andorid 5.1 car stereo for vw

 

I wanted to replace the RCD300 in my VW Golf GTI Mk5 2008 with something that retained the factory look, and this did the trick perfectly. Installation is fairly straightforward especially if you don't install the reverse camera that came with it - just unplug the existing unit and plug in the new one using the provided power/canbus leads. I also had to plug in the GPS antenna, radio antenna (an adapter is included), and the USB & microphone extension wires. There are also connectors provided for auxiliary sound and video inputs if required.

 

In my car the 2 USB sockets fit perfectly in one of the empty button holders near the gear knob (see images). The GPS antenna can be placed underneath the dash, attached to a piece of metal there (the antenna is magnetic). Reception is good and you can install any navigation app from the Play store. Radio reception is very good, same as the factory unit. I did not install DAB so cannot comment on that.

 

If installing the reverse camera it gets a bit more complicated as you have to pass the wire from the back to the head-unit. Once that is done, the camera needs to be powered on when the reverse gear is engaged. I found a 3-wire connector coming out of the unit (red, orange-black, black) and tested it with a multimeter, the orange-black is live when the reverse is engaged. I spliced that wire into the red wire coming out of the camera's RCA connector and it worked like a charm - no need to splice into the reverse light at the back.

 

As for the unit itself it is well built and the software works well - it is a tweaked Android 5.1 system and it supports pretty much anything that can be done on an Android phone or tablet. The default home screen cannot be modified much but installing the Apex launcher allowed me to fully customize the home screens. I connected my mobile via Bluetooth easily and it works well, although the microphone is not the best and still unsure where to place it for the best reception. I also purchased a WiFi OBD2 adapter and the unit works perfectly with it. The Torque app is great and I was able to add its widgets to the Apex home screen (see image).

 

Overall I was very impressed with the unit, I have only had it for a few weeks but so far it has worked well. A great replacement for the aging factory unit and for the price, it is much more worth it than the OEM units that are not as customizable as this one. Highly recommended.

 

--by David B.