General Mekede M500s Review

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DexterMorganNL

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Dec 1, 2010
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First impressions

The shipment from Poland was just two days, that was something I was very happy with. It came in a unbranded box, and with a little manual.

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Which I found very useful, even there is a lot of information in the general FYT UIS 7862 based headunits topic. I just like the idea of being able to read an manual, and for that reason it's currently inside my car.


The headunit before installing it in the car

Basically all 9 inch head-units look similar, and are having a universal form factor. That way I could atleast use the frame, from the EKIY D7: which I had only 3 weeks in my car, and I'm still trying to sell it. But atleast I got a partly refund from AliExpress, because of the fake Android version.

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In a way these head-units are just like tablets, so no wonder it looks like one as well. However this one has no silly blue colour at the edges, something the EKIY D7 had and during the hot weather it already had some discoloration.

IMG_20220825_134121.jpg


Then we have the back of the device: on the left are all the antennas. FM/AM, 5G WiFi, GPS and the 4G which I didn't install. Because it would require a SIM card, and already paying for mobile data on my phone. So instead I will create a WiFi hotspot, whenever I wanna use the internet.

On the top above the fan, you on the left the connection for the reverse camera video signal. Next to their are the ports for the USB dongles: there are three, I hooked one up straight to the cars original USB port.

Because I had the converter cable for that with the EKIY D7, and actually I have it connected as well to the headunit. But it seems not to be working, with my USB-C cable, and also the USB cable from the Viofo A119 dashcam didn't work.

So I'm guessing perhaps the USB port might only work, when setting the USB protocol to 1.1 instead of the current setting of 2.0 USB protocol. However I haven't tried that yet, as it would render the other USB dongles quite useless.

Because when I tried to change the USB protocol to 1.1 in the settings, it warned me that it would be limited to use for media only, just like how it was on the OEM Carradio. This USB port had been quite useless, so I never used it. I tried to connect my dashcam on it while the original car radio was still in the car. But that port didn't even provide enough power, to provide the dashcam for enough juice to run good. Since then I just have it plugged into a 12v adapter, with two USB ports that provide plenty of juice.

Back to the connector's above, the biggest one is for the fan and simcard dongle. I didn't find this particular useful, as it's a bunch of cable's I'm not using. It also contains the AUX and RCA audio connections, which I'm also not using....

So I had to bundle all these cables up with several cable ties, which was kinda a pain in the ass. As I had to do it in the car: I found it way easier, with the previous headunit. Which I only had to plugin the FM cable, GPS, Power cable and USB cables. Which I only could use one, because also on the unit the original USB port didn't work.

Below these connections, you have the Coaxial and Fiber optic connection option. However they are to no use for me, I didn't make any adjustments to the sound installation in my car. So everything goes through the harness. Which is the 16 pin connector on the right, the exact same that came with my previous unit. So I didn't need to bother to order it :D

User experience inside the car

I had the luck, that I had to drive about 300km's towards Frankfurt: the place where they mess up with our currency, and make it worth lesser than a dollar :(

But that gave me the chance to test the unit, especially the usage of Android Auto. Yes I know, why use Android Auto when you have a full functioning Android headunit? Well I will be getting to that in a bit.

IMG_20220826_165240.jpg


So here we have the homescreen: I thought the car launcher looks pretty cool, because in the upper right corner you have your Google Maps. It works exactly like tablet mode of Google Maps, so it's fully functional and you could just use it like that.

Below there on the right, is a music player widget: very nice if you get your MP3's illegally from the internet, and load them on the headunit. There is 64GB of storage, so it would be doable to store music locally.

However I stopped downloading illegal MP3 files, because ever since I have a mobile internet data subscription. I started to use Spotify, since a time we even have shared premium account together with my wife. So that music widget is useless, as it seems nit to be configurable with Spotify.

The clock in the left upper corner is actually fine, it shows the time and date: what more does a person want? And on the left down corners, you can configure four favourite apps. It's very easy to change, just hold the button and can select any app you want.

(Wireless) Android Auto

Using the Car Link app, it's very easy to connect to Android Auto. To my surprise it even works wireless, however your phone needs to support it as well. This is basically where the 5G WiFi proofs it benefits, because Android Auto uses 5G WiFi in order to have wireless Android Auto work.

IMG_20220903_124509.jpg


The downside of this though is, that WiFi in your headunit will be switched off: as it's being used by Android Auto. And after using Android Auto, it won't be turned back on automatically. So if you wanna use the WiFi for apps installed on the headunit, than you have to switch it back on by yourself after using Android Auto wireless.

Issues with wireless Android Auto

Another downside of wireless Android Auto is, that it might crash every once in a while: because even though the 5G WiFi frequency is used lesser, than the 2.4G frequency. Still there might be interference every once in a while.

For example: crossing the Dutch border to Germany, and the other way around. Both times Android Auto crashed, most likely because the mobile network get changed on that moment. The only way to reconnect in that case, is by closing Car Link and starting it again. Than the headunit will connect to your phone again, without breaking the law and taking your phone in your hand.

3-9-2022

I have figured out, that the main cause of making Android Auto crash: is because the mobile network is changed. Because I went across the border again, while using Android Auto.

Just after I crossed the border, the connection was loss and the mobile network changed to roaming. Than I just press the back button, which closes Car Link and after that start it again.

I wonder, if this could be automated by MarcroDroid. So far this only seems to be an issue when crossing borders, and ofcourse when the mobile network is changed.

Made a decision: wireless or wired AA?

