Huge 10.1 inch audio system in my Honda City

With the advent of technology, each new car coming up with better and better ICE systems, felt the need to upgrade the OEM ICE and spice up things a little.

yogesh.8984 recently shared this with other BHPians.

Honda City ICE upgrade and Dashcam Setup

Little prelude:

Honda City was always my dream car since I was a teen. So when it came to buying my first car, without a second thought, Honda City it was. So in Winter of 2016, on my wife’s birthday, White Lilly came home and became a part of family.

Over a course of 4 years, she lived up to her repute and brought a smile on our face every single time we went for a drive. With the advent of technology, each new car coming up with better and better ICE systems, felt the need to upgrade the OEM ICE and spice up things a little.

Here is a quick update on replacing the OEM ICE system by Blaupunkt Key Largo 970 - 10.1".

Some info on the car below:

  • Car: Honda City iVtec V MT
  • Bought in January 2016, Oct 2015 Make
  • Current Odo: ~45k KMs
  • OEM ICE was feeling outdated in the world of big screens and Internet cars

Work begins -

Did some research on YouTube / Online forums / Local car accessory shops and discovered that there are lot of Android players available in market for each car brand / model (along with Android Auto and Apple Car Play solutions). Many of the android player brands are unknown but provides host of features and costs around 10k to 14k (including labor + frame charges). While you buy an android player online / from car accessory shops, you also need a frame which fits perfectly to your car's dashboard and houses the player equipment like a standard fitment.

Somehow I wasn't comfortable with these local brands and their China made equipments (even iPhone is made in China but we trust Apple). Came across a German brand called Blaupunkt and found reviews encouraging for host of its products and decided to go with it.

Couple of my key requirements met with the product I chose (Blaupunkt Key Largo 970 - 10.1"):

  • Steering controls functioning
  • OEM Car antenna functioning with new ICE unit
  • Rear view camera functioning
  • Capacitive touch for screen UI (for better performance)
  • Adequate Storage for Apps / Media and sufficient RAM for player to function smoothly

Of course, all modern ICE units come up with all the mainstream features one can expect like a Bluetooth, Radio, USB, Navigation etc. Best part of Android player is that you can install any app (Like YouTube, Spotify..) and use it on the go (with either inbuilt SIM or mobile tethering for internet connectivity). The reason why you should choose a player with enough RAM and Storage is to NOT compromise on the performance.

Blaupunkt Key Largo also comes up with its own branded rearview camera which I found to be much better than OEM camera on the car. I got it installed and it's quality is amazingly good (compared to OEM camera).

Here is some key information of Blaupunkt Key Largo 970 - 10.1" -

Android Player -

  • Blaupunkt is a German brand established in year 1924
  • 2 Years product warranty from manufacturer (you need to register the product after buying on their website)
  • 10.1" screen with 1024*600 pixels (looks massive on the dashboard), Initially I wasn’t so keen on such a big screen but it grows on you with time
  • Operating System: Android 9.0
  • RAM: 2GB DDR3
  • Storage: 16 GB
  • Phone mirroring: Supported (with cable)

Rear view Camera -

  • Model: DH02
  • Water resistant
  • 170 degree wide angle
  • 1080*720 pixels

Dashcam -

I had a Dashcam that my friend had sent me from UK. Took this opportunity to get it installed as well on the front windshield. More details below.

  • Brand: Peztio which specializes in dashcam products
  • Full HD 1080P wide angle
  • Wi-Fi enabled
  • Mobile app which connects to dashcam over Wi-Fi
  • Comes with 30 GB of Micro SD storage
  • SOS button to lock current video (to avoid deletion over loop recording)
  • Supports parking mode, comes with Shock sensor to freeze recording
  • 1 year warranty

Buying and Installation -

During my initial research, I had figured out a shop (Sony Car Decor) at Nashik Phata in PCMC, Pune. Talked to owner and asked him to procure the product as it was not available in almost all the shops nearby. The comment I heard that most people go with local brands and hence shops order branded products only if there is a demand.

Received a call from the Shop owner next day and I went ahead and got it installed the very same day. Took about 45 minutes to an hour to complete the work.

Total Cost - Total cost of equipment (excluding dashcam of course) and installation was 22.5k . As mentioned earlier, there are options available in the range of 10k to 14k (local brands) and goes as high as tens of thousands depending on the brand.

Fit and Finish post installation -

Once you choose the right frame for your car brand and model, it is as good as a standard fitment. Below pictures shows the finish post installation (Hazard light switch is tuned 90 degrees to accommodate 10 inch screen).

Dashcam installed on front windscreen:

Rear view camera installed on back bumper. The OEM camera remains there (above number plate) but now defunct with connection established to new camera on the bumper.

Overall experience -

Having a 10 inch screen on the dash of a car with all sorts of entertainment options like YouTube can be a big distraction to a driver. So always focus on the key aspect of being on a front right seat of a car - to drive and leave everything else to a co-passenger while driving. Obviously you will look at the screen for navigation but advised not to play with touch screen while driving (as against physical buttons and dials that we are so used to).

Some other observations

1. Cabin feels lot richer now with new ICE

2. Navigation is breeze (as against sticking phones on the dash / windshield), you can set Google maps as default navigation option

3. Sound quality improved over OEM setup (though speakers are still OEM)

4. Rear view camera is a step ahead from OEM setup

Day vision

Night vision

5. Flexibility to install / remove any app you need from Play Store

6. Flexible steering control options (you can program the buttons on steering wheel for various functions)

7. Excellent telephony interface (phone connected over Bluetooth)

8. Radio / FM interface

Not so good things

  • Takes almost half a minute to boot up
  • Slow internet connection can dampen the performance badly
  • Felt the tap response tad slow at times but otherwise okay

Finally signing off, here is one of my favorite pictures of White Lilly.

Thanks to yogesh.8984 once again! Check out BHPian comments for more insights & information.

Seat belts save lives