A couple of things might seem strange to you about this news item. First, that the XAV-AX100 in-car head unit is actually Sony’s first Android Auto-enabled car infotainment dash device. Considering they’ve been in the electronics business for a while now and Android Auto has certainly been around, Sony is quite late to the game. Secondly, Sony announced this new head unit which it says contains “Android Auto 2” – we are not sure what that means either.
The main selling feature of this device seems to be how good the audio will be for your ears. The device features four “55-watt Dynamic Reality Amp 2” amplifiers and Sony’s EXTRA BASS low-boost circuitry that is designed to overcome engine noise and deliver crystal clear sound. Well, we surely won’t doubt Sony’s capabilities in that area.
On the Android interface side, Sony wrote in its blog that the XAV-AX100 has “Android Auto 2” inside. We’re not particularly sure what they mean by that. We can hope that it has incorporated the things Google announced at Google I/O this year for Android Auto, like OK Google hotword support, and some OEM apps. Google also announced Android Auto’s WiFi projection mode, which means the Android Auto connection from your phone to the head unit can now be wireless. The problem is, this is a pretty big deal and we don’t see it in Sony’s announcement.
The head unit also supports Apple CarPlay (which it designates as Apple CarPlay 1). On the plus side, the XAV-AX100 head unit will cost you around USD$500 when it starts being sold, a far cry from the expensive units Pioneer announced earlier this year.