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Umecity (VW): Allwinner T8, 2GB/32GB, 7.1.2, 9" 1024x600, Shallow 2din [2017/11]

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By Rottgrub, Senior Member on 13th November 2017, 07:21 AM
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You'd think I'd learn my lesson after the last ten head units I've purchased, but I saw the new Allwinner T8 headunits, and decided I wanted to give it a try. The new radio is currently on it's way from China, and I'll be updating this thread as I find out more information.

Update: Unit passed testing and has just shipped out. Should have it early next week if it doesn't get hung up in customs.
Update 2: Head unit arrived yesterday (11/28/2017), and I installed it today. Initial updates below.



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Umecity (Youmecity) Allwinner T8
OS: Android 7.1.2 (Nougat)
CPU: Allwinner T8, 8-core Cortex-A7 @ 1.6GHz, up to 1.8GHz
Memory: 2GB DDR3 RAM, 32GB EMMC, 2xUSB2, 1 MicroSD
Graphics: PowerVR SGX544MP1 GPU (OpenGL ES1.1/2.0 OpenCL1.1)
Display: 9", 1024x600 capacitive
Radio Tuner: 7786
Amplifier: TDA7851
Output Power: 4x50w
Dimensions: 220mm x 130mm x 27mm
Weight: 5kg

MCU Version: 5.3.19-145-13-A46101-171118
System Vers: V9.2.2_20171117.102842_JP1-FD
Linux Kernel: 3.10.65
Security Patch Level: 2017-07-05, 7.1.2 (Nougat)

MCU Version: T5.3.19-145-10-C06101-170318
System Vers: V9.2.2_20170915.144527_JP1


Passwords
Extra Settings: 123456
Developer and Reset: 7890



Identifying Firmwares
General Information
Example: 9.2.2_20171117.102842_JP1-FD
  • 9.2.2 - The hardware version, and android version. For instance, 9 is T8, and 9.2.2 is Nougat.
  • 20171117 - Release date of the firmware in YYYYMMDD format.
  • 102842 - Possibly the build time for the firmware. Uncertain.
  • JP1: The manufacturer ID.
  • FD: ???
....by Version
Per @bazanovv, "There are 3 different non-compatible versions of T3 hardware and software, Default one (sleep mode added later and not so good), New one (firmware is a development of R16 branch), and K2001 (usually very compact and cheaper). Allwinner T8 head units continue and develop the same firmware branch - V9.x.x on T8, V8.x.x on T3 New (V8.3.x with Android 7.1) and V7.x.x on R16. Most tips and tricks from T3 (new one) will work on T8."
  • R16 - 7.x.x
  • T3 - 8.x.x
  • T3 - 8.3.x - Android 7.1, Nougat
  • T8 - 9.1.1 - Android 6.0.1, Marshmallow
  • T8 - 9.2.2 - Android 7.1.2, Nougat
...by Manufacturer
From information gleaned mostly from various threads over on 4PDA, it is advised to not install firmwares from another manufacturer, unless it has already been patched to be universal. Issues such as red messages at the bottom of the screen, or unsupported hardware can result.
  • JP1 or JP1-FD: Umecity
  • TW2-FD: TopWay
  • KED3-5: Kaier




Allwinner T8 Documentation
http://www.allwinnertech.com/uploads...15151908f5.pdf

4PDA Discussion Thread (Russian)
https://4pda.ru/forum/index.php?showtopic=875407

My Initial Feelings:
This appears to be basically the same chassis as the Allwinner T3 units, but with a newer CPU and OS. Unfortunately, they cheaped out a little with the bezel on this one, which didn't include a MicroSD card slot like was on the previous model. This model has the same issue of accidentally clicking the capacitive bezel buttons that the T3 had.

The wiring is a bit of a mess. Some things were obviously just cheaped out on, like boost power for the antenna to the harness should come with connectors already installed. There is a brown/yellow wire pair coming from the CANBUS box that plugs into the back of the unit, rather than connecting via the main harness plug. Just as with the T3 model, the Volkswagen ISO1 harness has an ISO2 harness spliced into it. Having the extra connector leaves the system open to RF interference, and makes the wiring a mess.

After working with the unit for about an hour, and running the benchmarks, I started to notice some interference from the speakers. It wasn't affected by unit volume, and was present when muted. The noise sounded like either RF interference, or he noise you get when a capacitor is squealing. I did not notice the noise before the benchmarks, and need to see if this recurs on the next boot up. After extensive listening, the noise only seems to occur (for me) after the unit has been powered on for a while, and run hard. Benchmarking, initial setup and app download, etc. Once I reboot, I don't hear the noise anymore.

