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Old 1st December 2015, 19:53   #1
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Default Review: A8 Head-Up Display

The product

It is simply called A8 HUD. No brand name. It connects to the OBD port and does not need any extra power source. When I found that this was available for $ 37.99 with free shipping, I bit the bullet and ordered it.

Features

Displays various things like
  • Speed
  • RPM
  • Coolant temperature
  • Trip distance
  • Fuel consumption

Pretty much plug and play. When it was delivered today, all I did was open the box and plug it in. I am yet to tweak any settings.

What is in the box?

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Clockwise from top left -
  1. Non-Slip mat & reflective sticker
  2. Product box
  3. User Manual
  4. HUD unit
  5. OBD Cable

There is a protective film on the device which needs to be removed to reduce unwanted reflections. After removal, the device has a nice matt finish.

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Initial impressions

Pros -
Looks cool
LED is bright and produces vivid colours
Nice useful and thoughtful features like -
  • When car is cranked and the device powers up, it displays battery voltage.
  • It then switches to trip distance
  • When car is stationary, fuel display show L/Hour
  • Once car reaches 5 kmph, displays L/100 kms
  • Ambient light sensor automatically adjusts display brightness
  • Once the car crosses 80 kmph, only speed & fuel are displayed. Less distraction
  • Has a shift reminder. Not sure if it is solely RPM based or takes engine speed, vehicle speed and load in consideration
  • Turns on & off automatically with the car

Cons -
  • Since it is connected to OBD, I expected faster refresh
  • Slight distraction, possibly because today was the first time I used it
  • Double reflection on the windshield. Not really a product con though. I haven't installed the supplied reflective film yet
  • Trip distance gets reset each time the car is turned off. Also given that there is only provision for 2 digits and one decimal place, I am assuming it will get reset to 00.0 after 99.9 kms, rendering it useless for highway runs. I feel that the water temperature / voltage displays would be far more useful. Sadly, can display only one of these three values at a time.

Here is a short video I shot with my dashcam



Will post long term observations with more usage. While it is not a must have accessory, it does add to the cool quotient of the car

PS: Pictures are off the internet. Credits to respective owners.

Last edited by GTO : 15th January 2016 at 14:48. Reason: Absolutely NO gearbest promotions on Team-BHP
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Old 1st December 2015, 20:08   #2
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Default re: Review: A8 Head-Up Display

Nice ...

How did you manage to the get the OBD cable from the display to the OBD port?

Is it visible or concealed?
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Old 1st December 2015, 20:12   #3
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Default re: Review: A8 Head-Up Display

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbhiJ View Post
Nice ...

How did you manage to the get the OBD cable from the display to the OBD port?

Is it visible or concealed?
At the moment, it just runs across the dash. A proper install and cable routing has to be done. But still some of the cable will be visible. It cannot be completely concealed, unless I drill a hole in the dash.
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Old 2nd December 2015, 09:39   #4
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Default re: Review: A8 Head-Up Display

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatchyBoy View Post
The product

It is simply called A8 HUD. ...... Credits to respective owners.
Nice!

If only they could connect the device over Blue-tooth, the wiring hassle can be done away with.

I think it will look brilliant at night, ain't it?

I think the OBD connection must be disconnected everytime the car is parked as it will keep draining power otherwise.

Last edited by batterylow : 2nd December 2015 at 09:43. Reason: Additional data
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Old 2nd December 2015, 10:01   #5
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Default re: Review: A8 Head-Up Display

Quote:
Originally Posted by batterylow View Post
Nice!

If only they could connect the device over Blue-tooth, the wiring hassle can be done away with.
That would mean a battery power source for the device which would need recharging. This way, it just draws power from the OBD port

Quote:
I think it will look brilliant at night, ain't it?
Yes. It does look cool in the night. But the display does dim a bit in the night to make it less distracting.

Quote:
I think the OBD connection must be disconnected everytime the car is parked as it will keep draining power otherwise.
No. When the car is turned off, the device also turns off after a few seconds. Watch the end of the video that I have posted. As per the manufacturer, there will be no battery drain.
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Old 2nd December 2015, 11:53   #6
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Default re: Review: A8 Head-Up Display

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatchyBoy View Post
The product

It is simply called A8 HUD....
Nice addition there. Wanted to buy one of these for sometime now. Only thing holding me back is I don't have a credit card
Will it hold up against the heat generated due to sun light ? Asking since it can be quite a lot especially during noon.
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Old 2nd December 2015, 12:11   #7
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Default re: Review: A8 Head-Up Display

Quote:
Originally Posted by aswin ajith View Post
Wanted to buy one of these for sometime now. Only thing holding me back is I don't have a credit card
I don't have a credit card either. I paid via paypal, which is linked to my savings account.

