What’s the best Android Auto head unit on sale?
It’s a tough one, because this will all depend on budget, but we sort of fellin love with the Alpine iLX-F903D, purely because this monster 9-inch screenfits into a single DIN slot – that’s the sort of space typically taken up by aslither of a CD player or, dare we say it, tape cassette unit.This cracking head-unit boasts a crystal clear and rapid 9-inch touchscreen,DAB+ tuner built-in and three separate pre-outs for sub-woofers and otherbeastly in-car modifications.Fitting a new car stereo brings the interior bang up to date(Image credit: Pioneer)
How to buy a new head unit or car stereo
As previously mentioned, there is a new car stereo or head unit to suit mostbudgets and to fit most vehicles. So long as you have the existing wiring forsome sort of stereo device, prices range from around £200 for the most basicunit with Android Auto compatibility, while the most expensive can easilytickle the £1k mark if you opt for built-in maps and other jazzy features.This, in our eyes, is a little bit pointless, because the whole point of thisendeavour is to bring your smartphone into the car, meaning you can hook upand charge while using Google Maps, Apple Maps or Waze to deliver you to adestination – much better than the ageing sat nav rubbish found on manyinfotainment systems. In reality, you shouldn’t have to part with any morethan £500 to get something utterly brilliant.If you simply want a Bluetooth connection to play Spotify or listen toPodcasts, then it is very easy to shop at a much lower end of the budget(£90-£150). But true Android Auto requires a touchscreen and that meansparting with more cash.On the subject of fitting, this can be done fairly easily for those with a bitof car-related knowledge, some tools and plenty of patience (check out thenumerous YouTube How-To videos if you fancy a spot of DIY), but buy fromHalfords, for example, and they will offer to fit it for you.This usually takes a couple of hours at the most and the cost around £70/$90,depending on how complicated the fitting process is.
Reasons to avoid
-Not real Android Auto-Can be distractingWho needs a big touchscreen when you can simply attach your smartphone? Ofcourse, fiddling with your device on the move is frowned upon (and massivelyillegal), so Pioneer offers four dedicated hard key buttons for your favouriteapp access.This one-touch access to favoured apps (such as Waze, Google Maps etc) makesit safer to use, while voice commands are arguably the best way to interactwith the unit. Above all else, it’s a very affordable and clever way ofachieving Bluetooth streaming, hands-free calls and neat phone charging on aslim budget.Sure, it isn’t real Android Auto comparability, but it is a very cheap optionfor this on much tighter budgets.Liked this?Round up of today’s best dealsBest Android Auto Head Units (Review) in 2021Unless you trade in your lease for the newest model every year, the tech inyour ride can get pretty dated. Android Auto head units are a great way toupdate your vehicle without going overboard. A mobile app created by Google,Android Auto mirrors associated Android devices. The display mounts to thedashboard, and connects to a series of handy cpps. From GPS navigation toBluetooth communications, it puts everything within reach.Whether you’re shooting off a hands free work email on your commute orcurating a soundtrack for your road trip, the best Android Auto head unitsmake light work of the task. Of course, not all head units are made alike.It’s important to find the right fit for your vehicle and media style. To lenda hand, we’ve tracked down the best Android Auto head units, along with someadvice on making the right pick. Let’s get to it.
