Elephant Card review: A smart and affordable iPhone Continuity Camera mount

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The Elephant card is a portable holder for Mac owners who want to use their iPhone as a webcam with macOS Ventura’s new continuity camera feature. Not only does it fold flat for easy portability, but it also works with or without iPhone cases in my testing and attaches to both my MacBook’s display and desktop monitor.

Better yet, it actually resembles an elephant with its tusks and ears forming the attachment points. That’s adorable, made even more so by the smallness of the mountain $7.99 / €7.49 price tag, which will return to the regular list price of $9.99 / €9.90 after Monday, November 28.

To use the holder, simply unfold the two “tusks” that hold your iPhone, sending the “ears” back to create two small hooks that fit over your Mac’s screen. It’s a very clever design from the great minds of TeamNobile, the design collective based in Vienna, Austria, responsible for the equally creative AirBell.

The Elephant Card was designed for MacBooks that have long suffered from notoriously bad webcams integrated into their ultra-thin displays. But it also fits the popular Dell UltraSharp U2720Q desktop monitor I connected to a Mac Mini. The Elephant Card’s ears aren’t nearly deep enough to grip the full thickness of the Dell monitor, but they just slip safely into the vents along the top of the display. If your desktop monitor doesn’t have such embellishments, it probably won’t work with the Elephant Card holder.

The ears of the mount attached easily to my 12-inch MacBook as expected. But just as we found when testing the $29.95 Belkin mount, the MacBook’s hinges aren’t really designed to hold heavy objects like iPhones. The hinge on my lightweight MacBook supported the combined weight of my iPhone 11 Pro and case until the angle exceeded about 25-30 degrees, at which point gravity took control. On one occasion, the mounted phone caused the MacBook to tip over so that the iPhone slammed (slightly) against the table – I was glad I left it in the case. To its credit, the Elephant Card held the iPhone and MacBook even when I reflexively flipped the screen upright.

The “ears” don’t provide the most secure mount for your expensive iPhone. Care should be taken to avoid an accident.

That said, the ear hooks that rest along the top edge of the MacBook screen create a rather narrow and flimsy attachment point. I managed to bump the iPhone once, causing it to detach from the MacBook and fall to the table with the Elephant Card still attached. In particular, using the cradle on Apple’s lightest MacBooks requires some care to avoid accidents. For example, I wouldn’t recommend regularly using the Elephant Card with a MacBook on your lap while perched on a chair high above a concrete floor – your iPhone is just asking for trouble.

The mount holds the iPhone at a fixed angle, but that limitation wasn’t a problem during my testing. I could adjust the MacBook’s screen enough to be in frame for Zoom calls, or I could rely on the Continuity Camera’s Center Stage feature to automatically crop and center my face when it’s on the higher Dell monitor is mounted.

The Elephant Card is contained in a brown leather wallet held in one hand. The elephant's eye sticks out.

The Elephant Card folds flat and easily fits into even compact wallets.

The Elephant Card shares the length and width of a standard credit card, but is twice as thick. It easily fits into even compact wallets, but it can be too bulky if you’re thinking about squeezing it into the space between your iPhone and the case. For my setup, it created enough bulge in the case to partially expose some edges of the screen to impact.

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Unlike the Logitech webcam, the Elephant Card cannot rotate. Not to worry, Apple’s Center Stage feature automatically centered my face despite the iPhone’s high mounting position.

All in all, it’s hard to find major fault with an accessory that offers so much utility to Apple users for less than $10. The current 20 percent discount makes it all the more appealing as gifting season approaches.

Elephant Card is available in blue or gray for the discounted price of $7.99 / €7.49 through Cyber ​​Monday, with 50 cents from every purchase sent straight to SaveElephant.org to help rescue and care for Asian elephants.

All photography by Thomas Ricker / The Verge

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