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Old 14th August 2022, 14:47   #196
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Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by deep_bang View Post
1. Use the android system as your main system and play things right off the main OS. Like you have your music apps and navigation etc right from the headunit.
2. Use wired android auto or carplay and treat the unit more or less as a dumb unit and let your phone do the heavy lifting.
3. Use wireless android auto for a seamless experience.
Thanks a lot for these details. My main concern with #1 & #3 is that there is going to be a wifi signal inside the car at all times. I may sound paranoid here, but I really dont think sitting for a long time with so much radiation inside the car is safe in the long run (the science is still under review).
So I feel that #2 is the 'safest' option, although the battery drains faster as you mentioned. Can you plz recommend some android systems for #2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbppjpr View Post
I switched onto conventional Android Auto/Carplay headunit due to the unacceptably poor audio quality and poor user experience while accessing the routine driving related tasks like navigation and all. It was so much distracting and risky to use in a car.
Can you pz clarify what you mean by 'conventional android HU'? How is it different?
my primary purpose is to use the screen for reverse parking, google-maps and the basic radio & USB/phone music. Which system would you recommend ?
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Old 14th August 2022, 15:26   #197
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Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

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Originally Posted by hanzt View Post
Can you pz clarify what you mean by 'conventional android HU'? How is it different?
These are the branded double din headunits sold by the established brands like Alpine, Sony, Pioneer etc where you have to connect your phone to mirror the car specific interfaces like Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. The in-dash units usually have standard screen size of 7 inches. Some other HUs come with bigger screen size like the Sony XAV 8000/8100 where screen portion protrudes out of the dashboard, though its tilt and height adjustable.

Quote:
my primary purpose is to use the screen for reverse parking, google-maps and the basic radio & USB/phone music. Which system would you recommend ?
You can consider the Alpine ILX 650/660 if your primary source of music is going to be the mobile phone. These units have single USB port so you can either keep your phone or USB thumb drive connected at a time. But they are superior in terms of audio quality and audio related features.

Alpine also has a dedicated amplifier which can be fitted behind either of these headunits, so no wiring mesh in the boot of your car. Although the amp needs to be bought as a separate accessory.

If you like to keep a USB thumb drive attached all the time along with the mobile phone for the navigation and calls, then look for the headunits with the dual USB ports, for eg Sony XAV 5500, 7000, 8000/8100 etc.

Pioneer also has similar systems, but look for the systems with only capacitive touch screens, avoid the resistive touch screens.

Quote:
there is going to be a wifi signal inside the car at all times. I may sound paranoid here, but I really dont think sitting for a long time with so much radiation inside the car is safe in the long run (the science is still under review).
More than the WiFi radiation, you will be worried about the battery of your phone. You would not like to be with a dead phone at the end of a 3-5 hour long trip where you want to capture a scenic moment but you can't.

And to overcome this issue, you will have to connect your phone with charger, so all in all there has to be wire somewhere in the setup, even in case or wireless charger unless your car is already equipped with one, and if it already has one then there is high probability of it already having a competitive infotainment system with all the needful features.

Life is getting too much complicated in the process of making it easier.

Last edited by tbppjpr : 14th August 2022 at 15:37.
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Old 15th August 2022, 04:05   #198
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Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by hanzt View Post
Thanks a lot for these details. My main concern with #1 & #3 is that there is going to be a wifi signal inside the car at all times. I may sound paranoid here, but I really dont think sitting for a long time with so much radiation inside the car is safe in the long run (the science is still under review).
So I feel that #2 is the 'safest' option, although the battery drains faster as you mentioned. Can you plz recommend some android systems for #2?
#2 is the easiest and most compatible option and should work with almost all phones. Rather than looking for an android system, I would look for a system that's android-auto compatible. Now, what's the difference?

