Team-BHP > In-Car Entertainment


Reply
  Search this Thread
486,137 views
Old 21st November 2023, 16:36   #346
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 9
Thanked: Once
Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

I have a WagonR VXI 2016. I want to change the 'entertainment' system.
I do not have need for excellent audio as I almost never listen to music in the car.
I need:
Reverse camera
Navigation
Phone connection to take calls
Listen to podcasts from Spotify, Youtube music, radio

Should I go for a Android HU, wired android auto/ACP, wireless android auto?
My steering does not have controls. Will I be able to fit after-market controls on the steering for calls, muting, etc?
Sorry to ask newbie questions but I have never delved into these issues in all these years of owning a car and driving.
emil is offline  
Old 21st November 2023, 18:13   #347
Distinguished - BHPian
 
mayankk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 5,115
Thanked: 8,022 Times
Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by emil View Post
I have a WagonR VXI 2016. I want to change the 'entertainment' system.
I do not have need for excellent audio as I almost never listen to music in the car.
I need:
Reverse camera
Navigation
Phone connection to take calls
Listen to podcasts from Spotify, Youtube music, radio
I picked up this with the above requirements:

https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B0B...0?ie=UTF8&th=1

Unsure about the rest of your requirements though. I dont think Steering controls are configurable on this. I haven't installed it yet, but it seemed much better an option than woodman or their ilk. Maybe this weekend I will get it installed, and let you know how it is.
mayankk is online now  
Old 21st November 2023, 21:47   #348
BHPian
 
bravo82in's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: UP80
Posts: 500
Thanked: 958 Times
Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by emil View Post
My steering does not have controls. Will I be able to fit after-market controls on the steering for calls, muting, etc?
The HU recommended by Mayank should ideally be compatible with steering controls. Given the popularity of the Wagon R, there are readily available OEM and non-OEM steering controls in the market. Moreover, most high-quality stereo models inherently support steering controls.

On a separate note, in many compact cars, including the Wagon R, the head unit placement is already in close proximity to the steering wheel. In my personal opinion, this proximity often negates the necessity for additional steering controls.

Regards
Bravo

Last edited by bravo82in : 21st November 2023 at 21:48. Reason: Typo. Salutation
bravo82in is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 22nd November 2023, 10:15   #349
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 9
Thanked: Once
Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
I picked up this with the above requirements:

https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B0B...0?ie=UTF8&th=1

Unsure about the rest of your requirements though. I dont think Steering controls are configurable on this. I haven't installed it yet, but it seemed much better an option than woodman or their ilk. Maybe this weekend I will get it installed, and let you know how it is.
Thank you for the tip. I'll look for your review after you install it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bravo82in View Post
The HU recommended by Mayank should ideally be compatible with steering controls. Given the popularity of the Wagon R, there are readily available OEM and non-OEM steering controls in the market. Moreover, most high-quality stereo models inherently support steering controls.

On a separate note, in many compact cars, including the Wagon R, the head unit placement is already in close proximity to the steering wheel. In my personal opinion, this proximity often negates the necessity for additional steering controls.

Regards
Bravo
Point well made. In my case, I am a senior citizen with slower reflexes. I don't like to look away from the road ahead too long. Despite the proximity, a touch screen needs precise touching of virtual buttons which cannot be felt. Controls on the steering wheel can be used by a quick glance and feeling the button layout.
emil is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 22nd November 2023, 12:30   #350
BHPian
 
tbppjpr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: India
Posts: 783
Thanked: 1,349 Times
Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by emil View Post
Point well made. In my case, I am a senior citizen with slower reflexes. I don't like to look away from the road ahead too long. Despite the proximity, a touch screen needs precise touching of virtual buttons which cannot be felt. Controls on the steering wheel can be used by a quick glance and feeling the button layout.
if you aim to keep yourself distraction and frustration free while driving then you should avoid the Chinese Android HUs in the first place. Those things are just garbage.

