The Belkin MagSafe Continuity Camera Mount is an easy webcam upgrade

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Belkin’s iPhone Holder with MagSafe for Mac Notebooks has a bad rap, but it’s a very good accessory. It lets you mount your iPhone on your laptop to take advantage of macOS Ventura and iOS 16’s continuous camera feature, which turns your phone into a webcam that destroys everything built into MacBooks these days. And if that’s the case, I’d still be happy with it – but it’s its design and features that make it really worth considering even though it already exists. A flood of other stuff You should do the same.

With the stand, you can easily turn your phone into a webcam: you attach it magnetically, twist a small stand with the Belkin logo on it, and place it on your computer. Then simply select the iPhone as the camera in the video chat app you’re using. It’s a very simple process that works well, and since the stand is round, you can mount your phone in portrait or landscape orientation.

In reality, portrait mode isn’t great with the current version of the pass-through camera, but I’ll leave these impressions for a deeper dive into the software.
Photo by Mitchell Clark/The Verge

However, due to its versatile shape, there isn’t an additional stabilization magnet on the bottom like other MagSafe accessories. It probably won’t cause a power problem; The iPhone 12 Mini never slipped from the Belkin stand or anything else, even when I tested it without a cover, and none of my colleagues who used the stand with larger phones noticed any issues. However, this means that you may need to spend a second rotating the mount a bit to make sure your video isn’t skewed a bit.

Where the mount really shines is the build quality and the added kickstand/grip strap (unfortunately the kickstand can’t be used if you want to rest your phone’s camera on a table instead of your computer; it’s just not in place) Everything looks very smooth and solid, running water like a stone polished by It’s covered in some sort of cohesive rubber, which feels great and isn’t too irritating. When I use the phone with it on, the flat dome fits perfectly in my palm and I hardly notice it’s there. If you really want a walkthrough camera to come in handy, you’ll want to make sure you always have a stand with you. The Belkin is nice enough that I want to keep it on my phone, which means I won’t forget it when I leave the house.

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

However, I don’t think this mount and pass-through camera will revolutionize my regular FaceTime or Discord calls with friends and family for one simple reason: If the laptop is already on my lap, just placing the phone on the top cover is enough. very Tippy, even with my little phone. When using it cross-leg, my laptop easily falls and moves across the room when not holding my phone. Even if I rest it on my palm, it takes the slightest push of the phone’s weight to pull the screen of my 13-inch MacBook Pro to its fully open position, which is usually at a very awkward angle (and possibly an uncomfortable increase in force on my screen). ?)

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

To be clear, this probably won’t be an issue on a desktop unless you’re using a 12-inch MacBook Mini. A colleague of mine said his MacBook Air was fairly stable when his iPhone 13 was attached to a table, as was another colleague using the stand for 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 at a desk or table, rather than the more frequent calls I make from the couch. It’s not Belkin’s fault. It’s just physics, and really, I don’t think my mom or sister would mind watching me in 720p (or at least I haven’t had any complaints in the past few years).

No, I don’t have the ability to turn off the laptop. But hey, he’s pointing to the Belkin mount to keep the iPhone attached through the bump.
Photo courtesy of Mitchell Clark/The Verge

Even with that caveat, I still think the Belkin mount is worth the $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 on Monday (and those who don’t). ) I don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up a custom camera/tripod/light).

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

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