a satisfying “pop” and is removed easily.
I did not purchase all of the existing accessories. Missing items from this list include two motorcycle mounts, and a creator kit to mount a cell phone on a tripod or Capture Clip. The latter is particularly useful to document events on the go while keeping the hands free.
It would be easy to think “this is just a cell phone case”, or “this is just a charger”. In a way that’s true. There are no shortages of excellent cases and chargers on the market.
As with everything from Peak Design, the interest lies in the attention to details, and how components fit together to make a better whole.
The magnetic attachment system is not very different from Apple’s Magsafe, although it is stronger. The case and Adapter do allow other phones to benefit from a system comparable to MagSafe, but that might not be enough to justify a product line.
The SlimLink attachment system, which allows extremely secure mounting, is what makes the system stand apart. This design is thinner than anything else on the market, while being just as solid. Currently, only the bike, motorcycle mounts and creator kit take advantage of it, mainly because the other elements don’t need it and can make do with magnets alone. I hope Peak Design with find new ways to take advantage of their excellent system.
The number of elements and accessories in the Mobile line should cater to most users.
The main issue I have with the Mobile line is the price. The case is more expensive than a traditional phone case, but not overly so. However, adding accessories quickly builds a significant bill. The good news is that the Mobile line will likely be around for a long while, and accessories will remain usable even when you change your phone. They are covered with the company’s lifetime warranty. Still, picking up only the accessories really needed will be preferable. For instance, selecting the Stand Wallet instead of the Slim Wallet plus Tripod could lower the total cost of ownership, and be sufficient on many occasions.
What I like best about the Mobile line is how seamlessly it all integrates. I can switch from my desk to my car, use the tripod, ride my bike, all without fuss. It is, at its core, convenient.
With its Mobile line, Peak Design entered the crowded cell phone accessories market with a splash, despite significant delays. These products are expensive, as are most of their other bags, but also high-quality, in several ways innovative, and certainly high-quality. I already purchased a backup Universal Adapter and hope that, when I have to change, my next phone will be on the list of supported models for a full case.
Peak Design’s Mobile line can be purchased directly from the Peak Design website, but of course they can also be found on Amazon and at popular photography retailers like B&H Photo.
You can help support Light & Matter by buying Peak Design products through the links on this page. We NEVER provide positive reviews in exchange for financial considerations, and our reviews are as honest and unbiased as we can possibly make them.Peak Design had no input or influence.
Reader Rating1 Vote
High quality, durable and with a lifetime warranty
Combination of quick magnetic and robust SlimLink attachments
System integrates well together
Covers most mobile needs
Not many phone models directly supported (Universal Adapter partially solves this)
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