My review of the unit, and its manufacturer:-
: a flawed device with unrealised potential, manufactured (sadly) by a company (ie Sion) which is canít be trusted and doesnít care/is unresponsive. Its very strange, they go to all the effort of manufacturing something, but put zero effort into supporting it. They donít understand that happy customers leads to more customers!
- If you can buy some other unit from a different manufacturer, do that instead!
- Consider carefully just using an ordinary Android tablet - tested by the Android Compatibility Program!
- If you really must have Sionís unit, buy it from a reseller, since they have more leverage with Sion than you.
- Get them to agree to pay one leg of the shipping for any warranty return.
- Pay via PayPal, and make sure the unit is operational before the refund period expires!
I returned a unit for warranty repair; Linkey Yan said theyíd fixed it, and would ship it back, but they never did. They may be bankrupt/broke? As things stand, Iím more than $600 out of pocket! So if I sound overly harsh, that's the context.
This review covers 2 things:
1. Sion customer service (in a word: terrible, you couldn't make it that bad if you tried)
2. the unit itself
Sion customer service
I ordered my unit in early Janaury. The ensuing tale of woe:
- 4 month delay in delivery (order 9 Jan; received mid June)
- missing Australian maps
- external microphone advertised but not fitted
- missing reverse camera; refund promised but never made
- incorrect wiring diagram
- supposed to fit 2001 Audi A6, but no RNS-D wiring harness or adapter
- unit stopped working on day 1
- 10 day delay between return request and Sion response (Alibaba complaint necessary)
- 26 Sept: unit reportedly fixed
- 8 Oct: they promised to ship ďthis weekĒ
- unit never returned to me; no further correspondence at all from SzSion (as at time of writing 19 Nov)
- net result: about $600 out of pocket
(With all their lies, how confident can one be that the unit is free of malware?)
After more than 10 months
since date of order, and out of ideas for how to contact Sion (I don't speak Chinese - can anyone here help?), I don't expect to ever get what I paid for
When the unit stopped working, I ordered a second unit, this time, via a reseller (Shenzhen HSXD). This review is of that unit.
Review of 2nd unit
Kernel 3.4.5 (22 Aug); MCU Cp_Lemon_1.13 May 21 2014
For my 2001 Audi Allroad, I needed an RNS-D to E adapter, which I sourced from another supplier. You can get a simple one, or one that converts the can bus signals. I used the latter, for all the good it did...
Fitting is extremely tight (with all the wiring which needs to be squeezed in). I donít ever want to have to remove it to make any changes at the rear!
The car info app doesnít display anything (speed, air conditioning settings). But the display does dim when the lights are turned on:- I donít know whether that comes from the canbus or not.
[Bluetooth phone] It pairs with my iPhone, and I can hear the other end of the call, but they canít hear me (the internal mic on the unit canít compete with road noise at highway speed). Worse, when the call is terminated, there is no sound from the unit anymore! (have to use the iphone to change the sound settings).
The unit came with a cable for connection C, labelled ďmic phoneĒ (different to the cable the first unit had), but the diagram on the unit says C is for can bus TX /RX, so Iím not sure whether it would support an external mic. (Certainly the first unit didnít, and its C cable was for can bus). Maybe this explains the lack of canbus info?
Anyway, given the tight fit / physical constraints, Iím not taking the unit out to try an external mic. I wonít use the unit for bluetooth. Iíll get a standalone bluetooth mic/speaker. Pity.
These donít work at all.
In full sunlight, you canít see the display
Works pretty well, but search button in Google Play store doesnít seem to work
Get message ďunfortunately the calendar has stoppedĒ. Not that I use it. Click OK and it goes away..
No need for 3G USB (havenít tested), since the unit has wifi built in. But its wifi antenna is weak/non-existent. The car needs to be really close to your wifi router to pick up the signal!
The GPS functionality is good, and vehicle speed seems accurate.
[Navigation - iGo]
I was supplied European maps, but need Australian ones. The PC-based iGo tool doesnít detect iGo maps on the Sion supplied micro SDHC card, and the iGo web site doesnít list Sion as a customer, so I suspect Sion have pirated iGoís stuff. Anyone know how to get new iGo maps?
[Navigation Ė Sygic]
The Sygic app I installed works well, except that sometimes after stopping (eg to get fuel), it says "Inaccurate signal for car navigation". This happens even though a GPS info app shows say 9 satellites. This is an app level problem though, rather than the device (there are a few threads you can find in Google with suggested workarounds). It hasn't happened since the trial period ran out, and turn by turn nav functionality was turned off. So I don't know whether it'll start happening again when I buy the premium features. I see there was a Nov update to Sygic, so maybe they've even fixed it!
The built in music play canít play FLAC files, so Iím using n7 player. After ignition stop/start, sometimes it resumes playing where you left off, but usually it doesnít (ie a 45 min track will start playing from the beginning again)
] As noted above the search button in Google Play store doesnít seem to work. I tried to install SpeedTest app (internet speed), but got a no space on device message. Weird, since there is space... Various apps are stated to be incompatible with the unit.
To my surprise, the device came with an embedded TV tuner, which works in Australia!
I installed a reverse camera, and used the wiring described in an earlier post (thanks!) to have it show automatically when reverse gear is selected. There is a loud static sound when you select or shift through reverse. Regrettable, but I can live with it.
Sometimes the unit freezes entirely.
There is a high pitched whining sound over my speakers, noticeable at low speeds, tied to the accelerator. A bit annoying, but I can live with it.
Googleís own car efforts focus on a UI which is suitable for use whilst driving. Iíd like to customise the unit so it is safer to use while driving. Fundamentally, to make it easier to switch between my nav app and my music app, and Iíd like a music app which is more car friendly (any suggestions?)
: For my purposes, good GPS; good music. Thatís all. Nothing that a standalone andoid tablet canít do better (eg a Nexus device wouldnít be stuck on Android 4.2), and without all the hassle of dealing with Sion.