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Old 05-05-2020, 09:58 PM #1
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Android Head Units

I've been thinking about swapping out my jbl head unit for one of the Android based units. I see they are finally adding some basic sound controls and dsp so thats a plus. I really want to be able to use Google maps, waze, torque pro, pandora, spotify etc. Directly from my head unit. I'd also like some camera options. So with all that said what is the consensus on these head units? I've read sound quality was bad in the past but think that is changing for the better. I prefer Android over Android auto since it won't rely on my phone as much for applications.

I really don't mind a custom install so if yall have seen anything good but not so plug and play I'm good with that too. I don't know how practical it is but are there any apps or ways to hook up multiple cameras? I can wire them to a switch but would like the option to see side blind spot and rear view cameras from a camper if possible.

What do you think or have been watching in this line of product?

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Old 05-06-2020, 10:17 AM #2
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I have an 07 like you and made the swap from factory nav to Android head unit for many of the reasons you noted. Overall I really like the Apple CarPlay for Navigation which is significantly better than using the Factory Nav. I dont necessarily recommend the unit I have, but I am not removing it either. I think you can get some good install ideas from my page and see some of the issues i encountered as well as the add-ons I made too.

4th Gen Toyota 4Runner Android Head Unit





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Old 05-06-2020, 03:31 PM #3
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Unfortunately, I don't think there is a consensus. I've been following these for a while, especially in the E46 format as BMW used a very non DIN friendly footprint for its headunit location. There seems to be a lot of quality variability even between supposedly identical units from a given brand. In the E46 world, one user will love product X and someone else will get the same unit and have nothing but issues with even basic functionality.

That said, I waffle back and forth between going with one of these Chinese Android units and a mainstream (Pioneer/Alpine/Kenwood/etc.) Android Auto compatible unit. I'm looking for a solution to upgrade both my '03 Limited (still has the cassette player) and my '05 E46 convertible.

Good luck.
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Old 05-07-2020, 09:24 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riverwolf View Post
Unfortunately, I don't think there is a consensus. I've been following these for a while, especially in the E46 format as BMW used a very non DIN friendly footprint for its headunit location. There seems to be a lot of quality variability even between supposedly identical units from a given brand. In the E46 world, one user will love product X and someone else will get the same unit and have nothing but issues with even basic functionality.

That said, I waffle back and forth between going with one of these Chinese Android units and a mainstream (Pioneer/Alpine/Kenwood/etc.) Android Auto compatible unit. I'm looking for a solution to upgrade both my '03 Limited (still has the cassette player) and my '05 E46 convertible.

Good luck.
Wow, you hit the nail on the head! I constantly go back and forth between models. Reliability definitely seems to be hit and miss. It's a shame really that "legacy" aftermarket companies don't adjust and make android units themselves. I would be willing to pay a little more for reliability. However, I never look at getting a Pioneer/Kenwood b/c they seem so dated to me. They are anything but dynamic in what they can do vs. an Android unit. The Android format (or something very similar to it) is the way to go. That is my opinion though.
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Old 05-08-2020, 02:36 PM #5
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Thanks for the link to your writeup J.A. that did have allot of good info.

Yea I don't know why the big players to get on this side. I've looked at the pioneer and Kenwood head units but they are just so limited it feels like. I guess I'll just need to keep doing my research on the various models and hope I win the head unit lottery lol. I've even thought about a carputer but the android head units are hard to beat for many of the features.

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Old 05-13-2020, 09:14 PM #6
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Does anyone have a list of wiring harnesses I need to do something like this? I have a 2008 Limited with factory NAV/JBL. I know a need a harness to tap into the back up camera, a harness that attaches to my head unit (Sony model XAVAX3000) and I need to make sure it ties into the amp or something? Also need something to retain steering wheel controls.

I did put a new head unit into the same year Honda Accord, so Iím confident I can figure it out, but I just am not smart enough to figure out what wiring harnesses etc that I need to buy for this.

Would truly appreciate any help. Helped my son buy the 4Runner and looking forward to a little father son project. Thanks!
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:23 PM #7
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NASD: contact crutchfield, they will sell you the appropriate harnesses you will need for your install. Good luck!
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:28 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.A. View Post
I have an 07 like you and made the swap from factory nav to Android head unit for many of the reasons you noted. Overall I really like the Apple CarPlay for Navigation which is significantly better than using the Factory Nav. I dont necessarily recommend the unit I have, but I am not removing it either. I think you can get some good install ideas from my page and see some of the issues i encountered as well as the add-ons I made too.

