Cheap Android/Apple CarPlay Head Units?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by darkgiant, Oct 21, 2020.

  1. darkgiant

    darkgiant Member

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    I have seen pictures circulating of these generic Chinese Android head units that also support Apple CarPlay. However, I was curious, just how good are these units? Are they reliable? Do the system ever get laggy with time? Do these units receive OS updates?

    Another question I had is with my 2013 Prius, I am able to see basic battery levels and MPGs, do these units have some sort of capability to do so (I will automatically assume no, but not sure if this is possible?).

    I am leaning towards installing this unit mainly because of how "clean" and similar it looks to the factory unit on the Gen3 Prius. Unless folks recommend other units?
     
  2. abubin

    abubin Junior Member

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    I have been on the looking for HU for almost a year now. I am still surveying those China HUs. I am sharing some of the information I found and that I have yet to get one myself. Probably soon.

    There are tons of these Chinese brands HU. Most of them comes from the same factory but are slightly modified on the firmware. There are a few brands that are a bit "branded" where they try to build the brand and they do sometimes have firmware updates. On the not for famous ones they also uses same base units but with generic firmware or android version. Some are even low version of androids with patch to make it says version 9 or 10.

    So probably best thing in terms of the android version is just go with one that have the features you want. No need to be bothered too much on the version. No point getting version 10 android when it does not have features you want like split screen.

    In terms of performance, it depends on the SoC they use. The good ones are using Intel chip and PX (PX6, PX9) chips. Or even T3, T3L and so on. However, those are still basically low spec MTK and Rockchip SoC. I guess good enough as HU. If you can find Intel, they are the best performance.

    You also ask if you can still monitor the battery and MPG usage. Yes and yes. First yes is because you can still get the original screen if you are coming from the basic original touch screen HU. However, only if you select the right HU. Not all can do this. For the second yes, you can just get an addon OBD2 reader that you can link to the HU via USB or bluetooth. From here you can load up apps like Dr Prius or Hybrid Assistant or Torque from which you can have all the monitoring you want.

    I've got some fellow Prius users who got a HU with 4gb/64gb unit and it was really good. However it is a bit over my budget. So I am still looking for something 2gb/32gb.
     
  3. darkgiant

    darkgiant Member

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    I appreciate your detailed response! Do you by any chance know of head units that nativally support the ability to show MPG usage and the metrics the standard Prius head units currently display?

    Also, I see a lot of these units are on Aliexpress rather than Amazon and eBay, I assume quality and reliability wise, they should hold up and shouldn't be a concern whether with slowing down or things just not working?
     
  4. abubin

    abubin Junior Member

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    For the one that confirm can display the usage metrics, two of my fellow Prius friend bought the headunit from this Taobao. I will ask the link from them if you are interested.

    Those Chinese sellers selling in Amazon would probably also be selling in Aliexpress. If the price is not much difference then get it from Amazon. Else get from Alixpress. I am not aware of any slow downs over time. Probably will happen when you install lots of junks in there. I would advise not to install any apps that you don't need.
     
  5. darkgiant

    darkgiant Member

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    @abubin yes that would be appreciated to know which head unit works best!

    I found this particular head unit on Amazon (link) where the seller has mentioned they can also add on Apple CarPlay support an additional $40 (making the entire unit $365. The seller however did mentioned they will add support for Android 10, but no further updates afterwards.

    I do see similar units with Apple CarPlay support for nearly less $100 less on Aliexpress and eBay, does it make sense to go that route instead since it sounds like these units are being built by the same manufacturer? Or just safer to go the Amazon route? Of course, I am also open to using a recommended unit that allows the ability to view usage metrics and is already considered reliable.

    Thank you so much for your help and details!
     
  6. abubin

    abubin Junior Member

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    Here is the link for the taobao one: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.16.57106bb6jk8LxV&id=601013663121

    However, not sure if you can order from Taobao cause it is all in Chinese.