Also keep in mind, while wireless connection is way more convenient than everytime you step in the car having to plug in a USB connector. On long journeys you might wanna disable the wireless option in Android Auto settings on your phone, because it seems you can't connected wired if you don't disable the wireless option.

Yesterday I tried connecting Android Auto wired, and I think it doesn't work: because there will be a conflict, the phone tries to connect wirelessly. While Car Link might be trying, to establish a wired connection. My wife got pretty irritated, when after a few mins Android Auto still wasn't connected.

So in the end I just disconnected the USB, started Google Maps on the headunit and drove off. Later I just started Android Auto wireless, without even once touching my phone.

But I'm finding wireless connection more convenient anyway: even though it takes a little bit longer, to establish the connection. Obviously wired is faster, when establishing the connection. And it won't suffer from any interference, by other wireless connections in the air. The crash at the border didn't happen, while I used wired Android Auto with the previous headunit.

Android Auto vs Google Maps

The main reason I prefer Android Auto, over native Google Maps on the headunit: is the fact that Google Maps runs in a tablet mode, which is fine for that little widget displaying Google Maps. But everything is very small and I can't see the instructions very well, as they are displayed at the bottom in a little green bar.

It took me awhile to actually figure out, where the navigation directions where being showed. Before I thought perhaps I simply had to update Google Maps, but that wasn't the case. Also nowhere to change this in the settings sadly.

Because it still keeps running in this tablet mode, where everything is very small. So that's not convenient, while using it in the car and trying to read the directions as showed by Google Maps.

Android Auto has none of these issues, so that's why I'm preferring Android Auto over native Google Maps on the headunit. It actually also has a part, where you can control Spotify. So that's very convenient while driving. And that shows why so many drivers, prefer Android Auto over built-in navigation inside their car.

I'm still considering though, trying another navigation app instead of Google Maps. Perhaps Waze? Or HereWeGo, just that I don't like that changes that navigation app underwent after they updated it. For example the Dutch voice, is a text to speech voice....

Sound

Don't underestimate the importance of sound on a Android head-unit: I did with the EKIY D7, which doesn't have a built-in DSP and the sound was horrible. One more reason it was replaced so quickly, even though this makes me loss some money in the end....

IMG_20220827_073629.jpg


So obviously FYT or whoever has developed these interface, for controlling the sound on these UIS 7862 units. That's something they have put some effort in, unlike the FM Radio app which is very basic.

This is exactly the same as seen in T'eyes FYT UIS 7862 units, no difference here. It seems no matter which seller: all are having these highly configurable sound setting's. But I was actually already satisfied with the standard setting, so I didn't change it.

IMG_20220827_074003.jpg


There is also a volume balance settings, which again I didn't bother to make any adjustments. But it might be useful to do, if you feel like you can't hear the navigation directions very well. In the settings I also found a option, that the sound level will increase depending on your speed. This is something my built-in OEM Carradio had as well, so I have it enabled at low setting now.

Screen quality

Considering both the EKIY D7 and Mekede M500s are having 1280x720 IPS displays, I do find that the display inside the EKIY D7 is of lower quality. Which makes me think it's a full fit screen, as described in the image below.

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However I find playing videos on YouTube usually a good indicator, for showing the screen quality. As it's fast moving images in full 1080p resolution. So I played some of favourite music.


Don't try this while driving though, but it might be nice to be able to use YouTube or any video playback while parked. Ofcourse you would need an internet connection.

Bugs

How difficult is it to fix bugs? Well for many years, these head-units suffer from a bug which deletes your Google contact's. It happened on the EKIY D7 as well, so it's not something new.

I did however find a workaround: the issue occurs, because your contacts are being synchronised by Google. However the contact list on the headunit is empty, so this synchronises to your phone once connected by bluetooth.

Many users have suggested to turn of allow sharing of contacts settings in bluetooth, but that results in not having your contacts on the headunit. So instead you should go to User>Google Account> and put off the synchronization of contacts. That fixed it, and than the bluetooth simply transfers you contacts to the headunit without deleting it.

Just like how it worked on my OEM unit from Suzuki, but if you don't use Google for you contacts. Then this bug would most likely not effect you.

IMG_20220827_074414.jpg


Another bug I found, and also already read about on XDA: is the fact that once you change the UI, in this case UI29. After a reboot, or once you start the car again? It would change back to the standard UI.

So I went to UI settings again, and saw UI29 was still selected. I selected it again and saved it, but I'm guessing perhaps next time I get in to the car. The standard UI might be back. Which I don't mind to much, I'm finding the different home screens quite similar anyway.

Reverse camera

When I first checked if the reverse camera was working, I had a black and white image. So I though perhaps it was a feature of the Starlight Night Vision from my GreenYi AHD reverse camera. So I spend a half evening on Google, trying to figure out if black and white image was normal.

IMG_20220827_111431.jpg


In the end it turned out, the headunit settings for the reverse camera wasn't in AHD yet. However the reverse camera works fine, although I still have to put a Car Camera Filter between it. I ordered one from AliExpress, but shipping will take awhile. So until I get the filter, I will have to live with some interference inside the image.


Fake Android = 20% money back

So as I already reported: Mekede is selling these head-units with fake Android 11 on it, while this doesn't effect the unit in a single way. Because it's just a editable number in the build prop.

IMG_20220826_165300.jpg


But I saw it as an opportunity to get 20% of the purchase amount back: I paid $ 232,77 for this unit. And I got $ 50 dollars back from AliExpress, because of proofing it runs fake Android 11. So that makes the price for the Mekede M500s totally $ 182,77 totally.

