Ship it! Kenwood receivers with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are headed for retailers

Kenwood
Automakers like Chevrolet, Buick, and Hyundai have committed to offering Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity in their production vehicles, but there’s still a big aftermarket community clamoring for smartphone functionality.

Pioneer was the first aftermarket company to offer head units with Android Auto and CarPlay existing side by side, but rival brand Kenwood is hot on its heels. The Japanese firm has just announced that its DDX9702S and DDX9902S receivers are headed to retailers now, both of which offer the competing systems on a 6.95-inch touchscreen.

The Kenwood duo isn’t just an alternative to Pioneer’s products though, the infotainment interfaces actually have a leg up on the competition in some ways. Mainly, Kenwood’s options allow the driver to switch between CarPlay and Android Auto without having to manually change settings or reset the unit, something that Pioneer’s merchandise can not say.

Kenwood

The Kenwood devices are cheaper as well, as the DDX9702S runs $900 and the DDX9902S costs $950, compared to $1,200 for Pioneer’s AVIC-7100NEX and $1,400 for the AVIC-8100NEX. In fairness, the AVIC-8100NEX features a capacitive touchscreen instead of  a resistive one, which generally means a clearer, brighter, and more sensitive display.

Originally unveiled at CES 2015, the DDX9702S and DDX9902S are part of Kenwood’s Excelon series and feature built-in HD Radio, an HDMI input with MHL support, DVD playback, and are SiriusXM ready.

Apple CarPlay allows iPhone owners to integrate smartphone functions into their vehicle’s infotainment suites by reading texts, facilitating calls, playing music, and accessing navigation controls in a snap. By using Siri, drivers can access nearly all of these functions with simple voice controls.

Kenwood

Android Auto employs voice commands as well, while also offering Google Maps navigation and Google Now, an intelligent personal assistant that helps the user organize their schedule with simple category cards.

“We are excited to have these units available to consumers in time for summer,” said Tony Mercado, marketing manager for Kenwood’s Car Electronics Division. “Smartphone users have heard about Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the media, and how as many as 40 models of 2016 and 2017 vehicles will come equipped with one or the other. Today we are delivering both in a single chassis, well before most automakers. Combined with our years of automotive electronics know-how, we are delivering a premium, safe smartphone experience in the vehicle.”

Mobile

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.
Product Review

Mercedes-Benz updates the timeless G-wagen for the modern world

For decades, the G-Class has been an outlier in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio, a body-on-frame brute with the soul – and driving manners – of an off-road pickup. With the all-new G550, Mercedes seeks to smooth out some of the rough edges.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Cars

2020 Kia Soul and Soul EV continue to think inside the box

The 2020 Kia Soul is the third generation of Kia's boxy curiosity. The Soul maintains its signature look, but gets tech and powertrain upgrades. The all-electric Soul EV returns as well.
Product Review

The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a do-it-all Swedish army knife

Volvo laced up its smallest station wagon in hiking clothes to create the V60 Cross Country. It's a lifted, all-wheel drive wagon that laughs at icy roads while coddling its occupants. We travel to Sweden to try it out.
Mobile

The best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases to keep your titanic phone safe

The new Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a gorgeous device, with one of the best dual-lens cameras we've ever seen. Keep your titanic device safe and scratch-free with the best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases.
Mobile

First phone specs reveal premium is the path for Vivo spinoff Iqoo

A new smartphone brand has launched. It's called Iqoo, and it's a sub-brand of Vivo, the Chinese device manufacturer owned by BBK Electronics. Excitingly, details about its first phone are slowly being released.
Mobile

How to perform a reverse image search in Android or iOS

You can quickly use Google to search, and reverse search, images on a PC or laptop, but did you know it's almost as easy to do in Android and iOS? We explain how to do it here, whether you want to use Chrome or a third-party app.
Mobile

The best Honor View 20 cases to keep your midrange beauty intact

With power to rival flagships, great looks, and a stunning camera, the Honor View 20 is an excellent phone -- but it still needs protection from hazards. Here are some of the best Honor View 20 cases.
Mobile

Samsung's Unpacked draws near. Here's what we know about the Galaxy S10 so far

It won't be long now. With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Mobile

It looks like Google may get rid of the back button in Android Q

Android Pie recently rolled out, but it's already time to look ahead to Android Q, the next version of Google's mobile OS. We've seen a number of rumors and leaks come out about the operating system -- here's everything we know so far.
Mobile

The Huawei P30 will zoom into view on March 26 in Paris

The Huawei P30 Pro will be announced on March 26, 2019. It has already started to leak ahead of this date, and expectations are high that the company will improve even further on the P20 Pro's camera.
Mobile

The name of Samsung's folding phone may have been revealed a day early

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Mobile

The Razer Phone 2 is getting Android 9.0 Pie starting this month

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.