Android only double DIN unit or mount a tablet?

   #1  

rumble phish

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So I'm going to swap out the stock head unit in my truck due to the fact the the volume knob is wonky. Turn it up and the volume goes up, turn it down and the volume goes up (half of the time). Kinda like those old rheostat knobs that would get "dusty" and you would take them off and hit'em with some compressed air and be good to go. Unfortunately, these new knobs are not mechanical.

I want to forgo any portable media (CD's, DVD's, etc.) and go with an Android based unit. Not "Android Auto" or "Screen Mirroring", but a pure Android unit. Has anyone had any experience with these types of units? Or perhaps I could make an in-dash mount for a tablet and run it to a pair of amps. The only problem with that is boot up time. Many of the new Android head units boot up in 2 seconds, once the initial set up has been completed (first time boot up). Otherwise, the tablet route would be a no brainer I think.

I'm currently looking at a brand called "Pumpkin", as well as another called "Joying"

Pumpkin 4GB RAM/32GB ROM Android 8.0

Joying 4GB RAM/32GB ROM Android 8.0
 
   #4  

CZLoco

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I have no experience with the Android head units, sorry.

I can tell you though, to stay away from the tablet idea.
In some ways it's the better way to go.
If you're an uber geek who is okay with research and frustration and trying different things all the time.

I still have an Android board (think tablet without the tablet) that I aim to install someday.
Just never found time and still don't have time.
 
   #9  

BigGar

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What are you going for with the upgrade?

I put a new double-din head unit in a 2000 F150 last year for a client. He wanted Bluetooth, back up camera, Android Auto, Apple Car Play, streaming, navigation, Sirius, etc. . . The hardest part was cutting up the inside of the dashboard to get it to fit nice in the Ford. Lots and lots of dremel and die grinding plastic, and test fitting, test fitting, test fitting. It was a fucker in that regard. Came out great though and he's still super happy with it. JVC unit I think. Crutchfield rocks.
 
   #10  
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rumble phish

rumble phish

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What are you going for with the upgrade?

I put a new double-din head unit in a 2000 F150 last year for a client. He wanted Bluetooth, back up camera, Android Auto, Apple Car Play, streaming, navigation, Sirius, etc. . . The hardest part was cutting up the inside of the dashboard to get it to fit nice in the Ford. Lots and lots of dremel and die grinding plastic, and test fitting, test fitting, test fitting. It was a fucker in that regard. Came out great though and he's still super happy with it. JVC unit I think. Crutchfield rocks.
I basically want a media/app control center. I'm not really interested in watching videos, but I am interested in GPS/navigation apps and OBD2 apps like Torque Pro. And of course music apps, back up camera, and DVR function (dash cam). Not interested in CD's or DVD's. USB ports and SD card slots are pretty standard fare for these type of units. Don't really care for "Android Auto" or "Apple Car Play", but instead want just a straight forward Android unit, like my phone, to use.
 
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   #11  

BigGar

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Not sure what's out there. Android Auto was sure cool when I paired my phone up with it for testing. Drove the truck around, used Waze, Google Maps, streamed Pandora, streamed Sirius, used the Sirius module I added to the head unit . . . The fucker sings and dances. Client's an Apple guy, and he likes the Apple Car Play a lot although the Bluetooth on this JVC unit is occasionally troublesome. It doesn't like more than one or two phones paired up, although it says you can pair up to five phones.
Whatever you get, if you can get a unit where the top part at least of the box isn't too deep, it might save you a lot of fabrication heartache. It was a fucker cutting, filing, and dremeling in there with my sausage fingers to make a full size double din box fit.
 
   #16  

spkerhed

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a lot of the android radios don't fit standard kits so are more difficult to install. I have gotten to the point where I wont install radios that aren't main stream brands.
 
   #17  
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rumble phish

rumble phish

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After considering the available options, costs, and after the cell phone battery life thread, I think I'm going to spend the money on a new phone instead. I'll install a cheap $150 standard stereo deck with bluetooth/hands free and a back up camera, upgrade the stock speakers and get a good, sturdy phone mount. I think a new phone will be a better use of funds, and I'll still be able to use it for what I want in the truck.
 
