Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Kenu Prepares for Larger iPhones with Lightweight Airframe+ Car Vent Mount

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
51,584
13,214



Kenu's Airframe smartphone car mount has proven popular with MacRumors readers, and with Apple all but certain to release larger iPhone models later this year Kenu has just released a new Airframe+ mount that accommodates thicker cases and devices with screen sizes up to six inches.

Airframe+ with iPhone 5s in Apple case
Like the original Airframe, much of the appeal of the Airframe+ comes from its simplicity and light weight, consisting of a simple spring-loaded clip to grip the device on the sides and a cone-shaped clip to attach to louvers of car vents. Weighing under an ounce and easily slipping into a pocket or remaining inconspicuously attached to the car vent when not in use, the Airframe+ is a remarkable change from the Garmin Active Mount I normally use, although the Airframe+ would need to be paired with a Lightning cable for charging purposes.

Airframe+
While the new Airframe+ accommodates devices with screens up to six inches, body size is really the determining factor and the device grip expands to approximately 3.25 inches. Apple's rumored 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 models should, however, fit comfortably even with most cases. The Airframe+ also offers improved support for thicker cases compared to the original Airframe, allowing users of Mophie battery pack cases or thick Otterbox waterproof cases to use the mount.

Airframe+ with physical mockup of 5.5-inch iPhone 6
The Airframe+ vent clip is rotatable and includes two sets of slits to accommodate different sizes of vent louvers, and in general it works well. Kenu touts the Airframe+ as fitting "any vent type", but I found this to not necessarily be the case.

In one of my cars, the Airframe+ worked well on all main vents within the driver's area. On another car, however, the louvers of the center-dash vents were too thick and too close together to allow the clip to slip securely between them. The vent itself also freely rotates up and down to help direct airflow, and the weight of the phone simply pulled the vent downward. The Airframe+ worked much better on the dash vent to the left of the steering wheel, although vibrations of the device at highway speeds were noticeable, so sturdiness of louvers may be an issue on some cars.

Airframe+ vent clip
One other concern expressed by some users of the original Airframe and other vent mounts is the effect of cool air blowing directly on the device. Mounting a phone directly in front of the vent as the Airframe+ does definitely results in the device feeling cold after a few minutes of summer usage, which can be a benefit in terms of potentially overheating phones sitting in direct sun in a hot car, but also raises concerns of condensation once the cool phone is removed from the car and taken out into hot, humid air. I did not, however, experience any issues with visible condensation in these scenarios during my testing.

Kenu's Airframe+ is available now for $29.95, while the original Airframe remains available for $24.95 through a variety of vendors including the Apple online store.

Article Link: Kenu Prepares for Larger iPhones with Lightweight Airframe+ Car Vent Mount
 

madsci954

macrumors 68030
Oct 14, 2011
2,685
558
Ohio
One other concern expressed by some users of the original Airframe and other vent mounts is the effect of cool air blowing directly on the device. Mounting a phone directly in front of the vent as the Airframe+ does definitely results in the device feeling cold after a few minutes of summer usage, which can be a benefit in terms of potentially overheating phones sitting in direct sun in a hot car, but also raises concerns of condensation once the cool phone is removed from the car and taken out into hot, humid air. I did not, however, experience any issues with visible condensation in these scenarios during my testing.

I've bee using this for about a year now, and between 2 iPhones, I've never had a problem. Summer AC and heat during this past bitter cold winter, not a single issue.

And they have great CS. Back in April, my Airframe began to loose it's tension. I contacted them about it and after confirming my shipping address, they shipped me a replacement unit at no cost, and all I had to do was send back my broken one, again at no cost. I'm not planning on getting an iPhone 6 this year, probably wait for the 6S, but I will be buying an Airframe+ when the time comes.
 
Comment

ipedro

macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
5,446
6,553
Toronto, ON
Great for car sharing services

This is excellent for people who use car sharing services like ZipCar. It's small enough to carry in your pocket and easy enough to clip on and pull off when you return the car.
 
Comment

bigjnyc

macrumors 604
Apr 10, 2008
6,613
3,966
I was about to order the Kenu Airframe last week after reading a review on BGR. I think I got busy with something and then forgot to order it. Good thing I didn't... Now I can get the Airframe+ :D
 
Comment

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,426
12,580
Europe
I've tried this and other vent clips. They all have the same problem that the phone is affected by the cold / hot air blowing at it.

In the winter time when the hot air is blowing at it, the iphone shuts down due to overheating.

