9" Aftermarket Android Head Unit (Feature Overview / Installation)

DrToothache

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I recently installed an aftermarket 9" android head unit and was asked to do a review / overview of features. The price was $325 after shipping from China. The device works with all existing features in the 10th gen civic and adds some other features:
  • Backup camera - all angles available, also has trajectory lines that follow steering wheel movement
  • Lane watch - Can be disabled in the settings
  • Bluetooth - works with both Iphone and android-based phones. Downloads your contact list.
  • GPS antenna - Can use pretty much any GPS app from the play store. If you want to use ones that also require data (Waze, Google Maps) then you either have to tether your phone or download the offline maps to the device
  • Wifi - Works great with tethering
  • 2 USB ports - one routes to the OEM USB input, the other one goes behind your dash to the glove box. I keep a 1TB external hard drive connected with all my music / videos etc.
  • Steering wheel controls - Fully functional, can map any button to perform whatever function you would like. (The cruise control buttons are not able to be mapped however).
  • EasyConnect - a phone mirroring app - works with both iphone and android-based devices. Also allows you to play music over wifi.
  • Update: Apple CarPlay - possible through the purchase of this USB dongle.
System Specs:
  • OS: Android 6.0.1
  • 1 GB of DDR-3 RAM
  • 16 gigabytes of ROM storage
  • SD slot
  • 2 USB ports
  • CPU: A9, Quad Core 1.6GHz frequency
  • Screen Resolution: 1024 x 600
I have had the unit installed for over a week. Overall I am very happy with it so far. It is a major upgrade from the LX head unit. Music quality is at least equal to that of the OEM headunit, however I am only using the stock speakers. I am not sure how well it would handle an AMP and aftermarket speakers. It does come with the connectors to hook up that equipment however. An equalizer is included and does a decent job, but there are plenty of other ones that on the play store.

I made a video showcasing everything that I could think of. I am not an audiophile, or a master reviewer for head units / sound systems so take it for what it's worth. I made the video by request to show what you can do with this head unit.


I am working on an installation video next. The install was relatively easy and took a little over an hour for me, but could easily be done in less time. The unit is basically plug and play, with the exception of having to connect 2 wires which are clearly labeled.

If you are interested in the head unit or have any questions let me know.


IMG_3622.JPG IMG_3623.JPG IMG_3625.JPG IMG_3626.JPG IMG_3628.JPG

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IMG_3617.JPG


Link to head unit.

-----UPDATE-----

CarPlay / Android Auto is now able to be used on this head unit. You just have to purchase this dongle. Works like a champ!

Link to latest firmware for ZBox dongle

See this video on how to update ZBox firmware.

-----UPDATE 2 ----

Video showing how to use Apple CarPlay with this headunit (ZBox):



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callmehandsum

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This is awesome. So basically you've kept all standard functionality and the device has added features as well. So sweet.
 
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DrToothache

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I'm assuming this is only for the lx?
Considering he has an auto climate, I think that's a higher model such as the exl or maybe even tourinf
I have not installed this into anything above an LX, so I don't know 100%. However it seems like it was designed for higher trims as well (hence the fact that it has lanewatch out of the box). It also mimics the on-screen A/C controls. So if I had to guess I would say that it is compatible with EX and above. The seller asks for a pic of your dash and details on your trim before you purchase.

This is awesome. So basically you've kept all standard functionality and the device has added features as well. So sweet.
Yes basically. So far so good!
 
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DrToothache

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This could be worth looking into then. I wonder if it has a spot to plug in the Touring's stock amp.
I believe that it does have that connection. The seller actually asks when you purchase "Does your headunit already have an OEM amp or gps antenna installed?". I am pretty sure they send different cables depending on your trim. When I finish my install video I will show all of the connections behind the head unit.
 

calonzo

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I believe that it does have that connection. The seller actually asks when you purchase "Does your headunit already have an OEM amp or gps antenna installed?". I am pretty sure they send different cables depending on your trim. When I finish my install video I will show all of the connections behind the head unit.
Wow! Thanks for all the info!
 

calonzo

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In your video you say "By no means is it perfect.". What are the cons of this HU? It seems like everything works well in the video.
 
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DrToothache

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Wow! Thanks for all the info!
In your video you say "By no means is it perfect.". What are the cons of this HU? It seems like everything works well in the video.
No problem! Overall it is a very nice head unit. Especially considering that it is from China. It feels very high quality and has a lot of potential. I will try to give you a list of cons:

  • The unit only has 1 GB of RAM. I haven't noticed any drops in performance yet, but I haven't downloaded many apps yet. I will have to see how it handles as time goes on. The Phoenix brand of this unit (the taller head unit that I mentioned in the video) has the option for 2 GB of RAM. So far it has been very responsive and I haven't had any issues though.
  • Lack of USB/AUX plugin for iphones. If you aren't a fan of streaming music using bluetooth or an external HD, and prefer to plug your phone into the usb to play music directly, it doesn't seem to be an option. There may be an app in the Play Store that can read an iphone over USB to play music though. I would imagine that an android phone would be more compatible however. This isn't an issue for me since I am using an external HD as my media center.
    • EDIT: AUX is possible in this head unit. You just need to purchase an RCA to 3.5mm cable and plug it into the back of the unit. You can also play through USB using Apple CarPlay (need to purchase special dongle) or Android Auto
  • Boot time. It takes about 20 seconds to boot once it has completely shut down (sometimes longer if you have several apps running when you shut the unit down). The sleep mode only stays active for 1 hour. The phoenix model can stay in sleep mode indefinitely, however I wonder how this would affect your battery if you leave your car parked for several days.
That's all that I can really think of right now. I think that the pro's definitely outweigh the con's so far, especially coming from an LX head unit. :thumbsup:
 
