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.
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.