Review Android car stereo radio and navigation 112

more Recent Updated Review

[icon name=”android” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] For a More current Review, see My Ford Fusion Android Radio Review.

My car radio upgrade…

android car stereo gps head unit - Ouku 6.2'

android car stereo gps head unit – Ouku 6.2″

What can a $280 buy you? how about an Android car stereo + Navigation, and all the android apps your heart desires. My 40+ minute commute has me in the car for a while, one finds that on these long drives, some interesting audio in the car is pretty important. The stock radio from my 2005 Camry leaves a lot to be desired, no bluetooth, no aux, just a cassette and CD player. Because most of my listening involves ppodcasts or digital files   or online streamed radio , I was tiring of my cassette fed headphone jack system, and decided it was time to upgrade the radio.  I have more up-to-date 2016 Android Aftermarket car stereo  news here.

Infotainment in the news..

Because this page gets the bulk of traffic on my site, I have added this infotainment news section, that I will updated periodically about Android (and IOS) car head units..

  • Rand McNally OveryDryve ™ infotainment tablet

    Rand McNally infotainment tablet

    Update 2/15/2016:  It appears a new promising aftermarket entrant is coming into the market. The folks that brought us paper maps, Rand-McNally  , but recently specialized in trucking satnav’s , are offering an  aftermarket car  infotainment tablet called OverDryve™, which after reading the spec appears to offer a lot of features.  Click the link above for a video and  more details and pre-order for $399, Expected ship date Summer 2016.

  • Update 1/11/2016 :  CES 2016 is over an really only one new announcement, Kenwood anounced some after market models.. Read my latest positng here for details
  • Update 8/3/2015: I’m was waiting to hear when the Parrot RNB6 (Android Auto/Apple Car Play) unit will be available, it was announced in January at CES 2015  and was very well received but we have not heard much since then ,  Sadly it appears that the Parrot RNB6 is NOT destined to be an after market Head Unit. That’s a shame, so I guess we’re stuck with these android  Chinese radios for now..  or pay for an expensive Pioneer NEX  System like this one with crappy performance and support. For now stick with a Chinese unit like the one discussed here
  • April 2015: Slowly OFFICIAL aftermarket units supporting Android AUTO and Apple CarPlay are starting to be announced and available:
  • Want a kind of , sort of  experience like Android Auto (or Apple Car Play), check out Sony XSPN1BT NFC Bluetooth Smartphone Cradle CD In-dash Receiver. It’s basically a car head unit that acts as a cradle for your smartphone. So basically all the smarts come from the phone and the Car head unit basically sends out the sound to the speakers and allows voice control. For $250, maybe its something that’s worth considering. If the screen in your smartphone is large enough , so maybe if you have Samsung Note or Iphone 6 plus this may work.
  • Pioneer’s new 8100 NEX receivers include Android Auto’s some of the first aftermarket systems. Sadly these units (apparently they come in a variety of configurations) are pretty expensive  starting at $700. Here’s a nice review over at Android Central of the 8100 Nex unit.
  • Google also announced Android Auto Application was available in the play store for Lollipop (or higher) enabled devices. But before you head over to get it , it requires a compatible Android Auto head uit (like the one mentioned above) t. The Android Auto App, is simply designed as the two way interface to the Android Auto head unit, its not a stand-alone app.
  • For more infotainment news: Engadget infotainment news

Deciding on aftermarket car radio gps head units.

Bare car radio before installation

Bare car radio before installation

So considering upgrading options, I had a couple of directions to go in.

Aftermarket car audio radios (Head units ) come in a couple of standard sizes  Single DIN (180×50 mm) mostly Europe, and Double DIN (180×100 mm). I knew my car supported a double DIN unit, so I knew I had enough space in my dash for a video screen.

First decision, was did I want just a radio replacement? There are a ton of car radio options, then  I started considering instead of just a plain radio upgrade, if the price was right I would want a GPS too, after all if I’m going to use that center panel real-estate anyway, why not have a in-dash GPS, as well.  So after a bit of research I settled on the Android head unit  (Android Ouku 6.2″ Double din car radio gps unit).

If you don’t need GPS or any video capabilities from your in-dash unit, and are just an audiophile looking for quality sound and audio features, you can take a look at the units like Clarion CX501 or PIONEER AVH-X1500 DVD  or JVC KWAV61BT 6.1-Inch DVD , these are excellent head units with plenty of audio rich capabilities.

Chinese Android car radios

After doing my research I narrowed it down to a few units and finally decided to give the Ouku (unbranded) Android unit I found on Ebay a shot. Various vendors refer to this brand as Ouku, but its unclear who Ouku is?  its likely a generic cover name for some unknown Chinese based manufacturer.

To find these radios search Ebay for  Android car radio, you will get back hundreds of units, some are identical to my unit,  others have variations, while some may vary in screen size (7″ vs. 6.2) physical layouts (buttons, left or bottom) and screen type and os, most of those units are likely manufactured by one or two supply houses in China and share pretty much identical internals .

While they may be Android radios the software that talks to the radio hardware (tuner, amp) is controlled by a factory MCU firmware, that means you can only use the provided software for the tuner, bluetooth phone and ipod connection, there are no substitutes in the Android play store. This is why its difficult to upgrade to newer versions of Android on these radios, because the MCU firmware is likely not flexible or available for developers to patch and update it to match capabilities of news Android versions. So buyer beware, whatever version of Android comes with these radios is likely the version that will ALWAYS be on these radios.

Android 6.2″ double DIN car radio (Ouku) specifications.

