Bottom line: For those with an iPhone 12 model, you'll probably want to wait for MagSafe-compatible accessories. For everyone else, this brings the promise of MagSafe to the masses.
Magnets are really strong
A growing range of compatible accessories
Mobile Tripod is slim and convenient
Universal adapter does not work with all phone case materials
Adhesive on Car Mount not compatible with some car dashboards
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When Apple announced the iPhone 12 and its resurrection of MagSafe, a lot of people were really excited to see what kind of accessories would roll out from third-party manufacturers. That rollout has been slow, to say the least. In the meantime, Peak Design is readying the launch of their own MagSafe-like accessory ecosystem that also uses magnets to secure your phone to a wide range of accessories that it has designed.
While some may continue to wait for MagSafe-compatible accessories coming from brands like Moment, many will find that Mobile by Peak Design (opens in new tab) is just as elegant and is designed for certain use cases that don't even exist in the MagSafe world. It is an accessory ecosystem that will be especially beneficial for those without an iPhone 12, as well as everyone on Android.
Mobile by Peak Design: What I like
The Everyday Case is the bedrock that makes all of the other accessories in Mobile by Peak Design's collection possible. It has the adapter built into the back of the case that makes connecting your phone to the entire lineup of accessories a breeze. Despite the mount being built into the case, it is surprisingly slim. It is also really light and the feel of the fabric covering the back is a nice departure from the usual plastic and silicone cases. It also includes a protective bumper that wraps around the case.
After the Everyday Case, the Mobile Tripod was my favorite accessory in the lineup. It feels very sturdy yet incredibly light. It's also very slim so you could keep it attached to your phone or case and always have a tripod with you. I can see the tripod becoming a great tool for mobile filmmakers and photographers who could now travel with a tripod right in their pocket.
A couple of other accessories that I really enjoyed were the Wall Mount, the Bike Mount Pro, and the Kickstand Wallet. The Wall Mount is by far the most understated accessory in the collection, but I see creators finding interesting ways to mount their phones to get shots usually only possible with expensive rigs. My phone felt incredibly secure in the Bike Mount Pro because of its addition of a built-in clamp in on top of the magnet. The concept of the Kickstand Wallet also impressed me with its satisfying fabric, ability to hold more cards than the MagSafe wallet, and how it's able to serve as a built-in stand for the iPhone.
Mobile by Peak Design: What I don't like
I did have a couple of lackluster experiences with two of Peak Design's new mobile accessories. The first was with the Universal Adapter, which sells itself as a way to use any phone or case with its accessory ecosystem. While the strength of the magnet that connects it to the other accessories was incredibly strong, the adhesive that attached the adapter to my case kept peeling off. I talked to Peak Design about this and they said that it works best with a hardbacked polycarbonate case, so keep that in mind when considering the adapter versus the Everyday Case which has everything built-in.
The other issue I had was with the Car Mount, which uses Magnets and adhesive to mount your phone in your car instead of clipping a mount on to your air vent or using a suction cup to attach to the windshield. While it's a great idea, in theory, I ran into trouble again with the adhesive and was unable to keep it attached with my iPhone 12 Pro mounted onto it. I'm not sure if it was the material of my dashboard, the surface area of the accessory, or the strength of the adhesive, but this one did not work out for me.
There really isn't much competition for Mobile By Peak Design yet. However, other companies are creating ecosystems built around Apple's MagSafe technology. One company that comes to mind is Moment, a brand popular for its iPhone-focused photography and videography lenses and accessories.
The company is building a line of MagSafe mounts and cases for the iPhone 12 lineup (opens in new tab). While Peak Design and Moment both offer different mounts for different use cases, it will be interesting to see if iPhone 12 owners opt for Peak Design's ecosystem or something like Moment's, which works directly with Apple's MagSafe technology.
Mobile by Peak Design: Should you buy?
You should buy this if ...
You don't own an iPhone 12
If you want to buy into a mobile-focused ecosystem that uses magnets and you don't have an iPhone 12, Mobile by Peak Design is currently the only premium option out there.
You want a wide range of accessories
Mobile by Peak Design really looks to cover a bunch of use cases, offering mounts for commuting, working, and doing creative work.
You should not buy this if ...
You own an iPhone 12
While Peak Design's ecosystem and magnet technology is stellar, other companies like Moment are building similar accessory ecosystems that work with MagSafe
Peak Design doesn't offer a case for your phone
While the company does offer a universal adapter to make its ecosystem work with any phone or case, be very cautious about what materials it will work well with.
Overall, I'm really impressed with the Mobile by Peak Design lineup. It feels like what MagSafe could be for the iPhone 12 but has not had the buy-in from third-party accessory makers just yet. There are some brands like Moment that will be releasing similar accessories but that work with MagSafe rather than a propriety connection like Peak Design's collection. I wonder if there is room for third party ecosystems or if something like this is hitting the market too late.
If you're wondering what kind of MagSafe accessories exist already, check out some of the other best MagSafe accessories.
As noted by the company, all of the accessories that they sent over are preproduction units, so some of the criticisms I've written about are being actively taken into consideration and may be changed by its release date. That said, most iPhones and all Android phones do not yet have MagSafe and, for all of those users, Mobile by Peak Design brings the magic of MagSafe to all phones.
Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.
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