Android systems - run android natively and you basically get something like a android 10 running on the system, with apps just like on your phone. The bottom range of these start from 10-15k for a 2gb/16gb variant. Generally, as you may have noticed, our phones now a days tend to have 6 gb upwards (my OnePlus 5 that I got in 2017 was a 6gb model), so you can imaging how a 2gb system runs. It's slow. 4gb etc models tend to be faster and generally move to the 25 to 40k range. Models include woodman and such, mostly rebranded Chinese versions.

Non-Android systems but supporting Android Auto - most reputed manufacturers like pioneer, Sony etc have these.

My take is that, you should first try to see if your use cases are satisfied by the option 2 (Android auto from reputed manufacturers). This is the best solution and generally towards either better or same quality of sound as your current system.

However, I myself have installed a woodman android system on my XUV... Why?
Because, the XUV has a bunch of status like ac status etc coming on the same screen as the music system and to get that, I needed to get the canbus adapter which only works well with the Chinese systems. Secondly, the frames for every car differ and for XUV without a 2-din attachment, it would become complex to fit in a 2-din system from pioneer or Sony and such. Chinese systems fill this void by supplying the front frames compatible with cars like XUV which dont directly support a 2 din system.
Thirdly, compatibility with steering controls is another reason to choose the woodman, but I am guessing this may be possible to achieve with pioneer/Sony types too.

Can you tell us which car you are looking for? May be we can suggest better based on that.
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Old 15th August 2022, 11:54   #199
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Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by deep_bang View Post
#2 is the easiest and most compatible option and should work with almost all phones. Rather than looking for an android system, I would look for a system that's android-auto compatible. Now, what's the difference?
This has been the most clear explanation I have got from anywhere on the internet, thank you so much

Quote:
Originally Posted by deep_bang View Post
Android systems - run android natively and you basically get something like a android 10 running on the system, with apps just like on your phone. The bottom range of these start from 10-15k for a 2gb/16gb variant. Models include woodman and such, mostly rebranded Chinese versions.
I agree, they are basically Tablets. However, dont they now come with 'DSP chips' themselves, which enable good quality audio?
Btw - this is my dilemma as well, since I really have no use of all the various 'apps' on it (since many in my family have motion sickness, so they wont be watching videos on the screen anyway). The main use is going to be - reverse parking camera, Google Maps (most imp.!) and basic radio/music.
How laggy is the Google Maps on these 'tablets' with 2GB ram, that it necessitates need of Andriod-Auto / Car-play ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deep_bang View Post
Non-Android systems but supporting Android Auto - most reputed manufacturers like pioneer, Sony etc have these.
My Toyota Urban Cruiser (basically Brezza) car can take a 9 inch screen. But the 9" ones of these brands becomes super expensive >25K as far as I have found. Plz correct me if I am wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deep_bang View Post
Because, the XUV has a bunch of status like ac status etc coming on the same screen as the music system and to get that, I needed to get the canbus adapter which only works well with the Chinese systems.
Thirdly, compatibility with steering controls is another reason to choose the woodman, but I am guessing this may be possible to achieve with pioneer/Sony types too.
That was my 4th use-case (after rev.camera/GMaps/Music), of being able to see the car info (mileage, trips, doo-ajar & other notifications) that come on the MID, on the larger screen using the CANBUS. Does the CANBUS come with the andriod-units, or do we need to get it from the dealer? My dealer seems to be oblivious of 'canbus'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deep_bang View Post
Can you tell us which car you are looking for? May be we can suggest better based on that.
Mine is an Urban Cruiser (rebadged Brezza). I can find that Hypersonic (here) & Hamaan (here) do have compatible screens. There are many others as well - Nippon, JVC, Bassholic, unplug, etc. It's all getting very confusing.
All I want is a 9" screen that can show rev-parking, Google Maps, Radio/Music & Car-info via Canbus (bonus). Plz share your thoughts & suggestions.
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Old 15th August 2022, 20:05   #200
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Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Posting a detailed install and initial impressions here

Model: Woodman Xtreme 3.0 4GB/64Gb
Price: 35k (after negotiation with sales guy)
Installation: 1050/- Done at home


Celebrating freedom from outdated stereos

Background
I drive a 2012 model pre-owned ANHC. I got it from an individualy seller in pristine condition at 35k kms in 2016. I was really analysing how long I am going to keep this car given it's 2022 and all the developments that have taken place. I recently went in for a tire upsize (Continental UC6 195/60/R15). Post which I have been really enjoying zooming down the highways of AP. I thought - at 87k kms the car feels sprightly. There are no issues and these tyres have solved GC issues and imbued new light and comfort in the car. All that's missing is an updated 'smart' music system.

