"Many Hidden Bugs; Poor Support"2.0 starson by astrobill32
Pros: Customizable button lighting color
Cons: Many Bluetooth bugs, no RDS song titles, no map updates, no S/W fixes, apparently discontinued!
Summary: Many hidden bugs with the AVIC-D3 made it by the C/NET reviewers. Specifically:
- The AVIC-D3 with the compatible Bluetooth add-on works well at receiving phone calls; However, it completely fails to play the voice-dialing prompts (e.g., "Did you say 'Call Bob?') from any Bluetooth-compatible cell phone audibly. That means that outbound voice dialing is dangerous with the AVIC-D3, since the driver has to look at the phone, even after the AVIC puts it in voice dial mode, to make sure the phone is hearing you properly or to answer the questions your phone is asking you (assuming it has voice dialing features). I'm not sure why they didn't fix this error...any cheap Bluetooth headset gets this right, and Pioneer should have gotten it right, as well.
- The AVIC-D3 AM/FM tuner does not show radio station names or song titles because of a lack of support for the widely-available RDS radio data service
- No map or software updates have been released for the AVIC-D3, and Pioneer refuses to provide any plans or dates for any updates. The original map data was burned to DVD in Feb 07, and is likely based on an even older NavTeq database. Therefore, AVIC-D3 users have been waiting for 17 months and counting, with no sign or even a promise from Pioneer for map updates. Calls to Pioneer about this issue go unanswered, or Pioneer simply says they can't commit to any updates at this time ("It will happen if/when it happen...").
- XM song titles and artists are cut off after 12 or so characters, rather than scrolling the full title/artist as most XM radios do.
- The "MEMO" feature saves song and artist info for user-tagged songs on XM, but then provides no way to get the data out of the unit, or to even view the full saved data (artist is hidden...)
- Really non-intuitive menu-structure. For example, no way to turn off the voice guidance without navigating through two or more menus while driving. No way to access many of the most commonly-used features.
- Lack of any usable or nice 3D map view (only a very buggy "Driver's View" that shows roads intersecting when they are really overpasses, etc.) Even a $199 Tom Tom has a far superior 3D map view
Tech support for this product has been AWFUL, according to most users on the AVIC411.com website. Interestingly, Pioneer was offering $200 rebates on this right up until 28 May 08, when the product suddenly disappeared from their website. Apparently discontinued???Updated
I realized I rated the AVIC-D3 a "4" in my summary review, mostly because of the significant hands-free voice dialing problems I summarized in my reivew.. However, upon closer consideration, I'd be willing to move my overall rating up to a 5. If it weren't for the Bluetooth mistakes and lack of TeleAtlas map updates from Pioneer for this unit (not NavTeq, my bad), I'd rate it a 6 or 7 overall.