All of us would like to reach our destinations on time. Thanks to the navigation systems installed in our vehicles we can reach on time. There are many navigation systems available for the vehicles these days. After researching about them, we have compiled some of the best in-dash navigation systems 2018 available on the market.
- 1 Top-Rated In-Dash Navigation Systems for Cars
- 2 Kenwood eXcelon DNN992 6.95 Inch Touchscreen Navigation Receiver
- 3 JOYING Android 5.1.1
- 4 Latest Android 4.2 Car Stereo System with GPS
- 5 GRAVITY AGR-235UD Single Din
- 6 EinCar In-Dash Navigation
- 7 Universal Car Double Din In-Dash GPS Navigation
- 8 Power Acoustik PDN 626B
- 9 EinCar 2 Din In-Dash Touch Screen
- 10 Pioneer AVIC8000NEX: Good Aftermarket GPS Navigator
- 11 Kenwood DNX-691HD DVD Receiver with Built-In Bluetooth
- 12 What to Look for When Buying an In-Dash Navigation System?
The Kenwood eXcelon DNN992 is a touchscreen device. The navigation receiver is a 6.95-inch WVGA touchscreen which has Double-Din GPS navigation and a DVD receiver. The customer reviews about the product are that it is a good product with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The system is built into the dashboard. In comparison with the other in-dash GPS navigation systems, the Kenwood eXcelon is a decent navigation system to buy. This also has a built-in Garmin Navigation system. Before purchasing the device, the dimensions must be checked with that of the car to ensure it is the correct one for the vehicle. Installation of this device is very easy and can be done in a matter of minutes.
- Fast installation.
- Built-in navigation.
- Built-in instead of a separate unit, which makes the dashboard seem less cluttered.
- Many apps such as Facebook come standard.
- Illuminated keys.
- 4G enabled.
- Best aftermarket in-dash navigation.
- Illuminative feature breaks quickly.
- Takes a long time to load after starting your car.
- Updates often can’t be installed.
- Kenwood hasn’t released any updates lately.
- Q: How long does it take to startup after it was shut down?
- A: The timeline varies according to the operating system you use and the car you’re in. Android tends to have faster startup times, while Apple can take long. Depending on all these features it can be anything from 15 to 60 seconds. Part of this is to load the navigation features.
- Q: Can you skip some screens (such as Wi-Fi) upon start up if it’s not relevant to how you use the device?
- A: There is a shortcut, but you must ensure the constant power is connected (this is the yellow wire). Then when you log in again, pick ‘auto login’. This will bypass some screens in future as it will remember the settings and ignore irrelevant screens.
JOYING Android 5.1.1
JOYING Android 5.1.1 is a good navigation system which supports Double-Din of Panel size 178*100 mm. This is a user-friendly control interface with easy to connect Wi-Fi. This is the most popular model for the car with DVD player, Bluetooth phone, and USB connector. This device is available for the most affordable price. The JOYING Android 5.1.1 is one of the best brands available on the market these days.
- Much lighter than other models on this list, at only 4.6lb.
- One of the largest screens available (7”).
- Rear camera enabled.
- 2-year warranty.
- Night dimming (with backlight) happens automatically.
- Subwoofer out already installed.
- Fairly light at 4.6lb (compared to other units on this review).
- Comes with backup camera.
- Camera for the rear camera features not included.
- Video out to headrest isn’t supported.
- iPod support is not guaranteed.
- Q: Does the unit support both front and rear cameras?
- A: The unit is very practical as it’s sold with the app that can handle both cameras. The rear camera will only activate when you put your car in reverse, so the unit saves power for what is really necessary. You also won’t get confused, which can happen when two screens in dual mode are shown the whole time.
- Q: Can you download apps (such as games or Netflix)?
- A: Yes, it’s designed to allow downloads of these apps. However, not all apps will work especially if they’re not optimized for KitKat. Some users find difficulty getting Netflix to work adequately, as it only gives errors.
- Q: Can you view videos with the help of your PS4?
