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Thread: Chinese GPS for Suzuki SX4....new 8" version? Anyone try?

  1. #71
    I find that often, the buttons are color changing LEDs on these head units, and they are configurable.

    I recently installed a more generic 2 din head unit in my car. It was cheap as hell at $180 with a backup camera. It works well, but it has some annoyances, almost all are firmware related. I will try to post some pictures and do a more detailed review of it on the near future.

  2. #72
    The photos seem to be too large for the forum to want to display. I'll have to fix this a bit later...

    The head unit came from Ebay, for $180 with a reverse camera thing that mounted to the license plate. These head units are often labeled as "unbranded", so what kind of box is it going to come in? Well, this is the box that it was packaged in:



    "Tocado" Well, that means "touch" in some other language.

    Here is a quick picture of the backup camera. It seems to work reasonably well. There is some mechanical adjustability to it, it works well in dark settings, has LEDs to help illuminate things behind you, in addition to the car's backup lamps.



    Here's a picture of the gizmos that come with it. I'm sure it is similar for all of these Android head units:


    Here's a wiring diagram that is on the head unit itself. Its pretty self-explanatory for someone who is reasonably radio tech savvy.


    Here's the back of the unit. It looks like you would find a fan in there, but no dice on that. Its like one could be added to it maybe.


    It is Android 7.1. I went with the latest version just because... well... I don't think that you can update the OS unless you figure out how to root the thing. For all I know, android 4.4 will still do everything it needs to do.


    Here's the user interface home screen. I think this is what you want to look for when deciding which one of these units to get, and there *has* to be a better user interface out there than this one. This one doesn't crash, nor is it slow, but... as I mentioned earlier, there are a bunch of features that are just plain annoying. More details on this later. The wallpaper is an animated one that I just kinda randomly downloaded off the internet, and it works. The preloaded ones weren't of my taste.


    Here is the backup camera installed. I was able to run the wire up through a small Macgyver cutout in the license plate lamp holder. No real noticeable, irreversible modification has been done to anything to get the wire through there.


    Most Youtube reviews of comparable head units just talk about apps all day long. Ooh, I have this app installed, or this app installed, blah blah blah. They really don't show much functionality information.

    I'll start with its annoying features:

    1.) Automatic volume control. Even the factory radio has this where it increases volume with the vehicle's speed, but it is adjustable and works well with the interior noise level of the car. This head unit does it, but there's no gain that can be adjusted. With the way it is, it would work well for a noisy vehicle, such as my Jeep XJ. It must use GPS data in order to know when to turn up the radio. It turns it up too aggressively for the SX4's interior noise level. So, at 60 mph, you want the radio to be at kinda a minimum volume, but nope. If you try to turn it down, you'll notice that it is already on its lowest setting and the next step down mutes it. The 3 band graphic equalizer can alleviate it a little, but it is very much a compromise.

    2.) The home screen -- well, the big digital clock only displays in 24 hour format. The android OS one at the very top works okay, but... DAAAHHHH. You can't turn it to 12 hour format. You are stuck with 24. Even in the "extra settings" and stuff that you need a password for, there is no way to change it.

    3.) The brightness level of the screen -- It is definitely bright enough unless the sun shines directly on it... I would expect that to be a problem. When you hook it up to the dimmer circuit in the car, it will dim the display, but only at a fixed amount relative to the intensity set in the native Android software. So, during a sunny day, you need it at full brightness, so you go into the android settings and crank it up. Well, with that cranked up, it is too bright for at night, at least for me. So, back into the settings and turn it down further at night. Again, an annoying feature.

    4.) Radio reception. In urban areas, it doesn't seem to be a problem. In the outskirts, there's a few stations that come in just fine with the factory stereo of any somewhat modern day car, but they get fuzzy with this head unit.

    5.) Selecting presets. On the radio app screen, you have 6 buttons to push as you would expect. This thing also interfaces with steering wheel controls, which is nice. So, the "tune up" steering wheel control will make the tuner scan for the next available station, not the next preset that you have. Again, an annoying feature.

    6.) No fast-forward function on any hard buttons or soft buttons. You can drag a progress indicator on the screen, but that's a little touch and go when you're driving. I can't do a "long press" on any of the buttons to achieve the same results. Annoying.

    7.)The screen could be of the anti-glare type. Mehhh...