Item Specification
Display 6.2" TFT LCD resistive touch screen  800×480 (Landscape) 16:9 ratio
CPU:   FREESCALE I.MX535D Cortex A8 1GHz Ram: DDR3 512M
OS: Android 2.3.4 JellyBean
Radio 45-watt  x 4-channel radio receiver AM; FM; RDS; presets; equalizer; remote control
GPS yes – Sygic Android GPS software pre-installed with USA maps (option to use other GPS software available on Google Play)
Data Connection WIFI or 3G USB Modem
iPod Yes Supports iPod; and iPhone via traditional-size connector
Bluetooth Supports Phone calls via built-in Mic; audio playback from Bluetooth device
SD/USB/Digital Supports MicroSD; USB and popular digital files
Media Supported CD / DVD/ AVI/ MPEG4/ Mp3 / WMA / JPEG/ Mp4/ PDF


Installation of this radio is similar to any car radio, you can install it yourself, if you’re so inclined or take it to a radio installer. If you do plan on installing it yourself, be sure to get the correct wiring harness for your car  and DIN mounting dash-kit to make sure the unit fits well and doesn’t look too aftermarket, usually adds $20-50 to the cost of the radio. The radio comes with its own wires (to connect to the harness you get), rca cables, gps antenna and usb wifi/3g dongle, plus a connector for the iPod dock.

Features and performance.

I’ll give you a brief overview of the basic functionality. The unit has a 6.2″ resistive touch screen and is flanked by buttons on the two side. The buttons are pretty well laid out and control the four most important components of the radio and  are easily accessible. The buttons are Home (home  screen), Radio, Nav (Gps) and Phone (Bluetooth), plus tuner and volume controls.

  • android radio tuner

    android radio tuner

    Radio: Pressing the radio button, launches the radio App which is a digital radio dial with presets. This tuner has  a 45-watt 4-channel radio and it sounds just as good if not better than my stock Toyota radio. There are your basic auto-scan (Scan) and preset buttons for the radio stations. There is a band button (on-screen) that chooses between AM,FM1 and FM2 , plenty of slots available for presets. There is also a button for an onscreen equalizer, and fader balance.

  • CD/DVD: There’s a slide in slot atop the radio for CD/DVD discs. Works as expected when you insert a CD it launches the CD player and shows the tracks (generic names  like TRACK 1 , 2 etc. ) and plays the music. Basic seek and skip functionality is available. It also supports DVD video playback and if you have video display units like on the back of headrest, or in in the center-ceiling like in a minivan, you can send video to those units, I did not test that functionality.
  • android radio gps in action

    android radio gps in action

    NAVIGATION: The unit comes with Sygic Android GPS , this is a full-featured stand-alone GPS with US maps loaded (no data connection needed). The GPS functions much as you would expect , you plug in an address and it navigates a route there, refer to Sygic link above for more details. If your not happy with Sygic you can use Google Maps / Nav, which works but does require a data connection as the maps and routing are not done on the device, but rather online . Also available from the play store is iGo Navigation, TomTom ($27.99 Play store)  and many others. This is only head unit I know that lets you choose your GPS software.

  • WIFI/3G DAta there is a Wifi/3G cable that supports wifi (included) or 3G USB moben (extra) to support data capabilities. If you have a phone that supports tethering you can use it as your wifi data source. I myself use Freedom pop wifi puck for my data.
  • MP3/ SD Slot: There’ s an SD-slot for Digital medial playback such as Mp3 files, WMA and other popular digital files. The no-frills player works as expected.
  • Pandora & Google Apps: Because this is a true Android device it supports Pandora, Spotify and Google Music, and many other popular Google apps from the play store. The unit I have is resistive so I don’t recommend it for playing multi-touch games, but for typical apps you may use in your car it works well.
  • phone radio bluetooth

    phone radio bluetooth

    Bluetooth Phone & Audio: Pressing the Phone button will launch the Bluetooth Phone application. From this app you can pair it with your bluetooth phone or audio device, once paired you can do the following: Dial out and receive calls hands-free via the Mic . Mic quality was reported good, most callers will know you’re using a hands free unit but all reported acceptable call audio.  Your phone contacts can be downloaded into the unit , but it lacks favorites or a decent search capability. I generally launch calls from my phone and then transfer the call to the unit for hands free phone calls. There’s also a button for Bluetooth audio with features very basic spartan controls for pause/play, back and next, sadly no track information is shown.

  •  iPod, Rear Camera, Steering Wheel controls:  I did not test any of these, but it comes with a traditional style Ipod connector, which would go hang inside your glove box, and there are connectors for video and cameras should you have those in your vehicle , also a connector for steering wheel audio controls should your car support that.

A couple of drawbacks…

While you get  a lot in this unit, there are a few nagging issues to be aware of…. most are not show stoppers but for some folks they may be cause for concern. The unit is not the most polished when it comes to the interface. Its pretty clear the manufacturer just slapped on an  Android OS and then added the custom radio apps, very little was done to make it a polished experience, like you get in some of the higher end Alpine or Pioneer units.