I probably will even get back a little bit more that € 50 because, when I bought in dollars: the exchange rate was still one to one. Now it's like € 1 = $ 0,99 and AlliExpress, will pay you back in the currency you bought the item.

In order to get the dispute succesfully through: where you show the actions you follow, to proof the fake Android version. So install fake device test first, before staring the recording. And ofcourse describe how you proved it's fake. Just taking the picture won't be enough.

Also don't expect a full refund or 50% or whatever, AliExpress most likely don't give you a higher refund of 20% but feel free to round the number up.

But no matter if the device displays Android 13 and running Android 8.1 it going be the same, for AliExpress. Even though the impact is bigger, when a head-unit is running such an old Android version. In this case I have no problems with Android 10.

Verdict

For the time being, this is my verdict: keep in mind it's based on a short user time, but that's mostly the case. I might update the review, when there are new things that I find worth mentioning.

In my opinion it's clear why the FYT Based UIS 7862 is among the best choices, when picking a Android Head-unit. No matter if you mainly wanna run Android Auto or use it as a dedicated headunit, running navigation apps and music directly from it.

Because I was ignorance at first: mainly wanted to have Android Auto, I thought a cheaper headunit would do just fine. And well that was the case, but the sound was horrible. It was to slow for running any kind of modern app etc, and even not giving the full Android Auto experience.

So with this headunit, everything is really quickly running: no slowing down, other than waiting for wireless Android Auto to connect. You can run whatever apps you want and most likely it will work.

I only don't think these Android head-units are meant, for people without any technical knowledge. It isn't plug and play at all, because there are some settings to be taken care of. Some bugs which might annoy you and wanna smash the headunit, all of this makes Android headunits not suitable for the non-technical people among us.

And if you are very reliable of using your phone for making phone calls: run away while still possible, because ofcourse when the calling is already working. The microphones in these units are very basic, having no noise cancellation.
 
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DexterMorganNL

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Dec 1, 2010
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Tweaks and fixing problem's

In this post, I will describe the tweaks or methods, I used to fix annoying issues with this unit. Which shouldn't exist in the first place, but well you get what you pay for :D

( You pay for the hardware and headunit software, but don't expect support or these Chinese companies to fix these issues. Some exist for years.... )

Fixing Messed-up Google Maps...

One issue I described in my review, was the messed-up Google Maps. It seems this is caused by the Frontapp, that widget kinda thingy on the right upper corner that displays permanently Google Maps.

In order to fix that, you basically have to use an launcher which doesn't contain this Google Maps Frontapp. Or because the launcher will also go back to the default one.... even though you change it in factory settings.


Or use FrontApp for Teyes, which enables you to change this FrontApp to any app you like. For example Spotify: just keep in mind, this way you can't close it.

Credits @surfer63

Make use of the 5G WiFi

Fellow Dutch @TweakNL made me aware, that you can configure your mobile WiFi hotspot to be using the 5Ghz frequency. One reason to do so, is to avoid interference by bluetooth which uses the same frequency band as WiFi 2.4Ghz does.

It makes the WiFi more stable, hence no need to worry about a unstable WiFi connection. Actually the 5G is also the reason, Android Auto works wireless on these units.

Car launcher that keeps changing back, do the default launcher after picking another launcher from factory settings.

I found this issue very annoying: you can select 5 different launchers, from Car Settings. But it would everytime change by to the default one, kinda forcing you to stick with it. At 4PDA however I found the solution:

Q: Launchers (themes) spontaneously switch to others after sleep / reboot / other actions
A: Settings - Device - Applications. Disable the Digital Wellbeing App

Splitscreen

It might not come directly in mind: but using Splitscreen can actually be very useful, and isn't difficult to use at all. I tried it with the FM-Radio app and Google Maps, and I could control both apps without needing to switch between them.
 
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surfer63

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Nice review. (Apart from the fact that I do not understand that you buy an expensive unit to run AA ;))

Below there on the right, is a music player widget: very nice if you get your MP3's illegally from the internet, and load them on the headunit. There is 64GB of storage, so it would be doable to store music locally.
MP3's on your unit don't have to be illegal. I have a large CD-collection which I completely ripped to flac for my home installation and to mp3 (preset V0) for my car. You have the legal right to make a backup/copy for yourself, at least in the Netherlands! I have over 2500 songs on my unit (6000 at home as I don't play classic music in the car), where maybe 80~100 are indeed illegal as they are popsongs I like, but I don't like the entire CD (at all).

(Wireless) Android Auto

Using the Car Link app, it's very easy to connect to Android Auto. To my surprise it even works wireless, however your phone needs to support it as well. This is basically where the 5G WiFi proofs it benefits, because Android Auto uses 5G WiFi in order to have wireless Android Auto work.

The downside of this though is, that WiFi in your headunit will be switched off: as it's being used by Android Auto. And after using Android Auto, it won't be turned back on automatically. So if you wanna use the WiFi for apps installed on the headunit, than you have to switch it back on by yourself after using Android Auto wireless.
You could install something like tasker, macro-droid., Llama or Easer to check for the connection. If AA or CarLink is no longer running, you could start WiFi again.

Because it still keeps running in this tablet mode, where everything is very small. So that's not convenient, while using it in the car and trying to read the directions as showed by Google Maps.

Android Auto has none of these issues, so that's why I'm preferring Android Auto over native Google Maps on the headunit. It actually also has a part, where you can control Spotify. So that's very convenient while driving.

