Kenu Airframe+ portable car mount review

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Back in March I reviewed the Kenu Airframe portable car mount.  To say I love the device is probably an understatement.  It goes with me everywhere.  Everyone I have shown it to has envied it.  And I have to keep a close watch on my wife for fear that she will steal it.  So when I heard word that a new version of the Kenu was coming out called the Airframe+, I was ‘chomping at the bit’ to review it.  Luckily, they sent me the new Kenu prior to it coming out so that I could review it.  So how does it compare to the original?  Would I still need to hide it from my wife?  Let’s find out!

There are a few devices/gadgets that I can honestly say that I lay my hands on every single day… my Galaxy S4, my Nexus 7, my Plantronics Bluetooth headset, and my Airframe. These are the devices that if I were to suddenly no longer have them, I would be upset.  You know what I am talking about.  If you couldn’t find them, you would stop what you are doing and immediately start looking.  That’s how I feel about my Airframe.

I mentioned in the first paragraph that I reviewed the original back in March, and you can read the review here.  I provide that link here because the Airframe+ looks, functions, and is designed the same as the original, so I won’t spend time here going over the same stuff I wrote in March.  In this post I will be showing you pictures comparing the 2 so you can see the subtle differences between them and the improvements that Kenu made.

In regard to size and weight, you would have to look closely to notice any difference between the two. In these 2 pictures you can see how the Airframe+ is ever-so-slightly longer than the original, which measured 2.5 inches wide (the Airframe+ is on the top and left, respectively):

kenu-airframe-plus-3

kenu-airframe-plus-4

The Airframe+ is constructed of the same materials as the original, soft rubber where it makes contact with your phone or your vehicle and hard plastic everywhere else. The Airframe+ comes in all black, which I like very much.  And here is a picture of the Airframe+ sitting on top of a deck of cards so you can get an idea of just how small the device is:

kenu-airframe-plus-7

So as I began to use the Airframe+ I noticed 2 improvements that Kenu made that actually made a perfect product even better.  Here is what I found:

Increased expansion capacity

The main difference between the original Airframe and the Airframe+ is that the new one is designed to work with cellphones that have very large screens, up to 6 inches, so the internal spring expands wider.  My Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 5 inch screen, so I went to my local Verizon store and tried the Airframe+ with the biggest phone in the store, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with a 5.7 inch screen. As you can see from the photos, the Airframe+ fits just right, and there’s actually a little bit more expansion room left for slightly bigger phones. You’ll also see a picture of me holding both of the Kenus open to their maximum width (Airframe+ is on top).

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Tighter grip on the back

I have always been able to use my Airframe with one hand as I described in my post back in March. But what I found with the Airframe+ is that Kenu improved the device even further by decreasing the space between the arms on the grip on the back.  Doing this provides an even tighter grip when you attach the Airframe+ to the car vent, further reducing any movement of the Airframe+ on the vent. The best way for me to show you this is to take a sideways shot of both the original and the Airframe+ so you can see the smaller gap in the Airframe+ (shown here on top):

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They took a perfect product and made it even better, so your only decision is going to be how many of them you want!  And at a price of $29.95, the Airframe+ is a gadget that is worth more than its price.  The original Airframe will still be available for sale for $24.95, and for $5 more the Airframe+ is just perfect for those of you who have one of those huge phones (with up to 6 inch screens) that need it. So go check it out on Kenu.com, Amazon.com, and other retailers online to be announced soon.

The good news for me is that I don’t have to hide my Airframe from my wife anymore because I gave her my original Airframe and kept the Airframe+ for myself.  Sorry honey.

Update 12/18/14

After 5 months, In addition to my cellphone and Bluetooth headset, this is the gadget I use daily.  It is probably one of my favorite gadgets of all time.

Source: The sample for this review was provided by Kenu. Please visit their site for more info.