The Best Android Auto Head Units
First on our list is the Pioneer MVH1400NEX digital multimedia receiver. It’scompatible with Android devices as well as iOS devices. Once connected, youwill be able to access some of your favorite apps and other tools using itshigh-quality Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling and audiostreaming. Pioneer’s NEX model features 800 x 400 resolution and a clear-resistive touchscreen.You can browse files stored on your phone, customize the display, and use itsdedicated Spotify app for even more music options. The head unit plays DVDs,DVD-Rs, CDs, and more. It comes with a USB port, aux input, and a backup-camera input. It requires the Android Auto app and a phone that runs Android5.0 Lollipop or higher. A wiring harness, USB extension cable, Bluetoothmicrophone, and instruction manual are included.Key Features * Customizable display * CD and DVD support * Supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay * Simple and stylish designSpecification * Brand Pioneer * Model MVH1400NEX * Weight 2.93 poundsLooking for a way to upgrade your Honda without going overboard? Check out theQD Android Car Stereo for its advanced features and unique compatibility. Thismodel stands out for its ability to fit into older rides, made between 2003and 2007. However, being designed for older vehicles does not detract from thetech. In fact, this Android Auto head unit features an impressive touchscreen,Bluetooth compatibility, and the ability to support DVR production. It comeswith everything from an RCA cable to a camera input wire, helping you set upyour ride perfectly. Connecting to various navigation softwares, to the radio,and to your smartphone via the Android Auto app, this head unit is a solidpick for dated rides.Bear in mind that this head unit is designed for gas-powered Hondas. If yourride relies on diesel, the design will block the air conditioning in yourride. Provided you have a compatible vehicle, though, this is a great way togo.Key Features * Bluetooth controls for music and calling * Advanced GPS with multiple nav formats * FM radio runs between 87.5 and 108 megahertz * Accommodates USB connected camerasSpecification * Brand QD * Model 7th generation * Weight N/AOn the hunt for a head unit that will make travelling parts unknown easier(and safer)? Check out the Atoto A6 Double DIN Android Head Unit for itsstreamlined design and advanced navigation features. At first glance, it lookslike a simple 7-inch head unit, connecting to the internet via Wi-Fi,tethering, or Bluetooth. However, by supporting Android Auto and CarPlay, itmakes controlling maps a breeze. Complete with EasyConnection, this featurelets you plug in your smart device so the screen can mirror it. Equipped withall the connections to add-on cameras for the front and rear views of theride, this one simple device can seriously modernize your ride. Simple tocontrol and straightforward to use, this is a worthy pick for avid roadexplorers.It’s worth noting that the success of attachments (like cameras) requiresoperating power. While this model has a reasonable capacity, be careful ofoverloading it to prevent crashes. If you can avoid pushing the system toohard, it can work over the long term.Key Features * Designed for simplified navigation * Crisp 7-inch touchscreen * Compatible with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and tethering * Easy to install and to connectSpecification * Brand Atoto * Model A6G2A7KL * Weight N/AHaving access to advanced tech shouldn’t mean blowing the budget, and with theEincar Android Touchscreen Head Unit, it doesn’t have to. The head unit comesat an impressive price point, despite featuring all the most necessary tech. Adouble-DIN design, this model is built to support Wi-Fi and connects to thesteering wheel for simplified controls. Using 4.0 Bluetooth technology, thedevice is extremely responsive, toggling between navigation, radio, and yourplaylist. The screen is capable of supporting video, ideal if you’retravelling with passengers. Relying on Android 10.0, it stands out for itstechnical compatibility. You can use this with anything that’s compatible withAndroid, ranging from Spotify to Facebook. Able to attach to rear and forward-facing cameras, this head unit can drastically improve your drivingexperience.It warrants a mention that the system runs on Android 10, not the more updatedversion, the 11. Though the newer software only came out in late 2020, it doesmean that the tech in this head unit is somewhat outdated. That said, it willget the job done at an amenable cost.Key Features * Comes at a friendly price point * Accommodates steering wheel controls * Advanced stereo components prevent static * One gigabyte of RAMSpecification * Brand Eincar * Model US.aYH.AN274GNN1 * Weight N/ANext on the docket is the Vonter Car GPS Head Unit, an interesting candidateon this list. For starters, it is designed for Honda Civics made