I am not sure whether your statement is entirely correct. When you use Google Maps in the launcher it runs as some kind of widget. Joying shows in their youtube videos showing AA that they run Google Maps in full screen which makes it much bigger.
On my previous PX5 and sc9853i and current uis7862 I always run my unit on my phone hotspot also giving me full-screen or split-screen Google Maps, with or without Spotify (not anymore, tried that shortly), radio or music player.
 

DexterMorganNL

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Dec 1, 2010
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Nice review. (Apart from the fact that I do not understand that you buy an expensive unit to run AA ;))
I explained that just now, at the end of the verdict for now. It took me awhile to finishing the writing, and I haven't even been able to take a all the pictures I want. As my wife gets annoyed, when I'm frequently going to my car hihi.

MP3's on your unit don't have to be illegal. I have a large CD-collection which I completely ripped to flac for my home installation and to mp3 (preset V0) for my car. You have the legal right to make a backup/copy for yourself, at least in the Netherlands! I have over 2500 songs on my unit (6000 at home as I don't play classic music in the car), where maybe 80~100 are indeed illegal as they are popsongs I like, but I don't like the entire CD (at all).
Ofcourse I'm aware of that, but I don't know many Dutch people from my generation who didn't download illegal MP3's and for a long time you actually could just do it. They only went behind the big fishs.

I however used to download K-pop, as I could impossible import the CD's from South Korea. So I used to burn these MP3's to CD, in order to play them in the car. Yes my old Carradio has a CD player, but I haven't used it years.

You could install something like tasker, macro-droid., Llama or Easer to check for the connection. If AA or CarLink is no longer running, you could start WiFi again.
Thanks, I really need to try this when I have time.


I am not sure whether your statement is entirely correct. When you use Google Maps in the launcher it runs as some kind of widget. Joying shows in their youtube videos showing AA that they run Google Maps in full screen which makes it much bigger.
On my previous PX5 and sc9853i and current uis7862 I always run my unit on my phone hotspot also giving me full-screen or split-screen Google Maps, with or without Spotify (not anymore, tried that shortly), radio or music player.
Well I didn't take a picture, else I could have simply showed it. And I tried to find an image on Google, with this what I think is the tablet interface.

But Google Maps looks the same in both the small widget, and full screen. Maybe I might try a launcher, without the Maps widget. Because I find these widget's, more of a gimmick.
 
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Tweak-NL

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I changed the default GUI to something else because of problems. When the unit starts it opens google maps on the home screen. When i try to open fullscreen the layout is messed up see the image.

When i take a other UI without google maps loaded in a small window problems are gone. Also see the other image. I masked the streetnames.. you can see on the messed up one the green bar and the missing of directions and current speed etc.
 

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DexterMorganNL

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I changed the default GUI to something else because of problems. When the unit starts it opens google maps on the home screen. When i try to open fullscreen the layout is messed up see the image.

When i take a other UI without google maps loaded in a small window problems are gone. Also see the other image. I masked the streetnames.. you can see on the messed up one the green bar and the missing of directions and current speed etc.
Well that's precisely what I was trying to describe: so in my case, it looks like messed-up one and I really kept thinking it was a tablet ui. But now it makes sense, Google Maps opens automatically in that widget.

I thought the widget could be quite useful, but this way it's messing more things up than doing good. Unless Google Maps isn't your choice, than it doesn't really matter.

But this made me prefer Android Auto, even though it takes a bit to start. Simply because the UI of Google Maps wasn't messed up this way. Because in a way it might be easier, to use Google Maps straight on the headunit instead of Android Auto.

How much I do love Android Auto, I must acknowledge that it has it downsides. Especially when setting up destination's, if you didn't search it recently. Than you need to give a voice command, and Google Assistant never seems to understand me....

Or it should be something straight forward as: DM ( drugstore in Germany) than most likely, it will bring me to the closest. But when my wife, wanted to go the Chinese restaurant. Ofcourse when I tried to pronounce the name, it wouldn't understand it.
 

Tweak-NL

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You could change the widget to open youtube, very usefull if you want to see the settings of youtube on your home screen :') :')
 

DexterMorganNL

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You could change the widget to open youtube, very usefull if you want to see the settings of youtube on your home screen :') :')
Oh really? How to do that? Because I just saw, some people display Waze inside this widget instead. I have also been wondering, if I could play Spotify with that music control widget.

S520fc26b1a53426cb64965df4ddb9cc0U.jpg


The idea of having a little map in the widget, is nice: but not if it messes up Google Maps. So instead I might use another navigation app, like Waze?
 

Tweak-NL

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Aug 1, 2022
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It was sarcastic why the hell you want youtube settings on your home screen haha. Maybe Waze works okay but i dont want to use that.
 

DexterMorganNL

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No me neither, but if it displays in this widget then it's totally fine. Because then I could use Google Maps normally.

I just don't know yet, how to change it? Is it just changing the default navigation app? Or how does it work, because if you tap these widget's no settings popup.
 
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surfer63

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No me neither, but if it displays in this widget then it's totally fine. Because then I could use Google Maps normally.

I just don't know yet, how to change it? Is it just changing the default navigation app? Or how does it work, because if you tap these widget's no settings popup.
Actiually it is wrong to call this a widget. It is a special way that Google Maps can use to display itself, also like the "small" popup that can be displayed in the bottom-right if you have another app open.

