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Android Car Stereo Review (Running Radarscope in Car)

I recently decided I wanted to upgrade from my factory stereo. I was having issues with audio playback from Facebook, Snapchat, etc that kept causing music audio to blast my ears out. The Toyota factory radio I had was good, though. GPS, some apps, XM radio, Bluetooth of course, phone integration, etc), but I really wanted something full featured.

My first attempt at a new radio was the Pioneer AVIC 8200 NEX. While it looked fancy and had a $800 fancy price tag, I found it to be underwhelming. The installers (Auto Image USA Norman, OK) did a fantastic job with it, but its functionality was limited. As a Bluetooth stereo to play off my phone, it worked fine, but wasn’t worth the $$ Here’s some details.

Android Auto: When using this, my phone just went to a black screen that said android auto. I no longer had any control over my phone. The only thing I could do was play with radio, and even then, I had no access to many apps that weren’t compatible. So while I could see Facebook messages incoming, I couldn’t get ESPN alerts, alerts from Slack, Twitter, etc.

Apple Car Play: When using this, I still had full control over my phone, but the radio funcationality was limited. For example, if I open Apple Maps on my phone, it would open on the radio too… But as soon as I go to a different app on my phone, ESPN or Twitter for example, then it would take Apple Maps off my radio and go to the home screen.. Vice versa… If I opened Apple Maps on the radio it opened on my phone, etc… I really had no need for any of this.

So, I decided to go full Android at 1/3 of the cost.

I decided I wanted to go back to an Android car stereo. I previously had one in my Jeep. I went with this one by a company called Pumpkin. It was one of the only ones I found that was running Android 6.0. This means you can run any app that Android runs on it. Including Radarscope, ESPN, Spotify, Twitter, Facebook, Chrome, etc!

Benefits:

  • Full android, run any android app
  • 7″ capacitive multi touch screen
  • Bluetooth audio sounds great, or can play Spotify/Pandora/XM (stream via app) from radio
  • Google maps navigation with included GPS puck
  • Works with steering wheel controls on most newer vehicles
  • My amp/sub/sound system work just fine
  • Supports backup camera

 

 

 

Some Notes:

  • This is a DOUBLE DIN unit, meaning you need the bigger radio area to use it
  • You might have to buy an adapter for your dash to fit this. For example, my last radio, the buttons etc were built into my dash, so I got an adapter that just has the cutout for the radio like you see here
  • If you need to buy adapters for your steering wheel controls, check this out 
  • If you aren’t familiar with wiring, etc, I would have it installed for you.. Should only take a few hours and is well worth the security of someone else being liable 😀
  • If you have controls (heated seats, AC, etc) built into your factory radio, I am not sure this is the best solution.

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Brandon Sullivan

I am an entrepreneur, meteorologist and storm chaser. I travel and take captivating photos and videos across the world. If I'm not chasing, I'm at the gym. All opinions are my own and do not represent my employers or investments.

4 thoughts on “Android Car Stereo Review (Running Radarscope in Car)

  • February 23, 2017 at 5:34 AM
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    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails with
    the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service?

    Appreciate it!

    Reply
  • March 13, 2018 at 7:08 PM
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    Great write up. Is there any way you can tell me where the key1 and key2 wires for steering wheel control attach to your factory stereo harness? Also, are your steering wheel controls limited or work full directions?

    Reply

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