  • NOT instant-on, startup time: Unlike a traditional car radio, the unit it not instant-on, Like a tablet or PC  there’s a startup time of about 30-40 seconds when you turn on the car, before you can use the unit. Its actually not too bad and the radio will continue where you left off when you last-turned off the vehicle.
    UPDATE: See tip/Link in comments… apparently there’s a way to root these things and improve the boot time to about 20secs.
  • AM Frequencies off: This radio appears to have the AM station frequencies set for European ranges, For example here in the NYC area the news station 1010 WINS can’t be perfectly tuned, the tuner has the ranges from 1008…1017 so it skips 1010, I can get the station on 1008 but its not clear, the FM frequencies are all easily tunable. So if your a diehard of old-school AM double check your station.  See tips and tricks section for how I fixed this…
  • Volume inconsistencies: The volume setting is inconsistent between the radio and non-radio audio (like Bluetooth,MP3, CD), so for example a comfortable range if your listening to a CD may be 14 (on volume dial) but when you eject the CD it reverts back to the radio where a 14 may be ear-splitting. Same thing happens with bluetooth and mp3. I suspect it has to do with the pre-amp which only  radio tuner uses  not the other audio elements.
  • Firmware apps no-frills: The firmware apps that come with the radio (tuner, bluetooth, mp3 player) are no frills, meaning they work , but the interface leaves a bit to be desired.
  • No HD Radio, No Satellite Radio: Does not offer HD radio now popular in many areas nor satellite radio. This can be mitigated by using connected internet.
  • No aux-in (only USB): The only inputs on the front are a USB plug there(for USB memory sticks) there  is No  AUX  for headphones or speakers, also an SD slot for MicroSD is available in front..

Radio Tips and Tricks..

I discovered a hidden menu , that’s probably a diagnostic menu and after I got into it I was able to clear up few items..  Under Settings >> General >> Extra you get a prompt, for a code to enter this diagnostic/supplemental menu, just enter 123456 and like magic a larger menu appears. Among the options this menu offers are:

  • Fan Control: You can control how fast/slow the fan blows. When I first installed it the fan appeared to make a bit of noise, but adjusting this setting fixed that.
  • Regional Radio settings: Once of the drawbacks listed above has been fixed, the radio comes preset for the European region, but if you simply change the Region here for US/north America it fixes the AM frequency issue. yeah!
  • Regional TV under settings: I’m not going to watch TV on this thing, but you can change the regional settings.
  • Boot screen auto Logo: You can choose the boot graphic that appears while the radio is booting up, it comes preset with different car brand logos, you can change it to your brand and give it the appearance of a factory radio.
  • Car Brake Warning: Some vehicles have the car brake wired to disable input when the vehicle is moving, you can toggle this off hear.
  • Button Illumination color: You can change the illumination of the buttons when the car’s lights are on.

Yes,you can run Torque (with a little work)

Also a question that a lot of Android aficionados ask, is can this unit  run Torque  (Torque is an Android OBDII software ) on this unit. The quick answer is sort of. Out of the box , no you can’t because the bluetooth module only supports Phone and Audio Bluetooth profiles, so even if you were to pair your bluetooth ODBII adapter the correct profile wouldn’t be there. But being Android there is a work around. Using the front-panel USB connector get a small thumb-sized Bluetooth USB adapter. And run a minor firmware hack here, and you’ll be able to use Torque in no time. Here are the basic steps:

  1. buy usb bluetooth, for example: Super Mini Bluetooth 2.0 Dongle (Vista Compatible) 11866
  2.  Connect the usb bluetooth to the USB dongle port in the front panel
  3.  Install the playstore: Quick Bluetooth Lite (free)
  4. -With the program Quick Bluetooth Lite enabled. Connect with bluetooth ODB in your car.
  5. -Enter torque and it will connect automatically

For more details check out this thread on  Some newer radios (typically Android 4.4 or higher) already come with Torque capability built in via a the proper Bluetooth profile, check the Ebay add for mentions of torque.

Parrot radio vs. Ouku android stereo

Parrot Asteroid Smart car radio

Parrot Asteroid Smart car radio

Perhaps the radio that my 6.2″ ouku is most similar to  is the Parrot Asteroid smart. The Parrot asteroid smart is also a 6.2′ double DIN Android GPS car radio. It’s made by Parrot (folks best known for their quad-copters), and it has pretty much the same feature set as  the ouku. But I chose the Ouku for the following reasons:

  • Parrot radio supports apps only via the Parrot App store, not the Google Play store so your application eco system is limited.
  • Stock Parrot GPS is not as feature rich as the Sygic that comes with the Ouku and you can’t change the GPS software, only upgrade it.
  • There are no physical keys, the Parrot, is 100% touch screen, this is a challenge because you want to limit peeking down at the screen while driving. The Ouku does a nice job with buttons for the most common operations.
  • It’s almost double the price of this Ouku. Retails for $499+
  • Update January 2015: Parrot just announced an upcoming successor named Parrot RNB6 (supporting both Android and Ios integration) .

That said the Parrot does have some unique features, like pre-start vibration-detection,capacitive touch, more polished radio and music apps, and possibly better technical support,since your dealing with a known manufacturer. Overall the Parrot Asteroid smart received a cold-shoulder from tech community as discussed here on Engadget.

Needless to say the Ouku has no support, there’s not even a manufacturers site, so you’re at the mercy of your seller and online support community.