User König (aka Boorondook) on 4pda wrote the app "Frontapp for Teyes" that you can use to display almost anything in that Google Maps area. It can also be downloaded from the Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ru.fytmods.frontapp (see Video)

He also wrote the "Widgetupdater for Teyes" but that one costs money, and that is for the widget (left side; the real widget ;))

Edit: Sorry. I had copied the incorrect link in the Video link
 
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DexterMorganNL

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Actiually it is wrong to call this a widget. It is a special way that Google Maps can use to display itself, also like the "small" popup that can be displayed in the bottom-right if you have another app open.

User König (aka Boorondook) on 4pda wrote the app "Frontapp for Teyes" that you can use to display almost anything in that Google Maps area. It can also be downloaded from the Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ru.fytmods.frontapp (see Video)

He also wrote the "Widgetupdater for Teyes" but that one costs money, and that is for the widget (left side; the real widget ;))

Edit: Sorry. I had copied the incorrect link in the Video link
Ah okay, I didnt know better than that these things where called widgets: this term I learned from KDE, a Linux user interface. But thank you for the app, than I can use it to display Spotify instead.
 

surfer63

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Ah okay, I didnt know better than that these things where called widgets: this term I learned from KDE, a Linux user interface. But thank you for the app, than I can use it to display Spotify instead.
I didn't say it correctly either. I corrected my post. It is actually a Launcher function enabling a display area where most apps can be "pushed into".
The launcher only allows for Google Maps (and Yandex Navigator IIRC). König (Booroondook) made an app that allows you to alter that configuration setting (it is nothing more than that, but very cleverly found by him) to make it possible to display almost any app there.
 
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DexterMorganNL

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I didn't say it correctly either. I corrected my post. It is actually a Launcher function enabling a display area where most apps can be "pushed into".
The launcher only allows for Google Maps (and Yandex Navigator IIRC). König (Booroondook) made an app that allows you to alter that configuration setting (it is nothing more than that, but very cleverly found by him) to make it possible to display almost any app there.
If this display area didnt mess up Google Maps, when using it full screen. Than actually I would have though its a nice feature, to have a map on the car launcher. Actually when ordering, I found that home screen looked kinda cool.

But in daily usage, I feel it's a bit of a gimmick. On Wednesday I'm going try these things out, mentioned in this topic. I'm taking a bit of break, of everytime sneaking out to the car for testing stuff.
 
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DexterMorganNL

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That was my opinion already when it came out first on the CC2. It is just eye candy. In practice it makes your launcher more rigid instead of more flexible.
Which launcher are you using currently then? I don't feel the need, to really change it: but at least I wanted that messed-up Google Maps gone.


But I though of trying Agama Car Launcher, only you need to pay for it. That would kinda stop me, even if I can try it for 30 days for free. Currently I'm just using UI 29 with the little speedometer.
 
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DexterMorganNL

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IMG_20220830_104814.jpg


Thanks to the "Frontapp for Teyes" I was able to replace, the Frontapp with Spotify. So that means Spotify is running in that space instead, and than Google Maps runs normally.

Just the Spotify controls somehow don't display in Google Maps? ( yes it is, in landscape format on my phone, it doesn't control the Spotify controls either ) Could it be because landscape format? So tomorrow when driving to Den Haag, than I will be able to test Google Maps straight from the headunit.

Hence not draining my phone's battery: Android Auto uses a lot of battery from the phone, as the process finds place on the phone. So it would drain your battery, and with wired Android Auto the phone would hardly charge.
 
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DexterMorganNL

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No offense, but Launchers are of such personal taste. I now use Nova Launcher but I have used CarWebGuru for quite some years (paid version). That doesn't mean I want to steer anyone to any launcher.
I know Nova Launcher though: used to use it with my Huawei phone, as I didn't like the stock Launcher so much. Highly customisable as far as I remember, and no limitations that these Chinese built-in launchers have.

For now I'm fine with these Chinese flashy launchers, even if they contain a lot of gimmicks. Anyway how to avoid that the headunit keeps changing to the default launcher? Without the need to flash something on a USB stick?

I have UI 29 now set, but when I switched the ACC on to install that app in order to fix the messed-up Google Maps. Than the standard UI was back, but after I changed Spotify to be in that front app. On that moment UI 29 was displaying again. I'm not sure if it's going stay like that.... if yes than its a nice by effect from this app.
 

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  • 2
    I finally solved the interference: it was the ground wire, it wasn't grounded properly. During my holiday in Hongkong i figured out the wiring diagram of the right rearlight unit, and it turned out there was only one ground wire.

    So I tapped the reverse camera ground wire inside there, put a tape to keep it on it place. And finally after trying many possible solutions, it worked. Didn't need the relay in the end.
  • 5
    First impressions

    The shipment from Poland was just two days, that was something I was very happy with. It came in a unbranded box, and with a little manual.

    IMG_20220825_134139.jpg IMG_20220825_130101.jpg

    Which I found very useful, even there is a lot of information in the general FYT UIS 7862 based headunits topic. I just like the idea of being able to read an manual, and for that reason it's currently inside my car.


    The headunit before installing it in the car

    Basically all 9 inch head-units look similar, and are having a universal form factor. That way I could atleast use the frame, from the EKIY D7: which I had only 3 weeks in my car, and I'm still trying to sell it. But atleast I got a partly refund from AliExpress, because of the fake Android version.

    IMG_20220825_130421.jpg


    In a way these head-units are just like tablets, so no wonder it looks like one as well. However this one has no silly blue colour at the edges, something the EKIY D7 had and during the hot weather it already had some discoloration.

    IMG_20220825_134121.jpg


    Then we have the back of the device: on the left are all the antennas. FM/AM, 5G WiFi, GPS and the 4G which I didn't install. Because it would require a SIM card, and already paying for mobile data on my phone. So instead I will create a WiFi hotspot, whenever I wanna use the internet.

