After a steady stream of successful product launches and Kickstarter Campaigns, Peak Design is back with a new – Mobile from Peak Design. The startup, which has created a rich ecosystem of photography and packaging equipment, is next looking at mobile devices and has devices with a clever interconnection system that appears to have anticipated Apple’s new MagSafe Magnetic Scheme accessory scheme – but that for all smartphones and mobile devices.
Similar to Peak Design’s capture, anchor and mounting plate system, Mobile by Peak Design offers the ability to connect smartphones to all kinds of accessories including tripods, car mounts, charging stands, bicycle handlebars and much more. The system is entered through Peak’s so-called “SlimLink” port, which is a clever combination of magnetic and physical mounting receivers that you can attach to your phone using either special cases or a universal sticky-backed accessory. SlimLink then works with both softlock and hardlock accessories, which use either magnets only (soft) or magnets in combination with physical catchment areas (hard) to create a stable connection with a range of brackets of varying degrees.
Peak Design is starting a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, but the product has already been designed and produced in high quality. Media samples of a number of products in the Mobile range were sent, including a SlimLink universal phone mount, handlebar mount, the folding tripod, two universal mounting pads with a magnet / stick back and an in-car dashboard mount.
I’ve been using these for a few weeks now and have found they are incredibly versatile and practical. Peak also shipped an iPhone 11 Pro case. However, since I’m using an iPhone 11 Pro Max, I attached the 3M-backed universal plate directly to my phone using the size and orientation guide that came with it. The attachment is incredibly secure and doesn’t add a lot of thickness to your phone at all (it basically just provides just enough clearance so that the iPhone 11 Pro’s camera bump barely clears the table surfaces).
The magnetic connection between it and the soft lock brackets is strong enough that I don’t worry about them coming loose. I used the universal magnetic mounts on my refrigerator a lot and the phone didn’t move. The bike mount with its additional physical prongs is absolutely stable when cycling, and the arm on the mount provides an excellent position as a navigation device when cycling, both in portrait and landscape mode.
Peak has really outdone itself with the design of this system, but perhaps that is most true when it comes to the tripod. The clever three-legged folding design is tiny – smaller than a credit card overall, albeit a little thicker – and it’s amazing to carry this anywhere in a pocket and have a sturdy platform for time-lapse photos. You can also adjust the stability with the included Allen key.
The car holder has a self-adhesive backing to attach to your dashboard and fits into the recessed SlimLink slot on the phone holder / case without getting physically entangled. It’s stable and safe to test, and best of all, Peak developed the adjustable ball that allows you to place your phone just enough rigidly that you can move it around without the need for additional tightening. My only complaint so far with the universal mount has been that it is not compatible with my Nomad Base Station Pro charger, although Peak says it is testing the accessory with wireless chargers and will advise on compatibility in the future. The Peak Everyday phone case is now compatible with many Qi chargers.
According to Peak, these designs are subject to change and of course MagSafe came as a surprise to the company, as it did to the rest of the world. Peak continues to plan to develop iPhone 12 cases for the line of products, and says all soft locking accessories will work with both as well Apple MagSafe phones and MagSafe cases. Apple MagSafe accessories, like the wallet, also connect to MagSafe phones.
This could have been one of those moments when Apple announced something that would make a competing product obsolete before it even hits the market, but Peak’s mobile system design actually makes it free – and offers very similar benefits to phones and devices, who otherwise would have been able to take advantage of MagSafe.
The The Kickstarter campaign starts todayand Peak assumes that the mobile system housings and accessories can be delivered from spring 2021.