"Awesome, but a few flaws"3.5 starson by danwestness
Pros: Excellent look, terrific features, easy to use
Cons: Poor recorded playback, limited functionalities
Summary: Instead of listing all the FABULOUS features of this unit, i will focus on the negatives for all you sceptical buyers. If you can deal with all the cons below then BUY THIS UNIT!
. Navigation system is excellent and accurate
. No need to load/unload CDs and Nav DVDs.
. High resolution screen
. Very configurable
. User friendly (once you get used to the MANY functions)
. Visable screen even in direct sunlight
. When parking brake lead is connected to ground to override "safety" features, warnings about the installation pop up occasionally, which is annoying. You have to press "OK" to clear the warning message
. When you access the menu or navagation screen for the first time after power-up it displays a warning screen about the safe use of navigation when driving
. After the car is turned on, the unit takes a considerable amount of time to power up and become functional
. Even if you override the the parking brake lead, the bluetooth phone book and dialing features are disabled when the car is in motion and cannot be overridden. I beleive the system detects the cars motion through the GPS signal and disables certain key features. You are only able to dial the five favorite numbers that you define or manually "speak" a phone number to call.
. When using the voice command option it always annouces "Please say voice command" then pauses for a moment and beeps. You cannot speak until after this message is played (in a slow voice).
. The navigation system's voice guidance system does not have any options. It will annouce when a turn is coming up in 1/2 mile or 500 ft depending on the length of the road and then says "Right turn ahead" when you're like 2 feet from the turn itself. This should be more configurable for announcments.
. The DVD player can be played in widescreen of full screen. When played in widescreen it will strech the image to fit the screen and becomes slightly distorted. When plaing in full screen it displays the video on the left side of the screen instead of centered and will display all function keys on the right side of the screen whichare annoying when watching video.
. When CDs or CD-Rs are recorded to the hard drive for Library playback it uses a very high compression which causes distortions and low sound quality. I like to rip all my music to the CD to the hard drive, but find myself having to play many songs from CDs to enjoy them. Certain frequency combinations cause clipping and sounds like skipping. If you play directly from the CD, it is fine though. I have attempted to record one song in particular from multiple CDs and the recored copy comes up with the same distortions no matter what.
. You can use JPG images from CD-Rs to load into the headunit for location and phone book defined images or background pictures, but it does not save them for future use. If you change the background picture from the one you have on a CDR you cannot change back to that picture until you put the CDR back in and reload it. Also, if you want to take a picture from a CD-R for use you have to put 100MB of "dummy data" on the CD-R or else the head unit will not read it. The CD-R much also be finalized as a DISC-AT-ONCE CD and therefore you cannot use windows XP burning software.
. Bluetooth telephone dialing is limited. You can only voice dial by saying "Dial Favotire 1" (or favorte 2-favorite 5) You cannot just say "Dial Joe" or any other form of customer name. You can say "Dial number" and then speak the phone number itself, which is impressively accurate, but i don't know anybody's phone numbers! That's what speed dial is for!
. I'll fill in more as i use it. In any case, I have seen the price of this unit drop about $100 per week for the last 4 weeks... so if you can wait on buying it... then wait until the price bottoms out!