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Discussion Starter #181 (Edited)
anyone that has sat on buying one of these, this might be a good alternative to the smartrover units we've been buying -

http://www.in-dash.net/buy_en/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=17&product_id=144

octacore CPU w/ 2GB RAM
android 5.1 lollipop

boots in 15 seconds -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCodlTmwQjw

Will be released sometime this month. Says it's for CX5, but I believe if you get a smaller sized screen you could squeeze it into a M6. I hope someone here would be willing to be a sacrificial lamb :)
edit: these units will also be open source, so anyone keen on modding should be able to install custom ROMs etc if they care to customize it.
 

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I thought the 6 and CX5 used the same sized headunits.

I think I've seen that one on Amazon, I'll have to dig and see if I can find it again.
They do, but some of the aftermarket headunits that fit the CX-5 won't fit in the 6. I think the behind-the-screen cavity in the 6 is a little tighter. Someone on here ordered a CX-5 headunit from AliExpress and it wouldn't fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #185
They do, but some of the aftermarket headunits that fit the CX-5 won't fit in the 6. I think the behind-the-screen cavity in the 6 is a little tighter. Someone on here ordered a CX-5 headunit from AliExpress and it wouldn't fit.
the one that user bought ( @guy989 I think) was a 10" unit that was larger than the stock opening. It didn't fit b/c the screen couldn't get past the dash.

Had he bought a unit that fit the stock opening (9" or less) it would have fit.
 

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im interested in the same thing as the OP....

i would like a double din that can play Waze for gps and simultaneously run music from spotify/pandora etc and have all the features of the stock HU
 

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Hi Hisma, I've been following this thread for a while getting everyone's opinion and comparing the different units posted. I'm looking to make the plunge myself and I'm looking into getting the one you got (mainly to keep the stock look). It's been now almost a year since you installed your unit, how has it worked for you so far? Any problems with quality or reliability? One of my concerns is related to overheating. Now that summer's coming to an end have you noticed any problems with overheating, crashing, running sluggish, or it malfunctioning on hot days? What is your conclusion to a new buyer? Thanks for your feedback!

One last question I haven't seen anywhere. Does the unit support SiriusXM?
 

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Hi Hisma, I've been following this thread for a while getting everyone's opinion and comparing the different units posted. I'm looking to make the plunge myself and I'm looking into getting the one you got (mainly to keep the stock look). It's been now almost a year since you installed your unit, how has it worked for you so far? Any problems with quality or reliability? One of my concerns is related to overheating. Now that summer's coming to an end have you noticed any problems with overheating, crashing, running sluggish, or it malfunctioning on hot days? What is your conclusion to a new buyer? Thanks for your feedback!

One last question I haven't seen anywhere. Does the unit support SiriusXM?
To answer a few of your concerns before @Hisma sees this (it helps to tag people so they get notified):

Crashes: Yes, but not often. I've never had the whole headunit shut down. It's an android device so sometimes the apps will crash. No more than any smartphone/tablet.

Heat: Unaffected. I'm finishing up a summer in the southeast and the only thing that I notice when I try to use the headunit after the car has been cooking all day is that the screen is freaking HOT.
 

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Discussion Starter #192
thanks for the mention @Donkey Grundle, I don't check here much anymore.

To answer your questions @Habaku, the quality has held up surprisingly well. Like most anyone else that bought these, I was worried about overall build quality, reliability, etc., and for the most part I haven't had any issues. Like donkey mentioned, apps will force close or lock up occasionally, particularly waze for me. But it does not happen frequently enough for me to be bothered by it. I will say to avoid using the microsd slots, as it caused significant issues with the unit when I tried using my own. That was the biggest issue I encountered. The unit comes stock with one that works fine, so if you need to update maps, or do an update (like install the iq navi firmware), just copy files to the stock card.

I live in Houston which is extremely hot, and it made it through the entire summer without a single heat-related issue. Only thing that has happened other than the minor android app instability is the plastic silver ring surrounding the volume knob fell off. The other issue I have mentioned quite extensively is that it's not an audiophile quality unit. Sound is largely flat and lifeless (compared to a true audiophile grade source), but it will still sound better than stock due to the more powerful internal amp. If you want to do a custom audio system, you will need to add in an external DSP to your signal chain.

So outside what I have mentioned, I have nothing negative to report. It has held up surprisingly well, and I don't regret my decision one bit. I will say that I may consider getting an octacore 2GB unit once those become more common, as I find that we're pushing the hardware to its limits simply by running waze & poweramp simultaneously. Waze in particular seems to stress the unit quite a bit. It's tolerable, but I would prefer something snappier. Still, you can buy the unit with confidence.
 

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Discussion Starter #193
oh, and as for sirius, since it wasn't brought up, no this does not support sirius by default. I would think it'd need a special radio and antenna for that. But you CAN access sirius using the android app, which will stream it over your internet connection. So as long as you tether a data connection you can get sirius.
 

