How to Buy the Best Android Auto Head Units for 2018

Looking for a quick way to upgrade your car in the absence of having to spend a lot? One thing that you can do is to consider the installation of an Android auto head unit. This is a perfect replacement for your factory-installed stereo. You can connect it to an Android-compatible smartphone and do several things, such as play music and access maps.

Clueless on which brand and model will make the right choice? Read the rest of this post and we’ll help you to choose the best Android auto head units that you can find on the market. To help you decide, we’ll also tackle some of their noteworthy features, as well as some factors to consider as you try to narrow down the possibilities.

Best Android Auto Head Units

What is an Android Auto Head Unit? 

In case you do not know, an Android Auto is an aftermarket device that can be used as a replacement for the infotainment system that is originally developed by the manufacturer of your vehicle. It is made by Google and compatible with a number of Android phones, but not all models.

In a nutshell, Android Auto is an innovation that will change your overall driving experience. More than safety, it is also going to provide entertainment while you are on the road. By connecting your Android phone, you can access contents like music and your contacts. You can make hands-free calls and use the screen to assist in navigation.

With Android Auto, you can also connect to a number of third-party applications, which will allow you to do more while in your car. The model that will be chosen will have an effect on what apps can be accessed by the device.

As per the manufacturer, the Android Auto is marketed as the perfect driving companion, allowing you to stay focused, connected, and entertained while on the road. 

Top 5 Picks for the Best Android Auto Head Units  in the Market

In this section, we’ll identify five of the products that should be included in your list of choices and the features that make them worth considering.

Android Auto Head Units Comparison Table

Product NameWeightSizeOut Rating
best truck gps
Pioneer AVH4200NEX 2-DIN Receiver
6.42 pounds7 in4.9/5
best truck gps
Sony XAV-AX200 Android Auto
Head Unit
5 pounds6 in4.7/5
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Pioneer AVH-290BT Multimedia
DVD Receiver
4.21 pounds6.2 in4.5/5
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Pioneer AVIC-5100NEX AV Receiver

5.55 pounds6.2 in4.4/5
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Pioneer AVIC-8200NEX Navigation
Receiver
5 pounds6.2 in4.0/5

Short Reviews on the Best Android Auto Head Units

1. Pioneer AVH4200NEX 2-DIN Receiver  

Pioneer AVH4200NEX 2-DIN Receiver

 

Among others, one thing that makes this a great option is the 7-inch motorized display. It is a touchscreen that is intuitive, one of the reasons why it also ranks well in terms of being user-friendly. The screen can also be adjusted so that you can customize its angle based on what is easiest for you to see.

Another reason to choose this is the Network Entertainment Experience, an innovative feature that has been developed exclusively by Pioneer. It has cloud-based services that will allow you to access services online, as well as other apps. You can connect it to both Android and IOS devices.

The display is also bright and easy to see, whether it is day or night. The colors can be customized in five different colors.

There is also a built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and it can support up to two smartphones at a time.

Lastly, it also features SiriusXM satellite radio, which will provide you with access to 140 channels, including those that do not have any commercial. 

Pros:

  • Supports not only Android, but also IOS
  • Bright and easy to see the display
  • Can support up to four amplifiers

Cons:

  • Software can be prone to bugs
  • Does not include built-in navigation

2. Sony XAV-AX200 Android Auto Head Unit

Sony XAV-AX200 Android Auto Head Unit

 

The 4×55 watts of amplification produced by the unit can be attributed as one of its best assets. The latter will provide customizable options on how you would like the sound to be. Plus, it also makes sure that the sound that you will hear is ultra-clear, even if the music is played at a high volume.

Through Android Auto, you can enjoy a number of hands-free functions for a safer driving experience. Whether it is dictating text messages or accessing Google Maps, you can use your voice for controlling its various functions.

There are also many features to enhance the sound quality. For instance, it has Dynamic Stage Organizer for adjusting the signal and improving the positioning of the unit. It also comes with 10-band equalizer to tailor your sound experience based on your liking. Lastly, there is Dynamic Reality Amp 2 for the removal of interference and improvement of overall sound quality.

Lastly, there is also a dial for controlling various functions, such as the volume. This will make the operation distraction-free.

Pros:

  • Tacky physical interface
  • User-friendly
  • Sound is high-powered and has extra bass

Cons:

  • Screen resolution can be better
  • There is only one sub-output

3. Pioneer AVH-290BT Multimedia DVD Receiver

Pioneer AVH-290BT Multimedia DVD Receiver

 

This is one option that can prove to be perfect for people who are on the lookout for budget-friendly alternatives. It is an economical product, yet it can deliver decent performance, which makes it an option that is worth considering.

The unit comes with a 6.2-inch WVGA display. Its resolution is not as clear and bright as the more expensive options, yet it won’t disappoint. It is also touchscreen, which makes it easy to control its different features.

In terms of expandability, it is also great. It can connect not only to Android devices, but also IOS. If you are installing a back-up camera, it is also ready for such.