between 2016and 2019. Touting a 9-inch touchscreen with ultra-thin spindles, this systemcan expand to a 2-terabyte unit. Coming with everything you need to installthe setup (GPS antenna, power cord, USB cables, and instructions), you can popit into place quickly. The device itself supports HD 1080P visuals, giving youexcellent resolution. With a single gigabyte of operating memory, you canstore up to 16 gigs on this system. Built in GPS, Wi-Fi hookups, and 4G videoinput give this model a modern edge without going overboard. A bit more basicthan some other contenders, it is also sturdier by design.Keep in mind that this system runs on Android 8.0, a previous generation ofthe technology that won’t accommodate updated apps with as much efficiency..Will it take longer than a more modern version to perform a simpler task?Probably. Will it get the job done? Yes, and usually without any noticeabledelays.Key Features * Includes all the installation hardware * Reliable and responsive mirror linking * Operates on Android 8.0 * Resilient touchscreen design Specification * Brand Vonter * Model Civic 2016-2019 * Weight 4.19 pounds Fitting into any vehicle that has a double-DIN slot, the Dasaita RotatableAndroid Auto Head Unit stands out as one of the most advanced options outthere. For starters, it works with both Android Auto and Apple Wireless withthe software coming pre-installed. It comes with a built-in DSP system thatequalizes vibrations to provide crisp audio. Supporting Pandora and Spotify,you can also opt for phone mirroring or AUX connection. In either case, theclear, futuristic screen design gives you full access to everything from mapsto music. Featuring a 1.8 gig central processor, it is capable of switchingapps quickly and responding efficiently.. The curved screen lends it an extraaesthetic (and functional) edge, solidifying this head unit’s place as ourpremium pick.It’s definitely worth mentioning that this model comes at a far higher pricepoint than most of the competition. The quality of the technology makes itwell worth the investment, as long as you’ll actually use the features. Besure that you plan to take advantage of the software’s abilities, otherwise amore basic model may be better.Key Features * Works via tethering and Bluetooth * Accommodates music, video, and GPS * Clear audio Specification * Brand Dasaita * Model HA2186-MAX6-CP- * Weight 6.65 poundsEspecially if you’re newer to upgrading your vehicle’s electricals, theAmerteer Android Auto Head Unit is a worthy candidate. The comprehensive kitmakes installation a breeze. Designed for plug-and-play utility, it offersresponsive mirror-linking abilities. Equipped with Android 9.1, the system isbuilt to respond quickly, regardless of the audiovisual data it’s processing.Basically, you can use it for Bluetooth calls, navigation, or video streamingwithout the system glitching. It’s complete with 16 gigs of storage memory anda high-definition screen that makes downloading apps a breeze. Supporting 4Kvideo playback, it is built to support rear and forward-facing cameras. Thoughthis head unit has tons of features, it is built sturdy and not prone tooverheating. So, if you’re looking for a go-to option that’s easy to handle,this is the way to go.Now, keep in mind that 9.1 Android is better than previous versions, but it isnot the most recent upgrade. For the purposes of Android Auto, it will performdecently, though current-gen Android will work more responsively and have lessrisk of crashing.Key Features * Runs on Android 9.1 * Features 16 gig storage memory * Single gig operating memory * Supports Wi-Fi hotspots and Bluetooth * High-definition LCD touchscreen Specification * Brand Amerteer * Model 2016-2019 * Weight 4.19 poundsThe Hikity Android Car Stereo Head Unit stands out from the crowd for itsmodern configuration and advanced safety features. For starters, it comes witha rear view camera and the necessary connections. The sleek design fits intomost vehicles, offering all the benefits of offline navigation and streamlinedcontrols. At over 10 inches diagonal, the universal structure tucks into anydouble-DIN setup. It comes with a Wi-Fi and GPS receiving unit, connecting viatethering or wireless internet. Capable of everything from radio reception tosending emails, the bold screen makes it easy to use for drivers andpassengers alike. Thanks to the advanced mirroring, it responds quickly andisn’t prone to crashes. Finally, the waterproof camera is the cherry on top,helping you reverse safely.Bear in mind that this model doesn’t have voice commands. You can wire it intothe steering wheels of some setups or simply use the touchscreen. However,since you can’t shout out commands, it’s better when travelling withpassengers.Key Features * Includes 10.1 inch touchscreen * Comes with rearview camera and hookup * USB mirror linking abilities * Compatible with Bluetooth and tetheringSpecification * Brand Hikity * Model 10.1 