A step away from bad tech, because quality design matters to us – Nov. 2016

How polar skier Alex Hibbert uses his Moshi gear

In my line of work, leading highly challenging and often very dangerous polar journeys, quality matters. We have to deal with temperatures for months when cheap plastic cracks into pieces with a flick of a finger and thin wires snap.

I’m sure that all of us interested in tech, and who rely on phone and laptop peripherals for both our work lives and at home, have experienced the disappointment of false economy. That is: non-brand cables, generic cases and faceless imports. You save a little perhaps, but they’re either dead out of the box or spontaneously give up a week later. They also look cheap – poor finishes, badly thought-through ergonomics and components that don’t fit together as they should. We need to step away from bad tech, because quality design matters to us.

This is why I’m glad I discovered Moshi.

My own demand for cables, adapters, cases and so on fits into two really distinct but linked categories. I need expedition tech to keep me safe and connected when hundreds of miles away from other human beings in a tent at -40 degrees. And, at my home and business-hub in London, England, it’s all about reliable peripherals when presenting on stage to hundreds of people, and gear that looks the part when training, or just out and about.

I came across Moshi some time ago whilst searching for a whole range of accessories, from projector adapters to headphones. A friend was showing off one of their bags, and they stood out on paper; in-house design, innovations protected by patents, and a focus on combining quality with style.

These are my impressions having lived with and put a swathe of Moshi products through their paces in my current urban environment.

iGlaze Ion
RRP: £78
My uses: general day to day; extended use away from static chargers

A natural sceptic of iPhone cases, the two-part iGlaze Ion is now a permanent fixture on my phone.  I felt previously that cases ruin the sleek Apple design and end up showing knocks and scratches – not so now. I can remove iGlaze Ion’s battery component when I don’t need it and leave the textured, slim-line inner case on permanently. It even allows me to charge my iPhone from a micro-USB via the outer case – perfect when in a crowd of Android friends and I’m short on battery life.

Mini DisplayPort to VGA/HDMI adapters RRP: £29/£35

My uses: professional speaking engagements for showing footage and photography showcases on projectors or 4K screens

As a professional public speaker, everything has to just work, first time. No head scratching. Increasingly, as presenters, our tech is on full show in front of our audiences on tables or lecterns. There’s nowhere to hide a messy set-up or ugly adapters.

I carry both the Mini DisplayPort to VGA and HDMI adapters because I never know which connecting cable I’ll see on stage. Moshi’s “presentation accessories” are a conduit for crystal clear data signals and never skipped a beat. I even had delegates at events comment on their design. Perhaps adapters aren’t headliners and can be overlooked, but not so here.

USB to Lightning 3 metre cable RRP: £25

This extra-long Lightning cable allows my team and I to process payments for books signed and sold after a speech. This is a life-saver because not only does it power up the device, its added length lets us freely hand the iPhone or iPad to each other so people can check out faster.

My obsession with good design and build quality was satisfied; you just have to compare this charger to Apple’s own offering to see that Moshi’s cables are better protected from fracturing through heavy use.

Cardette 3 card reader
RRP: £45
My uses: quickly downloading vast amounts of footage or photographs for desktop editing, or transferring expedition images to a tablet ‘in the field’

You wouldn’t think that you could improve on a card reader – they just move your photos from a memory card to a computer. Job done. Or so you think. I’ve gone through dozens in the past and have never been happy. Many hog a USB port and give nothing back, are slow, have a vulnerable and messy cable, and just look rubbish.

Cardette 3 solves these problems and if there is a drawback, I haven’t found it yet.

It plugs into a USB port and in return you get a hub on the side with two more. It’s USB 3, so that blue progress bar will zip along to 100% in no time. It has an inbuilt, protected USB cable hidden in the body, again with a quality cable and sheath. And, you don’t have to hide it away in a drawer in-between uses, as it shares the same brushed aluminum finish  as much of the Moshi range.

Mythro headphones
RRP: £30
My uses: listening to and responding to calls or creative content on the move, and training in or outdoors

I’ve always had a problem with headphones. My ears are an odd shape inside, clearly. In fact, I haven’t used ear buds in over a decade – instead preferring over-ear phones for audiophile moments and neckbands for sports. Usually all it would take is a quick shake of my head and the buds pop out. I wasn’t optimistic as I trialled the Mythro buds. Though, having selected the smallest buds (thoughtfully, Moshi include three sizes as standard), there they stayed. I could even go running and enjoy clear sound and as-good-a noise isolation as earbuds can reasonably achieve. It’s a shame the Moshi memory foam eartips aren’t compatible with this model of headset, but the included silicone ones are pretty good.

They look neat too – I like the Burgundy Red ones. 

So far, so good. Having become a real convert to Moshi here in London, I cannot wait to take them to the next level on my next polar journey, where staying connected and fully charged revolutionises how I can tell my stories in real-time, and can even keep my team and I alive. I also won’t gloss over the value of using my Mythro earbuds to take a few minutes rest in the tent after a long day – retreating into a favourite song or audiobook and isolated from the howling wind outside.

I am committed to saying no to false-economies that look $1 and last a week, and yes to quality in design and manufacturing. Hello Moshi! 

Alex HibbertComment