Kenu took its best selling car mount, added some fast wireless charging and out came the Airframe Wireless. Supporting all versions of fast wireless charging - 7.5W, 9W and 10W.
Kenu announced a couple of new car mounts a couple of months ago, which sport Qi Wireless charging. That’s actually a pretty big deal now, seeing as most smartphones are embracing Qi charging - including the new Pixel 3. Having wireless charging on a car dock makes so much sense though, seeing as you are likely using your phone for navigation or streaming music (or both), which can really take a toll on your battery. So having it charge, without worrying about plugging it in, is definitely a plus here. We’ve been using the Kenu Airframe Wireless for about a month now, and it has performed pretty well. But with a price of $59.99, is it worth the price? Let’s find out.
What's In The Box
In the box, you don’t get much. There’s the car dock, a USB-C to USB-A cable and then a car charger that supports Quick Charge 3.0. This car charger that is included, supports Quick Charge 3.0 for two reasons. One, you can plug your phone in and quickly charge it if you need, and two because this is capable of Fast Wireless Charging at 10W for Samsung and Google Pixel smartphones, or 7.5W for iPhones. And you also get some paperwork in the box, that no one is really ever going to read, and that’s about it.
Design & Build Quality
As far as the build quality goes here, well it is plastic. That is to be expected, as plastic works better with wireless charging, than metal or aluminum. And a glass car dock is just asking for trouble. So it’s plastic, with the back (the part touching the back of your phone) has a soft-touch feel. This is to keep it in place while you are driving. Of course, there are also some arms on the left and right side that will also keep your phone in place.
Kenu sells this wireless car dock in two versions. One is an air-vent car mount and the other is a dashboard mount. Both serve the same purpose, they are both priced at the same $59.99. The dashboard mount has a bit more customization available, when it comes to adjusting the angle that it sits at. Of course, part of this is due to the arm that it has. The arm is also plastic, with a suction cup on the bottom, that has worked pretty well with the Kenu Airframe Wireless. It hasn’t popped off of the dashboard at all.
There’s not a lot to the design here, and that is because Kenu was more focused on the functionality of this car dock, which is where it should have been focused. Most people don’t buy car mounts for their design, but because of their functionality and price. With Fast Wireless Charging included here, it’s going to catch a lot of attention.
Setting up the Kenu Airframe Wireless is pretty simple. Essentially plug in the car charger, and then plug in the included cable into the Quick Charge 3.0 port (the other port doesn’t output enough for the dock to charge wirelessly), then plug the other end into your dock. And that’s it really. For the majority of the review period, we used the dashboard mount, as it put our phone in a better position than the air-vent mount. That is going to be up to your vehicle. On my particular vehicle, the air vent mount would have the phone sort of under the steering wheel, so the steering wheel was obstructing the view of the screen. Not too helpful when you need to adjust the way you are sitting so you can see the screen to see where you are going. But the performance was the same on both car mounts.
When it comes to holding the device in place, it did so quite well. The only complaint here is that it would be nice to have a “shelf” at the bottom of the mount, so that the phone doesn’t slip at all while it is mounted. But it never fell out of the mount, which is what matters here. We used the Kenu Airframe Mount with some larger phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note9, which it was able to hold quite nicely. So this mount could likely even hold a small tablet - like a seven inch tablet, definitely not something like the Pixel Slate.
Wireless charging worked quite well. It does do 10W wireless charging for the Galaxy Note9, so it was able to charge it pretty quickly. However, we did notice on hotter days, when the sun is beaming down on the device in the mount and using navigation from Google Maps, charging was slower (this might be due to the Galaxy Note9 using more juice than the charger can give it). But the rest of the time, it was able to charge pretty well. It was definitely nice being able to drive for about 20 to 30 minutes and get to where you are going with a full charge. Even without having to worry about plugging the phone in. Though on devices like the LG V40 ThinQ, you may not get as much of a full charge, since it is charging it slower (LG doesn’t use Fast Wireless Charging) so do keep that in mind if you have something other than an Apple, Google or Samsung smartphone.
The Kenu Airframe Wireless is a really good mount to pick up. It really makes wireless charging a great feature to have and make use of. Of course, it does also work really well as being a car mount, and that’s why you are buying this mount anyways, so that’s what matters. The Kenu Airframe Wireless can be a bit expensive. With both models priced at $59.99, those are rather expensive for car mounts, but that is not too expensive for a Fast Wireless Charger, seeing as many of those that support fast charging, are priced around $40-$60 themselves. So it’s worth the price, even though it does seem high. The good thing is, more and more smartphones are support wireless charging, and even more are adding fast wireless charging (including Xiaomi and Google adding it this year, alone). The Kenu Airframe Wireless is available now from Amazon, and you can pick it up using the link below.