Android Car * Weight 3.01 pounds This multimedia player from Corehan is based on Android 10 and features built-in Bluetooth, GPS, a rear camera input, and AM/FM radio. You can download appsfrom the Google Play store for added versatility. It features a 7-inchtouchscreen and supports headrest monitors, so all passengers can listen tomusic and watch videos together. It accommodates USB drives, micro SD cards,and Mirror Link.This Android car stereo allows you to drive safely by using Bluetooth forphone calls. You can also connect it to an OBDII scanner, so you can check thehealth of your vehicle. Finally, it supports most navigation apps, includingoffline maps, and comes with 24-hour technical support in case you run intoany problems.Key Features * Built-in Bluetooth and GPS * 7-inch touchscreen * Installation manual and video tutorial included * Compatible with an OBDII scannerSpecification * Brand Corehan * Model COCS-JD-AN-03 * Weight N/AWith the Hieha Car Stereo Android Auto Head Unit you can update your vehiclein one fell swoop. It is able to receive input from your phone, a USBconnection, auxiliary cable, or a U disc. The set even has a port to connect aDVD player, letting you hook into the existing player in the car. Completewith multiple audio settings, you can curate the perfectly balanced sound forwhatever music is on. The display is muted enough to be safe, letting youadjust the saturation and hue for night driving. Connecting via Bluetooth, youcan make hands-free calls or play music without taking your eyes off the road.Coming with a convenient backup camera, this auto head unit is a fantasticpick for both convenience and safety.Bear in mind that, though this model works well for Android Auto, it’s clearthat the tech was built with a focus on iOS compatibility. It performs Androidfunctions optimally, but there are more benefits if you run it on Apple.Key Features * Offers real-time alerts on Google maps * Extremely responsive 7-inch touchscreen * Connects to steering wheel controls * Reliable mirror linking tech * Uses Bluetooth 5.0 Specification * Brand Heiha * Model 7023B * Weight 1.85 pounds
Best Android Auto Head Units Buying Guide
In this section, we tell you more about some of the features to focus on whenyou are making your decision on which of the best Android head units to buy.Next, we will list some of the main advantages of using a system such as thisone. Following this, we will look at installation in closer detail, beforegetting into our frequently asked questions section. Lastly, we have a recapof our number one product on the list.Finding an Android Auto head unit is all about upgrading your ride withoutactually trading it in for something with built-in tech. It’s all aboutidentifying your priorities and tracking down a model with those features.Need the unit for navigation? Look for something with multiple mapapplications and offline capacity. Want more of an interactive comm device?Check on Bluetooth. Keeping kids busy? Look for streaming.The key is to focus in on what you want, find a model that fits, and stick toa reasonable budget. Provided you do that, Android Auto can seriously improveyour driving experience.
Types of Android Auto Head Units
Android Auto head units refer to any type of automotive in-deck unit that iscompatible with Android Auto software. This technology is meant to makeAndroid features that benefit drivers accessible while on the road. While allthe different makes and models will be slightly different, the softwarecompatibility is something they all share. Beyond that, the differentiation islargely spatial, relating more to the size and installation than to theperformance abilities.
Q: Do I need Android Auto if I have Bluetooth?
No, you don’t need Android Auto if your device has BlueTooth. However, anAndroid device that is connected through Android Auto will deliver bettersound quality. This is because the audio sent through Android Auto is at ahigher bandwidth, creating a higher quality of sound than BlueTooth.
Best overall Android Auto head unit details
Make | Pioneer —|— Model | AVH-W4500NEX Head unit size | Double DIN auto head unit Screen size | 6.9-inches Screen resolution | 2520×480 Screen type | Resistive touchscreen Smartphone integration | Wired and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Inputs | HDMI, 2 USBs, 2 RCAs, 2 camera, Bluetooth HD radio | Yes Satellite radio | Yes with tuner Optical drive | CD and DVD Price | $695 AlpineA single DIN car stereo opening in your vehicle doesn’t mean you can’t have ahuge touchscreen anymore. With the Alpine Halo9 iLX-F309 car head unit, a9-inch floating display attaches to a 2-inch head unit. This Android unitoffers plenty of height and angle adjustment, too, in addition to a rear USBinput, aux input, HDMI input and Bluetooth. This single DIN head unit hasbuilt-in Android Auto means Google Maps, text messages, phone calls andweather are only a voice command away.
