On Friday March.28, 2014 I successfully installed the S100 head-unit into my car with no problems whatsoever!
IN SHORT: I am initially very impressed with the headunit's looks and functionality. I am optimistic that the long term review will be a positive one.
Here is the before:
Here is the after:
Here is a picture of the button back lighting, matches the rest of the car:
Now as I said in my main post this is not going to be a detailed in depth review. I am going to talk about my experiences installing the HU and my interactions with its functionality during my two hour cruise/attunement session. If you want my detailed in depth review you will have to wait a few months once I have gotten used to it and have fully completed the installation.
The installation is 95% complete. The only outstanding factor is that I need to re-position my GPS receiver from the bowels of the car to the proper OEM position behind the rear veiw mirror. To do this proper I need to be able to remove the A-pillar trim, which requires the roof to go down. I am going to wait until it is warmer out before I go topless so the seals have a chance to loosen up. I also plan to install a flush mount for the Aux/USB in which will happen once I remove the glovebox to run the GPS through and change the cabin filter.
Besides those minor complications the installation went perfectly. Completely 100% plug and play. Literally. The hardest part was removing the trim which thanks to THIS
video was a easy and smooth process!
Upon booting up the unit you will be met with this screen:
This screen is your "home" screen, it is where you access all the functions of the head unit. As you can see the main features are:
- Media - where all your locally stored and PHYSICALLY connected media is managed and interacted with (ie: USB, iPod, Aux, etc)
- POP - "Picture in Picture" is a special feature to this headunit which allows two functions to run simeltaneously. (ie: Screen can be half music interface and half Nav interface)
- Radio - Pretty self explanitory, the interface is really easy to use
- Browser - An old version of IE that runs on WinCE, only works if you tether your phone to the HU as a data source or if you get a SIM and plug it into the designated slot. Avoid this feature like the plauge.
- Navi - Launches whatever WinCE compatible navigation app you have on the GPS micro sim. The unit came with Navigo8 2011 Q3 edition.
- BT - Your bluetooth functions including handsfree calling and music streaming.
- Tool - A bunch of novelty applications
Example of POP function:
The unit is very responsive and the UI is easy to grasp. There are some functions that have redundancies in the software (ie: Screen shut off and head unit shut off) but for the most part each buttons serves its own purpose.
The most important button on the head unit is the SRC button, which is akin to the "home" button on an iPhone. This brings you back to the main menu where you can choose your source or which action you wish to take.
The GPS receiver is a powerful little unit. It was able to get a signal (half strength at best mind you) when it was deep within the bowels of my car. The supplied navigation software is very user friendly and intuitive. If you dig through the options you can even get it to warn you if you are exceeding the posted speed limit and to warn you via a sound if you are approaching a known speed cam intersection. I have yet to test both functions as my signal was not consistent enough, but I am interested to see how it will perform.
The bluetooth streaming works well, the audio quality is acceptable. The DvD audio quality (which is what I can compare with the stock HU) is considerably better sounding than the stock unit. The difference is not night and day but it is substantial enough to make note of.
The BT calling works well too, my phone book downloaded in a few seconds automatically after connecting my phone and giving the head unit permission to connect. During my test call my brother said the built in mic (there is an external one that comes with the headunit as well) was "good enough", but that "you can tell you are on a bluetooth microphone". So take that as you will. My steering wheel controls worked 100% no problems whatsoever, I was even able to initiate and end calls using my steering wheel controls!
That is all I can think of at the moment, I am tired and have a few group projects I need to work on tomorrow so I need to get to sleep. Hope my insights helps those who are considering purchasing one of these headunits! If you really need to know my final verdict it will be a month or two before I write my in-depth review.