Thus began the research: After going through 4-5 days of TBHP, understanding basics of android HU and youtube videos, I decided to go in for the Woodman. Conceptually I knew what I was going for, and although would have loved to go for Alpine or some such established one, it could have resulted in compatibility issues (not sure) and too much high cost at HU level itself.

The Purchase

I wrote an email to woodman's support id and a sales guy reached out. We whatsapped for 3-4 days where he sent multiple videos, answered arbitrary questions about screen resolution, service, compatibility, etc. Finally analysed multiple things about how long to keep the car, transferability, etc and took the plunge. Bargained with him to reduce the price as much as possible.

Delivery came in 3 days after ordering - 13th August. I wanted to get the install done on Sunday, but Vijayawada most of the showroom workforce is off on Sundays, as I discovered. The Woodman people recommended an installer and I called him. He sent the installer home on 15th August morning.

The guy did it beautifully in a very unhurried manner. Took 1.5 hours. Took good measurements to install reverse camera and left the car and panels looking as is, after he was done. Really impressed with the methodical approach to the install. He said in the last month he had installed 20 odd woodman systems in VJA itself and that seems to be the most preferred online brand. Other than that local brands are there which people can go for based on their budget he mentioned. Now whether it's genuinely the case, or he said it just to reduce potential buyer's remorse, I don't know.

Initial Impressions

Good responsiveness. Easy to link accounts and setup. Reverse camera, steering controls, radio, works perfectly based on a brief drive I did. GPS is accurate. Bluetooth pairing is a breeze. SQ sounded maybe 10% better on streamed songs, but I need to do a detailed listening to see if it improved due to so called DSP or it was more or less same from before. Need to still check android auto, mirroring and sim related features.

Another thing- While it is snappy, I'd say the overall interface is quite basic. 720p screen after being used to 1080p or higher on most other screens definitely noticeable, but the default big size of the UI makes it easy to navigate. I still need to play around with various settings and tweak and maybe even explore other launcher options. Looking forward to a renewed car ownership experience thanks to updated ICE

Like I posted in the advice section as well, I'm planning a step by step upgrade and thanks to Michelin star recommendations from a Guru, thinking I'll drive down to Chennai and go to Speedfreaks after setting up an appointment to ensure timely delivery.

Some pictures:
Attached Thumbnails
The Android Head-Unit buying guide-new-install-1.jpeg  

The Android Head-Unit buying guide-new-stereo-1.jpeg  

The Android Head-Unit buying guide-old-stereo-1.jpeg  

The Android Head-Unit buying guide-reverse-cam.jpeg  


Last edited by sultanofswing : 15th August 2022 at 20:15.
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Old 16th August 2022, 11:36   #201
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Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by hanzt View Post
This has been the most clear explanation I have got from anywhere on the internet, thank you so much
Thank you!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by hanzt View Post
I agree, they are basically Tablets. However, dont they now come with 'DSP chips' themselves, which enable good quality audio?
Btw - this is my dilemma as well, since I really have no use of all the various 'apps' on it (since many in my family have motion sickness, so they wont be watching videos on the screen anyway). The main use is going to be - reverse parking camera, Google Maps (most imp.!) and basic radio/music.
How laggy is the Google Maps on these 'tablets' with 2GB ram, that it necessitates need of Andriod-Auto / Car-play ?
The 2GB RAM versions are slow as far as input goes. It takes a second or 2 for the UI operations to work. However, assuming you would have already checked the destination on your phone, the same history would show up on the head unit too, and makes it easier to choose your destination.
Once chosen, the display is as fast as it can be wrt updating the screen. Turns and Navigation works perfectly fine even on my 2GB system.