Quote:
Will it hold up against the heat generated due to sun light ? Asking since it can be quite a lot especially during noon.
Good point. It might be a good idea to disconnect the device and store it in the glove compartment, when parking in the hot sun.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 17:32   #8
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Default Re: Review: A8 Head-Up Display

Quote:
Originally Posted by batterylow View Post
If only they could connect the device over Blue-tooth, the wiring hassle can be done away with
The Android market has a free app called 'Torque'. This uses the OBD bluetooth to display information on your phone. In the settings, there is an option called 'Toggle HUD view'. This would invert the fonts and the gauge displays, so you could use your phone to act like the A8 heads-up display.
If you have a old or cheap android phone, download the free app, buy a Bluetooth OBD connector and you are golden
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Old 3rd December 2015, 23:22   #9
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Default Re: Review: A8 Head-Up Display

Quote:
Originally Posted by nijelj View Post
If you have a old or cheap android phone, download the free app, buy a Bluetooth OBD connector and you are golden
Tried that a couple of years back. Works. Not golden though
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Old 3rd December 2015, 23:47   #10
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Default Re: Review: A8 Head-Up Display

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatchyBoy View Post
Tried that a couple of years back. Works. Not golden though
What was the draw back with this method, that you found then?
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Old 4th December 2015, 00:15   #11
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Default Re: Review: A8 Head-Up Display

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatchyBoy View Post
Tried that a couple of years back. Works. Not golden though
Quote:
Originally Posted by nijelj View Post
What was the draw back with this method, that you found then?
Display gets totally washed out in light.
And even in darkness, its not that effective.
And you don't get an Android phone for $40?; Do you?
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Old 4th December 2015, 06:22   #12
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Default Re: Review: A8 Head-Up Display

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay4587 View Post
Display gets totally washed out in light.
And even in darkness, its not that effective.
And you don't get an Android phone for $40?; Do you?
The display for torque can be adjusted to look just like a digital display like that of the A8 (black background with white digits). This will take care of the visibility issues in Day or Night conditions.

A new sansui android phone comes for rs2100 or approx 32$.

To make the phone+obd bluetooth dongle system equivalent to the A8, we'd need a phone+ELM bluetooth OBD+phone charger. This would make the price around 2100+1000+100= rs 3200. Approx 48$.

Yes, there is a difference of 16$ or rs1070. But that looks more expensive only if you want the just the information that can be shown by the A8. The possibilities of customization within torque + having navigation capabilities of a phone overcomes the price differential, for me atleast.
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Old 4th December 2015, 10:06   #13
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Default Re: Review: A8 Head-Up Display

Quote:
Originally Posted by nijelj View Post
The Android market has a free app called 'Torque'. ....
If you have a old or cheap android phone, download the free app, buy a Bluetooth OBD connector and you are golden
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatchyBoy View Post
Tried that a couple of years back. Works. Not golden though
Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay4587 View Post
Display gets totally washed out in light.
And even in darkness, its not that effective.
And you don't get an Android phone for $40?; Do you?
I have tried Torque previously but I have not tried this feature yet.

I too am sceptical of the ability of the display to overcome the ambient light. Nonetheless, I shall give it a demo run today and get back with the results.
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Old 4th December 2015, 11:43   #14
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Default Re: Review: A8 Head-Up Display

Any advantages of this over the ELM327 Bluetooth interface OBD-II devices?

You can easily connect an ELM327 device using Bluetooth to a 7 inch tab mounted on a holder and get diagnostic metrics.

You can get basic tabs for around 2-3k and an ELM327 device costs 600/- max and Torque Pro app is bundled with the ELM device.

Any specific reason for not using the above setup?

I may have missed something specific to your device, hence asking.


Cheers,
Yogesh.

Last edited by yogeshnagpal : 4th December 2015 at 11:45.
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Old 4th December 2015, 12:06   #15
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Default Re: Review: A8 Head-Up Display

It's a cool setup! But just wondering the use of this for a common man as it only shows the statistics of a car. It would have been really helpful if this is integrated with bluetooth and can display maps with directions - like the Jaguar cars Are there any such devices available? It must be a similar technology which receives data and projects it ( I know it may not be as simple as that!) Just checking
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