A couple of weeks ago, we had a cursory look at the Carsifi wireless Android Auto adaptor. Their team were kind enough to send a review unit through to us, so that’s made its way into my car and has been there for the last couple of weeks.
I’ll be honest, I was pretty dubious of the actual capabilities of the device given the relatively low cost and having seen several other devices, apparently do the same thing and be little more than an expensive paperweight.
Thankfully, my fears were quickly alleviated I’llbecause the Carsifi adaptor just worked as it says it will, but that’s not where the review ends. Because of the device’s simplicity, this isn’t going to be a huge review, but in our testing time, it’s been a great experience.
So, what is it?
Physically it’s an adaptor that measures 35.5 x 65.5 x 9.3 mm and connects your phone to your Android Auto compatible stereo. The Carsifi is powered by the USB port It creates a wireless link to replace the physical cable between your mobile device and stereo.
In the box, you’ll get:
- The device itself
- A couple of cables: One USB-C to USB-C and one USB-A to USB-C
- A piece of double-sided tape to securely mount the device in your vehicle
On paper, it’s pretty simple, but when setting up the device, I was truly impressed at the simplicity. It took less than two minutes from plugging it into my vehicle, being connected and music playing. Then you need to choose exactly where you want to mount or hide the device. For many, hiding it will be a great choice but if you — as I do — change phone regularly, then keep it accessible so you can reset the connection for your new phone.
Once it’s connected, the experience is almost seamless
Like I said earlier, I was a little concerned that — like other similar devices before it — this simply wouldn’t hit the mark. But once I paired to it and the connection was established, it worked as I would expect a physical cable to:
- A notification of connection on your mobile device
- The head unit showed connection established
- Android Auto appeared and functioned as normal
While this is super convenient in that your phone will connect automatically from in your pocket and it “just works”, there are a few little drawbacks worth noting. Starting with the obvious, your phone doesn’t get those battery top-up charges during the day. If you’re at a desk during the day, no big deal, but if you rely on this, you either need to look at alternate charging options or consider that the Carsifi isn’t for you.
The second — albeit minor — drawback is that the connection doesn’t launch as quickly as a cable connection. This really isn’t a big deal and frankly makes sense given the Carsifi needs to boot and establish the connection to your phone, which will then start Android Auto. Typically, by the time I start my car, put my seatbelt on and head down the road, I’m less than 30 seconds from home before the music starts playing.
Aside from the configuration of the Carsifi, which only takes moments, there are more pros than cons — at least for my use case — to a wired connection in the car.
Would I recommend the Carsifi?
The short version is heck yes!
It’s a relatively simple product, but it’s the first one I’ve personally88 trialled that does exactly what it claims to do. Setting it up is simple; once set up, you can simply leave your phone in your pocket and enjoy Android Auto as you otherwise have.
The Carsifi wireless Android Auto adaptor is currently available from the Carsifi site for US$89.00 (about AU$131.00 at the time of publishing this review) which I believe, is pretty reasonable for the convenience of the device.
Due to shipping costs, Carsifi have not requested the device to be returned.