    8.) I thought that if I didn't like this radio, I could put in my Jeep... because I haul a big snowmobile trailer around and would like a rearview camera on my trailer. I could have a manual switch to have the radio switch its display to the the rearview camera. Great, right? Nope. You activate the backup camera, and it overrides EVERYTHING including the music that you are playing. So, scratch that idea. It would work, but there would be no audio. There is a video "aux" mode on this radio which I have not yet tried. Maybe that will work, but I would expect it to work in conjunction with the Aux audio input. By the way, if you want your own Aux jack, you have to add it. I have a plan for that.

    9.) This radio is not of standard "Double DIN" size. The face plate's trim plate required extensive modification to make work right, and the trim plate needed to be glued in. It was a lot of careful work, but the results look nice enough.

    10.) You can't get internet through the bluetooth connection. I am not going to buy a subscription to spend more $$$$ every month for something that I already carry in my pocket everywhere I go. I liked the bluetooth internet sharing because it'll automatically connect as I walk up to the vehicle and I'll have live traffic data and such. At least the WIFI hotspot on my Nexus 5 isn't tough to enable. Then the WIFI on the head unit will connect to it all by itself and then I get the same as the bluetooth. I just have to remember to turn off the hotspot when I am done. Since both devices run the Android operating system, and the program developers of Android really seem to be the type who actually use the product they make, the various apps won't update when connected to a tethered WIFI connection and suck up all of your cellular data. It will do that when I pull into my driveway and it connects to my home WIFI.

    Positive features at a later date. But I really don't think it has any positive features that would be above the "competitors" radios. These things are kinda cool to have though.
    Last edited by phantomrt; January 1st, 2018 at 09:13 AM.

  3. #73
    There are some benefits of the radio.

    1.) It has sufficient memory (16 GB) for me to have slammed my entire MP3 collection on it. Streaming is for MP3 amateurs. The native MP3 player is... well... it works okay. I have to play with it some more to figure out the playlists and such.

    2.) A spin-off of #1. I also have Sygic Maps installed on it, which takes up a hefty amount of room. The native I-GO navigation program seems to work well enough, but I am a bit old school and I make my own directions. I just want maps and the "you are here" function. That means I want my maps with North oriented UP on the screen and I want to be able to get them when there is no such thing as a cellular connection. Most navigation programs won't do that anymore. Sygic will, but it has to be put in "walking" mode.

    #3: It DOES work with steering wheel controls. There's no adapter module necessary or any of the such.

    #4: The sound quality is good as far as I can tell with my untrained ear. Volume is strong, and the clarity is good. No loud "hissing" at low volume. I'm not a pimp daddy audiophile though.

    #5: One of my concerns was boot-up time. I'd say it is less than 30 seconds. I have not been able to notice it being a problem. There are also settings so that when you turn the ignition off, the radio stops, but doesn't actually shut down for an adjustable length of time. So, when the ignition is turned back on in short order, the radio doesn't have to go through its full boot process. Someone was thinking here.
    Also, if you had the radio turned to a particular station when you last turned off the ignition, it'll actually start playing music before the operating system has booted. You can't change the station until its booted, (unless the physical knob will do that? I have to try that) but it will play. In addition, the reversing camera input works before the OS has fully booted. It starts functioning about half way through the bootup process. It was either by chance, or someone was actually thinking.

    #6: You can play DVDs while driving. There is a setting to allow that, otherwise I think all you have to do is ground a wire that is designated to go to a parking brake. I am not sure if the GPS motion information will override it. I'll have to check on this. I haven't actually installed a disc in it yet. Yes, I know I can't watch the road and watch DVDs, but passengers can.

    If you installed this in a minivan or such, you can interface it with the screens for the rear passengers.

    #7: The illuminated buttons are color changing LEDs and there are essentially an infinite number of colors that you can adjust them to.

    #8: You *can* add an Aux jack to it. It does have inputs in the back of it, but you need to have your own flush-mount plug which can be had off of Ebay for pretty cheap. I bench tested this feature and it worked well.

    #9: You can "mirror" your portable communication device (android phone) Maybe it works with Iphone, too? It has to run through the USB port. It is a feature that I will probably never use. Some people may do it though.

    Otherwise, it is, for the most part, a generic Android device and you can do most of the same things. A bunch of advanced functionality is locked down on it, but if you're smart enough to root the device, I'm sure you can get past it.

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