- A: It’s possible to combine the overhead video monitor and a PS4 to watch videos. However, you’ll need to invest in more equipment such as an HDMI to RCA adapter.
Latest Android 4.2 Car Stereo System with GPS
The Latest Android 4.2 system is a 7 inch Double-Din GPS navigation system. The 4.2 system has navigation with 3D map. This is the recommended android system for the car. The radio and stereo for music are of very good quality. This is one of the most popular models in available these days. The car stereo is a 7-inch capacitive screen which response to multi-touch. The car radio supports 7 different languages. It also supports hands-free calling and audio streaming. This option is one of the best in the market and it is very easy to install.
- Large touchscreen; at 7” gives top clarity.
- Navigations are done on 3D map.
- Can stream music with Bluetooth.
- Can operate in multiple languages.
- Easy installation.
- Need to contact a vendor to download navigation maps (not an automated process).
- No remote for this system.
- Optimized for Android so iOS supporters will struggle with this.
- Not manufactured with a CD player or DVD player.
- Q: Can you mirror your Android phone’s screen and functioning?
- A: Yes the system is designed to mirror Android phones, however, you may find some difficulty in this. The features still need a lot of work to work optimally, as users report it not recognizing all Android phones.
- Q: Can you use steering wheel functions to manage the system?
- A: Yes this feature is already installed.
- Q: What are your navigation options?
- A: You can use the maps provided by the manufacturer. You can download Waze or Google Maps to add value to usage, but remember you need an internet connection for this. The brand provides Wi-Fi via a dongle that you can also purchase from them.
GRAVITY AGR-235UD Single Din
Based on the consumer reports, the GRAVITY AGR-235UD has a built-in 3-inch TFT display. This is compatible with any of the auxiliary devices and also the iPhone, iPod, iPad and even the Android Smartphones. Any device with a 3.5 mm audio jack is supported by this model. The panel functions with color lightening. And has a 300W Max Output. The volume control is a big knob. This is an underrated brand in comparison with the other brands. This device is easy to install.
- Both iOS and Android enabled.
- The large volume knob makes for easy adjusting of the stereo.
- Anti-shock technology protects and provides smooth working.
- Very light at 1.55lb.
- Radio has excellent reception thanks to high-end receivers.
- Very small screen (3”); one of the smallest reviewed here.
- Not a touchscreen device.
- No remote control.
- Q: Can this unit play mp3?
- A: The single DIN radio with GPS unit can play a combo of music source types from USB memory cards, but not MP3s and CDs or cdg files. It also doesn’t have a DVD player. Note that it also won’t play music streaming from your phone via USB (but you can use the Aux plug feature for this). Plugging in your Smartphone into the USB will only charge your device, not provide audio to the navigation receiver.
- Q: Can you change the display’s brightness as too much light can bother some drivers?
- A: The only setting options you have is turning the display on or off.
- Q: How do you pick audio files when you connect a USB device?
- A: The songs will be played at random. Even if the USB device contains the music in different files this in-dash system will mix them up.
A pure android GPS navigation system with a dual-core CPU that makes the processing faster and comfortable. It supports the Wifi as well as Satellite navigation to provide you a better amount of travel experience. Not only will you be able to reach your destination on time but will also enjoy the music at a faster pace.
- Fast processing thanks to quality components in the double din unit e.g. the CPU.
- Built-in Bluetooth.
- Many navigation options such as Google Maps (if connected to Wi-Fi) and in-dash vehicle GPS.
- Music stereos stop during calls and resume when you log off.
- LED night view makes for easy use in the dark.
- 6.2” screen.
- Can mirror Android devices.
- Quite light at 3.5lb.
- No mirroring for iOS devices.
- No remote feature.
- Q: What does it mean that you can add 3G functions?
- A: While you have Wi-Fi connectivity enabled, you need to activate it for 3G functionality. This requires you to contact the supplier. You can access the internet by turning your phone into a hotspot.
- Q: Can you control this from the steering wheels of cars?
- A: Unfortunately this unit doesn’t have these inputs.