4th Gen Toyota 4Runner Android Head Unit





Question - is that Android Auto, relying on your phone being plugged in somewhere... or is it a head unit running Android?

More specifically, is it using your contacts, data, etc. from phone or does it not talk to your phone?
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:01 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaitlyn2004 View Post
Question - is that Android Auto, relying on your phone being plugged in somewhere... or is it a head unit running Android?



More specifically, is it using your contacts, data, etc. from phone or does it not talk to your phone?
I ran an android HU for years and loved it. It was an older (now) Joying model and worked very well with only a few minor hiccups. I could never go back to a more "closed" unit again.

The first pic is an android car launcher app, AGAMA (not Android Auto) while the second pic is Apple CarPlay. As for Android Auto, it's enabled by the headunit but it uses the data (cellular, contacts, apps, etc.) of your phone.

If you have a basic, non-Android Auto enabled headunit, you can use a program called Headunit Reloaded to trick your phone into running Android Auto (works via usb, bt and wifi).
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:56 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonCountry View Post
I ran an android HU for years and loved it. It was an older (now) Joying model and worked very well with only a few minor hiccups. I could never go back to a more "closed" unit again.

The first pic is an android car launcher app, AGAMA (not Android Auto) while the second pic is Apple CarPlay. As for Android Auto, it's enabled by the headunit but it uses the data (cellular, contacts, apps, etc.) of your phone.

If you have a basic, non-Android Auto enabled headunit, you can use a program called Headunit Reloaded to trick your phone into running Android Auto (works via usb, bt and wifi).
kaitlyn2004, the above is correct. I would just add that the CarPlay you see running on the Android headunit in the pic is powered by an add-on dongle that is plugged into the android headunit. The dongle can also display Android Auto if you are using an Android moblie phone, I dont have that so i didnt try that feature.
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Old 05-28-2020, 11:59 PM #11
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Thank you SO much, J.A. !! Your write ups have helped me many a time.

I'm in the process of trying to install an Atoto A6 Android unit in my 2007 4R and i have the wiring harness from Crutchfield. I soldered the wires as they color matched from the Android unit to the harness but nothing happens. I bench tested it and it works. So i'll use your wiring diagram and do it one by one. I just assumed they'd match up correctly. Nope!


Cheers


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Old 05-30-2020, 11:48 AM #12
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Thank you SO much, J.A. !! Your write ups have helped me many a time.

I'm in the process of trying to install an Atoto A6 Android unit in my 2007 4R and i have the wiring harness from Crutchfield. I soldered the wires as they color matched from the Android unit to the harness but nothing happens. I bench tested it and it works. So i'll use your wiring diagram and do it one by one. I just assumed they'd match up correctly. Nope!


Cheers


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Does the Android unit come with a wiring diagram? Did you just wire up according to wire color? Anyway, if its a mistake on ATOTO, then this is why folks like myself are iffy on getting one of these things. I'm still on the fence until I see a model that completely convinces me.

Good luck and let us know how things worked out for ya!
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Old 05-30-2020, 02:01 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieRoe View Post
Does the Android unit come with a wiring diagram? Did you just wire up according to wire color? Anyway, if its a mistake on ATOTO, then this is why folks like myself are iffy on getting one of these things. I'm still on the fence until I see a model that completely convinces me.



Good luck and let us know how things worked out for ya!
No idea on ATOTO but dont they have a Toyota-specific wiring harness? I know most of the other Android HU companies, like Joying, have model-specific female hookups so they match up to the 3 existing male connectors. Super easy.

If you really want one, just get one off Prime. They're not that expensive and can easily be returned if you cha get your mind.
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Old 06-05-2020, 05:33 PM #14
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I have been looking at the Dasaita units and can't decide which one to go with. I measured the new 10.2" and the 4th gen head unit area but its just too big. So I see they have a 8 and 9" as well but I would just need to make a custom bezel. The 7" should drop in but I wouldn't mind it being a little larger than the normal head unit since that space is a little wider anyway.

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Old 06-30-2020, 10:16 AM #15
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I just installed a Sony XAV-AX3000 in my son's 2008 Limited. Actually, I should say we had it installed. Although we have done other installs, this one seemed more complicated. Truck has the JBL NAV.

Since we had the stereo installed, it sounds like the sound quality is actually worse

Is it possible the installer missed something? I mean its not a train wreck, but its definitely more "muddy" or something, if that makes sense. Has anyone ever dealt with this before? Is this Sony unit just not great? Would it make sense that the sound quality with the stock head unit is better?

Would love to hear any input.

Thx!
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