The evolution of mobile phones has been an interesting journey to follow. They started off as huge bricks of things and manufacturers were all trying to make them as small as possible for years. Then, all of a sudden, phones got “smart”, and now they seem to get bigger and bigger again every year.
This “growth” can be a pain for photographers who work on location. Giant phones are annoying in your pocket all day, scrambling around in the wilderness digging into your leg. But if you put them in your bag, then you can miss important calls and messages. That’s where Cosyspeed’s new Phoneslinger steps in.
The Phoneslinger was first announced back in September of last year, and it’s a modular set; a range comprised of several small bags you can wear together on your belt. And as soon as I saw it I really wanted to try it out. I’ve got two other Cosyspeed bags; the Streetomatic+ and a Camslinger 160, both of which are really well made, so I knew these would be, too.
Aimed at smartphone photographers and filmmakers, the whole Phoneslinger lineup allows you to store your phone, addon lenses, and other phone accessories together for quick and easy access. It’s a nice combination that offers a good level of versatility. The bag that I have is the Phoneslinger Power (although I’m just going to refer to it as the Phoneslinger from this point onwards for brevity), which includes an 8000mAh battery with QI-Wireless charging. I’ve had this one for a few weeks now, and it’s come out with me on every shoot I’ve done since it arrived.
My phone, shown in the photo above, is an ASUS ZenFone 5. It’s a great phone with a really nice screen, and I shoot a lot of behind the scenes photos and video clips with it during shoots. But it’s huge. It’s roughly the same size as the iPhone 8 Plus and most other large phones these days, to give you some idea what I mean.
I mostly shoot on location, and having such a huge phone in my jeans front pocket during a shoot just isn’t really practical. I’m constantly climbing up or over things to get to spots to shoot and I regularly have to crouch down to get the angle I want.
If I keep my phone in my front pocket, then both of these activities lead to the phone digging into my leg throughout the day, which isn’t exactly comfortable. Sure, I could put it in my back pocket, but then there’s the chance it’ll fly out and disappear at some point, or I’ll forget about it and sit down on some rock, cracking the screen – neither of which are very good eventualities.
So, often I resort to just putting the phone in my backpack, but then I can miss important calls and notifications. And if I want to grab a quick snap for Instagram or Facebook, it’s a faff to unzip the bag, rummage around for my phone, then get the shot, and put it away again.
The Phoneslinger solves this issue perfectly. Slipped onto my belt by my hip, it keeps the phone out of the way of my limbs while making sure it stays safe and secure. And when I want to access it, taking it out or putting it back in is a simple one-handed operation.
The goal of just about all of Cosyspeed’s bags is to allow you quick and easy access to your camera (or whatever the bag contains), and the Phoneslinger certainly doesn’t fail on this point. There’s also an extra slot inside where you can store business cards if you find yourself regularly needing them, or your bank cards if you’re just using it as a general walkabout case for your phone.
The Phoneslinger comes supplied with an 8000mAh battery that incorporates QI-Wireless charging. Now, my ZenFone 5 doesn’t have wireless charging, so I have to use a short USB cable with mine if it starts running low. It’s not a problem for me, though. I make sure my phone’s topped up before I head out for a shoot and the ZenFone 5 has great battery life. On the occasion that I do need to charge it out in the field, plugging in a short cable isn’t much of a bother.
Of course, I was able to test the wireless charging, too. I borrowed a friend’s Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, which does support QI-Wireless charging, and it seemed to work very well. The phone detected the battery right away and seemed to charge at a similar rate to a regular QI-Wireless charger you’d plug into the wall at home.
Beyond that, there’s not really much to say about the Phoneslinger. It’s extremely well built, it has both velcro and pop buttons to attach it to your belt (or the strap of a Cosyspeed camera bag), it has the same secure Fidlock snap fastener as found on their larger bags to ensure that it doesn’t just fall open, and it holds your phone along with an 8000mAh battery.
It makes carrying a big phone around on location a non-issue. And it’s not just useful for location photographers, either. It can also be very useful for cyclists, hikers, or anybody else who often finds themselves in awkward stances with a big phone. Or anybody who just doesn’t want to fill their pocket with a phone that’s way too large.
I’ll definitely be interested to see the other items in the original Phoneslinger lineup come to release, but if you’re thinking about buying, then I wouldn’t wait until those are released. As I mentioned, there’s been no dates announced for the other items yet, and it’s entirely possible that they won’t be released at all if the demand isn’t there.
So, if you want to get the Phoneslinger, just go ahead and get it. Mine goes with me on every shoot now and it’s extremely handy having my phone that readily available without it constantly reminding me that it’s there by digging into my leg.
The Phoneslinger Power is available in two colours, Charcoal/Black and Grey/Red, and comes with an 8000mAh rechargeable battery that has both QI-Wireless charging as well as sockets for wired USB charging. It’s available to pre-order now for $79 through Indiegogo, and ships in June. Once it goes on general sale, the final price will be $109.
As well as the Phoneslinger Power, there is the Phoneslinger Outdoor, which is a smaller case just for your phone, and you can pre-order that for $39. Then there’s the Phoneslinger Prime, which holds your phone with a lens attached and has a separate zip-up pouch for more lenses. This one can be pre-ordered for $49. A kit containing all three bags can be pre-ordered for $129.