The features you are looking at will never work on time when you need them the most. For example navigation is the most useful feature these days while driving. And when you need it desperately while stuck in the sea of traffic or on a fast moving highway, the HU won't listen or understand your commands. Even if it understand, it will freeze itself until you miss the important turn on your way.

Software, apps and the layout of the HU is so much cluttered and distracting that having steering controls will also not help. You will have to keep resetting the HU again and again to keep it working so you will lose you customized screen layout. After couple of times, you won't even bother to customize it again and end up leaving it at defaults.

In the end you will end up with an awfully bright screen playing some distracting video song or movie on it, thats how I see these HUs are used in the most cars these days which are posing threat to other road users.

I am telling all this after trying out three different Android HUs in my car and dumping them all together before settling onto a branded Android Auto-Apple Car Play headunit two years back.

This HU has become kind of integral part of my car and my driving since then. First thing I do is I connect my phone with the HU before start driving, afterwards no distraction, no annoying disturbance. I just command it to navigate at my desired location and enjoy my driving.

You can even set the destination in your phone before leaving your home or office, can customize your stop points or roads and can follow all this once you connect your phone with the HU.

Dedicated Android Auto-Apple Car Play HUs are fuss free, they listen and execute your voice commands on time. I have never had any freezing or hanging issue in the last two years, the HU picks and executes the voice commands quickly. Off-course you will need couple of hour to train yourself and your HU after the first time installation for seamless functionality.

The brain used in these HUs is your own mobile phone where you already have everything customized as per your needs. You can easily access your saved locations, playlists or contacts in the HU.

Although I do not prefer making or attending phone calls while driving but if someone wants to use the calling feature, its super easy and crispy clear. You can easily make phone calls by using voice commands, even you can send messages if you wish to.

Best part is when a message is received, the HU will ask you if you want to listen it, once you confirm, it narrates the message in clean manners as long as its not typed in some slang or code language. Once the narration is finished, it will ask you to reply, you can speak the reply in your voice and it will type and send it after your permission.

Over the period of time, your preferences and customisations will keep evolving but you won't lose your customizations if you ever need to reset the HU or change it or change your car because all the customizations are stored in your mobile phone profile account which can migrate onto another phone, HUs or other cars whenever you want.

No data remains stored or available on the HU after you disconnect the phone from it. So you can leave your car at service station without worrying about your personal info or data.

Its just like an AI passengers who keeps interacting with you like other passengers in your car.

So better to look for something from Alpine, Sony or Pioneer instead of going for these grossly overpriced Chinese Android HUs.

Only thing you need to consider is if you want a wired or wireless connectivity. Wireless connectivity may seem very convenient in the first place but the downside is that your phone will discharge rapidly so you will still have to keep it plugged in the charger or put it on the wireless charger, so still kind of another connection, another load, another heat source for your phone.

Last edited by tbppjpr : 22nd November 2023 at 12:32.
tbppjpr is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 22nd November 2023, 14:31   #351
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 9
Thanked: Once
Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbppjpr View Post
Only thing you need to consider is if you want a wired or wireless connectivity. Wireless connectivity may seem very convenient in the first place but the downside is that your phone will discharge rapidly so you will still have to keep it plugged in the charger or put it on the wireless charger, so still kind of another connection, another load, another heat source for your phone.
Thank you for the details. I am leaning towards a Android Auto/ACP HU and your advice helped me. All the capability is in my phone. I dislike using those mirroring apps in the Android HU.
I have a question about wireless android auto. Where does the wifi come from? I read a post that mentioned that the phone is connected by the wifi put out by the HU but the HU may not have a SIM. Is it only a local connection between HU and phone?
emil is offline  
Old 22nd November 2023, 15:55   #352
BHPian
 
tbppjpr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: India
Posts: 783
Thanked: 1,349 Times
Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by emil View Post
I have a question about wireless android auto. Where does the wifi come from? I read a post that mentioned that the phone is connected by the wifi put out by the HU but the HU may not have a SIM. Is it only a local connection between HU and phone?
What you heard is partially true about the Android OS based HUs, not the AA/ACP. If your AA/ACP HU comes with wireless capabilities then it means the HU has inbuilt 5GH WiFi and your phone connects with it automatically after the first time pairing and configuration is successful. Only your phone's Bluetooth and WiFi should be kept on at the time you turn the HU on.