   #18  

CZLoco

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no radio needed if you go this route.

Damn, that's a longbed too. Sounds amazing. :up:

a lot of the android radios don't fit standard kits so are more difficult to install. I have gotten to the point where I wont install radios that aren't main stream brands.
That sucks to hear. I totally believe you though.

After considering the available options, costs, and after the cell phone battery life thread, I think I'm going to spend the money on a new phone instead.
I would at least spring for a deck that can mirror your phone screen for stuff like maps.
Otherwise, you can use an app to automatically do this-that-the-other-thing as soon as it connects to your car stereo's bluetooth.
 
   #19  

Stetson

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At least consider some of the android auto units on Crutchfield. They start under $300. My new car came with android auto, and I love it. Car doesn't have GPS, so I run Waze on the screen through my fone. Do all the audio through my phone, but using the big touch screen in the dash. Better than fucking around with my reading glasses with the phone in the mount, like I do in my Chrysler.
 
   #20  
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rumble phish

rumble phish

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Well, decided against a new cell phone since after updating my phones OS the battery life is much improved.

So, I went ahead and purchased a pure Android 8.0 double DIN system, sans a disc option, for my F150 along with a back up camera. The links below are what I picked up.

Pumpkin 4GB RAM/32GB ROM Android 8.0

1547694791732.png

PUMPKIN License Plate Frame Backup Camera, Rear View Reversing Camera Parking Assist Night Vision Waterproof High Sensitive with 170┬░Viewing Angle and 8 IR LED

1547694734129.png

Got both for only $269 form Amazon. Should be here tomorrow. Had $70 in Amazon "Reward" points on my Chase Amazon card so technically I kept it under my $200 limit! :yahoo:
 
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   #21  
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rumble phish

rumble phish

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Got the Android unit installed. Gar said there'd be some trimming to get the bezel to fit and he was right. I used the Metra kit to install it (harness and bezel). Trimming was a piece of cake with a utility knife and a flat file. Modified the stock 12v plug in the dash and mounted the two remote USB sockets there.

This unit is fan-fucking-tastic. Power is a perfect level (50w per chanel peak, 22w RMS). I don't need to blow the windows out and shake the car next to me. Bass response is great as well. The stock speakers will probably need to be upgraded.

Came with the Torque Pro app preinstalled, as well as Chrome, Google Maps and the Play Store app. Downloaded the iHeartRadio app, Amazon music, Amazon Prime video, Netflix, YouTube, and Pandora.

The GPS works great. Google Maps obviously, but the built in mapping app as well. Should have the back up camera hooked up tomorrow.

Bottom line, this is an amazing unit. After a few months to make sure there aren't any hidden surprises, I think I'll be installing these in my two other cars.
 
   #23  

DaCat

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Nice, good job.

Not sure if it is available, but it would be great if there was an app to record dash cam video on the unit. You could then install an additional small inconspicuous front facing camera and have live recording like a normal dash cam from both cameras.
 
   #24  

TurboBlew

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Nice, good job.
Not sure if it is available, but it would be great if there was an app to record dash cam video on the unit. You could then install an additional small inconspicuous front facing camera and have live recording like a normal dash cam from both cameras.
One of the units I looked at had 3 or 4 input channels for video. You could have them display simultaneously if you wanted with a switch.
 
   #26  

DaCat

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One of the units I looked at had 3 or 4 input channels for video. You could have them display simultaneously if you wanted with a switch.
Thanks for the head's up, I will have a look at what Amazon has to offer. Not in hurry, but it's nice to know what is available.
 
   #28  

tinhead

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You're giving me ideas for the moho here.
The Pioneer something that's in there now has unexplored capabilities, and I can apparently add another (b&w) cam to the separate existing system.
 
   #30  

CZLoco

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Rumble, how is the display when you're driving in full sunlight?
Low NITs and glare issues are what had me researching dedicated LCD units from China back when I was planning an Android car stereo.

But finding a sunlight-brightness LCD that also has anti-glare built in, PLUS also having decent contrast ratio specs, was difficult to find.
Then finding one with an Android compatible multi-touch controller was near impossible.
 
