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530nm

Android headunits

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Looking around for an android unit and quite like the look of these ones:

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/XTRONS-Android-8-0-Car-Radio-Stereo-Sat-Nav-DAB-GPS-Navi-For-BMW-E39-E53-X5/183037576527?_trkparms=aid%3D555017%26algo%3DPL.CASSINI%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D53379%26meid%3D71c6a97773ed4bb2aee4630fc7e9220d%26pid%3D100507%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26%26itm%3D183037576527&_trksid=p2045573.c100507.m3226 

 

Has anyone had any experience with the Android headunits?  can't see any reviews for them. 

 

I'm not even sure what amplifier is in the car and whether or not it has DSP or whatever it's called.  Currently running half a headunit with a cassette adaptor which I hook on manually to the phone everyday (so 90's).  

Edited by 530nm

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Hi 530nm,

 

The situation with these cheap chinese head unit's is pretty much the same it's been over the last decade or so they've been available, and that is that it's a gamble as if you get a unit that arrives working and remains working longer term, or, you get one which has issues ranging from niggly to dead on arrival. Such units then seem to get worse over time and new issues/problems present themselves. Support and help is very limited to non existent from the supplying dealer/bedroom seller and electronically, they're low grade/generic electronics that otherwise would've been used in cheap tablet PC's.

 

There's 'reviews' from those who've purchased over all the BMW forums, and they range from quite a number of owners who are happy to those who are very angry. I've known personally a few of the UK based companies who have tried previously to sell units here with a full UK warranty and trying to operate under UK consumer law. Each one now either doesn't sell them or have shut operating completely. 

 

If good quality for build and sound doesn't matter to you, you just want to use something in the car, not overly concerned with getting good after sales care / support, then perhaps take a gamble on one of these chinese units. The best place in the UK now to get one is via this company -

 

https://audiotechdirect.com/pba-bm8839b-android-8-after-market-radio-for-bmw-e39-e53/

 

If you do get issues, at least they're in the UK and should offer you a replacement/refund etc. 

 

I'd suggest to remove the existing oem audio in the car and use new high quality speakers with a new head unit that you get, it's more of a headache if you want to try and 'patch' the new head unit into the existing OEM amplifier if you have one and/or the oem speakers which are mediocre at best and also the wrong impedance. 

 

Overall, my recommendation would be to spend a little more and get something like the just announced Kenwood DMX7018DABS unit which has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay built in, DABS digital radio, shallow depth so easy to fit without having to cut the cabin airbox, as well as being high quality in every aspect with local reputable dealers/installers. 

 

If you have any more questions about the 'high quality' route, feel free to drop me a PM to discuss if you like. 

 

Cheers, Dennis!

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Anyone looking for a good head unit solution I would highly recommend you take a good look at AudioTech Direct based in N. Wales. I recently bought their BM5839B, 7inch Android 8.0 unit for my 2003, 525i Sport for £289 delivered and it is a superb piece of kit. They supply the Eonon Chinese units built to their own specs. Very reliable, does everything you could possibly want and more. The customer service at ATD is excellent. Mine has the latest iGo sat nav maps, AM/ FM/ DAB radio. CD/ DVD/  TV. Bluetooth 4.0 hands free supporting Android & iPhone. WiFi internet & Google browser. Torque OBD2 App. Supports reverse cam. Custom start screen for that OEM look, I don’t like the “Disco” look of Sony, Kenwood, Alpine etc. Great sound improvement on standard speakers & nice equaliser. Simple to fit, plug & play and fully integrates with the cars Canbus system. All cables etc supplied. I can’t speak highly enough about ATD and the Eonon units, very highly recommended for the E39.

 

A nice 9 inch version is also available but does not have a CD player.

 

https://audiotechdirect.com/oem-style-units/bmw/

 

Here's my installation. After struggling for an hour to get the original BMW unit out, I had this in and up and running in 10 mins. A lovely fit. Very pleased indeed.

 

20180501_170728.jpg

 

Custom BMW 'M' Start up screen for that OEM look  .... nice !

20180713_213657.jpg

Edited by Busterbvi

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Their website looks promising, however the unit looks to be sat a bit too far into the dash. Can that be altered?

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How does the unit interface with the original BMW e39 equipment?

ie, microphone, aux heating/ vent timer, obc, tv, security code lock, pdc etc.

Edited by jimjam

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I've just fitted a EONON Android head unit to my E39 525tds, which had the business cd player as standard.

 

Blown away with how good it is for £320, was plug and play fitted in about an hour.

 The design looks like BMW fitted it, with the button style and colour the same.

 

It has 8 core CPU, 4 gig samsung ram, 32gig storage plus sd card slot and 3 USB ports on cables that exit the rear of the unit.

