"An adventure through inconvenience and poor quality!"1.0 starson by GeniusMike
Pros: Nice interface, brilliant capacitive touch screen, good sound, ground-breaking attempt to integrate iOS functionality within your car...
Cons: Very buggy, SLOW, extremely poor quality, lackluster and unresponsive customer service...
Summary: My goodness, where do I begin? My experience with the Pioneer AppRadio is very bittersweet and not the best story I'm afraid.
I purchased my unit from Best Buy, brand new and factory-fresh, and it was professionally installed in my sports car. I purchased an extra, dedicated iPhone 4 just for use with this AppRadio, and I had a really professional-quality mount installed into the dashboard for a more permanent installation of the iPhone 4, which would be completely dedicated to running this new AppRadio.
Needless to say I was very excited. I will say that the installation team at Best Buy in Little Rock were extremely knowledgeable and very professional and friendly, and took the extra measure to do a really nice installation.
Only two weeks into having the AppRadio, the screen went completely dead. Black, zilch, nothing. Of course, I was heartbroken and quite upset about it. I called Pioneer technical support, and they were rather lackluster in assisting me - and were really of no help. Luckily, the installation at Best Buy carries a lifetime warranty for as long as I own the stereo and this vehicle, so I went back. Surely, I figured something simple like a blown fuse or perhaps a loose wire would be the culprit. No big deal!
Well, I was sorely mistaken. They took the unit out and set it up on their workbench, and it would not power on, no matter what they did. The unit was completely and utterly dead. Unfortunately, there were no more AppRadios in stock in any of the stores - I purchased one of the last they had - since Pioneer was releasing the new AppRadio 2 which was both iOS and Android compatible. So, they could not just give me another one.
I was told that I would have to send my unit into Pioneer for repair and they would either repair it or send me a REFURBISHED UNIT - which really upset me, but after thinking about it, as long as it WORKS and still carries the full warranty, then I don't care. But now the story is just starting to get interesting....
I became rather acquainted with the staff at Best Buy, because of my constant shopping there (I am a computer engineer and I am always in there for SOME thing or other...), and I was taken aside and told in confidence, that just about every single Pioneer AppRadio that they had sold had all been returned with the same fate. There is an inherent design or quality flaw in the production of these units, and they ALWAYS die very quickly. They had taken so many back in, it was ridiculous! WHAT?? How could Pioneer let such a horrible product out on the market? I suppose they figure it was too late, and they would just fix them as they go..... VERY bad business practice!
I was utterly angry at this point. I only had this unit for TWO WEEKS. Ludicrous! I contacted Pioneer, and I was told that "my only option" was that it had to be shipped into their California facility for repairs. Plus, I HAD TO PAY THE SHIPPING TO GET IT THERE - WHAT?? I had to pay $22.45 in shipping at the Post Office (I sent it Priority mail to California from Arkansas and the box weighed 6 pounds) - so not only did I pay a premium price for this unit, and only had it for TWO STUPID WEEKS, but I had to fork over another $22.45 to have it sent in for repair or replacement WITH A REFURBISHED PRODUCT???
I cannot tell anyone strongly enough that if you really want an AppRadio (and I would NOT PUT MY TRUST in the AppRadio 2 either!!!), that you NEED TO KNOW AHEAD OF TIME what you are getting into! If you don't mind the potential bugs and problems, burned out boards, etc. and you can wait while your unit is repaired (and hopefully once repaired or you receive a refurbished one, the problems will have been found and it will FINALLY WORK!), then take your chances. As it stands right now, I have a huge gaping hole in the dash of my car, and I am NOT HAPPY. Goodness knows when I will get my unit back!!! There is no "time limit" on getting it back, and from what I understand from speaking with them on the phone, they are quite busy repairing tons and tons of these!!! My heart sunk, and I am so sad about this.
The only good point in all of this is once I DO FINALLY get the unit back, Best Buy will re-install it without any additional cost whatsoever because of their warranty. AND - if they had any of the AppRadios in stock, they would gladly have swapped it out (but there were none to be had). They even offered me credit towards another type of stereo for the car, however I really wanted THIS ONE - especially since I was now stuck with a special extra iPhone 4 that I bought just for this purpose!
NOW - of the two weeks that I actually had this working, I will say that the features were nice - the screen was very crisp and sharp, and the sound was awesome. The GPS app (Motion-X GPS Drive) and the Pandora app were great! Plus, my hands-free calling over both the phone AND over Skype were awesome too!
I SURE DO HOPE that when this repaired/refurbished unit gets back to me, that I will suffer few additional problems, but we shall see! HOWEVER, AS A WHOLE, I AM EXTREMELY UPSET WITH THE WAY THAT PIONEER HAS HANDLED THIS - THEY COULD HAVE AT *LEAST* PAID FOR THE SHIPPING!!! I mean, COME ON - I paid premium price and had it for TWO STUPID WEEKS???
Pioneer - GET ON THE BALL and improve your quality! NOT ALL PEOPLE are as patient or calm as I am, so watch out!