- Q: For which features do you need an internet connection?
- A: This navigation system will handle FM/AM radios, your CDs and the navigation app (provided by the manufacturer) without you being connected to the internet. Any other features such as Radio Sat, downloading apps or using Google Maps will require an internet connection. This can come from your phone as a hotspot or insert a dongle into the USB slot.
The Universal Car navigation system is a Double-Din navigation with backup camera. This option has hands-free calling, reverse camera and a phone and USB connector. This top-rated navigator has multimedia playback and supports MP4. The wireless feature is a very big advantage for this system. By just connecting and plugging in the device, audio streaming can be done. Various languages are supported by this device. The cost is really cheap and fits comfortably into the budget. This navigation device is easy to use and install.
- Voice guidance in multiple languages.
- Touch screen feature.
- Bluetooth enables hands-free calling and you can stream music from devices.
- Manage the double DIN unit via your steering wheel.
- Large 6.2” screen.
- The model has CD and DVD players for stereo.
- Can turn off the screen while still enjoying audio, for safe night driving.
- Unclear instructions in manual.
- Lag can occur.
- Difficult to install a backup camera.
- Difficult to update maps.
- Q: Can you switch the navigation from using km to using miles?
- A: Yes, it’s possible but this feature is managed via the general settings, not the GPS or navigation system itself.
- Q: How do you keep the maps updated?
- A: Luckily you’ll get notifications if your maps are outdated. You can then access the Nuviextras website. Here you need a manufacturer’s name and a unit model number to download the latest ones. Note that this may incur costs, so make sure the maps are fully updated on the website by the service provider before you make the next purchase.
- Q: Can you use Sirius XM with this model?
- A: No, this unit doesn’t support Sirius and even an adapter won’t give you access to the service.
- Q: Will the navigation feature work if you only have coordinates?
- A: Yes, since the device is GPS enabled, either addresses or coordinates can be used.
Power Acoustik PDN 626B
The Power Acoustik PDN 626B is a Double-Din in-dash receiver with GPS head unit including a DVD player. The multimedia receiver is an LCD touch screen which supports DVD, CD, card reader and also the devices like iPhone and iPods. The review of this 6.2-inch LCD touchscreen is that it is a high-quality product available at the best price. The resolution of the touchscreen is 800×480 with an aspect ratio of 16:9. The brightness of the LED is 400 nits. The steering wheel control interface includes a built-in microphone and also an external one. There are 4 speaker outputs and supports multiregional frequencies. It has turn-by-turn GPS navigation of the USA, Canada, Mexico.
- Large 6.2” screen.
- Good double-DIN navigation with even a DVD player.
- Five stars for sound quality.
- Some of the highest screen responsiveness found in these reviews.
- Can be controlled via the steering wheel.
- iPod enabled unlike many other devices on this review list.
- Quite heavy at 6”.
- The screen doesn’t allow much of song information to show.
- Music mutes when you back up.
- The default connection is radio.
- When a car is shut off it loses Bluetooth connection and takes long to reconnect.
- Q: Do the connections to your devices also act as charging consoles?
- A: Yes you can charge your Smartphone by connecting to the USB outlet.
- Q: Where is the best place to mount the GPS?
- A: Of course it’s ideal to mount this unit on your car as you’ll get an excellent signal. However, this may cause damage to the antenna from weather or trees. An ideal place is under the dashboard. It’s designed to still pick up a signal from there.
- Q: Does the navigation system also guide you via audio, or only with visuals?
- A: The application’s audio will guide you through each turn.
- Q: Can this infrastructure charge a device while also playing music?
- A: Yes, charging won’t affect the audio played from the device.
EinCar 2 Din In-Dash Touch Screen
The 2 Din In-Dash Touch Screen by EinCar is a 6.2 inch LCD touchscreen with Win CE 6.0 Operating System. Audio streaming can be done using SD card and USB connector and it also supports built-in Bluetooth for wireless streaming. There is a built-in microphone for hands-free calling. This touchscreen navigation device comes with a factory warranty of 1-year. Among the various touchscreen LCD devices available for the cars, this is easy to choose and use. The installation of this device is easy and can be done within a short time.