   #31  
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rumble phish

rumble phish

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Nice, good job.

Not sure if it is available, but it would be great if there was an app to record dash cam video on the unit. You could then install an additional small inconspicuous front facing camera and have live recording like a normal dash cam from both cameras.
One of the units I looked at had 3 or 4 input channels for video. You could have them display simultaneously if you wanted with a switch.
Yes, this unit has a two video inputs and three outputs, including the main screen. It came with a DVR app installed as well (can record up to 1080p). I'm looking at front camera options and where to install.

Is that Micheal fucking Jackson on the screen?:frEEk:
Yes, yes it is. Classic Michael, when he was still black.

Rumble, how is the display when you're driving in full sunlight?
Low NITs and glare issues are what had me researching dedicated LCD units from China back when I was planning an Android car stereo.

But finding a sunlight-brightness LCD that also has anti-glare built in, PLUS also having decent contrast ratio specs, was difficult to find.
Then finding one with an Android compatible multi-touch controller was near impossible.
The brightness is pretty damn good actually. It has the standard "auto" brightness level, but I've found that like many other "budget" Android devices, the screen brightness fluctuates too much when set to auto. (my phone does that as well). however, this unit has an interesting feature that I really dig. It has a setting where you can have the brightness dimmed to a preset level at a preset time, e.g. it'll dim to a set level at 7 PM and then go back to the previous brightness setting at 7 AM. Very cool, IMHO.

The screen is a matte finish, so there seems to be very little glare. I'm sure that the way the screen is oriented int he dash (almost flat) and the tinted windows on my truck help considerably. I will note that while the resolution isn't HD-quality, it is more than acceptable for it's intended purpose. I don't plan on watching video much on this unit (I did hook up the parking brake ground so that video output is limited when the parking brake is disengaged) but the video I have watched, such as Youtube, has been very good overall.

One last thing is that the screen is VERY responsive. I looked at, and played with, quite a few systems before pulling the trigger and what I hated most were the laggy resistive screens and the slowness of opening apps. This unit has a 5 point capacitive screen that is incredibly responsive (like a Samsung or Apple phone/tablet), and the 4 GB of memory and the 8-core 1.5 GHz processor make this as nice as to use any high-end cell phone.

The one thing that leaves a little to be desired is the UI that the company installs. I'd be happier with a pure Android experience, but this isn't terrible. Just a little clumsy in some areas. A few apps need to be installed the long way (APK via Play store) and it defaults to loading the UK version on the apps. I think that may be due to a region setting, but I'm not that well versed in Android setups to know for sure.
 
   #33  

CZLoco

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it defaults to loading the UK version on the apps. I think that may be due to a region setting, but I'm not that well versed in Android setups to know for sure.
If I remember correct, this can be changed by changing your language to US English. It should be an option in the main Android settings applet.
I think PlayStore and other things use that to determine your region?
 
   #34  

CZLoco

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How fast does it connect to your phone's tethering?

I'm with Google Fi for my cellular plan.
They let you have a free SIM for data-only.
And it just uses whatever data you have on your plan.
So when my setup comes together, I'll be installing a 4G Modem with WiFi.
Using the data-only SIM that Google Fi provides at no extra cost.
Then connect the Android to that WiFi.
That way I'll have data at all times, even when I don't have my phone with me.
 
   #35  
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rumble phish

rumble phish

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It connects to my phone's hotspot very quickly. I turn my hotspot on as I'm heading to my truck and by the time I'm buckled in the system has already connected to my phone's BT and Wi-Fi
 
   #36  

CZLoco

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I think you can use an NFC sticker to auto-enable and auto-disable hotspot without needing root. Get in your car, tap the phone against the sticker to turn on hotspot. Then tap the phone against the sticker again to turn it off.

Otherwise, there are root options (tasker) to auto-enable/disable hotspot as soon as the phone detects Bluetooth from your car.
There may be non-root options as well. But I don't know anything about non-root stuff.
 
   #37  

CZLoco

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You can put an NFC sticker anywhere in your car.
Or maybe on your house door so you just tap the speaker on your way in or out of the house to turn on/off hotspot.

NFC stickers are like a buck or two these days.
 
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