It also goes into a windowed mode, if you go to a different app - say you are playing a song on an app, maps will go to windowed mode.

Just expect it to be functional, but not snappy - thats what i would warn about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hanzt View Post
My Toyota Urban Cruiser (basically Brezza) car can take a 9 inch screen. But the 9" ones of these brands becomes super expensive >25K as far as I have found. Plz correct me if I am wrong.
Hmm. My opinion is that, if you are not dependent on any canbus issues or support for steering controls, and if you are an audiophile, the branded systems are any day better even if they are about 10k more expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hanzt View Post
That was my 4th use-case (after rev.camera/GMaps/Music), of being able to see the car info (mileage, trips, doo-ajar & other notifications) that come on the MID, on the larger screen using the CANBUS. Does the CANBUS come with the andriod-units, or do we need to get it from the dealer? My dealer seems to be oblivious of 'canbus'.
If you already have this data on your MID, then i would suggest not to have this as a requirement. Canbus requires an extra hardware adapter which itself is about 4 to 5k. Also, support for canbus may or may not be iffy - a lot of this is very unclear and dependent on whether the software has knowledge of the codes for your particular car. So, you will need to check with someone who is selling the unit to see what will work for your car and what will not. For example, for XUV500, the seller was clear that TPMS wont work, but AC controls, reverse parking sensors, steering controls all work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hanzt View Post
Mine is an Urban Cruiser (rebadged Brezza). I can find that Hypersonic (here) & Hamaan (here) do have compatible screens. There are many others as well - Nippon, JVC, Bassholic, unplug, etc. It's all getting very confusing.
All I want is a 9" screen that can show rev-parking, Google Maps, Radio/Music & Car-info via Canbus (bonus). Plz share your thoughts & suggestions.
There is no easy answer unless someone who has actually installed a unit on a brezza/urban cruiser can comment. What i can is that these chinese units (Whether woodman or Hamaan - took some time to realize its not Harman), do provide decent features at a decent price point, but WILL NOT match the factory-like usability. You just need to set your expectations accordingly and that's why they are also priced lower than the pioneers and the sony's of the world.

Last edited by deep_bang : 16th August 2022 at 11:39.
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Old 18th August 2022, 11:11   #202
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Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

I've a 2017 Duster, and I was looking for an android head unit for some time, finally took a plunge.
Got MyTVS 2GB/16GB version, wanted to go for a higher version but had couple of observations and finally decided to go for a lower unit.
It is a 9" screen, with Duster original frame being 7", it does sit outside a bit, but doesn't look bad as many stock units also have a "floating" approach now a days.

Checked lot of systems, most of them were a bit laggy (not the 4GB/64GB ones though) to start with.
Initial application load was always a bit slow. When the car is idle, it would not make a difference but if you want to open maps while driving, it does seem slow.
Same goes with the few music apps I tried.

An alternative to that is Android Auto enabled systems. Although it might not make sense to limit the functionality by using Android Auto, when one can use a full fledged android experience, but there were few points to consider:

- Android auto UI extremely easy to use
- Absolutely no lag (even with my 2GB system)
- No need to connect wifi etc
- No need to install additional apps on the head unit
- SMS/whatsapp/messages etc work natively (reading out messages aloud if needed)
- My primary use case if of maps/music/podcast, this is fully addressed by Android auto

The unit I bought did not have android auto enabled by default, I installed an app called "Headunit reloaded", after that wired android auto connection was seamless.