- User-friendly interface.
- Touch screen enabled.
- You can record and store your best stations.
- Variety of options to source audio from e.g. Bluetooth, SD Card etc.
- Can guide you in various languages.
- Single back up camera included in the purchase.
- The screen has brightness control for safe driving at night.
- Quite heavy at 5.2lb.
- iOS supporters may not enjoy the Windows interface.
- Q: Can you easily connect a subwoofer to the system?
- A: Yes, there’s a subwoofer out a connection to increase your bass output turning it into a high-quality car stereo with GPS
- Q: What are the screen’s specs?
- A: This is an 800×480 resolution screen with a 16:9 display mode to optimize your viewing pleasure.
- Q: Won’t the camera get damaged when it rains?
- A: The single provided rear camera is waterproof so moisture is not a problem, though heavy rain can affect visibility.
- Q: Can you use your iPod with the interface being Windows driven?
- A: Yes you can use your Apple devices. Simply connect via the USB input. (No iPod cable required). This connection will work for audio and videos you have on your Apple devices.
The Pioneer AVIC8000NEX is an aftermarket GPS system. This option has a built-in Bluetooth which can be used to make and receive phone calls. This can be achieved without taking hands off the steering wheel. In a similar way, music can also be played without taking hands off the steering wheel. There is a dedicated backup camera input which is used universally in the rear view cameras with RCA composite input. This is mounted on the steering wheel and it is ready to be operated with a remote. This is one of the recommended LCD touch screens in-dash navigation systems for cars.
- Hands-free calling and music playing.
- Dedicated backup camera input.
- Excellent Car-play support.
- Doesn’t work accurately with Android, despite using adapters.
- Can’t input destination with audio; you need to type.
- Bluetooth doesn’t work if a device is connected to the USB input.
- A screen is very bright and can even bother in daylight.
- Q: How do Apple products such as the iPhone 5 work with this device?
- A: You need a USB to lightning cable for connection
- Q: How does this navigation software compare to other similar products such as Garmin?
- A: One thing that impresses is the many features. However, there are limitations as entering an address is more cumbersome than on a Garmin unit. You also can’t view a video while it navigates. If you’re trying to entertain a child while driving this is unfortunate. Otherwise it’s clear and accurate. Note that it will tell you when you’re speeding.
- Q: How do you zoom in with this device?
- A: Zoom doesn’t work when you tap on the screen as some devices do. You need to place two fingers on the screen and pull them apart, which is similar to many touchscreen Smartphones’ functionality.
Kenwood DNX-691HD DVD Receiver with Built-In Bluetooth
The Kenwood DNX-691HD is a double-din GPS navigation receiver. The DNX-691HD is a 6.1-inch WVGA navigation receiver which also plays DVD’s. The built-in Bluetooth automatically does the BT pairing for the iPhone. The system also has a built-in HD radio which is of a very good quality. At the rear of the system, there is a provision for connecting the USBs for devices like iPhone, iPad and also Android devices like the tablets and smartphones. The Kenwood DNX-691HD supports Pandora App Ready for iPhone. There are two separate volume controls provided, one for the music being played and the other for the GPS navigation. The installation parts are vehicle specific and these are not included.
- Separate volume controls for music and navigation.
- Bluetooth enabled.
- Supports most operating systems so any Smartphone can be plugged in.
- HD Radio features.
- Large buttons make for easy usage.
- Can customize layout such as sources.
- Good touchscreen.
- Installation parts aren’t included because they’re vehicle specific. Source them on aftermarket sites.
- In some units, the GPS mutes the radio and doesn’t activate it again when done ‘talking’ to a driver.
- Traffic feature only available on paid packages such as Garmin.
- Track info text is minimal and small; the album art is optimized which isn’t very functional.
- Q: Can this touchscreen radio with navigation unit play files from directories on a USB device?