7 inch HD touch screen 

Sound quality is instantly improved by long way over the standard Philips headunit.

Much louder and better sound, I probably would like to upgrade the speakers now as they are at there limit with just half volume, but it's more than loud enough at that, at least twice the volume possible before. And actually has bass now, where as the standard unit was shit. 

 

The 1997 car now has Wi-Fi (very long range due to Ariel for it)

Bluetooth for calls and music steaming etc, mic works very well while driving and is very clear both ends.

I hotspot my mobile with 60gig a month data to the headunit, so Spotify and maps etc all work direct on the headunit without getting phone out your pocket.

Netflix even works lol

 

As it's running Android 8.0, it has split screen app running, plus mirrorlink from phone if wanted.

7 inch screen is very useful when running 2 apps side by side, like Google maps and Tom Tom speed camera app, or maps with Spotify etc.

It's a very fast android unit with no lag what so ever, handles all the apps I've tried so far with ease. 

 

Steering wheel controls all work with the unit, so I can change tracks on Spotify or adjust the volume.

It does this via a cambus decoder box that just plugs in the BMW plugs from the old head unit. I think this is also how it changes to the reverse camera screen automatically when reverse is selected, even though I haven't yet fitted the camera it came with yet.

 

For £50 extra you can buy a DAB box that plugs in the back of the unit, but as I have a radio app installed and 60gig data I probably won't bother with that.

You can also get a forward facing dash cam for £30 that plugs in the unit, so you can record video to the units storage (built in memory or sd card)

 

Anyone who wants to upgrade the old standard headunit to one that brings it up to 2018 levels for just 320 quid I highly recommend this one

 

https://eonon.co.uk/mobile/BMW-E39-Android-8-0-Car-DVD-Bluetooth-Receiver-2-GB-RAM-Octa-core-Car-GPS-Navigation-System-7-Inch-HD-Capacitive-Touchscreen-Multimedia-Car-DVD-Players.html

 

 

 

 

 

20181102_202124.jpg

20181102_201836.jpg

20181102_193328.jpg

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Hi,

 

Jimjam - Best to ask the importers as they know what the units are or aren't capable of.

 

5ADay - Eonon have been around for a few years now and also have been 'removed' from being sponsors on the 2 biggest USA forums and one the UK's M3cutters forum due to problems/issues with their units and lack or non existent support when angry purchasers wanted help and problems resolved. 'Hopefully' your unit will be one that works fully and continues to do so long term. The unit you have is another 'clone' type unit with the more 'oem' look front panel and there's various 'brands' with the same look unit as they all come out of perhaps 4/5 low end/quality factories before having a 'brand' applied to them and then sold off on ebay or amazon or by the brand directly etc. Good luck with it and perhaps update the forum here every so often with how it's working for you. 

 

Cheers, Dennis!

 

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5ADay, they really are superb aren't they !  Unfortunately the Chinese units got a bad rep due to poor reliability and customer support when they appeared on the market a few years ago. I think this is what Dennis is referring to. Things have moved on

and the reliability and quality is now spot on. AudioTech Direct in N. Wales are doing an excellent job with the Eonon units and their service is most excellent.  I recently returned a unit to them for repair due to my own stupidity with a cheque to cover

the postage as the fault was of my making. They repaired the unit, added start screen BMW ///M  logos that I requested and returned the unit with my cheque un-cashed all free of charge. Very impressed with ATD.

 

JimJam. Any queries should be directed to James at ATD, he is on the ball and answer all your questions. Contact them through their web site here.

 

https://audiotechdirect.com/    Or   webcs@audiotechdirect.com

 

 

 

 

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Hi 

 

Busterbvi - The chinese units will continue to use generic/low quality level electronics and internals given they're low end tablet computer innards and given they're not automotive grade electronics, then they're inherently not the right specification for the application. Due to this, it's the 'support and after sales care' that is vital for Chinese unit's being sold in the UK market and other Western markets where consumer law is strong. Perhaps, after almost a decade here in the UK, Auto Tech Direct will be able to do what all the other UK sellers similarly promised but ultimately couldn't deliver/provide and give the UK market a reliable choice of chinese units that will be fully supported and covered from a purchasers point of view. Time will tell on this aspect ! I suggest you become a site sponsor and provide good/excellent support for when customers/enthusiasts have problems and issues due to their inherent low/generic quality build/performance.

 

Cheers, Dennis!

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I know I'm taking a risk buying a Chinese headunit compared to one of the main brands that been going for decades, but it's a risk I'm ok with as I've had a xtrons Android head unit in my toyota hilux the last 5 years all ok, and few of my mates and family have them to, and as yet none have had hardware faults.

 

This one I have in the E39 seems a big step up with its spec and software, plus even has english installation manual etc.

