Review: Kenu Airframe Portable Car Mount
Simple in its design, Kenu's Airframe Portable Car Mount ($25) replicates the functionality of much more complex accessories. Thanks to its expandable grasp, the small plastic and rubber mount is made to hold any iPhone or iPod touch, in or out of a case. It then fits onto any car air vent, which makes it useful for services such as turn-by-turn GPS navigation. Additionally, sliding a credit card or other plastic card of the same size into the back allows the mount to be used as a desktop stand.
Airframe is certainly a minimalist accessory: it’s just over 2” wide, and less than 1” tall, made of nicely molded materials that aren’t flashy. The simple gray and black color scheme makes it so that the mount will fit in with any sort of vehicle interior. On the back is a rotating disk with four rubber-coated arms angled in towards each other. The spacing is such that they can be oriented for either thick or narrow vent grates.
Airframe fit well in our test car, although vent placement will have impact the experience from user to user. By inserting the iPhone with its left edge in first, it’s easy to expand the holster, which can stretch to just over 3”. The only real issue we found was removal, as Airframe tended to come off along with the handset, unless it was held in place—something that doesn’t tend to happen with air vent iPhone mounts.
Kenu’s Airframe is a simple but very good product, worthy of our strong general recommendation. It packs important features, including a strong hold and case compatibility, into a small and unobtrusive design. Details such as the rotating grip show that it was thoughtfully designed, and made for everyone. The price is just a little high, and the ease of detachability from the vent could use a little extra engineering, but users seeking a minimalist solution will find it acceptable.