Other “smart” radio head units (this section is a bit dated)

Besides the Parrot Asteroid smart, there are a few other popular double DIN units that offer an interesting array of features. Checkout the units that offer MirrorLink, that links up your phone’s (Android) display and has it appear on the radio face from where you can control it.  Here are some other popular smart radio’s:

    • Pioneer SPH-DA210 AppRadio Car Stereo : ($365)
      • Compatible with iPhone 4/4S (cable included), iPod Touch 4th Gen (cable included), and select Android devices (CD-AH200C interface cable required)
      • 7 WVGA capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 800 pixels x 480 pixels and multi-touch operation.
      • FM/AM radio tuner with RDS
      • Direct control for iPod/iPhone (cable included)
      • Built-In Bluetooth for hands-free calling with phone book access, dial pad, and included microphone
    • Alpine ICS-X7HD 7″ LCD :  ($542)
      • Full-color 7″ LCD touchscreen display
      • Bluetooth technology allows wireless music streaming and hands-free phone calls
      • Built-in HD Radio Tuner allows the reception of high quality HD Radio signals for clean and clear reception with no subscription fee or additional tuner purchase required
      • MirrorLink system allows control over applications and data saved on your Android
    • Sony XAV701 7-Inch:  ($700)
      • Double DIN 7-inch WVGA Touch Screen Display
      • MirrorLink enabled smartphone connectivity
      • Pandora internet radio control
    • JVC KWNSX700 DVD-CD-USB: ($457)
      • 7-inch WVGA Monitor
      • Touch Panel
      • MOS-FET 50W x 4 (20W RMS x 4)
      • Mirror Link Compatible for Android/Symbian 2

Overall thoughts and future devices

I’ve had the radio for about a month now and overall , I would give it a thumbs up. Its not perfect, and you can see that it lacks the polish of higher-end US “made” units,but for the price  of $280 , you do get a lot, a 45-watt radio receiver, GPS , bluetooth phone and audio, Android app eco-system , video, mp3, DVD, CD  etc.. So if you’re looking for an upgrade and like Android and aren’t put-off by some of the drawbacks above I say its worth it.

I’m thinking that the car audio/electronics aftermarket is ripe for some real innovation and would like to see big name players, like Google, Motorola, HTC enter it and produce some fantastic devices ,  I predict we’ll see more name brand Android and alternate OS car audio and navigation devices soon.

Update November 2014 infotainment initiatives…

Just an update , if your in no hurry to buy a radio and are just browsing  listen for car infotainment announcements. Rumor has it there will be a lot of car radio announcements from big name after market manufacturers (Pioneer, Clarion , Sony  etc.) in the coming months . Since the announcement from Apple (Apple Car Play ) and Google (Android Auto) regarding their car infotainment initiatives. Right now most of the Android/Apple infotainment systems are geared towards stock dash-units for new  car models.. but this is expected to change, in the coming months.  The  radio manufacturers leverage the capabilities of Androis OS and Apple Os to support for Voice commands (google Voice // Siri) ,auto integration, better interfaces, and better compatibility with your phone. Its not going to be radically different than the  radio above, its simply going to be a richer  more polished experience.

112 thoughts on “Review Android car stereo radio and navigation

  1. Reply Alberto Jan 24,2014 11:41 pm

    You have to start riding your bike to work tony,forget the 4 wheeler

  2. Reply Antonio Mar 18,2014 12:02 am

    Will it run waze?

  3. Reply Mr. H Mar 25,2014 4:34 pm

    Which Double Din Dash Kit did you use? I noticed all you installed pictures are in the dark so I can’t see the fitting.

    • Reply Tony B. Mar 26,2014 6:18 pm

      I used metra double din harness and dash kit, but it is not a perfect fit, apparently this radio double-din size is a little off-spec and the metra-dash kit bezel wouldn’t fit around the face of the radio.. so I had to modify for a better fit..

  4. Reply josh Apr 18,2014 2:36 pm

    It’s been three months since you posted this. Any further updates or negatives you see in this head unit? How’s music playback from USB? Can you use other audio players instead of pre loaded apps?

    Many thanks for your initial review. Looking for something more interesting in my F250.

    • Reply Tony B. Apr 22,2014 9:08 pm

      I actually sold my old Camry with the unit. But overall the only other issue I had was finding a good dash kit, somehow the unit I had the size was a bit off and the dashkits I bought didn’t fit exactly… But operationally overall I was pretty happy with it and am already looking for a similar unit for my newer car..

      I never needed to use a USB so I can’t answer that, but the USB probably works the same as the SD card, which is that it just reads file(s) , shows you a list and lets you play them. Quality should be as good as other digital files.

      Yes as long as the Android radio supports the Google Play store you can install anything that is compatible with that version of Android, this is a BIG BIG plus for android radios because it gives you an almost limtless supply of apps, including all the popular audio apps. Spotify, Pandora, Stichers, Sirius etc..

  5. Reply king Jul 5,2014 7:06 am

    do u know what type of file the logo has to be? want to get my logo but its not on there.. thanks

    • Reply Tony B. Jul 16,2014 2:03 pm

      It comes with all major car brands logos so you shouldn’t need to add any. But if you want a custom logo,you can try and use a android file browser to see if you can access those logo files. But not sure where they would be.

  6. Reply Trent Jul 9,2014 6:17 pm

    These Chinese made double din stereos follow a different sizing standard.
    Most brands are 173mm x 98mm. The Chinese units are generally 178mm x 100mm.
    I found a seller on eBay that sells the stereo fascia I needed with options for both sizes.

    • Reply kendrick Mar 24,2015 8:24 pm

      i just bought one of these and it doesn’t fit my dash kit in 2000 mustang. without the kit on you see a large ugly gap and i tried 4 different kits. you said you bought a kit for the size they use in china would you possibly know how i can get one thanks.