Here are few of the points regarding overall installation:

- It took around 2-2.5 hours to install the whole thing.
- No wires were cut, and overall installation was neatly done.
- Additional GPS unit was added, and USB input was moved to the glove compartment.
- I had an aftermarket reverse camera (and sensor setup), this was not compatible with the unit. Camera was replaced (sensors still do not work, and need to be changed)
- Vendor mentioned that CANBUS would be needed for duster to get steering controls to work, got it installed. Most of the buttons work but Prev/Next behaviour is erratic

I've been using the unit for a week now. Maps/Music/Podcast is through Android auto (which as I mentioned earlier is seamless and a breeze to use).
If I want to view YouTube/video, then I use to apps installed on the Headunit. These apps, once loaded, work as expected and I not faced any issues so far.


One of my friends got MyTVS 2GB/32GB version, and that has Android auto (and Carplay I think) in build.
That unit also allows Android auto connection, the price difference is not much as well.


Overall I'm happy with the purchase, I would have been disappointed with the performance if not for Android auto. I'll be visiting the vendor to sort out Prev/Next and reverse issue.

Some snaps...

The Android Head-Unit buying guide-whatsapp-image-20220818-10.09.45-am-1.jpeg

The Android Head-Unit buying guide-whatsapp-image-20220818-10.09.45-am.jpeg

The Android Head-Unit buying guide-whatsapp-image-20220818-10.09.44-am-2.jpeg

The Android Head-Unit buying guide-whatsapp-image-20220818-10.09.44-am-1.jpeg

The Android Head-Unit buying guide-whatsapp-image-20220818-10.09.44-am.jpeg

The Android Head-Unit buying guide-whatsapp-image-20220818-10.09.43-am-1.jpeg

The Android Head-Unit buying guide-whatsapp-image-20220818-10.09.42-am-1.jpeg

The Android Head-Unit buying guide-whatsapp-image-20220818-10.09.42-am.jpeg
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Old 3rd September 2022, 19:23   #203
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Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbppjpr View Post
Finally got the Sony XAV AX5500 headunit after trying out four different models of the Android headunits with and without DSP from different brands. All of them were producing low quality music along with the background noise. User interface was also cluttered and performance was also not consistent. The moment when you need the quick response, they just don't respond. Though they offer lots of features and customizations but only useful if they come with some quality hardware.

I may have connected my phone for 15-20 times so far and the HU consistently recognizes my phone and goes onto Android Auto screen after the usual 5-10 seconds which it takes to load the Android Auto.

Once the AA screen is loaded, I am greeted with the Google maps which is smooth to operate unlike the Android headunits I tried previously where the performance was laggy and inconstant. Voice commands are also working fine which is the preferred safe way to use in the car. Although it does not recognize the 'Hey Google' or 'Ok Google' all the times. Maybe some settings need to be made or maybe it does not recognize it due to the cabin noise. Or maybe its the way how its supposed to works, I am not sure. But once the mic button is touched, it accepts commands without any miss. .

Overall, OBD and TPMS features are missed in the Android Auto, but the user experience with the rest of the features is just so much smoother and pleasing.
Thanks for the feedback of Sony XAV5500, I have been considering it for upgrade in my Altis.do you know if it will support two camera inputs in case I want to install front camera in future?

I am also considering woodman wow 360 Android solely for the reason that it support and comes with 360degree camera. Any suggestions if woodman is a good brand?

All other brands like Blaupunkt, Alpine etc are way too costly for the purpose I am upgrading.
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Old 7th September 2022, 09:20   #204
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Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Hi all,

One of my friends is travelling to the USA for a few days in the coming week, would it be a good idea to source a Blaupunkt AA compatible screen from there? Will it have different connectors compared to units available in India? This is specifically for a 2017 Ecosport with the FlyAudio ICE system.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Blaupunkt...ntent=Shipping
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Old 9th September 2022, 05:44   #205
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Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Guys, I'm looking to upgrade my ICE - trying to choose between AA /ACP head units and Android units. I came across Woodman Extreme which is Android based, but also has AA /ACP through something called Zeta link. Has anyone tried this? Atleast the demo video shows this as seamless.

If so, which Bluetooth and mic would it use? The phone or the Headunit?

My second question is: how fast does the head unit charge the mobile phone in case i use Android Auto? Would it be as fast as a normal car charger? I don't want to end up draining the battery and making my situation worse off! A lot of forums has complaints that most head units are very slow when charging AA.

Last edited by contentedbloke : 9th September 2022 at 05:46. Reason: Typo
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Old 9th September 2022, 06:20   #206
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Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

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Originally Posted by contentedbloke View Post
Guys, I'm looking to upgrade my ICE - trying to choose between AA /ACP head units and Android units. I came across Woodman Extreme which is Android based, but also has AA /ACP through something called Zeta link. Has anyone tried this? Atleast the demo video shows this as seamless.

If so, which Bluetooth and mic would it use? The phone or the Headunit?

My second question is: how fast does the head unit charge the mobile phone in case i use Android Auto? Would it be as fast as a normal car charger? I don't want to end up draining the battery and making my situation worse off! A lot of forums has complaints that most head units are very slow when charging AA.
I have a woodman system and can answer some of the above.
A Bluetooth connection with your phone can be used and then the phone calls will come through to your headunit. In this case your headunits mic and the car speakers will be used.
On the charging speed, it's slow. On my Galaxy S20FE, it's so slow that it barely keeps up the charge lost due to driving the android auto display.
What I do is to use wireless android auto, and connect a different charger to the phone. That helps because we can even potentially buy fast chargers etc in future ( i have a regular cable, but potentially extensible).
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Old 9th September 2022, 09:20   #207
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Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by deep_bang View Post
I have a woodman system and can answer some of the above.
A Bluetooth connection with your phone can be used and then the phone calls will come through to your headunit. In this case your headunits mic and the car speakers will be used.
On the charging speed, it's slow. On my Galaxy S20FE, it's so slow that it barely keeps up the charge lost due to driving the android auto display.
What I do is to use wireless android auto, and connect a different charger to the phone. That helps because we can even potentially buy fast chargers etc in future ( i have a regular cable, but potentially extensible).
Ok thanks. Looks like i will use only AA / ACP wireless. This is what most other people are also doing to ensure that phone doesn't run out of charge. Is it easy to launch the Zeta app and use wireless?
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Old 9th September 2022, 09:31   #208
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Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

While I don't intend to make the change right now, maybe in future..but just checking if there are aftermarket HU available for Tata Nexon that perform better or equivalent to the stock Harman HU from factory, in terms of audios quality and compatibility?
The stock HU is really good wrt sound output however it feels very laggy, tiny and misses out on Android.

I have heard about people installing HU from HyperSonic and Blaupunkt etc but lot of them feel that audio output was a letdown compared to stock.

Last edited by rishi.roger : 9th September 2022 at 09:32.
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Old 9th September 2022, 09:55   #209
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Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

I changed the touch screen head unit of my Honda City with a UNO-Minda Android system. Total cost inclusive of fitting was Rs 20,500. Surprised that the Honda Unit lasted this long; it was weakest point of the whole car. This Android comes with wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto, convenient. I retained the speakers as they're decent, will upgrade later if required. Kindly ignore the spelling mistake on the box
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Old 26th September 2022, 11:15   #210
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Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

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I changed the touch screen head unit of my Honda City with a UNO-Minda Android system...
Thanks for the update. I am in a dilemma to go for Android or the Sony/ Pioneer units. I have a 2015 Honda City- V MT. would greatly appreciate some more details please.

1. Did you changed the default mic (in case of V or VX variant) and OR the reverse camera. I understood that in some cases people went for another mic. I really want to keep the default mic as well as reverse camera as is and make them work somehow.

2. Call receiving and rejecting buttons on the steering - Are they working with the unit? I see that some of the units are not able to make them work.

3. Sound quality - how is the audio quality. I have read that the sound quality of these android units is not that great. Any comments on it.

4. Any specialized harness required for the installation or the system comes with everything required?

Would greatly appreciate your remarks on these points. The price you got it for seems VFM. I am really interested on something like these and even the fitments looks quite good here.
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