Best single DIN Android Auto head unit details
Make | Alpine —|— Model | Halo9 iLX-F309 Head unit size | Single DIN auto head unit Screen size | 9-inches Screen resolution | 800×480 Screen type | Capacitive touchscreen Smartphone integration | Wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Inputs | HDMI, USB, mini aux, mini A/V, 2 camera, Bluetooth HD radio | Yes Satellite radio | Yes with tuner Optical drive | None Price | $1,000 PioneerOn the aftermarket, Android Auto head unit stereos don’t get much bigger thanthe Pioneer DMH-WT8600NEX. This digital multimedia player ditches opticaldiscs in favor of a 10.1-inch 720p capacitive touchscreen that floats over asingle DIN dash unit. For $1,155, you also get wireless Android Auto, HDRadio, Bluetooth and compatibility with a variety of digital music formatsincluding AAC, FLAC, MP3 and WMA.
Best big screen Android Auto head unit details
Make | Pioneer —|— Model | DMH-WT8600NEX Head unit size | Single DIN auto head unit Screen size | 10.1-inches Screen resolution | 1280×720 Screen type | Capacitive touchscreen Smartphone integration | Wired and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Inputs | Micro HDMI, USB, aux, 2 camera, Bluetooth HD radio | Yes Satellite radio | Yes with tuner Optical drive | None Price | $1,155 AlpineWho needs discs and a CD player? Not the Alpine iLX-W650 Android head unit.Forgoing an optical drive frees up space and makes this unit an easy choice ifspace inside your dashboard is at a premium. In addition to the usual Androidcar stereo integration, the iLX-W650 boasts front and rear camera inputs andsix-channel preamp outputs. Speaking of expandability, you can easily addAlpine’s power pack amplifier for an additional 50 watts RMS by four channelsfor even more sound.
Best cheap Android Auto head unit details
Make | Pioneer —|— Model | DMH-1500NEX Head unit size | Double DIN auto head unit Screen size | 7-inches Screen resolution | 2520×480 Screen type | Resistive touchscreen Smartphone integration | Wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Inputs | USB, mini aux, mini A/V, RCA, two camera, Bluetooth HD radio | No Satellite radio | Yes with tuner Optical drive | None Price | $300 KenwoodWhat does a $1,300 Android car stereo head unit look like? The Kenwood ExcelonDNX997XR. All those ducats get you a raft of features, the headliner being abuilt-in Garmin GPS navigation system with three years of free updatesincluded. In addition to wireless Android Auto, wired and wireless screenmirroring, passengers can wirelessly control Pandora from an Android device.This double DIN head unit model also has a motorized 720p 6.75-inch capacitivetouchscreen display, Bluetooth and a built-in HD Radio tuner.
Best wireless Android Auto head unit if money is no object details
Make | Kenwood —|— Model | Excelon DNX997XR Head unit size | Double DIN auto head unit Screen size | 6.7-inches Screen resolution | 1280×720 Screen type | Capacitive touchscreen Smartphone integration | Wired and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Inputs | Two USBs, mini aux, RCA, two camera, memory card slot, Bluetooth HD radio | Yes Satellite radio | Yes with tuner Optical drive | CD and DVD Price | $1,300 PioneerThe Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX is our pick for best overall Android car stereoabove, but it’s also our pick for the best wireless Android Auto DVD head unitbecause it brings the right combination of expected features to the mix alongwith surprises like the aforementioned ability to display engine performanceread-outs. And if you’re a die-hard CD enthusiast this Double DIN head unit isthe best way to play them for most people. You can use the CD and DVD driveand still have all the features of Android Auto at the same time.
Best wireless Android Auto DVD head unit details
Make | Pioneer —|— Model | AVH-W4500NEX Head unit size | Double DIN auto head unit Screen size | 6.9-inches Screen resolution | 2520×480 Screen type | Resistive touchscreen Smartphone integration | Wired and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Inputs | HDMI, 2 USBs, 2 RCAs, 2 camera, Bluetooth HD radio | Yes Satellite radio | Yes with tuner Optical drive | CD and DVD Price | $695″