 

Product Information

Price:$29.95
Manufacturer:Kenu
Requirements:
  • A car vent
  • A mobile phone with 6 inch screen or smaller
Pros:
  • Solid construction
  • Portable size
  • Awesome price
Cons:
  • People will want to steal it
Posted in: Car Gear, Reviews

10 comments… add one

  • Larry Geisz July 22, 2014, 10:59 am

    You know, I love the concept of these kind of mounts, but when you live in the desert and the average summer temp is 105 you really don’t want anything blocking your ac vent.

  • tech July 22, 2014, 2:22 pm

    Related question here:
    Do you close the vent in the winter to keep heat from hitting the device?
    Do you close it in the summer to minimize condensation (if there is any) of cold air on a hot device?

  • Evan Edwards July 22, 2014, 4:09 pm

    The Note II is slightly wider than the Note III (the Note III has a bigger screen, but it is taller, with a smaller bezel). Was there any wiggle room in there when you tried out the III, or did it fit snugly at the widest extension?

  • Steve Holt July 22, 2014, 4:15 pm

    @Larry. I hear ya. On really hot days I sometimes don’t use it for that very reason. But you still need one!

    @tech. I do indeed close the vent airflow.

  • anson July 22, 2014, 4:26 pm

    Cold aircon in the summer would not be an issue… But the heat blasting the back of my phone in the winter would be an issue for me/iphone.

  • Steve Holt July 22, 2014, 4:35 pm

    @Evan Edwards There was still expansion room left when I put it on the Note III. And the spring is very strong so it will hold your phone very securely. Kenu says that the Lumia 1520 works with the Airframe+ and it is almost a half inch wider than the Note II.

  • Brad July 23, 2014, 10:27 am

    I couldnt find the Airframe + on Amazon yet. Would this fit the Garmin GPS’s?
    Thanks
    brad

  • meistervu July 23, 2014, 4:49 pm

    I have the original Airframe and love it. I did have the same concern about its blocking an air vent before I got it. For me, it’s not really a problem.

    My car has 4 air vent. I attach the Airframe to one of the middle one. I normally don’t like having an air vent blasting directly at me, so with the AirFrame attach, the air is diffused which is fine with me. I still have the side vent that I can direct toward me when I need it.

    As for hot or cold air blasting at the phone, it’s a non issue. First, cold air will make the phone colder which causes no harm. Hot air makes the phone warmer, but we are talking about 90F at most which is the temperature of a hot day, well below the operating limit of a phone. Plus, having hot air blowing at the phone will prevent the phone from getting warmer than that hot air, which is 90F. It’s not an issue. If you are still worried, remember that your body is 98F. Are you concern when your phone is as warm as your body? I don’t think so.

    What I like about the AirFrame is that it’s really well made. The sliding mechanism is really smooth with stainless steel sliders. The rest is covered in soft rubber or silicon like material: very classy. It’s small and minimal and tidy to look at. And when I don’t need it, I can put it away. And if I have a rental car, I can bring it with me.

  • Steve Holt July 23, 2014, 5:11 pm

    @Brad. Apparently the device is coming to Amazon. And the max opening of the device is 3.4 inches wide, with a depth of .7 inches. So whatever fits in that space will work.

  • Carleton Bates July 31, 2014, 9:18 pm

    Hi Julie, I wrote to you recently about doing the OBD II adapter with Torque Plus on Nexus 7. Anyway I settled on my Nexus 4 and used the original Airframe mount, as you reviewed sometime ago, and all came together very well.
    I found a very small two port car power connector to USB that fits inside the small compartment on my Corolla. It is so small that it is a bit difficult to insert, but blends well into the dash. It supports 1.0 and 2.1 amps charging at the same time. It’s is labelled ADREAMA and from the world of the manufacturers, China. I know you reviewed this type of item before, not even sure that I am not following in your footsteps, but seems very handy for this application.
    Enjoy your reviews, and your wide coverage of all things Gadget and Geek.
    Regards,
    Carleton Bates

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