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!
- 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
- 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.