      • Reply Tony B. Mar 26,2015 3:55 pm

        The issue is that the double-DIN standard sold by Chinese mfg. is for the European cars so the measurements are off because their Double-Din spec is a little different (read here: ) , so perhaps try searching for EU Double Din to US double Din conversion or dashkit, I never did find a good solution ( ihad less than perfectg fit) and because I sold my Camry it became a mute point

  7. Reply kerney Jul 31,2014 2:54 pm

    I Tony,
    I was wondering if you know how the display would react to cold weather?

    • Reply Tony B. Aug 4,2014 1:27 pm

      Not really sure, are you planning on using it in an open-vehicle? Its likely designed to operate in 25F+ temperatures.. but cant be certain.

  8. Reply Ben Aug 15,2014 4:30 am

    I have the same exact system but it is the 2014 version with 1Gb ram. I found that it is slow as you mentioned so I rooted it and it now starts within 20 sec., though I’ve not timed it yet. I might tomorrow.
    As for UI, I found that the stock launcher was boring so I decided to install nova launcher which you can get from Google Play store.

    Site I got the Root procedure from:

    • Reply Tony B. Aug 16,2014 2:26 am

      Ben, Thanks for the tip, I didn’t even realize these things were root-able… yeah I think these Android radios are the way to go, because you can customize the heck out of them..

  9. Reply Ben Aug 16,2014 3:54 am

    Tony B,

    No problem, I didn’t think they were rootable as well. I also have a cheap Azpen tablet which I also thought was not rootable but I was able to root it and all android devices are much faster. The Nova Launcher makes the UI much smoother to operate.

    As far as software goes, yes, they are customizable to a degree: comparing this device to a Branded phone such as HTC,Samsung or LG. With CPU tuner installed, I can change the min and max of the cpu frequency but with the same app installed on the android radio, the frequency is not changable/tunable which means that it either does not support this function or that the core is locked.

    Note that in this method, you must temp root the device first, then after you restart the device, you full root it in step 2.

    after doing the full root, you must open terminal and run these commands:
    rm /data/local.prop

    The above did not work in terminal and instead of running: rm /data/local.prop
    I ran: rm data/local.prop

    I think this was a type whoever wrote this method.

  10. Reply Frank Aug 18,2014 6:46 pm

    Hi Tony,

    Do you know if it will run Pandora, Beats Music or Spotify? would be a great feature.


  11. Reply SISUN Aug 28,2014 4:53 am

    The new version of Android 4.3.3 is launched, 2 major functions of DVR and Mirror-link display are supported, welcome you visit us at

  12. Reply Artist Sep 7,2014 4:48 pm

    Hi, I also have a chinese aftermarket headunit in my VW Passat. It’s a VERY interesting piece of equipment (not the best in some factors – but overall, especially when you consider the price against all it’s features and capabilities, it’s is brilliant!)
    Mine is precisely this one . I wanted to know what you meant by “root” ..
    Also as it is quite customizable, I wanted to know if anyone knows how I can change the android animation that shows after the opening logo.
    Thanks in advance

    • Reply Tony B. Sep 30,2014 2:27 am

      I didn’t root my radio, but some other users did mention that it was possible… If I come across a link on how to do it I will post it.

  13. Reply Alex Sep 20,2014 3:46 am

    Is it easy to install ?

    • Reply Tony B. Sep 21,2014 2:17 am

      Yes, its like a normal radio installation, I recommend if you have a late model car just search Ebay for “Android Radio ” + VCar Make Model ad year, and you’ll find android radios customized for your car which means its just plug and play. Otherwise if you get a generic Android radio you’ll need ot get the appropriate harness kit which fits your car. But its just like a normal radio installation

  14. Reply David McAfee Sep 25,2014 6:31 pm

    I have a different model, the Top-Navi model TH8683

    The radio, phone/Bluetooth and nav apps look identical to yours.

    I’ve been able to install and use Waze and Google Maps without the SD card installed.
    I use my Galaxy S3’s HotSpot for the 4G connectivity.

    I’ve had weird issues with the ipod (old classic 4th gen) not always connecting.

    I’ve installed Rocket Player to play my music from my SD card.

    I’ve also installed the app (when using the hotspot)

    I’ve installed a couple of apps that I have written (non car stereo related) as a test.

    I’d love to get my hands on the radio and phone app source code and improve on it.

    Do you have weird issues with the Radio tags and how they are displayed? Or how it stores some radio stations by name, others by the song title.

  15. Reply David McAfee Sep 25,2014 6:32 pm

    well that was weird. I guess I didn’t close a tag?

    • Reply Tony B. Sep 30,2014 2:25 am

      David, sounds like you explored this radio more than I have. Like I mentioned above I don’t have this particular radio any longer, because I sold it along with my Camry. Yeah the tags on the radio app are definitley screwed up, there’s obviously a bug in there somewhere. The radio tags are always displayed in a scrolling fashion, this is a holdover standard from the old days of Satellite radio where they just had one line for LED text/station/song descriptions, All radios that use RDS display it in this fashion.. Unfortunately The radio (tuner) and other components, are tied to the hardware , and short of decompiling (if you can find the APK , you may be able to decompile it ) the radio code is not alterable. I suspect the Chinese manufacturers are not really interested in updating the firmware, but maybe someone outthere might… but I dont have a good answer for you.

  16. Reply John Davis Sep 27,2014 4:50 pm

    I purchased the Android 6.2 from ebay about 2 months ago. I installed it in my Nissan Z300 and the system worked fine for about a month. The system turns on and the loading screen appears fine at first. Then the screen fades to white then shuts off completely. I can’t figure out what is going on with my system but would like to know if anyone else is having this problem or if they have any suggestions on what I should do.
    Thanks for your advice..