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Thanks @Hisma and @Donkey Grundle (<--I'm just testing to see if I'm doing the mentioning right)

I'm from Texas! So I'm happy to hear that it will handle the heat. I've been following you guys and MadStyle over at the other thread for a while now. I think I'm still leaning towards Hisma's 8" HU just because it has a more stock feel but MadStyle's 9" HU is really tempting.

Hisma, related to the one you got some thing's still aren't very clear to me:
1) What color are the button lights? On the product page it says they are red but on one of the posts you said they were white, is that correct? I want to make sure I can select white keeping with the stock look.
2) I tend to keep my screen off when I drive. Does the HU have an option to automatically turn off the screen after the car turns on and boots up? And if not, does it have the normal android options to automatically turn off the screen after X amount of minutes?
3) Some of you guys applied the Russian made IQ Navi firmware. This completely overwrites the default android OS installed on the units correct? If that's the case, are you able to install any kind of android backup software like Titanium Backup or Nandroid Backup? I'm thinking I may perform a backup of the OS before trying to install IQ Navi in case something goes wrong.
4) Do you get notifications when you receive a text like on the stock HU? I don't necessarily want the text itself to download to the HU but I like to get some kind of pop up that tells me I've received a text.
 

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Discussion Starter #195
Thanks @Hisma and @Donkey Grundle (<--I'm just testing to see if I'm doing the mentioning right)

I'm from Dallas! So I'm happy to hear that it will handle the heat. I've been following you guys and MadStyle over at the other thread for a while now. I think I'm still leaning towards Hisma's 8" HU just because it has a more stock feel but MadStyle's 9" HU is really tempting.

Hisma, related to the one you got some thing's still aren't very clear to me:
1) What color are the button lights? On the product page it says they are red but on one of the posts you said they were white, is that correct? I want to make sure I can select white keeping with the stock look.
2) I tend to keep my screen off when I drive. Does the HU have an option to automatically turn off the screen after the car turns on and boots up? And if not, does it have the normal android options to automatically turn off the screen after X amount of minutes?
3) Some of you guys applied the Russian made IQ Navi firmware. This completely overwrites the default android OS installed on the units correct? If that's the case, are you able to install any kind of android backup software like Titanium Backup or Nandroid Backup? I'm thinking I may perform a backup of the OS before trying to install IQ Navi in case something goes wrong.
4) Do you get notifications when you receive a text like on the stock HU? I don't necessarily want the text itself to download to the HU but I like to get some kind of pop up that tells me I've received a text.
The 9" is a bigger screen and seems to integrate some stock functionality better for some reason (like the commander knob which didn't work out of the box for me, but did for 9" buyers). But other than that they are identical. If you are somewhat handy they will operate the same, especially if you put iq navi in (iq navi fixed the issues I had w/ the "car settings" app that controls headlights, door locks etc)
1) they are white. they mimic the stock look
2) i don't know about this. i always keep my screen on. sorry
3) it's a firmware update, but it will run the same version of android as before. the steps to do nandroid backups is not easy and i'd just avoid it. i don't think any of us have had an issue flashing firmware, but of course there's always a chance it could go wrong. best to just ask the seller smartrover to give you a link to download their stock firmware. They will give it to you. Then if you have issues with or don't like iq navi, you can revert back that way.
4) no, and frankly I don't see that as that big of an issue to me. When I am driving I just ignore texts, or check at a long stop light. If it's important enough the person will call me.
 

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Hey @Hisma, I decided to go with the 8 inch unit since I like having physical buttons and I like to keep a stock look. My question to you and the other guys who've installed it so far is did you have difficulty clipping the unit in? I can't get it to sit flush with the dashboard. On the stock HU you separate the metal "box" from the plastic frame, screw the metal box in with two screws and a bolt then you clip the plastic frame on. But there's no way to do this with the SmartRover HU?
 

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Discussion Starter #197
Hey @Hisma, I decided to go with the 8 inch unit since I like having physical buttons and I like to keep a stock look. My question to you and the other guys who've installed it so far is did you have difficulty clipping the unit in? I can't get it to sit flush with the dashboard. On the stock HU you separate the metal "box" from the plastic frame, screw the metal box in with two screws and a bolt then you clip the plastic frame on. But there's no way to do this with the SmartRover HU?
You can get it flush. Get a flashlight & look below the unit, where the 10mm bolt was on the stock HU. Make sure that areas is free of dangling wires. It is very easy for some wires to get in the way there.

My unit actually "floats" in place, that is, I have no screws holding it in. It is simply secured in place by the plastic frame, and it works just fine this way.
 

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This unit is exactly the type of unit I have been looking for (as in 100% stock look with buttons etc). I'm glad several of you all are Texas guys and have no heat issues to report.

