Pioneer Android Auto models revealed at CES 2015 – AVIC-8100NEX, AVIC-7100NEX and AVIC-4100NEX

Android Auto was definitely the most exciting new feature I saw at CES 2015.  Pioneer was definitely pushing their Android compatibility at their booth and I had to wait in line to see the demo (they had one demo vehicle, Kenwood was the same way, Parrot had multiple demo models).  With a quick glance at these new Pioneer Android Auto compatible radios at CES 2015 I could tell they’re pretty much the same thing as the previous NEX versions we saw last year, the AVIC-8000NEX, AVIX-7000NEX and AVIC-4000NEX.  The only additional feature I could find is the ability to use Android Auto.

Pioneer Android Auto CES 2015
Pioneer Android Auto CES 2015

Like last year’s versions, they’re all 7″ touch screen and only the AVIC-8100NEX has the high gloss capacitive tough screen.  The AVIC-8100NEX and AVIC-7100NEX both have built in navigation.  I think this is a great option for the people who want to use Android Auto, but are concerned about getting lost in dead zones.  For those who want to strictly use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, consider the AVIC-4100NEX.  By the way – these models will do either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto – not at the same time, but it’s easy enough to switch Smart Phone settings in the menu and you can have both phones connected at the same time.  Android still connects to USB 2 and Apple connects to USB 1.

Pioneer Android Auto AVIC-8100NEX CES 2015
Pioneer Android Auto AVIC-8100NEX CES 2015

I do have concerns about charging.  I found it *interesting* that both Kenwood and Pioneer were using Nexus phones rather than the largely popular Samsung variety.  I can’t say the last time I had a customer come into my shop with a Nexus phone.  My Android customers are S4, S5 and Galaxy Note users.  The connection for Android Auto is USB to micro USB.  I believe many Samsung users will still require the special tip adapter to make it work, but that’s not verified at the moment.

Pioneer Android Auto AVIC-4100NEX CES 2015
Pioneer Android Auto AVIC-4100NEX CES 2015

Below is a video demonstration in the Pioneer demo car at CES 2015 so you can see how Android Auto works in the new Pioneer models.  The model shown in this car is the AVIC-8100NEX and it is connected to a Nexus phone operating Lollipop 5 (required for Android Auto).

Keep in mind while viewing the video this is a PROTOTYPE.  Models shown at CES are no where close to being finalized products, their will be glitches that need to be worked out and I’m sure they will be addressed before the finalized products go into production and begin shipping.  I mention this because I notice (and I’m sure you’ll notice) the volume gets tweaked every time he uses Google Voice.  I’m sure this is something that will be worked out before the product goes into production and begins to start shipping.

Will there be an update to add Android Auto to existing models?

Unfortunately, no.  There will be no software update available to add this new feature to existing NEX models or the App Radio 4.  The hardware simply was not built into those models so it cannot be added.  Existing Pioneer customers will have to upgrade to a new model to add the new feature.  Pioneer says we can expect their new Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible radios to begin shipping in March 2015.

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  1. Which receiver with Android Auto do you think is better The Pioneer or the Kenwood ? I know its a loaded question. I will be purchasing one of the two. Since the Pioneer seems to be the same other than the Android auto was the AVIC-8000NEX better than Kenwood eXcelon DNN991HD top of the line HU ?

    • Hi Barry,
      Sorry I somehow missed your comment. You’d want to compare it to a Kenwood DDX8901, that’s really more the platform these models are built on – non navigation, 7″ motorized resistive touch screen. Sound quality wise, I do think the Kenwood eXcelon model DDX9902s will have an edge over the Pioneer AVIC-8100NEX, slightly warmer and a bit more detail. There are other things to consider, ease of use, sharpness and brightness of the screen, operating speed. I would wait to make that decision until they both hit the market. I don’t think the Pioneer AVIC-8100NEX will really be any different than the AVIC-8000NEX other than the addition of Android Auto. The Kenwood will be more like a DDX8901 with CarPlay and Android Auto capability added. I also think they improved the processing speed (based on playing with these prototype models) so thankfully the Kenwood should be nice and responsive compared to their typical operating speed.

  2. They likely used the Nexus phones because other phones are yet to run Lollipop 5

  3. what scion model is the pioneer nex8100 installed in the video. And where did you get the black housing to cover the double din unit on the dash?

    • You know what? I’m not positive, I didn’t really pay too much attention to the car, but I’m pretty sure it was a Scion iQ. It was a 2-door car, tiny and definitely was not the FR-S or tC. This was Pioneer’s demo car so I’m not sure what they used for parts, but it looks like it’s a factory double din to housing to me.

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