  17. Reply Tony B. Sep 30,2014 2:18 am

    John, that sounds like a hardware issue , there is a reset button on the unit, it varies by unit, but check for a small pin-hole sized hole either in front or on the back that should be labeled reset. Put toothpick in there, and hold it down for about 10-15 secs. during power-on. If it still experiences the same issue after that than its like a hardware failure and you may be out of luck. The next thing would be to remove it from your car, and try and test it connected to just a external power (be sure to match the AMPS and Volts so as not to fry the radio), if unsure just take it to radio installer and have them hook it up to their external power units and see what that think..

  18. Reply Gong Oct 1,2014 12:28 am

    I have the same exact system as Tony (older version). My questions is if I can root my unit with method as link posted by Ben. It seems for the unit with newer version. Any suggestion? Thanks!

    “Site I got the Root procedure from:

  19. Reply publorenato Oct 5,2014 10:56 am

    excellent review thanks very much.
    alternatives look interesting too

  20. Reply Tyler Oct 19,2014 6:07 am

    Can anyone tell me if there is an input for an external mic for phone calls in these units? Is an external mic included or is the internal one on the faceplate the only option?

    • Reply Tony B. Oct 20,2014 8:15 pm

      It varies by unit, some units have the port (Connection ) for the external input mic, most just have a mic on the head unit. You need to check the specs of the particular unit for “supports external mic” or similar wording. This particular unit did not have that option.

  21. Reply Jerdelance Nov 6,2014 11:03 pm

    I am planning on buying one unit with android 4.2 for my Hyundai Accent 2014, however, the reliability factor makes me wonder, would this generic chinese radios last for 3 to 5 years? (wich is the time I plan to have my car), or will it burn and die after 6 months of regular use? Is it a matter of luck to get a good one that will last? Because since they are generic, there is no support, warranty, service or parts, should the radio need it. I know they are cheeper than the branded ones but not so cheap (for my car is about $500).
    Anyone else have any problems with their units? is it common for the chinese radios to die after a few months? or will they last at least a few years? is it worth it in the long term?
    Thanks for review, is really good

    • Reply Tony B. Nov 9,2014 2:56 am

      I agree it’s a chance you take buying these generic units, the reliability issue is real, if your concerned then go for for the Parrot Asteroid smart which is an android unit backed by an American company wih a warranty. So,e eBay sellers will offer a warranty but no one will offer over 1 year ( that’s true for most electronics) . Also if your not in a hurry wait till next years CES (January) I’m sure there will be a lot of new radios from big name radio mfg. that have either Android or Apple os.

  22. Reply Livio Nov 7,2014 7:57 am

    Hi first Of all good review, and then sorry for my english but it isn’t my mother tongue.. I’m an italian and i want an unit like this in my car.. Have You any suggestion on wich model i can buy? There are a million Of unit on internet!
    Thanks a lot

    • Reply Tony B. Nov 9,2014 2:59 am

      Thanks, it’s hard for me to suggest since I don’t know enough details. First check if there’s a unit specific to your car search eBay like: car brand + car model + year + android radio. If you can find one with that fit then go with that. Other than that look for units with newest version of Android and at least 512mb ram,wifi and that comes with gps and maps.

  23. Reply Robin Nov 16,2014 2:06 am

    Hi, do you know if this can use Garmin maps?

    • Reply Tony B. Nov 19,2014 4:07 pm

      Maybe, only if there is a supporting Android App in the Google Play store, or an .APK.

      Garmin does offer a nav app called Garmin Viago ($1.99 , region maps cost extra) that is available in the play store. It may or may not work on the device depending on the version of Android that the device supports, generally if you get a radio that has android 4.2 (or higher) it should work..

  24. Pingback: Cheap Car Stereos With Android |

  25. Reply kali Dec 4,2014 3:43 pm

    hi, i bought this stereo and it is driving me mad.. everytime i turn the engine off it not only takes forever to reboot.. BUT it turns on to loud fuzzy radio scramble instead of a station.. do you know how to sort this.. i wouldn’t mind the boot up time if it wasn’t to a greating noise….thanks

    • Reply Tony B. Dec 5,2014 12:43 pm

      Sounds like a hardware issue. Did you install the radio yourself? I would double check that the radio is properly installed, and that the wiring harness doesn’t have any loose wire (or shorted connections , I soldered mine) , the symptoms you described sound like an electrical issue. The way to know for sure is to pull the radio out of the car and just power it via a proper bench power unit and see if it works well there.. If you don’t have these items, take it to a reputable radio installer and have them look at it..

  26. Reply greg Dec 17,2014 11:35 pm

    I bought one of these and everytime i look at it, I want to punch it! It is not a true double din, so it won’t fit in a dash kit. The navigation has never worked! Not one time. It will not allow me to download any apps from the play store. 90% of the time, the touch screen doesn’t work and the remote is worthless. The only thing I can do with this unit, is eventually I can get it to connect to my phone and then, I don’t dare touch it. I hate this head unit. If I knew how to return it, i would have. The only thing it’s good for is target practice!

    • Reply Tony B. Dec 20,2014 4:13 pm

      Yeah sorry to hear about your experience, sadly with these Chinese products sometimes they are crappily made, and their quality control stinks. My recommendation is keep an eye on the upcoming CES 2015 I think will see a slew of infotainment offerings from more mainstream manufacturers.