For scoring so blandly in the benchmarks, this unit is very responsive. I had no issues or slowdowns running multiple apps at the same time: Maps, Play Music, and Play Store downloading in the background, etc.


Some Items Worth Pointing Out:
  • Bluetooth is for phone use only: I've always been critical of Bluetooth audio quality, especially for music. It's interesting that they point out that Bluetooth only works with one sound channel, so music will not sound good. They suggest music over USB. I'm guessing with android auto, or their EasyConnect mirroring.

Tests and Results
  • Ease of install: Super easy to install, due to the extremely shallow depth of the device. Plenty of room for the wires behind the radio. Only annoyance was the combined ISO 1/2 adapter, which is just a mess.
  • Screen visibility: So far, so good. Less brightness, but better clarity than the Dasaita PX5 unit I have.
  • Deep Sleep: Well, no deep sleep support. Has a few shutdown times, maxing out at 30 minutes IIRC.
  • Boot time: So, the numbers quoted up top are pure fiction. Took ~40s from cold boot to launcher.
  • Backup cam start time: Excellent. Was able to use the backup camera immediately from power on.
  • Antutu Score: ~22500
  • 3DMark Score: Benchmark crashed.
  • Volume scaling: Again, default audio is too freaking loud with my OEM Fender amp. Anything past 4-5 (out of thirty) is way too loud. On the good side, seems the Amp Volume can be adjusted. When set at it's lowest level, the scaling seems to be spot on for my Fender system. Nice!
  • Rootable?: CPU-Z seems to indicate that it is already rooted, however SuperSU states that the su binary is occupied. Need to explore further.
  • Play Store apps: So far, so good. Only missing items in the store were things like Google Dialer, which would have been nice to have.
  • Android Auto: Not available in Play Store. Likely need to fake 720p screen.
  • Google Maps: Works great. No problems in my short test drive.
  • Waze: Works great. No problems that I saw.
  • Voice Search: Not installed by default. Install "Google" from Play Store. Unfortunately, internal Mic couldn't hear my voice in testing.
  • Bluetooth Call w/int mic: No tested yet.
  • Radio Signal: Strong signal, and easily locked to even faint stations.
  • Radio Audio Quality: Meh, it's analog OTA, so it sounds about as good as I would expect it to.
  • CPU Temp: According to Aida64, the CPU temperature idled around 50-60 Celsius, spiking to 74 during the benchmarks.
  • GPS Lock: GPS locked almost immediately.
  • What else should I test?


Pros:
  • Solid build, with shallow design.
  • Easy to install.
  • Google Maps works great, as does Waze.

Cons:
  • Very easy to accidentally click the capacitive bezel buttons. Can sometimes even detect a hover as a touch.
  • Internal Microphone only works with Bluetooth calling.
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16th November 2017, 09:56 PM |#2  
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keep us updated. I am looking to buy something similar myself but been confused between this and another one which has a rockchip 3188 and TDA7850. you think this one is better over the rockchip and TDA7850? both are by bonroad I think.
16th November 2017, 10:30 PM |#3  
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Assuming both have 2GB of memory, I honestly feel like it would be difficult for the average user to tell the difference between the PX3, PX5, T3, and (assuming similar performance) the T8. Well, outside of benchmarks, or games.

I'll be more interested in how it handles power management, and things like audio quality.

I'm impressed that it comes right out and says that Bluetooth music is crap. Saves me some testing.
26th November 2017, 12:37 PM |#4  
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If possible, please add CPU(SOC) temperature test with the hardware probe (or at least finger touch), because right now situation with CPU temperature is unclear, and software tools show only battery (?!) temperature. T3 was known to be quite hot and sometimes require a heatsink.

BTW, there are 3 different non-compatible versions of T3 hardware and software, Default one (sleep mode added later and not so good), New one (firmware is a development of R16 branch), and K2001 (usually very compact and cheaper). Allwinner T8 head units continue and develop the same firmware branch - V9.x.x on T8, V8.x.x on T3 New (V8.3.x with Android 7.1) and V7.x.x on R16. Most tips and tricks from T3 (new one) will work on T8.
27th November 2017, 07:11 AM |#5  
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Could you tell me how to root this Headunit? thanks
30th November 2017, 03:46 PM |#6  
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Updated the first post with my initial reactions to the head unit. I'll upload pictures to the thread later this evening. So far, it seems like a really nice unit, but with a few drawbacks.

Main complaints:
  • Electrical noise in speakers: Could be due to benchmark stresses. I will watch this and report back.
  • No deep sleep: Should be able to be fixed with software update.
  • Volume scaling: May be addressed via a control app, or software update.
  • Acidental "BACK" clicks: Back button is in a terrible place, and super sensitive. Need to map to long press.

