Which Android car player is best?

An Android car player is an aftermarket head unit or in-dash stereo receiver that is powered by the Android operating system, rather than running a proprietary system like traditional car stereos. Android car players offer numerous benefits over standard car stereos that make them an attractive upgrade option for many drivers.

One of the key benefits of an Android car player is the full touchscreen interface they provide. Just like your smartphone, an Android car player features an LCD touchscreen instead of physical buttons for the interface, allowing for a more intuitive and streamlined user experience. The touchscreen also gives access to the Android ecosystem of apps and interfaces you’re already familiar with.

Android car players also boast much faster processors than typical car stereos, resulting in smooth and speedy performance when navigating menus and apps. They have modern connectivity options too, with built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and music streaming as well as USB ports for device charging and connections.

And of course the open Android platform means a massive variety of entertainment and information apps available to download right to your in-dash stereo. You can stream media from popular services, customize interfaces with skins and launchers, add new functionality, and more thanks to Android’s flexibility and large developer/user community.

Overall Android car players provide modern technology, intuitive interfaces, and expanded functionality over standard head units – all great reasons to consider one for your next car stereo upgrade.

Display and Touchscreen

When choosing an Android car player, the display size, resolution, brightness, and touch responsiveness are key factors to consider for usability and visibility while driving. Most units range from 6.2″ up to 10.1″ in size. Larger displays around 9-10 inches can show more information but may be overwhelming in some vehicles.

A display resolution of at least 1280 x 720 pixels or 1080p full HD is recommended for sharp image quality. Touchscreen sensitivity varies across units – some feature resistive while others have capacitive touch technology. Resistive touch relies on pressure and lacks multi-touch capabilities compared to the more responsive capacitive technology. Testing touch responsiveness personally can determine if a screen performs well for use in the car.

Maximum display brightness should be at least 500 cd/m2 or nits for visibility in bright daylight. Some units boast advanced display adjustments like automatic dimming based on ambient lighting. Analyzing professional and customer reviews can provide deeper insight into real-world visibility for models of interest.

Hardware and Performance

When assessing the hardware and performance capabilities of Android car players, three key specifications to evaluate are the CPU power, RAM, and storage space (Source). More powerful CPUs like octa-core processors can provide faster response times and smoother operation while multitasking. RAM ranging from 2-6GB enables more apps to remain open without lag or crashing. And ample built-in storage space such as 64GB allows you to install more apps and offline music/maps without needing expandable storage.

Higher-end units will offer combinations like octa-core CPU, 4GB RAM, and 64GB storage for optimal performance. Testing tools like the CPU-Z app can verify the actual hardware specifications of an Android unit, as lower quality units may exaggerate capabilities (Source). Prioritizing hardware power enables a smoother and more responsive user experience.

Audio Quality

When selecting an android car player, audio quality is an important consideration. The speaker power and sound enhancement features can have a major impact on your listening experience.

Most android head units have built-in amplifiers that range between 45-55 watts RMS power per channel. Although some entry-level or older models may only have 15-20 watts per channel. For more power and audio quality, look for units with an external amplifier which can deliver 80 watts or more per channel (Source).

Sound quality also depends on the internal Digital Signal Processor (DSP). Advanced DSPs allow for customizable equalization, time alignment, crossover, and acoustic settings. Select mid to high end units typically have better DSPs that can optimize the sound to your car’s cabin.

Additionally, some models offer Dolby Atmos or DTS-powered virtual surround sound for a more immersive listening experience. High resolution audio formats like lossless FLAC and WAV support can also enhance sound quality of music files.

Checking owner experiences on forums like Reddit is advisable to get feedback on real-world audio performance for any android car stereo under consideration (Source). This can reveal potential audio quality issues to avoid.


Connectivity is a key feature to look for when choosing an Android car player. You’ll want to make sure it has strong Bluetooth capabilities, WiFi connectivity, GPS navigation, and support for a backup camera.

Bluetooth allows you to sync your phone to the car player for hands-free calling and wireless music streaming. The latest version, Bluetooth 5.0, offers faster pairing speeds, extended range up to 800 feet, and audio streaming with better quality. According to Android, their Android Auto software utilizes Bluetooth for voice commands, calls, messages, and media.

WiFi connectivity allows the Android player to access online apps and services through internet data. This enables useful features like weather reports, traffic alerts, over-the-air software updates, and streaming from online music libraries. Some players come with built-in 4G LTE support for internet access without connecting to a WiFi network.

Integrated navigation via GPS helps display your vehicle’s location on digital maps and provides turn-by-turn directions to your destination. GPS also enables real-time route updates based on live traffic information. According to Kelley Blue Book, Android Auto has Google Maps navigation built-in with voice-guided driving instructions.

Backup cameras have quickly gone from a luxury to a near necessity for safe driving. A rear view camera displays what’s behind your vehicle when reversing, helping you avoid accidents. Many Android players are compatible with aftermarket backup cameras or have them pre-installed.

Apps and Features

Android car players come with various preloaded apps that enhance your driving experience, according to https://www.android.com/auto/. Popular built-in apps include Google Maps for navigation, media playback apps for music and audiobooks, messaging apps for hands-free communication, and voice control features provided by the Google Assistant. Most car players will also give you full access to the Google Play Store and allow you to easily install apps directly on the device.

Besides a good assortment of built-in apps, the best car players integrate well with your vehicle and allow steering wheel control of key functions. As reported in https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.projection.gearhead&hl=en_US&gl=US, Android Auto features simplified interfaces and voice commands designed to minimize distraction while driving. You can control music, navigation, calls, and messaging just by speaking or tapping the touchscreen infotainment system.

Installation and Setup

When choosing an Android car player, one key consideration is how difficult installation and setup will be. You essentially have two options:

DIY Installation

Many Android car players are designed for DIY installation by the owner. This allows you to save money on professional installation costs. However, it requires you to have some technical know-how to take apart vehicle interior panels, connect wiring harnesses, etc. Some key things to research:

  • Does the unit come with detailed installation instructions?
  • Is the wiring harness plug-and-play or does it require splicing wires?
  • Do you need install kits or brackets to properly fit the unit?

With proper instructions, DIY installation of an Android car player is very feasible. But be prepared for it to be fairly time-consuming.

Professional Installation

You can also choose to have your Android car player installed by a professional car stereo shop. While more expensive, this ensures the unit is properly fit and wired by experts. The installers will handle things like:

  • Custom mounting the unit
  • Connecting wiring harnesses
  • Integrating steering wheel controls
  • Configuring settings

Going the professional route eliminates the hassle and research involved with DIY. But it does add several hundred dollars to the overall cost.


Android car players come in a wide range of prices to fit different budgets and needs. Here is an overview of budget vs premium models:

Budget models (under $200): These lower-cost units offer basic functionality and features. The screen is typically 6-7 inches, resolution may be lower, and the interface is simple. Hardware is less powerful so there can be some lag when switching apps or loading video. Audio quality is decent but not amazing. Budget players are good options for those looking for an inexpensive upgrade over their factory stereo.

Some top picks under $200 include:
Pumpkin 7-Inch Touch Screen Android Car Stereo,
Hizpo 7-Inch Android Car Stereo

Premium models ($200-$400): Mid-range units offer enhanced performance, bigger touchscreens (8-10 inches), better hardware for smooth operation, improved audio with built-in amplifiers, and more connectivity options like wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. The interface, display quality, and expansion capabilities are superior.

Some top mid-range picks include:
BOSS Audio 8-Inch Android Car Stereo,
Pioneer 9-Inch Android Car Stereo

Luxury models ($400+): The highest-end units feature large 10+ inch touchscreens with maximum resolution, the fastest processors, tons of memory, integrated navigation and maps, wireless smartphone integration, multi-camera inputs, and the highest quality audio components like external amps. They offer a truly premium driving experience.

Some top luxury picks include:
Kenwood 10.1-Inch Android Car Stereo,
Sony 10.1-Inch Android Car Stereo

Top Brands

Some of the most popular and reputable brands for Android car players include:

Pioneer – Pioneer is known for making high-quality audio products and their Android car stereos continue this tradition. Models like the Pioneer SPH-EVO62DAB offer excellent sound, responsive touchscreens, and seamless Android Auto integration.

Pumpkin – Pumpkin focuses specifically on Android head units and is popular for its affordability and ease of installation. The Pumpkin CarPlay line offers CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Atoto – Atoto manufactures Android car stereos with high-resolution touchscreens, fast processors, and abundant features like Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS navigation, and more. Models like the Atoto A6 Pro rival premium auto brands.

Dasaita – Dasaita offers Android units with emphasis on customizability, allowing you to tailor the interface and apps to your preferences. Dasaita head units like the Dasaita Max6 also boast excellent remote controllers.


When looking for the best Android car player, there are a few key factors to consider. Based on the criteria of display quality, hardware performance, audio capabilities, connectivity, features, ease of installation, and cost, some models stand out above others.

The Sony XAV-AX7000 has one of the largest and most responsive touchscreens available. It also offers great hardware and excellent audio quality. For abundant apps and built-in navigation, the Kenwood DMX7706S is a top choice. Those on a budget can still get a decent car player like the Pumpkin Android 10.1″ Vertical Screen Car Stereo.

In the end, the “best” Android car player depends on your vehicle, priorities, and budget. Any of the models featured here can upgrade your driving experience with smartphone integration, streaming, and modern entertainment options. Evaluate your needs to determine which car player is the optimal choice for you. With the vast selection available today, you can find one that perfectly matches your requirements.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *