Accessory maker Kenu released the Airframe+, a new car mount for the largest smartphones that should please Galaxy Note 3 and LG 3 owners. In this Airframe+ review, I will explain why this new accessory is replacing the original Airframe car mount in my own SUV and why I recommend it over more complex and expensive solutions.
The Airframe+ is a pretty simple gadget. The front of the Airframe+ has two arms that grip the edges of a smartphone. The arm on the right is spring-loaded, sliding to the right when you tug at it. The spring’s tension grips it in place. The only thing to look out for is to make sure the arms aren’t contacting any buttons on the phone itself. If the arm grips your phone’s volume down button by mistake your ringer can be muted by accident.
Above is a a quick demo video of the Airframe+ that I shot in my SUV. The Airframe+ Kenu sent to me will replace the original Airframe that I bought from the Apple store a while back.
The back of the Airframe+ has a small cone-shaped rubber mount with four slits in it. The slits grab onto a vent slat, securing the Airframe+ and the smartphone onto the dashboard. There’s a pair of wide slits and a pair of narrower ones to accommodate a variety of air vent slat sizes. I’ve tried both the Airframe+ in three vehicles and found that the narrow slits have the best grip. Of course your mileage may vary, especially if your vehicle has chunkier dashboard components.
By now, most people are aware of the fact that texting while driving is a big no-no, so why would we recommend the Airframe+? There are responsible and safe ways to use iPhones and Android devices while driving, especially when you’re using your voice or single touches to activate things like navigation and voice dialing. Fumbling around in your pocket or looking down at the display as you hold it are not safe. The Airframe+ keeps smartphone displays as high up as possible without blocking any part of the windshield.
Since the Airframe+ installs in just a couple of seconds, it’s easy to swap between vehicles. An added benefit of the Airframe+ is that it can be used as a phone stand when it’s not on your car’s dashboard by placing a credit card into the narrow slot on its back.
The Airframe+ is selling for $29.95, a $5 premium over the $25 original Airframe. I recommend going with the Airframe+, even if your phone fits in original. That’s because phones such as the Galaxy S5 and HTC One might not fit in the Airframe with chunky cases on them. Kenu says that the Lumia 1520 will fit into the Airframe+ just fine.
Companies that produce much more expensive and complex mounting solutions have sent over samples, but I keep on going back to Kenu’s Airframe line because it’s so easy to switch out phones and I don’t have to worry about swapping out cases.