I bought it from EONON UK, so if needed I should be able to get support, but hopefully won't be needed.

 

It is a 21 year old car after all, and not worth me spending top money on

 

 

 

 

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5ADay, just ignore any negativity about them, nothing lasts forever and over the last 40 yrs I have had top brands like Sony, Alpine, Pioneer etc fail prematurely and no support.

I have had a Eonon in my daily Focus for years, no problems, put one in my E39 last year and loving it. Many of my mates in the local motor club have them, no issues at all. In fact

if my unit went bang when out of warranty I would simply buy another one straight away and not lose a minutes sleep about it. I've seen owners raving about them on the E39 FB page

and not seen one negative post on Eonon, Xtrons etc. No point in debating which ones best, they all come out of the same factory and just rebranded.

 

We all have to take an element of risk in buying anything these days, I recently had to return a £1000 Sony Bravia 55in 4K TV due to problems, the replacement was the same ! Now on

set number 3 all finally all is well. Going Chinese on these head units is no more risky than any other make and their functionality is most excellent and just keeps getting better. Enjoy

your new system 5ADay !

 

 

 

 

Edited by Busterbvi

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On 04/11/2018 at 15:21, Busterbvi said:

We all have to take an element of risk in buying anything these days, I recently had to return a £1000 Sony Bravia 55in 4K TV due to problems, the replacement was the same ! Now on

set number 3 all finally all is well. Going Chinese on these head units is no more risky than any other make and their functionality is most excellent and just keeps getting better. Enjoy

your new system 5ADay !

 

 

 

 

 

Very true!

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Just ignore @DennisCooperand what he says about everything (ie. negative from the start) 

 

If it's not something he's suggested or what he flogs himself, then it's shit :roll: 

 

It's always the case when it comes to ICE and alloys...

 

So take it with a pinch of salt!

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5 hours ago, d_a_n1979 said:

Just ignore @DennisCooperand what he says about everything (ie. negative from the start) 

 

If it's not something he's suggested or what he flogs himself, then it's shit :roll: 

 

It's always the case when it comes to ICE and alloys...

 

So take it with a pinch of salt!

I understand that historically there have been issues with the chinese units but there seems to be plenty of members on here who have purchased Eonon/Xtrons etc units and had many years of fault free performance, suggesting that the quality is now there.  Quite frankly, I'm a bit fed up with the constant bashing of these android units despite a lot of good feedback, its not like the 'premium' brands are immune to problems. I have JBL speaker equipment at home which I paid a lot of money for and, despite good sound quality, its been repaired once and is on its way out again, also my LG TV has light bleed at the top of the screen and that was fooking expensive!

 

The assertion that the big names are much better quality than more generic brands is total bollocks in my experience/opinion.  I will be looking at one of these units for my M5 next year. 

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^^^

 

Yup @Jameswsb - these head units are all over various car forums, enough folk to say they're great and few folk to say they're not

 

I personally didn't go down that route in my previous 530i as I didn't feel I needed all their capability (more so with the likes of Google Maps/CoPilot on my mobile) and really, just wanted Bluetooth for calls and music playback; hence why I went for the single DIN Kenwood head unit at c£70! Not everyones choice, but it wasn't everyones car, t'was mine ;) 

 

I was wary about the issues with these head units; but not overly so

 

Like you, I've had issues with my KEF LS50 wireless speakers; they cost me £2k! Stopped working after 6 weeks and KEF sent me a new pair out and collected the broken ones, no questions asked! They're usually faultless! 

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update on the new eono e39 Android unit that i fitted 2 weeks ago, i've driven 1400 miles in that time with it.

 

Wow, this really is a bloody good head unit! and for the £310 i paid its by far the best buy i've had in long time.

I've got older android units in other cars, but this one is a big step up in both quality of the hardware and the software.

 

In 2 weeks and 1400 miles use i've had zero software crashes or bugs, it is very fast to use with no lag.

The radio reception is actually better than the BMW one, and better than other cars i've had as i can get stations i've never seen before where i live.

 Spotify works really well, I download lots of music to the 64 gig SD card i put in the head units slot, but also works perfectly streaming via the internet.

Sound quality and loudness is miles better than the standard BMW one was.

 

As it had Android 8.0 it runs split screen at click of a button, with 2 apps of you choice side by side, i often have spotify and google maps up side by side.

 

the voice control via "ok google" works really well, i can say "OK google, navigate to ********" and it loads right up in seconds, or call people from your contacts, play tracks via spotify, or open any app via voice, and because it's google powering it, it actually works well.

 

Any one with a e39 that wants all the latest tech in a neat screen that looks bmw, this is the one to buy, so cheap to buy to. 

 

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