Otherwise, it's a very nice head unit so far. More info as I have it.
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30th November 2017, 03:53 PM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bazanovv

If possible, please add CPU(SOC) temperature test with the hardware probe (or at least finger touch), because right now situation with CPU temperature is unclear, and software tools show only battery (?!) temperature. T3 was known to be quite hot and sometimes require a heatsink.

So, the unit seems to report temperature for the CPU, and the battery (makes no sense), which makes it a little easier. In my testing CPU was idling around 50C, and sitting between 65-75C during benchmarking, and stress testing. Now, to be fair, it's fairly cool here at the moment (50F/10C), so on a hot day, that could spike way up.
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30th November 2017, 06:42 PM |#8  
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I myself own one of these t8 units. Mines from pumpkin and at the start I originally thought it was a PX5.

It blows my old rk3188 out of the water when it comes to performance the only downside is the lack of android support
30th November 2017, 08:30 PM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bazanovv

If possible, please add CPU(SOC) temperature test with the hardware probe (or at least finger touch), because right now situation with CPU temperature is unclear, and software tools show only battery (?!) temperature. T3 was known to be quite hot and sometimes require a heatsink.

BTW, there are 3 different non-compatible versions of T3 hardware and software, Default one (sleep mode added later and not so good), New one (firmware is a development of R16 branch), and K2001 (usually very compact and cheaper). Allwinner T8 head units continue and develop the same firmware branch - V9.x.x on T8, V8.x.x on T3 New (V8.3.x with Android 7.1) and V7.x.x on R16. Most tips and tricks from T3 (new one) will work on T8.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal752

I myself own one of these t8 units. Mines from pumpkin and at the start I originally thought it was a PX5.

It blows my old rk3188 out of the water when it comes to performance the only downside is the lack of android support

What Android support is it missing? Do you mean as far as updates? Definitely not updated as often as the Dasaita PX5 systems, but that is actually kinda a blessing to be honest. I found that I would get the system where I wanted it, and it would be time to update, and I'd be back spending an hour in my car fussing with my radio. That said, previous models (R16, T3) have had a fair number of OS updates.

I'll honestly be happy if I can get this system to the point where I can "set it and forget it". So far it looks promising.

I fixed the volume scaling problem, and the fix persists through reboots. Not sure exactly which fix worked, so I'll need to reset it and isolate which tweak fixed things. I think my signal noise is from a power line sitting too close to a speaker wire somewhere in the harness. I'll pull the unit and redo the wiring this weekend, which should hopefully fix the noise issue.

Need to figure out how to remap the back button. The panel tool is fairly opaque. Any tips are appreciated!
30th November 2017, 08:53 PM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rottgrub

Need to figure out how to remap the back button.

Do manual from T3 version work? I can't check, if this manual actually works, because I don't have this HU.

Settings-Car settings-Extra settings-Touch area keys
In POSITION menu select place (LEFT, RIGHT, TOP, BOTTOM), where sensor buttons are located;
Continue setting like on this video.

Af far as I understand, at first click Clear in the bottom right corner, then click Set in bottom left corner. Select any free cell starting from top left, select key function, press sensor key - stored cell should change it's color. Continue, until all sensor keys set. Click Set in bottom left corner again. Check, if buttons working; if not - set them again. Use USB mouse (right mouse button = back) if something goes wrong.
30th November 2017, 09:40 PM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bazanovv

Do manual from T3 version work? I can't check, if this manual actually works, because I don't have this HU.

Settings-Car settings-Extra settings-Touch area keys
In POSITION menu select place (LEFT, RIGHT, TOP, BOTTOM), where sensor buttons are located;
Continue setting like on this video.

Af far as I understand, at first click Clear in the bottom right corner, then click Set in bottom left corner. Select any free cell starting from top left, select key function, press sensor key - stored cell should change it's color. Continue, until all sensor keys set. Click Set in bottom left corner again. Check, if buttons working; if not - set them again. Use USB mouse (right mouse button = back) if something goes wrong.

I actually read these, and watched the video before trying last time, but no luck. I think the new panel/button mapping tool may work a little differently (or maybe I just don't get it, which is possible). Start and Clear worked as expected, but when selecting a cell, I didn't get any popup windows asking for short/long press, and no list of actions. If I clicked the button I wanted to map, it would assign the button as expected, but only to the function that was already listed in the cell. I had no way of mapping a long press action that I could find. I'll keep playing with it, and report back if I have any more luck.
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