The unit I bought and pictures with comments.
I forgot to mention, there are no issues with porlarized sunglasses (vision impaired like I have, or regular). Usually LCD screens are polarized so if you have polarized glasses you only see the full display colors and brightness at a fixed angle 0 or 90 degrees (head straight or tilted to one side). This unit does not suffer from this issue like older phones did. (after posting I noticed I did mention this in my previous note )
I'm really happy with the unit:
- response time is as fast as you expect it to be (as in touch - do stuff vs. click - you got it, hold on it's comming, almost there, just keep spinning windows/macos stuff)
- display is bright/direct sunlight, polarized sunglasses not an issue
- you can disable most of the inputs that source (steerwheel button) cycles through, except of A/V in (which I think is the LaneWatch camera)
- switching between radio, music, Waze and other apps is instant
- Waze only crashed once during a 450km ride, in the same area it crashes on my phone as well ... really Google ?
In the end I guess it's all about personal prefference about the preinstalled software which you can replace with apps from play store (or other sources) to your liking, so I'm not gonna comment on that as most of the defaults are fine for me it's fine. There are however a vew caveats to consider:
- Since I don't use my google account and created a new one for the unit I don't have access to my contacts. Altho the unit syncs your contacts via bluetooth to the phone app, 'OK Google' cannot use that.
- The default phone app does not have any favourites options, so your best bet is to use the last recent calls. But that list is not synced with your phone, it's only the list from when your phone was connected with the car (tried MTCDTelephonyBridge, did not work).
- There are some volume issues which I could not figure out (yet ). Navigation volume is set on MIXIN and has a range from -10 to + 10. At first I had it on -5, it was very low, then I moved to +7, fine for a while until it became too loud, lowerd to +5 and it was very low, bumped it again to +7 and it was the same low. I wish they would do the 'smart' thing like the original HU and just output navigation to front left speaker (that's the only clever thing I noticed in the decade old default Honda unit)
- Only one screw can be used to fix the unit, the original ones don't fit as they have huge integrated washers. You don't really need to fix it as it won't go anywhere but still, worth mentioning. Also I wanted to insulate all the cables with the same kind of foam that you find around air conditioning pipes, so that the cables don't touch the back plate of the unit. After taking the dashboard off again, I realized there is a ton of space there so the cables will not touch the back of the unit holding the radiator, which anyway is just for the TDA amp, so there was no reason to. If you go for a 2din unit, extra space will be smaller but still plenty of room on the bottom part.
A few notes of my initial experience after installing the new unit:
1. First and most important for me, the 2 USB ports of the car have different connectors (mindblown). They look the same, but one of them has a different gap (or slit, not sure of the exact word) in one of the corners as you can see in this picture. The adapter provided only fits the gray connector. I'm not sure if the 2nd adapter that I ordered will fit the green one or not (maybe with some tunning it will fit). Now, it's not that important for everyone as you can still very easy pull the 2 other USB ports in the glove compartment (which I did), but now I have 2 unused slots: USB and HDMI.
2. For OCD types, the unit I got has a 9" screen (instead of 8" as described) so the frame that holds the part of the dashboard that you need to remove in order to install the HU stands on top of the screen covering the right part of the screen bezel and the 2nd mic instead of being around the screen (I hope that makes sense). The front pannel itself (bezels included) is a bit larger than the hole in the dashboard. This results in the actual screen being buried about 1cm below the dashboard line (about 5mm more than the original one). This interfeers a bit with the access to the 'hardware' buttons on the left side, but as a driver you don't need them as you can do all that from the steering wheel controlls. One side benefit could be that there is less sunlight hitting the screen. I will update with daytime pictures.
3. There are only 2 screws that can fix the new unit, but the original ones don't fit because of the embeded washers (which can not be removed from the screws ... why ????). The unit will not go anyware thanks to the fitting holes and the dashboard being linked with frame I mentioned before. I will still go look for some replacement screws, just in case.
4. Time for the good part. The difference between the original unit and this one ... day and night. Everithing is so fast and works as it's supposed to. Even the cold boot seems faster (20s or so) than the hot start of the original unit. I still have to test the ergonomics while driving and the long term stability of the whole system, but the first impressions are very positive. You would still have to configure a few things here and there to match you preferences or missing features (like proportion between navigation and music and sound level for different sources - like music and bluetooth, missing lane watch camera - which defaults to on and when you signal right unit will show a warning because of missing camera signal, direction lines when using the reverse camera - which are off by default etc.). There are a ton of options to configure. Plus you get some extra stuff like status of open doors, status of parking sensors, AC feedback (it also has an app for control but does not seem to do anything, I will dig deeper at some point but I don't find it that usefull, still cool tho), automatic door locking when you pass a set speed limit (I have not tested this yet), and probably some others which I am eager to discover.
I will update this post to share my experience with the new unit.