Android Auto Wireless: AAWireless vs Carlinkit 4

Android Auto Wireless: AAWireless vs Carlinkit 4

Android Auto Wireless

On-board comfort is never enough and, in our car tests, we always try to underline the solutions adopted by car manufacturers to make everyday actions easier and faster to perform. Small tricks are enough to radically change the habitability on board and one of these is precisely the possibility of connecting our smartphone or iPhone wirelessly, taking advantage of the connectivity of Android Auto Wireless and Apple CarPlay Wireless.

So how to do if our car is not set up but only offers the wired version of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay? Simple, by purchasing one of the many commercially available dongles; in this regard we have created two guides dedicated to the Apple and Google systems, but we can briefly anticipate that the major players are AAWireless ,  Motorola (recently on Amazon Italy),  Carlinkit and Ottocast.

In this in-depth analysis we will go to analyze the differences between AAWireless and Carlinkit 4.0 , two dongles with a different scope of application but equally close in some respects. It is not the first versus of this type that we publish: previously we compared AAWireless and Motorola MA1 , two very similar solutions and so close that they did not allow us to decree a winner.


Before starting the comparison, we must make an important premise: while there is a single version of AAWireless on the market that is compatible only with Android Auto, there are more versions of Carlinkit available to suit any need:

Carlinkit 4.0 (CPC200-CP2A): the most advanced version for those who need Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Wireless; Carlinkit 3.0 (U2W): the dedicated version for Apple CarPlay Wireless; Carlinkit Mini (CPC200-U2W Mini): similar to version 3.0, it is more compact but with limited compatibility; Carlinkit (A2A): Similar to Carlinkit 3.0 but only compatible with Android Auto.

AAWireless vs Carlinkit 4: dimensions

--> AAWireless is a small box measuring just under 5 centimeters per side with a thickness of just one centimetre. It's really compact and easy to hide in any compartment or drawer; for the more mischievous, given the smooth surface free of imperfections, we recommend applying a small strip of double-sided tape and gluing AAWireless so as not to hear it move while on the go. The weight is 12 grams and without a correct fastening system it is therefore possible that it could crash during curves or bumps.

Carlinkit, in its fourth version, measures 46 x 12 x 80 millimeters with a weight of just under 30 grams. Compared to AAWireless, which boasts a summarily good quality matte black finish, Carlinkit's proposal benefits from a blue carbon look finish of excellent quality and almost free from imperfections. If you have a compact car with limited space available, it could be difficult to position even if, on balance, it is slightly larger than a Telepass.

One point for AAWireless.

AAWireless vs Carlinkit 4: connectivity

No difference in terms of connectivity but only accessories: both devices offer Bluetooth 4.2 and WiFi 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz. The port is also always USB -C with supplied cable (USB-C – USB-A) of medium size. Small positive note for Carlinkit: inside the package there is also a USB-C – USB-C cable necessary for those who use a latest generation car.

--> One point for Carlinkit.

AAWireless vs Carlinkit 4: compatibility

In general, the compatibility of AAWireless and Carlinkit is extended equally and the manufacturer sites briefly indicate the brands with which they can operate. Specifically, however, while AAWireless limits its functionality to Android and Android Auto, Carlinkit 4.0 (the one examined in this article) offers a dual functionality, as it also works with iPhone and Apple CarPlay.

We have tested both dongles for an extended period and, in our opinion, it is difficult to establish absolute compatibility for one car model rather than another. There are many parts involved (from the infotainment version to the type of ROM on our smartphone, from the version of the operating system to the inserted cable) and it is difficult to understand where, possibly, an incompatibility may lie. Witnessing what we write is the Xiaomi case which, for some unknown reason, does not always work with Android Auto although it is compatible.

Considering the dual functionality, one point for Carlinkit.

AAWireless vs Carlinkit 4: firmware updates

AAWireless receives updates almost regularly since its debut in 2020 and the change logs are always available on GitHub, necessary to understand what the development has perfected and resolved. Carlinkit 4, on the other hand, has none of this probably due to a much more limited presence on the market.

Too early to rate: even.

AAWireless vs Carlinkit 4: availability and price

Price, as with most things, is the determining factor in choosing one product over another. Before getting to the point, however, we must make a correct clarification: AAWireless works exclusively with Android Auto Wireless, Carlinkit 4.0 instead allows you to connect Android Auto Wireless and Apple CarPlay Wireless without distinction. For some, this dualism may not be very useful, while for others, who may share the car as a family or simply as a couple, they may need to have a system capable of transforming both worlds Wireless.

AAWireless is available exclusively on the official website at a price of 89.99 euros + shipping (about 6 euros), while Carlinkit can be purchased both on the manufacturer's website and on Amazon Italy at a price of 135.99 euros. We point out that the latter is very often discounted and even now, using a coupon directly on Amazon, it is available for just over 95 euros.

Here, shipping times are much faster and with Prime they don't require any shipping. But the question now arises: is Carlinkit worth twice as much as AAWireless? Considering the double functions, it is reasonable to expect a double price which, however, is not the case. Let's say that if you had to buy two dongles for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay respectively, you would certainly end up spending more than the 135.99 euros of Carlinkit 4.0.

One point for Carlinkit.

AAWireless vs Carlinkit 4: who wins?

Difficult to find a real winner, both because of the difference in terms of functionality and the price. They are both excellent products capable of making life on board the car dramatically more comfortable. However, always remember to have a charging cable or a wireless charging system available as the battery could run out faster if the smartphone/iPhone is connected wirelessly.

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