    On the top above the fan, you on the left the connection for the reverse camera video signal. Next to their are the ports for the USB dongles: there are three, I hooked one up straight to the cars original USB port.

    Because I had the converter cable for that with the EKIY D7, and actually I have it connected as well to the headunit. But it seems not to be working, with my USB-C cable, and also the USB cable from the Viofo A119 dashcam didn't work.

    So I'm guessing perhaps the USB port might only work, when setting the USB protocol to 1.1 instead of the current setting of 2.0 USB protocol. However I haven't tried that yet, as it would render the other USB dongles quite useless.

    Because when I tried to change the USB protocol to 1.1 in the settings, it warned me that it would be limited to use for media only, just like how it was on the OEM Carradio. This USB port had been quite useless, so I never used it. I tried to connect my dashcam on it while the original car radio was still in the car. But that port didn't even provide enough power, to provide the dashcam for enough juice to run good. Since then I just have it plugged into a 12v adapter, with two USB ports that provide plenty of juice.

    Back to the connector's above, the biggest one is for the fan and simcard dongle. I didn't find this particular useful, as it's a bunch of cable's I'm not using. It also contains the AUX and RCA audio connections, which I'm also not using....

    So I had to bundle all these cables up with several cable ties, which was kinda a pain in the ass. As I had to do it in the car: I found it way easier, with the previous headunit. Which I only had to plugin the FM cable, GPS, Power cable and USB cables. Which I only could use one, because also on the unit the original USB port didn't work.

    Below these connections, you have the Coaxial and Fiber optic connection option. However they are to no use for me, I didn't make any adjustments to the sound installation in my car. So everything goes through the harness. Which is the 16 pin connector on the right, the exact same that came with my previous unit. So I didn't need to bother to order it :D

    User experience inside the car

    I had the luck, that I had to drive about 300km's towards Frankfurt: the place where they mess up with our currency, and make it worth lesser than a dollar :(

    But that gave me the chance to test the unit, especially the usage of Android Auto. Yes I know, why use Android Auto when you have a full functioning Android headunit? Well I will be getting to that in a bit.

    IMG_20220826_165240.jpg


    So here we have the homescreen: I thought the car launcher looks pretty cool, because in the upper right corner you have your Google Maps. It works exactly like tablet mode of Google Maps, so it's fully functional and you could just use it like that.

    Below there on the right, is a music player widget: very nice if you get your MP3's illegally from the internet, and load them on the headunit. There is 64GB of storage, so it would be doable to store music locally.

    However I stopped downloading illegal MP3 files, because ever since I have a mobile internet data subscription. I started to use Spotify, since a time we even have shared premium account together with my wife. So that music widget is useless, as it seems nit to be configurable with Spotify.

    The clock in the left upper corner is actually fine, it shows the time and date: what more does a person want? And on the left down corners, you can configure four favourite apps. It's very easy to change, just hold the button and can select any app you want.

    (Wireless) Android Auto

    Using the Car Link app, it's very easy to connect to Android Auto. To my surprise it even works wireless, however your phone needs to support it as well. This is basically where the 5G WiFi proofs it benefits, because Android Auto uses 5G WiFi in order to have wireless Android Auto work.

    IMG_20220903_124509.jpg


    The downside of this though is, that WiFi in your headunit will be switched off: as it's being used by Android Auto. And after using Android Auto, it won't be turned back on automatically. So if you wanna use the WiFi for apps installed on the headunit, than you have to switch it back on by yourself after using Android Auto wireless.

    Issues with wireless Android Auto

    Another downside of wireless Android Auto is, that it might crash every once in a while: because even though the 5G WiFi frequency is used lesser, than the 2.4G frequency. Still there might be interference every once in a while.

    For example: crossing the Dutch border to Germany, and the other way around. Both times Android Auto crashed, most likely because the mobile network get changed on that moment. The only way to reconnect in that case, is by closing Car Link and starting it again. Than the headunit will connect to your phone again, without breaking the law and taking your phone in your hand.

    3-9-2022

    I have figured out, that the main cause of making Android Auto crash: is because the mobile network is changed. Because I went across the border again, while using Android Auto.

    Just after I crossed the border, the connection was loss and the mobile network changed to roaming. Than I just press the back button, which closes Car Link and after that start it again.

    I wonder, if this could be automated by MarcroDroid. So far this only seems to be an issue when crossing borders, and ofcourse when the mobile network is changed.

    Made a decision: wireless or wired AA?

    Also keep in mind, while wireless connection is way more convenient than everytime you step in the car having to plug in a USB connector. On long journeys you might wanna disable the wireless option in Android Auto settings on your phone, because it seems you can't connected wired if you don't disable the wireless option.

    Yesterday I tried connecting Android Auto wired, and I think it doesn't work: because there will be a conflict, the phone tries to connect wirelessly. While Car Link might be trying, to establish a wired connection. My wife got pretty irritated, when after a few mins Android Auto still wasn't connected.

    So in the end I just disconnected the USB, started Google Maps on the headunit and drove off. Later I just started Android Auto wireless, without even once touching my phone.

    But I'm finding wireless connection more convenient anyway: even though it takes a little bit longer, to establish the connection. Obviously wired is faster, when establishing the connection. And it won't suffer from any interference, by other wireless connections in the air. The crash at the border didn't happen, while I used wired Android Auto with the previous headunit.

