Let's not mince our words. The webcam in even the most expensive MacBook Air and MacBook Pro is bad. All the more so when you compare it to the camera in a standard iPhone 13 – let alone the iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max. I definitely wasn't the only person paying inflated prices for a decent webcam during lockdown when the world pivoted to video, and while the camera in my M1 MacBook Pro is marginally better than before it's still hopeless. So I can't wait to get my hands on Belkin's new iPhone mount.
The mount itself is a simple, puck-like affair with MagSafe inside, so your phone locks to it firmly and stays there. And once you've done that, Apple's Continuity Camera in macOS enables you to use your iPhone camera as your webcam. It's that simple and that brilliant.
Why Belkin's iPhone MacBook mount looks like a must-buy
Our friends at Tom's Guide (opens in new tab) have been putting the mount through its paces, and the results have been really impressive. It fits tightly on even the biggest MacBook Pro, and it stays put once it's on. I suspect it'll be a little too tight for my external monitor, but the positioning on your laptop raises the camera a little bit so should make you look a bit less chinny – the curse of having a webcam on a laptop if you don't raise it up.
I like to joke that buying X gadget will make you more attractive, but that's actually true here: the camera in an iPhone 13 is much more flattering than the webcam in a MacBook, because it's so much better at handling skin tones and different lighting positions. I sit in front of a window and my MacBook webcam can't cope with the light, making me look like someone drew a face on the moon. My iPhone doesn't do the same even when it's in the same place.
The mount also doubles as a kickstand for when you're away from your computer, and you can use it as a phone grip when you're chatting on a voice call too. There's also a clever feature called Desk View that enables you to stream video of whatever's on your desk, which is useful for discussing physical objects.
All that's missing is the price tag and launch date. I expect the latter will be around the launch of the iPhone 14, which it will also support, and that the price will be a bit more than you'd hope to pay for a phone stand but considerably less than you'd pay for a good webcam. If you need to do a lot of video calling, you're going to want one of these.