  27. Reply catalin Jan 8,2015 4:08 am

    Hello everyone , please tell me how i can stop the noising radio sound everytime when i power on the unit?
    Anyone who made something to this?
    I use an Witson W2 A9000 Androit unit.
    Thank you

    • Reply Tony B. Jan 8,2015 9:30 pm

      Can you be more specific and describe what you mean by radio noise. MY experience with stray noises typically has to do with bad wiring.. Did you get the proper wire harness for the radio, are the connections to the harness solid, consider soldering the connections if you just used crimped . connections. If your able to re-do the wiring, test the radio outside the car’s power, and make sure its not some interference coming from the car. It may be the radio is bad or has a flaw in which case your out of luck… hope that helps.

  28. Reply Big Willy Jan 8,2015 11:27 pm

    All I really want is to be able to play Netflix and Hulu in my truck via wifi tether off my galaxys5. Can you download them onto this head unit. If so im all in.

    • Reply Tony B. Jan 9,2015 6:29 pm

      That should work, the unit comes with WiFi so just connect it to your tethered connection. The key is to make sure the version of Android on the radio is new enough to support the apps you want. Because Netflix and or Hulu generally prefer newer Android versions. Sometimes to support radios with older verions you can try sideloading the .APK for those apps.

  29. Reply Adam Jan 17,2015 1:51 pm


    Can the unit connect to the Internet if it is connected to your phone via bluetooth? It seems like a lot of a pain to have to keep the phone Hotspot on all the time.

    Thank you,
    – Adam

    • Reply Tony B. Jan 20,2015 3:21 pm

      Not really sure, I suppose with an external USB bluetooth dongle you can setup a Bluetooth Internet tether, but then you would need to keep the phone connected with bluetooth as an internet tether, I think that’s more complicated (and much slower) to setup and I don’t think Android has native bluetooth Internet tethering (you need 3rd party apps). The right way (not necessarily the cheapest) if you need nearly always available data, is to to get a USB Mifi (USB Cellular Modem) and replace Wifi USB dongle on the radio with that. Then the radio will have always on cellular date (at least when you have a signal)

  30. Reply tony.b Jan 25,2015 3:37 pm

    hello I just installed this android 6.2 touchscreen and as long as im not moving there’s no problem but when I start to move in reverse or drive it shuts off please help all connections are good

  31. Reply daniel Jan 25,2015 3:39 pm

    hello i’m the one with the issues with the shutting off please help

  32. Reply Kelly Feb 9,2015 4:22 pm

    Purchased the Ouku pictured at top for my sons car. His friend hooked it up. Radio works great, I installed back-up camera, that works, Gps works, however, CD=no sound, bluetooth=no sound, ipod=no sound. Removed first unit and sent it back for a swap,new unit installed and doing the nexact same thing. Cant be the unit, must be something else. Any ideas????

    • Reply Tony B. Feb 11,2015 11:11 pm

      Sounds like a wiring issue, did his friend use the proper wiring harness?. when you install a radio you need a wiring harness that plugs into the wiring socket of the stock radio. Most auto-parts stores have these, but they are different for each make/model. The fact that the radio works but not the other sound elements sounds like a bad hardware issue with the radio. Have the installer do a check of all audio components before re-installing it. .

  33. Reply Peter Jr Feb 10,2015 10:47 am

    I have this model installed in my vehicle but the OS is Windows CE, do you know how to pair the bluetooth with an android, I havent seen it show in my seetings to pair

    • Reply Tony B. Feb 11,2015 11:04 pm

      There should be a bluetooth icon somewhere on settings screen (check for a gear icon or similar), this bluetooth icon should provide all the available options for your radio..

  34. Reply thamim Feb 22,2015 5:47 pm


    Good review and personally I think these units are the way forward.

    Only 1 question. Mine doesn’t properly recognise my iPod when I use the connector. Has anyone had this issue? Any solutions?


  35. Reply James Feb 23,2015 11:10 am

    I have this module in my car. When I try to pair it (bluetooth) it request a passcode. I tried 0000 and 1234 but it doesn’t work. Kindly help me with this

    • Reply Tony B. Feb 25,2015 3:59 pm

      I assume your referring to bluetooth audio (headphone or phone), it is just one of those two options 0000,1234 , but it may also be empty .. , if you’re trying to pair some other bluetooth device then your out of luck. The way bluetooth works is it has different profiles for differrent devices (like a mouse, or a headset) and both communicating devices need to support the proper profile.. my suggestion if your unable to get it to work is try with a different bluetooth device and see.

  36. Reply Ros Feb 27,2015 2:48 am

    Hi all any tell me how to store a radio stations on an android 4.2 jelly bean China no name unit. I tune it in to the FM station and after a few seconds in auto scans and continue to do so.tired lots of ways but no luck on storing any station.

    • Reply Tony B. Feb 28,2015 10:02 pm

      Sounds like the autoscan is somehow turned on try turning off the scan icon / button. to save a preset, usually, you press on the station number button and hold it down for a few seconds and it should beep indicating the preset is stored

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  38. Reply Devin G Mar 24,2015 8:31 am

    i ordered the ouku 7in double din and it didn’t come with the navigation antenna i was wondering where i could get one at. Also i was wondering if all the ouku radios don’t connect to the iPhone 5s and up by the USB hook up

  39. Reply sebastian Ricci Mar 28,2015 3:09 am

    Hello I have an android 2.3.4 on my car and would like to upgrade to 4+ could do? these are the details:
    kernel @ linux kernel No. 1
    MCU: P002
    Model: I001
    IAP version: 0002
    number of compilation: GRJ22.V4.00.00-20131121
    FLASH: S00C.
    thanks for the help

    • Reply Tony B. Mar 30,2015 12:54 pm

      Likely not, not saying its impossible, but unlike mobile devices (phones, tablets) many of these radios have a bit of hardware dependencies (like the tuner, amp etc.) that is very specifically tied to the API’s of the particular version of Android they come with. Without this knowledge from the Mfg. those features would likely stop functioning if you did manage to upgrade to 4.0. That’s the trade-off with these cheap units, you save a bundle but have limited options when it comes to upgrading.