    Android Auto vs Google Maps

    The main reason I prefer Android Auto, over native Google Maps on the headunit: is the fact that Google Maps runs in a tablet mode, which is fine for that little widget displaying Google Maps. But everything is very small and I can't see the instructions very well, as they are displayed at the bottom in a little green bar.

    It took me awhile to actually figure out, where the navigation directions where being showed. Before I thought perhaps I simply had to update Google Maps, but that wasn't the case. Also nowhere to change this in the settings sadly.

    Because it still keeps running in this tablet mode, where everything is very small. So that's not convenient, while using it in the car and trying to read the directions as showed by Google Maps.

    Android Auto has none of these issues, so that's why I'm preferring Android Auto over native Google Maps on the headunit. It actually also has a part, where you can control Spotify. So that's very convenient while driving. And that shows why so many drivers, prefer Android Auto over built-in navigation inside their car.

    I'm still considering though, trying another navigation app instead of Google Maps. Perhaps Waze? Or HereWeGo, just that I don't like that changes that navigation app underwent after they updated it. For example the Dutch voice, is a text to speech voice....

    Sound

    Don't underestimate the importance of sound on a Android head-unit: I did with the EKIY D7, which doesn't have a built-in DSP and the sound was horrible. One more reason it was replaced so quickly, even though this makes me loss some money in the end....

    IMG_20220827_073629.jpg


    So obviously FYT or whoever has developed these interface, for controlling the sound on these UIS 7862 units. That's something they have put some effort in, unlike the FM Radio app which is very basic.

    This is exactly the same as seen in T'eyes FYT UIS 7862 units, no difference here. It seems no matter which seller: all are having these highly configurable sound setting's. But I was actually already satisfied with the standard setting, so I didn't change it.

    IMG_20220827_074003.jpg


    There is also a volume balance settings, which again I didn't bother to make any adjustments. But it might be useful to do, if you feel like you can't hear the navigation directions very well. In the settings I also found a option, that the sound level will increase depending on your speed. This is something my built-in OEM Carradio had as well, so I have it enabled at low setting now.

    Screen quality

    Considering both the EKIY D7 and Mekede M500s are having 1280x720 IPS displays, I do find that the display inside the EKIY D7 is of lower quality. Which makes me think it's a full fit screen, as described in the image below.

    Uc09a415277ea4054b3160e5901f9b4e9T.jpg_640x640q90.jpg


    However I find playing videos on YouTube usually a good indicator, for showing the screen quality. As it's fast moving images in full 1080p resolution. So I played some of favourite music.


    Don't try this while driving though, but it might be nice to be able to use YouTube or any video playback while parked. Ofcourse you would need an internet connection.

    Bugs

    How difficult is it to fix bugs? Well for many years, these head-units suffer from a bug which deletes your Google contact's. It happened on the EKIY D7 as well, so it's not something new.

    I did however find a workaround: the issue occurs, because your contacts are being synchronised by Google. However the contact list on the headunit is empty, so this synchronises to your phone once connected by bluetooth.

    Many users have suggested to turn of allow sharing of contacts settings in bluetooth, but that results in not having your contacts on the headunit. So instead you should go to User>Google Account> and put off the synchronization of contacts. That fixed it, and than the bluetooth simply transfers you contacts to the headunit without deleting it.

    Just like how it worked on my OEM unit from Suzuki, but if you don't use Google for you contacts. Then this bug would most likely not effect you.

    IMG_20220827_074414.jpg


    Another bug I found, and also already read about on XDA: is the fact that once you change the UI, in this case UI29. After a reboot, or once you start the car again? It would change back to the standard UI.

    So I went to UI settings again, and saw UI29 was still selected. I selected it again and saved it, but I'm guessing perhaps next time I get in to the car. The standard UI might be back. Which I don't mind to much, I'm finding the different home screens quite similar anyway.

    Reverse camera

    When I first checked if the reverse camera was working, I had a black and white image. So I though perhaps it was a feature of the Starlight Night Vision from my GreenYi AHD reverse camera. So I spend a half evening on Google, trying to figure out if black and white image was normal.

    IMG_20220827_111431.jpg


    In the end it turned out, the headunit settings for the reverse camera wasn't in AHD yet. However the reverse camera works fine, although I still have to put a Car Camera Filter between it. I ordered one from AliExpress, but shipping will take awhile. So until I get the filter, I will have to live with some interference inside the image.


    Fake Android = 20% money back

    So as I already reported: Mekede is selling these head-units with fake Android 11 on it, while this doesn't effect the unit in a single way. Because it's just a editable number in the build prop.

    IMG_20220826_165300.jpg


    But I saw it as an opportunity to get 20% of the purchase amount back: I paid $ 232,77 for this unit. And I got $ 50 dollars back from AliExpress, because of proofing it runs fake Android 11. So that makes the price for the Mekede M500s totally $ 182,77 totally.

    I probably will even get back a little bit more that € 50 because, when I bought in dollars: the exchange rate was still one to one. Now it's like € 1 = $ 0,99 and AlliExpress, will pay you back in the currency you bought the item.

    In order to get the dispute succesfully through: where you show the actions you follow, to proof the fake Android version. So install fake device test first, before staring the recording. And ofcourse describe how you proved it's fake. Just taking the picture won't be enough.

    Also don't expect a full refund or 50% or whatever, AliExpress most likely don't give you a higher refund of 20% but feel free to round the number up.

    But no matter if the device displays Android 13 and running Android 8.1 it going be the same, for AliExpress. Even though the impact is bigger, when a head-unit is running such an old Android version. In this case I have no problems with Android 10.

