This Pumpkin Andorid 5.1 Car Stereo GPS comes with a multitude of cables for connecting everything you need. First of all, it has a standard ISO connector, so you should only need to buy a car-specific ISO adapter at a minimum. I have a Nissan Qashqai and have tried to integrate the existing accessories on the car as much as possible, so I also bought a steering remote harness, rear-view camera retention adapter, USB/Aux retention adapter, amplified aerial adapter, and I have also made a cable to use the OEM Bluetooth microphone. You probably won't need all of that unless you have those same accessories and want to keep using them.

Fitting was easy, I was replacing my OEM sat nav, so I already have a double din dashboard. It was just a case of connecting all the adapters together to get everything working, and splicing a couple of cables. As mentioned, if you're just replacing a stereo, you'll probably only need the ISO adapter, which should be plug and play. But, for example, I had to get an extra adapter, and splice a cable to make the factory-fitted rear-view camera work. This is easy, since the cables that come with the head-unit are clearly marked, with the cables to be spliced (e.g. reverse activation signal) already capped off ready to be used.
I used the existing mounting brackets for my car on the new unit rather than buy a new kit, and the unit fits in the dashboard fine, but is perhaps a millimetre or two too far forward, so getting the dashboard trim back on is a tight squeeze. I'm sure if I bought proper after-market mounting brackets for my car, this wouldn't have been a problem.

First boot of the device takes a minute or two (subsequent boots will be faster). You're presented with the launcher view, which is functional, if a little dull. This is a full Android unit, though, and you can easily install your favourite launcher from the Play store (e.g. Nova Launcher). The default icons are for launching the radio, bluetooth, music (mp3s) and navigation.

At first, I found the radio reception to be poor, but after rechecking all my cabling, the aerial adapter I had was a bit wonky. The Nissan has a non-standard aerial connector, and the adapter I used had one of its pins popped out. I fixed this and checked again, and I am now getting fantastic reception, even better than my original OEM unit. It is so good that I am able to pick up some channels on the neighbouring frequency. For example, I can pick up Radio 1 and Radio 2 fairly well on the neighbouring region's frequency (I'm in Glasgow, so probably getting Edinburgh's signal). I will consider getting a DAB adapter to see if the digital signal's just as strong.


The music player is fairly basic. You can play music stored on the SD card, or an external USB stick. It shows you track information (artist/album/etc) from the MP3 tags. I have replaced it with PowerAmp, so I have the album art displaying.
There is an equaliser available in the settings which you should experiment with. I found the flat settings to sound a bit off, and most of the presets in the equaliser sounded better. I believe these settings are system-wide.

GPS reception is good. I have the GPS module mounted under the dashboard (it's magnetic, so I just stuck it to a metal bracket), and I quickly got a 12 satellite lock. I don't forsee any problems with it. You can install any sat nav app from the Play store (I hear there are some problems getting Tom Tom to install, but there is a workaround if you Google it). I would recommend one with offline maps so you can still navigate with no reception (Copilot/HERE/iGo/etc). I have Sygic installed and it works great. Music mutes to give you voice guidance, if you have it turned on.

I have successfully integrated all my car accessories without much of a problem. The steering controls work great (there's an app in the settings which lets you map the buttons on your steering control with functions on the headunit). The USB and Aux input work as expected. The rear-view camera works, and comes on whenever I select reverse gear. The only issue I have with that is, the application which controls the rear-view display coming on has very little customisation. You can have guidelines displayed on the screen, but you can't customise them. That might be OK if you have an after-market camera which you can adjust so the guidelines make sense, but if you're using your static, factory-fitted camera, chances are the lines won't be any use. It looks like there is a way to mod the app to put your own guidelines in, but I've not tried this yet. I hope that future updates add this feature in for the normal user.

As an Android unit, the device works great. The screen is clear, tapping and swiping work as well as you would expect on a mid-range Android phone, the device is responsive, very little lag. I was worried that the wifi reception would be poor, as the wifi aerial is little more than a piece of insulated wire sticking out the back of the machine, a couple of inches long. I actually get slightly better reception with that compared to my wife's car (which has a dedicated, removeable wifi antenna) when connecting to the wifi in the house. It's still not great, but if you are using your phone as a hotspot to connect, there should not be any issues.

One good feature on these units is the ability to keep the device running in the background after you turn your car off. I set mine to keep running for 30 mins after I turn the car off. The screen goes off, but it will keep downloading things in the background (e.g. map updates, Spotify offline playlists). If you start the car within those 30 mins, the machine doesn't need to boot again, and pops up almost instantly, so it's also useful if you've jumped into the shop for 5 minutes and want to get straight back to playing music. Normal boot is around 25 seconds, I would say. I hope they come up with some method of "hibernating" the unit in future, so the boot doesn't take as long, but you get used to it pretty quick, and it's not too bad compared to my OEM (which took about 10 seconds to start playing audio from USB).
Pretty much all the features of Android are available. I even have Google Now set up so I can just say "OK Google" to search/get the weather/open an app. It picks up my voice pretty well, unless there's a lot of background noise.

Pumpkin seem responsive to support requests. I had to email them about something and got a reply within the same day. They also have a fairly active support forum on their website.
The good thing about these units is there are so many different people making them. The buttons on the front might be different, the screen size might be different, but most of them are using the same processor and operating system (RK3066/RK3188, MTCB or MTCD), so they all act almost the same. If you know your processor you can look for support on xda-developers if you're not getting anywhere with Pumpkin. There are even people creating custom ROMs for these devices on there, but doing things like that might invalidate your warranty, so be warned.

 

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