"Good otions and balanced trade offs"4.5 starson by RevVid
Pros: Fast Startup,
No DVD navigation disc to use!
Lots of Formats DVD and audio supported
All adapter options for Bluetooth and HD radio, Cameras, Aux Video Imputs
Very good and responsive screen
No reboots that I can tell so far.
Cons: Nothing serious to mention
I don't awn any Aplle devices to test with this unit, sorry.
Alpine manual for wiring and options for your particular vehicle is very weak. Support on Alpine website is non existent
Summary: I looked at replacing Buick Rendezvous DVD navigation system that started to malfunction after 6 years.
I picked Alpine unit because the following features and considerations:
1 It does not use DVD disc for navigation- I hated the fact that OEM unit used DVD disc and I was unable to listen to CDs on the road and have navigation working. Then If you to loose that DVD, gm charges you $300 or so to replace it. I wanted the unit that used onboard memory for maps. Alpine does that.
2 I looked at Pioneer units and feedback that I really did not like was that Pioneer takes a long time to boot after car started. Pioneer had rebooted multiple times during operation as users reported. Pioneer tend to break after 1.5 year or so of use as one guy said, (sure not all of them) but it made me wonder If Alpine is a better brand choice for car application. Alpine provides electronics to car OEMs and they survive OEM testing from -40 to +150F, where Pioneer is a great home equipment, but automotive applications are very different in requirements and durability. It may be a hard to proof point, but it made me feel better knowing that Alpine has years of experience with actual automotive applications.
3 Alpine had all the high end features available Rear view cam, Bluetooth, HD radio as an accessory.
4 Using Alpine for a week, comparing with OEM in dash unit, I can tell you, it has as good or better response, lots more audio format options and inputs and larger screen, allows to watch DVDs directly.
5 Sound quality dramatically improved using OEM amp and all OEM speakers (pioneer brand BTW)
6 Tilt able screen allows for better view depending on driver's height.
7 Maps are great to view, you can see navigation prompts, listening to the radio.
8 So far never re-booted while operating.
as for negatives I also had some Bluetooth issues but I don't think its fair to complain about telephone issues that may be resolvable thru firmware update on Bluetooth adapter as it is an add on to the navigation and entertainment system and not a dedicated Bluetooth hands free device.
-Button locations on bottom of the screen may be difficult to touch quickly depending on seating position in different cars, but at the same time it is good that you must make a concious effort on touching them to activate phone or rear camera and not just doing that by accident. It seems to it was intentionally done.