Smartphone Photography Accessories That You Might Actually Use: We Review Peak Design’s Mobile Photography Tools


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Aug 16, 2023

Smartphone Photography Accessories That You Might Actually Use: We Review Peak Design’s Mobile Photography Tools

How many smartphone photography tools have you purchased and eventually misplaced or have forgotten about? Maybe these cleverly designed accessories will serve you better. If you’re a little more

How many smartphone photography tools have you purchased and eventually misplaced or have forgotten about? Maybe these cleverly designed accessories will serve you better.

If you’re a little more serious than others about taking great photos with your smartphone, you’ve probably purchased a handful of accessories that are supposed to help you take better photos or at the very least make the process more convenient. Personally, I’ve owned about a dozen smartphone tripods, tripod mounts, and even lenses and filters for various smartphones, and they have all shared one inevitable flaw (which may also be considered my fault): I always forget to bring them whenever I have an actual use for them.

While there are photographers who exclusively take photos with their smartphones, I would say that my smartphone photography serves to either take behind-the-scenes images and clips or to infuse a little creativity during the day when I’m just running errands and doing non-creative work. Whether you’re a serious mobile photographer or someone who does it for convenience, it is almost certain that you’ve found yourself empty-handed when you actually needed some accessories to take the photos that you wanted to take.

For this article, let’s take a look at some parts of Peak Design’s mobile accessories line that can benefit your on-the-go creative lifestyle for smartphone photography.

Peak Design has been one of the most popular brands in camera bags and straps in recent years and this is mainly because of how the brand has infused functionality and modularity with minimalist sleek design features. Their popular Everyday backpacks, sling bags, messenger bags, and other accessories feature simple and subtle yet elegant designs that use nylon canvas material that started a trend that departed from the typical camera bag designs, allowed commuting photographers to blend into the urban scene, and basically made them look less like bags that camera thieves would go for.

The Peak Design Everyday Case for iPhones, Samsung Galaxy, and Google Pixel smartphones follows the same design principles. These smartphone cases feature the same nylon canvas shell on top of a lightweight polycarbonate protective case that covers the entire phone’s rear and sides as well as gives added padded protection to the screen and camera modules by having additional width on the padding. All of the phones’ buttons are also covered by the case that has embedded button extensions for an easier, tactile experience. At the bottom are speaker holes on both sides, a hole for the charging cable port, and a camera strap loop on each side that are compatible with Peak Design Anchors for straps.

The modularity and compatibility of the case with the accessories come from a small rounded-square depression at the back of the case. For iPhones this goes hand-in-hand with the Magsafe features that add even more convenience. The square dent on the back of the case is the receptacle that allows secure mounting and quick button release on most of the mobile accessories. For the case itself, some possible limitations would be that they only come in two colors and are only available for select smartphone models. However, for non-compatible smartphones, a universal adapter is available that can be mounted onto any smartphone case (the actual back panel of the phone) through durable adhesives. This universal adapter will allow users of any smartphone brand to use Peak Design accessories altogether.

The simple yet clever design of this portable tabletop tripod fixed the most common issue with all other smartphone tripods which is the fact that they would always be extra accessories to bring around and ultimately extra accessories to forget. The Peak Design Mobile tripod, when folded, only has a thickness of 4.75-7.5mm (tapered) and magnetically latches onto the back of the Everyday case. Since this accessory only makes use of magnets (not the SlimLink port), it can also be compatible with other cases on iPhone models with Magsafe or other cases with built-in magnets. However, the strength of the magnetic bond may differ depending on the case. The mobile tripod weighs 76 grams which is relatively heavy for a small 9.5 x 5.5cm plate because it is made entirely out of bare anodized aluminum with only some rubber pads on the surface that mounts to the phone and the tips of the tripod’s legs.

Most of the structure of the mobile tripod remains latched onto the rear surface of the phone while a key-shaped structure taking up 1/3 of the back, flips 180 degrees outward to reveal the legs of the tripod. This further flips out and divides into three legs that are connected to the rest of the structure through a ball joint that functions pretty much like a tripod ball head and allows the user to turn the smartphone 360 degrees and tilt up and down. On the inner surface of the middle leg is a magnetically attached key with a hex tool as its tip. This allows the user to fine-tune the friction of the ball joint as well as tighten the joints of the legs altogether.

The Peak Design Mobile Creator Kit is the brand’s version of a tripod mount and while there are thousands of variants of smartphone tripod mounts in the market, this particular one solves the problem (or flaw) that 99% of tripod mounts have which is the fact that they use spring-loaded clamps that apply a significant amount of pressure onto the sides of the phone. Aside from the fact that these can sometimes be tedious to work with, they also often come into contact with the smartphone’s buttons (when you want the mount to be at the center to balance the weight) and may hinder access to the buttons or accidentally press them.

The Peak Design Creator Kit makes use of a square attachment mechanism called Slimlink which perfectly latches onto the port that can be found on the back of the PD Everyday case or universal adapters. This works alongside the magnetic mounting that the mobile tripod also uses. The Slimlink port makes use of two small protrusions that lock the two in place making sure that even a bit of impact can not remove the phone from the mount. Aside from making the mount secure and sturdy it also allows quick and easy mounting without having to deal with springs or friction knobs. The stem of the creator kit connects to the arca-swiss type bottom plate through a joint that allows almost 180-degree tilt adjustment while on a tripod. Alternatively, it can also be removed and mounted onto an action camera mount, clamps, suction mounts, etc.

Smartphones are always the most convenient cameras to use because of how readily available they are to any creative. While there will also always be limitations to what they can do, having accessories definitely boost their capabilities by a lot. Peak Design’s smartphone accessories have many different applications for photography definitely have a lot to offer mainly because of how their clever design makes using and carrying them more and more convenient.

Nicco Valenzuela is a photographer from Quezon City, Philippines. Nicco shoots skyscrapers and cityscapes professionally as an architectural photographer and Landscape and travel photographs as a hobby.

A good review includes pricing but by their pricing I understand lol... case $40... kit requiring case $50... kickstand $80 ! another set of gouging prices from peak design.