Kenwood said it will ship by the end of this week the industry’s first Android Auto Wireless decks including two models with High Definition screens.
With Android Auto Wireless, there’s no need to plug in a cable to your smartphone. But initially, the feature will only work with certain Pixel and Nexus phones. And these require a new update to the Oreo operating system, which is due for release shortly, said Kenwood’s Seth Halstead, on the floor of the MRI Mobile Expo in Sturbridge, MA Wednesday.
Phones that will accommodate Android Auto Wireless (upon the next Android update) include the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. Other phones are expected to work with the feature in the future.
Five new Kenwood and Excelon decks offer Android Auto Wireless including the Excelon DNX-995S and DDX-9905S with Hi-Def screens that display 2.7 million pixels instead of the typical 1.5 million. The 6.8 inch screens also have a luminance rating of 600 compared to the typical 400 and they show 16.7 million colors versus the usual 262,000 colors.
The screens also don’t wash out when viewed from side angles and they have new anti-glare technology so they remain visible in the sun.
All five models also support wired CarPlay and wired Android Auto and work with Kenwood’s new WebLink app that puts Waze, YouTube, Yelp and NextRadio on the car radio screen.
The top-of-the-line DNX-995S with Garmin navigation carries a suggested retail price of $1,500 and the DDX-9905S DVD/receiver carries a price tag of $1,100. Other models that support Android Auto Wireless (but lack the Hi-Def screens) include the DMX-905S, the DMX-875S, and DDX-9705S.
Also shipping this week is the DMX-7705S without Android Auto Wireless.
Photo: Kenwood Eastern Regional Training Manager Seth Halstead at the 2018 MRI Mobile Expo