- A: The software on this model is quite impressive. Where other units mix all songs found on a USB flash drive, this one can reach up to eight directory levels. There are limits to how many songs should be in each folder (+/- 250) and how many in total on each device (65 000). But within these parameters, most of your favorite music can be saved on a drive and enjoyed in your car.
- Q: Can you connect via HDMI?
- A: Yes this Kenwood unit has the HDMI feature.
It’s such a calming thought thinking that technology can get you safely where you want to go. But don’t pick the first item you see. If your in-dash navigation stereos system doesn’t align with your requirements, it will be more cumbersome than helpful and of course, you want real value for the money you spend.
So let me help you find out exactly what you’re looking for in top-rated in-dash navigation systems.
Display & Interface
Here it’s firstly about size. You’ll need the screen to guide you so you don’t want to squint in order to focus on the details. You want clear:
- Navigation images.
- Song information when you’re listening to music.
- Menus and settings.
You want it big enough because the irritation of not being able to see what’s on the screen could affect your driving. On average a 6-inch screen is comfortable to use for most drivers.
You also need a user-friendly interface because you can’t take the chance of feeling frustrated or confused while you’re behind the wheel.
Here you have many options and you must pick what works for you. Many of these high rated models mentioned in the review provide the manufacturer’s—or a third party’s—navigation maps. The problem here is that you’ll need regular updates to ensure your navigation system can still guide you accurately.
Sometimes brands don’t put effort into keeping maps up to date, or they charge you for each update. This may feel like an unnecessary expense since other apps provide it for free.
This brings us to the second option of navigation. You can access Google maps on some navigation systems. This gives you daily updated maps to work from. But here you need access to the internet. This is possible through a dongle or USB dongle that provides access to the network.
You need to decide which option is the most effortless and practical. If you’re already a supporter of Google Maps or Waze and the satellites they use, why change now? Make sure your navigation system can handle it.
You probably don’t see your navigation system as a practical gadget only. Usually, consumers want it for entertainment too to access music, videos, and apps.
From these reviews, you can see each unit focuses on a different aspect of multimedia. You need to determine which mediums you’ll use most. Now pick a navigation system that has this already enable. This can include:
- FM radio
- HD videos
- Android or iOS apps
- SD Cards
- Streaming via USB or Bluetooth
Make sure the apps and features you love are already supported so you don’t have to waste time calling a technician or looking for parts at aftermarket vendors. If you’re into music, also enquire about subwoofer outputs so you can boost your audio experience.
Ease of Use
You’ll often be driving while you use this interface. You don’t want to become a hazard on the road because you’re struggling to change the navigation system’s settings. Firstly detailed instructions are excellent starting points. At least you’ll know the unit is installed correctly.
Then you want the dashboard of the nav system and all the buttons to be laid out in a manner that’s user-friendly. One example is the large volume knob many manufacturers add to the design. They know this switch is used most often by consumers, so they make it easily accessible.
The menu must also be intuitive with the most important items listed first. You don’t want to scroll for a long time if you simply need to change the input, right?
Of course, manufacturers will push the limits so anything you could dream of—tech-wise—could end up in a navigation system. One example is how these units are optimized for a certain operating system. This is ideal for people who prefer a certain brand. Phone mirroring then makes it easy to control the nav system.
Ideally, you should never adjust anything on the nav system while driving. But what if the music is too loud? Because you see the familiar phone layout on the nav screen, if you do need to change something there is less chance that you’ll get distracted, because it’s all familiar.
A favorite add-on is the cameras that provide a front and backup view. When you reverse you’ll know exactly what you’re backing into. Since some of the units reviewed here are optimized for this, you can simply get cameras from aftermarket vendors.
These units are so popular that with many Nav systems you’ll get a camera for free. You can also record some of the footage which is an excellent safety feature.
We also love that manufacturers cater for many audiences. Many units are sold with multiple language options installed. Of course, you’ll feel more comfortable—which translates into better driving—when you hear a familiar language. It’s worthwhile looking for these features because they’re not only there for luxury’s sake. They make for better driving.