    As for ordering from Amazon vs Aliexpress. Does Amazon have better buyer protection? Cause when there are problems you need support from sellers and with good platform they will need to support customers or they don't get good rating or money.

    You like HU with buttons? You can trying this seller which looks to be quite proper to me. You'll be saving almost 100 bucks for same thing. Search for "wonderfoo prius" in aliexpress.

    upload_2020-10-23_12-48-10.png
     
  7. darkgiant

    darkgiant Member

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    I appreciate the response and you bearing with me on this! Yes, ideally I'd like to stick with the button version as I personally like the appearance as it seems to match the stock interior.

    I am curious, for the unit that you suggested, I assume it would not be able to display MPGs and overall gas consumption like the stock head unit currently displays, correct?

    I also noticed that the head unit you linked is the PX5 model, I do see on Amazon a PX5 model with 4GB of RAM and 32GB ROM storage here. It is $325 (so a bit more than Aliexpress), but the seller also mentions they can enable CarPlay on this unit making it a total of $365. I never purchased from Aliexpress before, but I do know Amazon customer service is a lot more pleasant if issues ever arrive with orders, I am not sure of course if Aliexpress is just as good if an issue were to arise.

    Another question is I do see PX6 models on Aliexpress, and I assume it is overall a better chipset than the PX5, so it would make sense to look for a PX6 head unit, or is the PX5 sufficient enough? Ideally, I would like to have this head unit last as long as possible.
     
  8. abubin

    abubin Junior Member

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    The one I gave with the Taobao link is proven to work with displaying the MPG and gas usage.

    As for the one you chosen with the brand Kunfine, they are also being sold in Aliexpress.PX5 is lower performance chip than PX6. However, even PX6 is an old chip that is at least 6 years old. Regardless, it really depends on your usage. If you just use the HU for playing music or simple GPS then it should last you a long time. That is why I only plan to get a 2gb/32gb unit. Wanted to get one during this 11.11 sale on aliexpress. However, I just found out the one I wanted to buy has just increased price by almost 40 bucks.

    For those who don't know, 11.11 (11 November) is called single day sales. This is equivalent to black Friday sales in the US. This is when lots and lots of bargains and sales to be had at Chinese and Asian e-commerce sites. Sites like Aliexpress and Taobao generate billions of dollars during this 1 day.
     
  9. darkgiant

    darkgiant Member

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    I appreciate the continued detailed responses!

    I am leaning towards the one on Amazon as I know here in the United States if the item arrived damaged or any weird issues, the customer service is a lot easier to work with, whereas I am just unfamiliar with Aliexpress. I don't intend to do major stuff with the Head Unit as my main goal is to use Apple CarPlay alongside Google Maps and what not, so I am not sure if having the PX6 chip over the PX5 is a big deal here. I'll probably continue doing my research here, but it is good to know that I have narrowed down my search!

    One last question, I assume even with these units, outside of using an OBD2 adapter, there is no way to include the MPGs and overall gas consumption like the stock head units present, correct?
     
  10. Soh

    Soh Junior Member

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    any one car unit with out cd player and android auto??
     
  11. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I can't speak for the discounted systems now coming from China but within the "normal aftermarket" for autosound equipment you'd look for something that supported the iDatalink Maestro system to retain access to native car info on your new irritainment display.

    It's a relatively new system for preserving access to data displays and onscreen menus in modern cars. Not too many head units support it yet, but it seems to be catching on.

    We skipped all that when we did ours. I couldn't find any information on the stock head unit that wasn't also visible from one of the other displays on the dash. 2+ years of good carplay use since then.
     
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  12. Soh

    Soh Junior Member

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    Seems like an expensive add on for little functionality. Most of that can be addressed by an appropriate OBDII connector and software-which has more functionality.

    No Hybrid specific PID's functionality makes it of little use.

    EDIThttps://priuschat.com/threads/idatalink-maestro-rr-installed.213812/
     
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