Carlinkit 4.0, how to have Android Auto Wireless and CarPlay Wireless in every car | Review

Carlinkit 4.0, how to have Android Auto Wireless and CarPlay Wireless in every car | Review

Carlinkit 4.0

Getting into your car and necessarily having to connect your smartphone to the USB or Lighting cable to start the digital entertainment system is a procedure which, over the long term or for short journeys, can become tedious. Modern cars are now equipped with wireless systems but they are still a small percentage of what the market really offers.

Over the years, update after update, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay have become increasingly smarter, offering features, services and content. We repeat it again in this article: these two "systems" do not replace the infotainment system, they simply fit inside it and allow you to manage, almost entirely, the smartphone "remotely" using the commands available on the dashboard and on the steering wheel, without take your eyes off the road.

As we mentioned earlier, both systems are available in two versions: with cable and without cable. The wired version is the most common and now standard on almost all car models, the wireless version is more niche and reserved for more premium solutions. Many cars are therefore not compatible with the wireless variants but, fortunately, there are aftermarket accessories on the net which, with a few tens of euros and a few steps, make wired connectivity wireless.

An example is given by Carlinkit which, now in its 4.0 declination (CPC200 -CP2A), provides a remedy for all those who are not lucky enough to have a standard wireless system (or one that can be purchased as an option). In addition, but we will see this point later, it also allows you to enable some features if they are not present as standard.

What it looks like

It is a small box, with an attractive blue carbon-like finish, measuring 80 x 46 x 13 millimeters and weighing just over 100 grams. The ultra-compact dimensions allow it to be easily hidden inside an armrest, in a compartment or, why not, inside a side panel of the central tunnel. On the Carlinkit box there are no keys or buttons, but only two physical connections necessary to put the entertainment system in communication with your car, whether Android or Apple. Inside the package, in fact, there are two cables: from USB-C to USB-C and from USB-A to USB-C. In this way it is possible to connect any recent smartphone already out-of-the-box.

How it works

Contrary to what one might think, no configuration is required to use Carlinkit particular . It takes just a few minutes to put the system into operation; in fact, you will have to connect the dongle to your car, activate the wireless on your smartphone and follow the instructions on the screen. Nothing different from configuring any cordless, wireless or bluetooth device.

On the official website, the manufacturer lists all the manufacturers compatible with its system and they are really numerous. We specify that we tested it extensively with a Mazda MX-5 ND, a car that is not currently listed as "compatible"; therefore, we believe that the list of usable cars can be further extended without particular limitations.

Field test

How does it behave in the field? Well, representing a simple and effective solution. The operation is similar to the wired version, even if over the long term or on the occasion of continuous disconnections we have noticed some jamming. The idea that we have that there may be some incompatibility problem between the various players involved, from Google/Apple to the version or model of the smartphone itself.

In any case, with Carlinkit 4.0 you no longer have to take your smartphone out of your pocket and connect it via cable, you just need to enter the passenger compartment to benefit from all the functions of Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

At this point it is necessary and necessary to make a premise: not all cars benefit from both entertainment systems. Porsche, for example, offers only one of the two systems as standard. What happens if you have to connect Android Auto which is not supported as standard? Logically, nothing should happen. Carlinkit , unlike other dongles, does not exclusively transform the connectivity but also compensates for all those shortcomings on the part of the manufacturers , managing to start Android Auto (for example) even where it is not present (provided there is a basic compatibility of one of the two systems). Great news especially for those who own, for example, a Boxter or a Cayman equipped exclusively with CarPlay but want to use Android Auto.

For long journeys, naturally, thanks to a higher consumption of the battery, we recommend monitoring the autonomy of your smartphone; in any case, the greatest benefits are achieved if your car is equipped with a wireless charging system (Qi).

In conclusion, we believe that Carlinkit is a great product and can actually be very convenient for those on the go. looking for a quick and painless way to transform wired Android Auto or Apple CarPlay into wireless variants (or possibly add it if it is absent). Carlinkit 4.0 is on sale on the official website at a price of 135 euros, but often it receives deep discounts and it is therefore not uncommon to find it for around 80 euros.

Versions available

Numerous models are available on the official Carlinkit website suitable for any type of use: from the dongle compatible exclusively with Android Auto to the one in Mini format, the size of the AirPods headphone case, which limits some functions but still allows excellent accessibility.

Like all entertainment systems, the Carlinkit firmware can also be updated to support new functions or correct small bugs. To update there are two methods, one offline and one online, both available in the official FAQ. We remind you that Carlinkit 3.0, which has been available on the market for several months now, cannot however be updated to version 4.0 and therefore also become usable with Android Auto Wireless. The devices differ from each other not only in software but also in hardware.

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