In the summer time when ac cold air is blowing at it, the iphone doesn't shut down but it does get so cold that once removed from the car it gets covered in quite a bit of condensation. It's not a bother on the outside, but I fear excessive condensation on the inside might cause water damage.

Most cars don't let you shut off just one vent while keeping the others operational, and it's not worth not ever using the direct air vents in order to have a phone mounted.
 
Comment

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
51,388
19,428
I've tried this and other vent clips. They all have the same problem that the phone is affected by the cold / hot air blowing at it.

In the winter time when the hot air is blowing at it, the iphone shuts down due to overheating.

In the summer time when ac cold air is blowing at it, the iphone doesn't shut down but it does get so cold that once removed from the car it gets covered in quite a bit of condensation. It's not a bother on the outside, but I fear excessive condensation on the inside might cause water damage.

Most cars don't let you shut off just one vent while keeping the others operational, and it's not worth not ever using the direct air vents in order to have a phone mounted.
Doesn't seem like that's an issue for most or at least a good number of people. Even a post about personal experiences with that earlier in the thread as well.
 
Comment

Rayd5365

macrumors member
Aug 31, 2010
71
149
The Airframe is a great product. I grabbed one on a whim and Staples and love it.
Need to get 2-3 more, one for each car and one for travel.
 
Comment

clayek

macrumors newbie
Jul 21, 2014
14
6
I've tried this and other vent clips. They all have the same problem that the phone is affected by the cold / hot air blowing at it.

In the winter time when the hot air is blowing at it, the iphone shuts down due to overheating.

In the summer time when ac cold air is blowing at it, the iphone doesn't shut down but it does get so cold that once removed from the car it gets covered in quite a bit of condensation. It's not a bother on the outside, but I fear excessive condensation on the inside might cause water damage.

Most cars don't let you shut off just one vent while keeping the others operational, and it's not worth not ever using the direct air vents in order to have a phone mounted.

Your car heater and ac must be a lot stronger than mine. I drive around all day for work and I keep my iphone in a vent clip for GPS navigation purposes and I have never had it overheat or get condensation. I live in Minnesota where it gets plenty cold in the winter and plenty hot in the summer, too. Not saying you're making this up but it doesn't seem to be an issue for most people.
 
Comment

Silver Dory

macrumors newbie
Jul 22, 2014
4
1
Just one problem

I agree it's a great product; except that after a few rotations, the mechanism fails and the device just hangs. It is not designed to be repeatedly rotated. Why do you need to rotate? If you have it in landscape for driving directions, and have iTunes running in the background, and want to go to the iTunes page to select a different playlist or artist, you have to rotate the iPone to portrait first. In landscape, iTunes is just a screen of album covers.

If anyone has figured out a way to get all options on iTunes in landscape, I'd be very interested to hear it ...
 
Comment

carlgo

macrumors 68000
Dec 29, 2006
1,806
17
Monterey CA
There is a problem with vents that rotate down. The real answer is a model-specific mount. Expensive, but sturdy and out of the hot and cold air stream. You can also get attachable holders for iPads and they make good sense in cars for music and nav you can see.
 
Comment

SockRolid

macrumors 68000
Jan 5, 2010
1,560
118
Almost Rock Solid
Get your tacky iPhone car accessories while you still can.
The 1-2 punch of Siri: Eyes Free and CarPlay will eliminate the need for them.
Hopefully very soon.
 
Comment

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2009
9,890
3,804
This is a very nice product with the caveats that were mentioned, the phone gets very cold in the summer with cold air blowing on it, although I've never noticed actual condensation on the phone. Yesterday was mid 90s with insane humidity and my AC was on maximum, my phone was like a piece of ice when I took it off my vent, but no condensation that I could see or feel, doesn't mean there wasn't any on the inside though. I've also never had it shutdown from overheating when hot air is blowing on it.

Other caveats are that it's not a very tight fit, it's possible to maneuver phones in and out one handed but you have to pay attention, and many times the kenu comes out with the phone. It also loosens over time. My first Kenu the rubber coating on the pieces that grip the vent eventually broke and scratched up my vent pretty badly, Kenu replaced it and said the replacement had a new rubberized process and I can't say I've had any issues since then. Once the kenu is on the vent and the phone is setup it's very stable, I'm impressed that there is no shaking/vibration and no fear that it will fall off.

The original Kenu fits my Note 3, I just very slightly bent the wings/tabs outward and voila, perfect fit.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.