My car is a 2014 Sport trim manual transmission and does NOT have the factory screen or navigation or commander knob or any of that. I have specifically been looking for something like this to add to my car to give me rear camera functionality and maybe Google Maps as a secondary benefit.

Here's the unit I'm looking at. Is this 100% for sure the same unit being discussed in this thread? This unit is 19% off through tomorrow (so $328 total shipped).

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/8-Android-4-4-Car-PC-Audio-Video-Head-unit-For-Mazda-6-Atenza-2013-2014/32369470348.html

Here is my conundrum - and forgive me if these have already been asked/confirmed by anybody in this thread as I've been been reading a ton today and everything is sort of running together -

1) Can I run straight Google Maps on it WITHOUT needing to tether my phone or anything like that - just via the GPS antenna that is included? Is Google Maps just like the phone experience? I can get my house wifi easily in my driveway and can download/update apps in my driveway but I don't have mobile tethering on my cell phone and would not want to have to do that with this unit.

2) I have no backup camera stock. I understand to run a backup camera I would need to tap into a "signal" to indicate the car is in reverse. I figure I could tap into the reverse lights, but how do I get that signal to this head unit for the unit to know it's in reverse and thus automatically display the camera? Is that handled on the camera side and not the head unit side?

3) Was there ever any determination as to whether or not the screen can be blacked out/shut off while driving? Does it have a dimmer function that correlates with the headlights being turned on and/or any sort of "night mode"?

4) Can the unnecessary and unneeded apps be totally wiped out or is it like a lot of phones that I find you can't get rid of apps? I really do not care to have anything on this unit except for Google Maps, rearview camera, and basic radio and audio functions. It would mentally annoy me if I had dozens of apps on there I won't use and can't get rid of.

Thanks!
@Donkey Grundle
@Hisma
@Habaku

*edited to tag some of you guys to get notified :p
 

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Here's the unit I'm looking at. Is this 100% for sure the same unit being discussed in this thread? This unit is 19% off through tomorrow (so $328 total shipped).

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/8-Android-4-4-Car-PC-Audio-Video-Head-unit-For-Mazda-6-Atenza-2013-2014/32369470348.html

1) Can I run straight Google Maps on it WITHOUT needing to tether my phone or anything like that - just via the GPS antenna that is included? Is Google Maps just like the phone experience? I can get my house wifi easily in my driveway and can download/update apps in my driveway but I don't have mobile tethering on my cell phone and would not want to have to do that with this unit.

2) I have no backup camera stock. I understand to run a backup camera I would need to tap into a "signal" to indicate the car is in reverse. I figure I could tap into the reverse lights, but how do I get that signal to this head unit for the unit to know it's in reverse and thus automatically display the camera? Is that handled on the camera side and not the head unit side?

3) Was there ever any determination as to whether or not the screen can be blacked out/shut off while driving? Does it have a dimmer function that correlates with the headlights being turned on and/or any sort of "night mode"?

4) Can the unnecessary and unneeded apps be totally wiped out or is it like a lot of phones that I find you can't get rid of apps? I really do not care to have anything on this unit except for Google Maps, rearview camera, and basic radio and audio functions. It would mentally annoy me if I had dozens of apps on there I won't use and can't get rid of.

Thanks!

@Donkey Grundle
@Hisma
@Habaku

*edited to tag some of you guys to get notified :p
Yeah that's the unit on this thread. That's the unit I bought and received last week. I've recorded several videos I intend to upload however I'm having some problems with the installation. I cannot get the unit to sit flush with the dashboard. I'm constantly going back and forth with the seller but since they are 12 hours apart we're basically exchanging two messages per day. But to answer your questions:
1) Google Maps allows you to download the maps for offline use. Geo positioning (GPS) doesn't require any data connection to locate your position. So theoretically you could use Google Maps without tethering your head unit if you preload your local maps. It was my intention to test this first hand but unfortunately I'm having those install issues. Traffic updates require data so you wont have those. Routing to local destinations should work fine once you preload the maps.
3) Yes the screen can be blacked out while the unit's on. This was key for me because I happen to like turning off the screen at night. The "power" button on the left dims the screen to 50% if you press it once and turns off the screen if you press it again. I haven't been able to test to see if the head unit has any auto brightness but since I don't see a light sensor my guess is no.

Once I hear back from the seller and get the unit re-installed I can provide more concrete answers to #2 and #4 and even confirm #1 .
 

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I'm just going to toss this out here in case any of you can provide some insight. I'm having a problem getting the head unit to fit flush against the dashboard. Here's a video I made to demonstrate the problem to the seller. Maybe one of you guys can identify what's going wrong. I can't get the three clips along the top of the frame to click in to the three holes on the dashboard. It appears something is blocking the back of the head unit from going in all the way. It's not the bolt bracket on the bottom because that doesn't even reach the metal plate on the car. It's not any harnesses because as you can see from the video no harnesses are attached. Did any of you run into any similar problems?

 
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