December 4, 2022

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Belkin’s MagSafe Continuity Camera mount is a simple webcam upgrade

Belkin’s iPhone Mount with MagSafe for Mac Notebooks has a bad name, but it’s a very good accessory. This allows you to pin your iPhone to your laptop so you can take advantage of the continuous camera feature in macOS Ventura and iOS 16, which turns your phone into a webcam that crushes anything built into MacBooks these days. And if that’s all I did, I’d still be happy with it – but it’s the design and features that really make it worth considering, even if it’s already there. Other dump accessories You are supposed to do the same job.

Using the stand to turn your phone into a webcam is simple: you can attach it magnetically, roll up a small base with the Belkin logo and place it on your computer. Then select iPhone as the camera in the video chat app you are using. It’s a very simple mechanism that works well, and because the stand is round, you can mount your phone in portrait or landscape mode.

In fact, portrait mode isn’t great with the current version of Continuity Camera, but I’ll leave those impressions for a more in-depth look at the software.
Photo by Mitchell Clark/The Verge

However, the versatile shape means there are no extra stability magnets on the bottom like some other MagSafe accessories. It probably won’t cause power problem; The iPhone 12 Mini didn’t slip off the Belkin mount or anything, even when I tested it without the case, and none of my colleagues who used the mount with larger phones noticed any problems. But this does mean that you may have to spend a second rotating the mount a little to make sure your video isn’t skewed a bit.

Where the mount really shines is the build quality and the extra kickstand/grip loop (unfortunately the mount can’t be used if you want to put your phone’s camera on a table instead of your computer; it’s just not in the right place). Everything looks very smooth and solid, like polished stones with moving water. It’s also covered in a kind of knit rubber, which feels great and isn’t terribly annoying. When I use it with my phone turned on, the low profile dome fits my palm perfectly and I barely notice it’s there. If you really want a continuity camera to come in handy, make sure you always have a stand with you. The Belkin is so cute I want to keep it on my phone which means I won’t forget it when I leave the house.

1/2

The stand is useful for watching videos, but not for capturing them. It folds neatly into the stand when not in use.
Photo by Mitchell Clark/The Verge

However, I don’t think this montage and continuity camera will revolutionize normal FaceTimes or Discord conversations with friends and family for one simple reason: when the laptop is already on my lap, placing the phone on the top cover makes it possible Terribly tippy, even with my little phone. When I used it with my legs crossed my laptop fell easily and my phone would go across the room if I wasn’t holding it. Even if I rested my arm on the palm rest, it would take the slightest jolt from the weight of the phone to pull the 13-inch MacBook Pro screen to its fullest open position, which usually results in a very uncomfortable angle (and possibly an uncomfortable amount of force on my screen). ?).

Be careful when using this accessory with your laptop on your lap.
Image courtesy of Mitchell Clark/The Verge

To be clear, this probably won’t be an issue on the desk unless you’re using a 12-inch MacBook mini. One of my colleagues said his MacBook Air was quite stable when he sat at a table with his iPhone 13 attached to it, as did another colleague who used the stand with the Pro Max and 16-inch MacBook Pro. But that means I’ll probably only use this accessory for more formal video calls where I’m sitting at a desk or table, rather than the frequent conversations I have from the couch. This is not Belkin’s fault. It’s just physics, and really, I don’t think my mom or sister would ever consider seeing me in 720p (or at least I’ve had no complaints in years past).

No, it’s not my strength that drives the laptop down. Anyway, he points to a Belkin mount to keep the iPhone attached via the bump.
Image courtesy of Mitchell Clark/The Verge

Even with that limitation, I still think the Belkin mount is worth its $29.95 price tag for anyone who cares about how it looks on video, has an iPhone, and plans to upgrade to macOS Ventura when it comes out Monday. t) I don’t want to bother setting up a dedicated camera/tripod/light).

However, if you normally work from a desk with a screen, it may be worth waiting for the desktop version, which Belkin says lets you tilt your phone to reframe the shot. This version is “soon”, according to Press release from Belkin, although it doesn’t say if it will have some kind of power connector that’s more elegant than just plugging your phone in with a Lightning cable. This kind of feature wouldn’t make much sense in the mobile version, but would probably be a great addition for those who attend meetings all day.

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