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calonzo

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No problem! Overall it is a very nice head unit. Especially considering that it is from China. It feels very high quality and has a lot of potential. I will try to give you a list of cons:

  • The unit only has 1 GB of RAM. I haven't noticed any drops in performance yet, but I haven't downloaded many apps yet. I will have to see how it handles as time goes on. The Phoenix brand of this unit (the taller head unit that I mentioned in the video) has the option for 2 GB of RAM. So far it has been very responsive and I haven't had any issues though.
  • Lack of USB/AUX plugin for iphones. If you aren't a fan of streaming music using bluetooth or an external HD, and prefer to plug your phone into the usb to play music directly, it doesn't seem to be an option. There may be an app in the Play Store that can read an iphone over USB to play music though. I would imagine that an android phone would be more compatible however. This isn't an issue for me since I am using an external HD as my media center.
  • Boot time. It takes about 20 seconds to boot once it has completely shut down (sometimes longer if you have several apps running when you shut the unit down). The sleep mode only stays active for 1 hour. The phoenix model can stay in sleep mode indefinitely, however I wonder how this would affect your battery if you leave your car parked for several days.
That's all that I can really think of right now. I think that the pro's definitely outweigh the con's so far, especially coming from an LX head unit. :thumbsup:
Thanks! I decided to go with the Phoenix model. You mentioned a couple of things you didn't like about the Phoenix model. I looked at pictures and it doesn't seem to cover the hazard button. Also, my current HU is glossy around the edges, so the fact that the Phoenix model is also glossy won't bother me. The other reasons I went with them is the support that is available, and they have an octa-core model, instead of just quad-core (in addition to the 2GB RAM.)
 
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DrToothache

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Thanks! I decided to go with the Phoenix model. You mentioned a couple of things you didn't like about the Phoenix model. I looked at pictures and it doesn't seem to cover the hazard button. Also, my current HU is glossy around the edges, so the fact that the Phoenix model is also glossy won't bother me. The other reasons I went with them is the support that is available, and they have an octa-core model, instead of just quad-core (in addition to the 2GB RAM.)
Nice! Yeah I just looked at their website. It looks like they updated their design and moved the mic/reset button to the bottom of the device so it's not tall anymore. (one of the photos looks identical to my HU on their page). Interesting, let me know how it goes / what it looks like when you install it.
If you haven't seen this yet, someone did a review and installation of theproduct:
 

calonzo

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Nice! Yeah I just looked at their website. It looks like they updated their design and moved the mic/reset button to the bottom of the device so it's not tall anymore. (one of the photos looks identical to my HU on their page). Interesting, let me know how it goes / what it looks like when you install it.
If you haven't seen this yet, someone did a review and installation of theproduct:
Yes, I watched them all. :) I will let you know how it goes!
 

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Curious what the rear of the unit looks like. Does it have preamp outputs?

I was looking at the ebay auction you listed and it mentions the following below. Wonder if "Ultrabass" is considered "mono" or "sub" output. Granted mono amps still use a Left and Right channel.

Any Low-pass or High-pass filter info?

The major things I like about this option are maintaining the 3 camera view options, SD card support, full steering wheel button functionality, and phone mirroring for GPS etc.

My concern is whether I can still use my mono-amp and sub now.

Connections
1 way 3G/Wifi interface
1 way GPS input
2 ways RCA output (Front left and Front right)
2 ways RCA output (After the left and After the right)
1 way AUX left audio chanel input
1 way AUX right audio chanel input
1 way ultra bass output
1 way video input
2 ways video output
1 way rearview input
2 ways video output
1 way rearview input
 
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DrToothache

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Curious what the rear of the unit looks like. Does it have preamp outputs?

I was looking at the ebay auction you listed and it mentions the following below. Wonder if "Ultrabass" is considered "mono" or "sub" output. Granted mono amps still use a Left and Right channel.

Any Low-pass or High-pass filter info?

The major things I like about this option are maintaining the 3 camera view options, SD card support, full steering wheel button functionality, and phone mirroring for GPS etc.

My concern is whether I can still use my mono-amp and sub now.

Connections
1 way 3G/Wifi interface
1 way GPS input
2 ways RCA output (Front left and Front right)
2 ways RCA output (After the left and After the right)
1 way AUX left audio chanel input
1 way AUX right audio chanel input
1 way ultra bass output
1 way video input
2 ways video output
1 way rearview input
2 ways video output
1 way rearview input
When I do the install video I will show what connections are available on the back of the unit, but that list seems accurate. Unfortunately I don't know much about what "ultrabass" means in terms of whether it is mon/sub output. The unit doesn't have any on-board ability to change LPF / HPF.

I am using my stock speakers so I haven't really looked into hooking up an amp or sub to this unit. Sorry, wish that I was more helpful.
 

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