    Verdict

    For the time being, this is my verdict: keep in mind it's based on a short user time, but that's mostly the case. I might update the review, when there are new things that I find worth mentioning.

    In my opinion it's clear why the FYT Based UIS 7862 is among the best choices, when picking a Android Head-unit. No matter if you mainly wanna run Android Auto or use it as a dedicated headunit, running navigation apps and music directly from it.

    Because I was ignorance at first: mainly wanted to have Android Auto, I thought a cheaper headunit would do just fine. And well that was the case, but the sound was horrible. It was to slow for running any kind of modern app etc, and even not giving the full Android Auto experience.

    So with this headunit, everything is really quickly running: no slowing down, other than waiting for wireless Android Auto to connect. You can run whatever apps you want and most likely it will work.

    I only don't think these Android head-units are meant, for people without any technical knowledge. It isn't plug and play at all, because there are some settings to be taken care of. Some bugs which might annoy you and wanna smash the headunit, all of this makes Android headunits not suitable for the non-technical people among us.

    And if you are very reliable of using your phone for making phone calls: run away while still possible, because ofcourse when the calling is already working. The microphones in these units are very basic, having no noise cancellation.
    3
    I did a surprising discovery today, while driving to Den Haag: the display can not truly be turned off, instead it just dimmed completely when I closed the screen by drop-down button's.

    Furthermore, the FM-Radio App is really a downgrade compared to the original Carradio. It just has the basic features and it doesn't, search by it self for the other frequency ( of the same radio channel NPO 3FM in this case ) when you are out of reach.

    But atleast it works and I have no complaints about FM Radio signal, just a bit annoying I need to adjust the frequency manual. It gave a chance though to try split screen, with the FM radio app and Google Maps. That worked really well.
    Display: Every unit has nowadays on the top-left the On/Off button.
    on_off.jpg

    Tap it once: Mute sound / Re-enable sound.
    Hold it 3 seconds: The screen will completely switch off. Tap any button to switch it on again.

    The Chinese have no idea how RDS-AF works. It is not being used in China. "NPO 3FM" is on the same frequency throughout the entire country in China.
    What they implemented is that when you enable it, it simply searches for the strongest stations (frequencies) it can find. Not the strongest station for that specific radio station. Already since 2015 an issue and never solved. That is why so many people use DAB+ (including me using @realzoulou's excellent DAB-Z) which has proper "service following" (as RDS-AF is called on DAB), which allows you to listen to NPO 3FM from Delfzijl to Cadzand without touching your unit (well, maybe the volume in case of a very good song ;))

    Edit: a DAB+ unit on Aliexpress costs anywhere between 25 and 45 euros (Joying 60 euros. Don't buy). Mostly the DAB+ apk delivered with it sucks, but that doesn't matter as there is DAB-Z.

    Edit2: I moved my DAB+ dongle from my PX5 to my sc9853i and now to my uis7862. Simply replacing the self-adhesive window antenna once going from my previous car to my current car (8 euros as far as I can remember)
    2
    I finally solved the interference: it was the ground wire, it wasn't grounded properly. During my holiday in Hongkong i figured out the wiring diagram of the right rearlight unit, and it turned out there was only one ground wire.

    So I tapped the reverse camera ground wire inside there, put a tape to keep it on it place. And finally after trying many possible solutions, it worked. Didn't need the relay in the end.
    2
    Currently I'm trying Splitscreen with on the left Spotify, and on the right Google Maps.
    Like mentioned: I use Magic Earth and sometimes Google Maps. In splitscreen I only get Maps on the right side, not on the left side. With any other nav app I can put it left or right. I prefer left for better visibility, especially when the sun comes from the right or left and you get reflections.
    1
    Nice review. (Apart from the fact that I do not understand that you buy an expensive unit to run AA ;))
    I explained that just now, at the end of the verdict for now. It took me awhile to finishing the writing, and I haven't even been able to take a all the pictures I want. As my wife gets annoyed, when I'm frequently going to my car hihi.

    MP3's on your unit don't have to be illegal. I have a large CD-collection which I completely ripped to flac for my home installation and to mp3 (preset V0) for my car. You have the legal right to make a backup/copy for yourself, at least in the Netherlands! I have over 2500 songs on my unit (6000 at home as I don't play classic music in the car), where maybe 80~100 are indeed illegal as they are popsongs I like, but I don't like the entire CD (at all).
    Ofcourse I'm aware of that, but I don't know many Dutch people from my generation who didn't download illegal MP3's and for a long time you actually could just do it. They only went behind the big fishs.

    I however used to download K-pop, as I could impossible import the CD's from South Korea. So I used to burn these MP3's to CD, in order to play them in the car. Yes my old Carradio has a CD player, but I haven't used it years.

    You could install something like tasker, macro-droid., Llama or Easer to check for the connection. If AA or CarLink is no longer running, you could start WiFi again.
    Thanks, I really need to try this when I have time.


    I am not sure whether your statement is entirely correct. When you use Google Maps in the launcher it runs as some kind of widget. Joying shows in their youtube videos showing AA that they run Google Maps in full screen which makes it much bigger.
    On my previous PX5 and sc9853i and current uis7862 I always run my unit on my phone hotspot also giving me full-screen or split-screen Google Maps, with or without Spotify (not anymore, tried that shortly), radio or music player.
    Well I didn't take a picture, else I could have simply showed it. And I tried to find an image on Google, with this what I think is the tablet interface.

    But Google Maps looks the same in both the small widget, and full screen. Maybe I might try a launcher, without the Maps widget. Because I find these widget's, more of a gimmick.