  40. Reply ruben Mar 31,2015 5:08 pm

    Thank you very much for the information. I have an Ouku double din with CPU freescale i.mmx53 Android 2.3.7 . I want to upgrade to the next Android Version. How can I upgrade this unit.

    MCU 2.10.8-10-1
    System Ver. 2.13.6

    Thank you and have a awesome day.


  41. Reply johnny Apr 15,2015 4:51 pm

    Anyone weight in on a Witson 4.4 android with nav?

  42. Reply Josh Apr 26,2015 5:13 pm

    Do you need internet access for the android indash unit to work or can you download apps to the SD card? Mainly navigation.

    • Reply Tony B. Apr 28,2015 3:15 pm

      You can download (sideload) apps as long as there is a SD card slot without an Internet connection. Navigation works perfectly without Internet, you just need the Right Android MaPS Navigation software with offline maps, there are many such as :
      – Waze Social GPS Maps & Traffic(free)
      – Navmii GPS World (Navfree)
      – GPS Navigation & Maps by Sygic (*Recommened by me *)
      – CoPilot GPS
      – MapFactor: GPS Navigation

      Very important thing to consider is what VERSION of Android the radio is running. Because if the radio is running a very old Android OS ( od is considered < 4.1 Android) most apps will not work as they require newer versions of Android. So get the radio with the newest Android you can afford , because most of these radios are NOT easily upgrade able.

  43. Reply sam Apr 29,2015 9:30 pm

    I just bought one android head unit and work well.Android 4.4 kitkat OS, support both 3G and WIFI Bluetooth.

  44. Reply Brad Jun 13,2015 9:24 pm

    I just purchased a Ouku 6.2 android(exactly like the pic on the top of this thread) but did not receive the user manual in box. I also downloaded my IGo navigation onto a an SD card. There are 2 slots on the upper corners of the radio One of then is marked SD and the other has no markings. Can anyone confirm which side I should be inserting the Sd card for the navigation.

  45. Reply Installer Aug 18,2015 8:14 pm

    “it lacks the polish of higher-end US “made” units”

    Out of curiosity of the four brands mentioned above (Pioneer, Sony, JVC and Alpine) which one is American, exactly? Then again, I once even heard that Pink Floyd was an American group. Ignorance is bliss indeed.

  46. Reply steever Aug 28,2015 11:04 am

    Hi just wondering if i could get some help with a 7″ Ouku full touch screen
    what’s happening is that i want to connect to my android wi fi hotspot..and browser i bought a wifi d link dongle from radio shack needs cd to format but dvd player wont read it. so i cant get on the internet don’t know what i am doing wrong..also i have a gps position signal but no maps(roads)..and my dial calls page freezes..any help would appreciated yhx steve

    • Reply Tony B. Aug 30,2015 10:05 pm

      not really sure how I can help, the dongle that comes with most radios is just a wifi dongle that should be working, why would you buy a dlink dongle? didnt one come with the radio? As for not getting maps this is common, cheaper devices save you money but you need to later buy the maps, but luckily Andorid has many free off-line gps options.. As for freezing up on calls, that maybe a hardware thing, if possible return/replace unit.

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  48. Reply Johnatan Sep 20,2015 12:26 pm

    Just got one of these units. Where can I find manual. And my unit has the navi button but no application, where can I get the navi?

    But a used car and this unit came with it.

    • Reply Tony B. Sep 22,2015 7:27 pm

      There really isn’t any official manual. As for the Navi, find out what version of Android its running, then see if you can go to the Google Market and get a supported free Navigation GPs

  49. Reply John L Oct 6,2015 6:14 pm

    Thanks for the write up Tony

    I got a radio (chinese made) for my 2009 CRV and i have the “AM radio station skipping problem”. being said I cant probably tuned the channel that I want to listen (always off by 3 to 4). For example I want to listen to am1470 but i can only tune to either 1467 or 1473 (not in between). How do you “reset” the AM/FM region setting again? I cant find anywhere from the menu that allows me to do it. I am from the west coast btw (pacific standard time)

    thanks for your help!


    • Reply Tony B. Oct 12,2015 8:27 pm

      It sounds like your radio is simply set to the wrong region. The region settings varies by the radio but its usually under settings and it will ask for a passcode (typically, 1234 or 1111 or 0000 ) , that will expose a bunch more menu options.

  50. Reply ian rae Oct 25,2015 2:54 pm

    Got one of these chinese units joyous jm-8618,on startup ford logo comes up then screen goes to 5 circles with crosses in which is reset screen.when you press reset no matter how lkng you hold button in for unit returns to logo and five circles on screen any ideas, its a ce 6.0 os regards ian.

    • Reply Tony B. Nov 8,2015 9:10 pm

      Likely a hardware issue, if it doesn’t work power up properly and you cant even get to a menu screen, its most certainly a hardware/software defect return /exchange it. Its often no worth the effort to try and diagnose something you cant fix. Sadly this is the biggest drawback with Chinese units, the poor quality control..

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