Navitech 8" Android Solution Vs RoadNav 8" Android Solution - quick review
All I thought this might help you guys out there if you are exploring these solutions. Here is a quick rundown, some pros and cons and comments regarding these two products. I probably lost $200 bucks in shipping with these devices but it was fun. My wife doesnt really care for this so I'm moving on to exploring what's available on my next car (BMW 4 series). Hope this helps everyone :)
The Navitech display is a large 8" 800 x 480 resolution display. It has the same aspect ratio (5:3) as the stock display which is 400 x 280. There are a few versions of display. The one I tried out was the base one with a external Navroid (Android box).
Build Quality - 8/10 -
Build quality is pretty solid and close to stock. The silver trim around the display however is chrome instead of the matte silver look which doesnt match the rest of the interior if you look closely.
10/10 for the display - To install the display it's pretty easy. Just remove the two screws and pop in the two cables. Completely plug & play if you just want a larger display.
3/10 for the Android Box - There are just too many wires and connections to consider if you want to add a android box. Also backup camera wiring and sound is not plug and play
Screen Quality - 7/10
The screen quality is decent. The contrast / brightness is not as nice as the stock but the resolution certainly is better. The super large display is definitely very nice though.
Android Experience - 2/10
Unfortunately for the Navitech unit it has a resistive touch screen instead of a capacitive touch screen. Swiping/zooming/multi-touch just doesnt work. This is ultimately the reason why I returned this unit and I'll say I cant quite recommend if if you want to use Android. Navitech CEO, did notify me they are working on a single integrated capacitive touch screen device that is due to release late this year.
The Roadnav unit is also a 8" display (although their own website and seller from China said it was 7". It is indeed 8" both Johnny and myself measured it). It has a higher resolution than the Navitech unit at 1024 x 600. However the screen area is smaller than the Navitech display due to the 16:9 aspect ratio.
Build Quality - 7/10
Pretty good quality as well. The plastics are solid and the bezel is matte silver like the rest of the dash. I think Navitech has a slightly smaller bezel though and bonus points to Navitech for truly being plug and play. The roadnav requires you replace the bracket. Which requires you remove the wood/aluminum trim. In addition the Roadnav bracket was designed for the A/B class without the woodtrim so you have to severely modify the bracket. I did a bit of observation and measurement before modifying it. The front face is actually the same height. Where it differs is the stock bracket has a curve that allows the wood trim to fit under. Also the wood trim has a tab that slots between the OEM bracket. This required me to dremel out the bottom and sides of this bracket. In the end it looks pretty much OEM and you cant see where I dremeled since it's on the bottom.
Install - 5/10
I dont recommend any of these units if you are not comfortable with car electronics and taking apart your dash. The roadnav unit is mostly plug and play with the main harness it comes with but you have to remove the command unit, the vents, the wood trim the bracket, the center console and the glove box to do the full install. The nice thing is the parking guidelines / reverse signal are all pulled off the CAN bus/harness cable so no additional wire tapping is required like the Navitech unit. I got pretty adept at removing my dash so I can take the whole dash apart in 10 mins and do the whole install in an hour. But if its your first time expect to take all day.
Screen Quality -
9/10 - For Android screens. The 1024 x 600 resolution really shines. Text / menus are super sharp and clear with the Android menu / interface. You can clearly tell the difference with the higher resolution over the Navitech display. Color/contract also seems to be better on this display.
5/10 - For OEM menu interface. The up scaling cause the OEM text to look fuzzy. Also for some reason the display is also not as bright as the stock one when using the OEM interface. Both Displays lose the auto brightness sensor on the stock display.
Android Experience - 7/10
The capacitive touch screen makes all the difference in the world. Swipes / navigating the menu is pretty easy. Where this unit falls a bit on its feet is the lack of RAM. It only comes with 512MB of ram vs 2GB on the Navitech external box. For youtube, yelp, google maps, etc it's fine though. There is a SD card slot on the side where you can use. There is also an app you can partition part of the SD card as RAM. I didn't try this but read good reviews online.
Tech Specs Comparison ----- -----
Navitech ----- ----- Roadnav
8" ----- ----- 8"
800x480 ----- ----- 1024x600
External Android ----- ----- Box Internal Android Box
Android 4.4 ----- ----- Android 4.0
Resistive Touch ----- ----- Capacitive Touch
USB/SD Card ----- ----- 2 micro SD /USB (did no test USB)
2GB RAM ----- ----- 512MB RAM
Bluetooth ----- ----- Bluetooth? Website claims bluetooth but I did not see it Bluetooth? Website claims bluetooth but I did not see it
It's clear the roadnav unit is the superior unit due to the capacitive touch screen, higher resolution and better color/contrast. I think the Navitech has a slightly better build quality since it truly looks more OEM, using the OEM bracket and plugs. Both displays are a lot more reflective than the stock OEM display and both displays make the stock OEM display fuzzy since they upscale. But I guess with these units you rarely have to go into the stock menus. I would operate mostly everything in android with Pandora, I Heard Radio, etc. Do I recommend these units? Hmm i would if you don't mind spending some time learning the menus. Unfortunately with either display you are pretty much on your own figuring things out. Navitech came with zero instructions while the Roadnav has some instruction but not really useful. You have to be know a bit of car wiring if you want to do a full install with backup camera. Also the only way I could get sound on both unit was to use the RCA cable to a 3.5mm jack to the glovebox. Anyways here are some pics of each display.
External Android box
vs stock display
wires galore! this is when I was testing everything first. ;)
This is the main menu. Notice the sharp resolution of the text. Nice thing about this menu is you can use the command knob to control and navigate all the meus. You can also use the touch screen if you choose. If you click on Car from here it takes you to the OEM menu or you can simply hold the back button for 2 seconds. The android icon on the bottom takes you to the normal Android menu
Main Android Menu - if you are famliar with android pretty self explanatory. All widgets and shortcuts work as normal
My modified bracket install - reminder the bracket that comes with it does not fit.
Edit: Quick shout out to
for being the first one to get the roadnav unit.