Here wireless connectivity means the way of connection between your HU and the phone, not the internet. The internet comes from your phone, be it wired or wireless, so no need for the SIM here.
tbppjpr is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 27th November 2023, 17:50   #353
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2023
Location: Kochi
Posts: 16
Thanked: 11 Times
Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by emil View Post
I have a WagonR VXI 2016. I want to change the 'entertainment' system.
I do not have need for excellent audio as I almost never listen to music in the car.
I need:
Reverse camera
Navigation
Phone connection to take calls
Listen to podcasts from Spotify, Youtube music, radio

Should I go for a Android HU, wired android auto/ACP, wireless android auto?
My steering does not have controls. Will I be able to fit after-market controls on the steering for calls, muting, etc?
Sorry to ask newbie questions but I have never delved into these issues in all these years of owning a car and driving.
Go for an android HU with wireless android auto and apple carplay. Then you can use spotify and YouTube music in two ways.
1. using android auto
2. You can install it in HU from play store.
and AA is very advanced than normal bluetooh for calling purpose.
I suggest https://canblo.com/Products/Explod-4-[2+32]-car-android-system/20 , Which can meet all your requirements
Autoxpert is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 27th November 2023, 22:21   #354
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2023
Location: Kochi
Posts: 16
Thanked: 11 Times
Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by emil View Post
Thank you for the details. I am leaning towards a Android Auto/ACP HU and your advice helped me. All the capability is in my phone. I dislike using those mirroring apps in the Android HU.
I have a question about wireless android auto. Where does the wifi come from? I read a post that mentioned that the phone is connected by the wifi put out by the HU but the HU may not have a SIM. Is it only a local connection between HU and phone?
Both android auto and apple CarPlay use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for connectivity. But apple CarPlay use Bluetooth to initiate CarPlay Wi-Fi connectivity and disconnects Bluetooth just after establishing Wi-Fi connectivity.
Bluetooth initiates connectivity in android auto also, but Bluetooth won't disconnect after establishing Wi-Fi connectivity.
Autoxpert is offline  
Old 3rd December 2023, 01:06   #355
BHPian
 
de3p's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 29
Thanked: 10 Times
Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by AYP View Post
Not exactly Thane, but I have heard good reviews about Reliable Radio, Lamington Road. In Vashi, you can go to Paras Car Decor in Sector-17(next to VIG car accessories). The shop owner is Suresh Oberoi and the name of the guy who does the work is Javed. I recently got the Pioneer DMH-Z6350BT installed in my Figo from them. The mapping of the steering control was a challenge but he was very patient and helpful and was able to map the controls after trying for almost an hour. It is better to reach the shop by 11-11:30, preferably on a weekday, to ensure that your car is the first one on which they start working.

Btw, how did you order from Aliexpress? Are they shipping to India? Can you specify the model, make and the specs of your HU? Can you also share the buying link?

