Android Auto is slowly but surely becoming more commonplace. Most manufacturers of aftermarket head units are now including Android Auto in at least their top two models. So far Alpine has been a hold out in comparison though but that changed today with their announcement of an innovative 9 inch Android Auto head unit.
Overnight at CES they announced a new aftermarket head unit, the iLX-F309, an innovative new product line. Not only is the head unit a 9 inch head unit that includes Android Auto support but it has a display that “hovers” above the dash, allowing the bigger display to be installed into more cars without the need for custom installation (custom fascia etc).
The iLX-F309 is an AM/FM/audio and video receiver with a 9 inch capacitive WVGA touch screen display and is what they call a mech-less design — it has no CD/DVD slot — I cannot remember the last time I used the DVD slot in my Android Auto unit, if ever. Most of these head units with a standard 7 inch display use a double DIN when installing but the new Alpine head unit it different — it uses just a single DIN for installation meaning that the display “Hovers” in front of the dashboard. This means that it can fit into so many cars without having to alter the dash in anyway (although so many cars now come with their entertainment systems built into the dash).
Until now, headunits of this size could only be installed in cars with custom dash bezels or modification (or both in my case). This new head unit allows many more cars be able to experience the large display.
The display not only hovers sitting at 90 degrees to the mount but also moved back or forwards from the dash and tilted up or down up to 45 degrees.
For those who like to know the specs, it has everything you may want (I am assuming that no one who reads this still uses DVDs or CDs) — it has Android Auto (wired, not wireless yet), Bluetooth, HD radio tuner, USB, and AUX input and a HDMI input. Another HDMI unit and a CD/DVD player can be added with other Alpine products sold separately. It has a rear camera input with overlay guidance lines. For those who care it also has Apple Car Play.
It will be available in the US from February for US$1100 but at this stage there is no information regarding an Australian release or availability. We have reached out to Alpine Australia for confirmation of an Australian release and will let you know when we hear more.
Stay tuned, who doesn’t want a 9 inch display in their dashboard!