There is also a Multilanguage Display, which includes English, Chinese, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

It is also a good thing that there is a wired USB connection, which means that you can also use the unit for charging your gadget.

Lastly, the product comes with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer, which is pretty much the basic within the product category.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to install and operate
  • Ready for a back-up camera

Cons:

  • Can have delays in connecting via Bluetooth
  • Reception can be bad

4. Pioneer AVIC-5100NEX AV Receiver  

Pioneer AVIC-5100NEX AV Receiver

 

Similar to the model that has been mentioned above, this product also comes with a 6.2-inch screen. It has a touchscreen interface that will make it effortless for you to control its various functions. The screen remains bright and can be highly-visible, whether it is day or night.

The built-in navigation is also a plus, which will allow you to access more than 8 million points of interests. The preloaded maps cover Canada, U.S., and Puerto Rico. There is also a text-to-speech voice, which will provide detailed guidance that you need when driving.

There are also options for expandability, which will make it more multifunctional. For instance, you will be able to connect up to two cameras. You will also have the option to add amps and subs through the high-voltage amp outputs.

There is an HDMI connectivity for an Android phone. Through the latter, the screen will mirror whatever it is on your Android phone.

Lastly, it has many features for improved sound quality, such as 13-band graphic equalizer, built-in high/low pass crossover, and auto EQ. These features will allow you to make several sound adjustments. 

Pros:

  • Has a user-friendly interface
  • Superb navigation
  • Clear display

Cons:

  • Not as popular as the other models
  • Poor customer support

5. Pioneer AVIC-8200NEX Navigation Receiver  

Pioneer AVIC-8200NEX Navigation Receiver

 

This is one of the most expensive of the five products that are mentioned in this post, but it will be totally worth your money. From the display to the sound quality, this is a product that is made for serious audiophiles who have discerning preferences.

The unit comes with a 7-inch capacitive screen for easy-to-see display whether it is day or night. It is also touchscreen and can provide you with access to everything that is stored on your phone, such as music and your list of contacts.

In terms of music playback, the quality is also exceptional. It can play even FLAC files with lossless playback. Plus, it has 13-band EQ, providing you with the opportunity to control the quality of the music based on your preferences.

With the built-in amplifier, the sound quality is also significantly improved. There is a maximum power output of 50 watts per channel. More so, it has clear mids and highs, as well as low bass.

Lastly, there is also built-in navigation to provide you with turn-by-turn directions to easily reach the destination that you will input. 

Pros:

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Can be quite complicated for beginners

Essential Factors to Consider  

Best Android Auto Head Units

To make it easier for you to narrow down the possibilities, here are some of the most important things that you need to take into account:

Reviews: One of the first things that need to be done is to go online and look for reviews from past users. A lot of them are sharing real-life experiences, which will make it easy to weigh the pros and cons of the different choices. Pay attention to what they are saying about overall quality and features, among other things.

Display: It is also important that it comes with a large screen that will fit your car. Its resolution must be bright and crisp, which will make it easy for you to see what is on the screen, whether it is day or night. More so, it will also be good if there is a touchscreen functionality to simplify its operation.

Ease of Use: The Android auto head unit must also exhibit features that will be reflective of being user-friendly. From installation to operation, it must be simple. There should be an intuitive interface and tacky controls. The manufacturer must also provide comprehensive instructions on how it is used.

Customization: This is important because it will provide you with complete control on how the unit will be used. The unit must have features that can be personalized, such as an equalizer so that you can adjust the sound output.

Navigation: There are some Android auto head units, especially the cheap ones, that do not come with a built-in navigation. Choose one that has this feature, which will make it easy to reach your destination as you will be provided with a detailed guide on the route that you should take.

Compatibility: You also have to consider the model of the Android phone that you have, making sure that it will be compatible with the head unit that will be purchased. Android Auto is compatible Android 5.0 Lollipop or any newer version of the software.

Aesthetics: You should also consider the overall look of the head unit and see if it can have a seamless integration with your car. The design should blend well with how the dashboard looks like.

Power: When it comes to the technical specifications that you need to check, one of the most important is the power rating, which will have an influence on the sound quality that will be produced by the unit. Pay attention o the max power and continuous power output as you try to assess your choices.

Expandability: This is important if you want a unit that can deliver multiple functions. Aside from connectivity with a smartphone, you must be able to connect it with other devices as well, such as front and back camera. Many of the models can also be integrated with Apple phones.

Price: A lot of you may be tempted to choose a product with the cheapest price, but I suggest that you put more emphasis on quality. If you are on a tight budget, choose one with basic features as it will surely be cheaper.

Warranty: This is important since this is going to provide you with peace of mind. What happens if the unit encounters any problem that you cannot fix? You must be able to return it to the manufacturer and they must provide you with free repair or replacement of damaged parts. For the warranty to be valid, make sure to follow their terms and conditions.

Conclusion

From the best Android auto head units that have been mentioned above, I hope that it is easier for you to make a decision now. You will have countless choices, but it does not mean that they are all great. From the quality of the display to the sound output, there are several things that should be taken into account for you to make a decision that will not bring regrets in the future.

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