Do let me know how it goes.
I got in touch with Mr. Amol from Reliable Radio and went to their Chembur branch. After a successful diagnosis, the issue was resolved without the need for CANBUS. I'm pleased to report that all the controls are now functioning properly. I appreciate your suggestion and would definitely recommend Reliable Radio to anyone looking for ICE solutions.
de3p is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 4th December 2023, 17:28   #356
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 9
Thanked: Once
Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Last week I got a AA/ACP HU installed in my car. I went for Pricol Xenos. I have not had a lot of time using it but so far it seems satisfactory. It ticked all my needs. The vendor first offered me the options of a Android unit named Cardy (Rs 6000 including fitting, camera and mic) and an AA/ACP unit named Planet (Rs 11000). Cardy did not meet my requirement. Planet seemed OK but there was a lot of difficulty to pair it with my phone. He also had the Xenos but told me that Planet was cheaper and was 4 GB/32 GB while the Xenos was just 2 GB.
On questioning him further, I learnt that he had not installed a single Planet yet but had many installations of Xenos which were working satisfactorily. He showed me a car which had the Xenos and it paired easily with my phone and played the music by selecting from my phone as I wanted.
I told him to go ahead and order one for me and he installed it. It works fine for me. It pairs using bluetooth and I can use it using voice commands for navigation and playing music. The reverse assist camera is not great but better than nothing. Depth perception is not great and there are no coloured guide lines as I have seen on other cars. Not sure if that just needs some software.
The only negative so far is that, every time I switch on the car, I need to disconnect my phone and reconnect. I am not sure if that is due to the fact that my phone is normally paired with my hearing aids.
He had quoted Rs 12000/- for the Xenos and we negotiated a price of Rs 11500/- inclusive of camera, mic and installation. The guy is close to my house so I don't anticipate any service issue. He has also said that if it fails within the warranty (1 year) there is no repair. He will just replace it. That is what is his understanding with his suppliers.
emil is offline  
Old 7th December 2023, 13:47   #357
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Trivandrum
Posts: 63
Thanked: 44 Times
Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoxpert View Post
Go for an android HU with wireless android auto and apple carplay. Then you can use spotify and YouTube music in two ways.
1. using android auto
2. You can install it in HU from play store.
and AA is very advanced than normal bluetooh for calling purpose.
I suggest https://canblo.com/Products/Explod-4-[2+32]-car-android-system/20 , Which can meet all your requirements
I second this suggestion.

I have a Woodman X9 Android unit installed a few months back. I realize that I hardly ever use anything on the head unit other than the wireless android auto/apple car play.

The HU does support android apps like YouTube, Netflix and the like but then you need to provide an internet connection to the HU for all of these apps to work. You need to use either a mobile hotspot/JioFi or else use a SIM card in the HU if it supports 4G SIM. And normal apps are not optimized for using while driving. It is really dangerous to try to use these apps while driving.

Android auto is perfectly optimized for using while driving. Wireless AA ensures that you just need to switch on your car and your HU seamlessly connects with your phone and brings up the AA screen with your last played song continuing from where it left off. Very convenient and no actions required from your side.

The only minor hassle I'm facing is that maybe 1 in 6-7 times, the HU doesn't connect to AA automatically. I'm having to restart the HU for it to start working again. Not sure if it's a problem with the HU or my mobile or Android Auto.

Also it's very important to have steering wheel controls. Fiddling with the touchscreen to change volume or track on these Android HUs while driving is a real pain and very dangerous.

Last edited by ar@v1nd : 7th December 2023 at 14:10.
ar@v1nd is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 7th December 2023, 17:23   #358
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2023
Location: Kochi
Posts: 16
Thanked: 11 Times
Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by ar@v1nd View Post
I second this suggestion.

I have a Woodman X9 Android unit installed a few months back. I realize that I hardly ever use anything on the head unit other than the wireless android auto/apple car play.
You are right, your phone's battery will drain very fast when connected to android auto. When there is a long drive, you can use any online music player or maps from inbuilt play store without connecting AA. For short drive android auto is perfect.
Autoxpert is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 7th December 2023, 18:19   #359
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Trivandrum
Posts: 63
Thanked: 44 Times
Re: The Android Head-Unit buying guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoxpert View Post
You are right, your phone's battery will drain very fast when connected to android auto. When there is a long drive, you can use any online music player or maps from inbuilt play store without connecting AA. For short drive android auto is perfect.
True. It does drain the battery but then you can plug in your mobile to a car charger.

For short drives (< 20 mins), I dont bother plugging in the mobile since the drain isn't so bad. For longer drives, I just keep my mobile plugged into the charger so that it's at 100% when I reach my destination.

The only con is that the mobile heats up a bit but that's fine with me. Playing from inbuilt store needs internet which means I will be running a hotspot from my mobile - so either way my mobile will be draining
ar@v1nd is offline   (1) Thanks
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright 2000 - 2023, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks