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Old 04-21-2019, 03:37 PM   #1
paraklas
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AVIN Avant 4 - Installation & First review

After my Avant 2 started rebooting due to the GPS rollover that happened Apr. 06, I decided that it was the time to move on to something new. So, I went ahead and ordered the Avant 4, taking advantage the $100 discount for existing owners.

I had to give some proof of ownership (e-mail used, order number) of the Avant 2, and instantly I got $100 credit back.

https://avinusa.com/avant-4-for-bmw-...on-system.html

With the main unit, I also ordered:
1. USB BMW iBus Adaptor
2. OBD2 reader (short so that I won't hit it with my leg)
3. Microphone

I also chose DHL Express shipping ($25), so I got the packet 2 days after order. Straight from HK.

Comparison, the Avant 4 is lighter than the Avant 2 and also shallower. This means that you don't need angled antenna cables (especially for RHD). The added space behind, allows for better tucking of the whole cables and adapters.

I like to wrap everything in tape to avoid bouncing around.

Package as arrived:


Box, same as the avant 2 lol.


Front view:




Shallower, due to lack of DVD I presume:


Rear plugs: there's a diagram sticker on the top cover that shows what goes where.


Wiring, including 2 types of BMW plugs, to cater for round and spade style audio connectors. The iBus, OBD2 and Microphone where also in the box.


Steering wheel control system


Goodies. the iBus adapter needs activation and the APK is downloadable from Avin's site.


Side by Side:




Plugging everything:






The usual, dashboard trim clips are bound to break.


1st Boot to test.


Dash re assembled and unit in place




Nice thing; shows battery voltage. So that I will know for sure when the alternator fails.


The unit comes with red as default button lights. It is configurable via application setting.






I found the screen to have more clarity and more brightness than the previous unit. Also sound quality is way better. Impressed so far.

Speed is what you would expect from the hardware specs and the touch is smooth in response.

I also used my 4G USB dongle to add internet support as I don't like wifi-hotspots.

More to come later on
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Old 04-21-2019, 03:56 PM   #2
elfer
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Certainly a fine looking unit. Subscribed.
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Old 04-22-2019, 05:11 AM   #3
elfer
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Some questions for when you write your next installment, if that's OK.

I see a SIM slot on the back. Does it have a built-in 4G modem, so you wouldn't have to get a dongle if you didn't already have one? (I know you can use your phone as a hotspot, but a dedicated connection sounds better to me)

When it boots up, does it go to the home screen or does it resume the last app(s)? ( I always have my Dynavin displaying the map, with either aux or sd card music in the background, and I really like that it comes up how I left it when I last used the car so I don't have to mess about prodding buttons every time I get in).

Is the screen readable in bright sunlight and does it dim at night? If so, how's that controlled? (I love the ambient light sensor on the Dynavin, but having it dim with when the headlights are on would be an acceptable second best).

Are the buttons re-programmable? So could I, for example, map the "Radio" button to the DAB app?

Is the volume between sources (apps) consistent? So if you switch from radio to sd card music, say, you don't have to readjust?
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Old 04-22-2019, 06:43 AM   #4
paraklas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfer View Post
Some questions for when you write your next installment, if that's OK.

I see a SIM slot on the back. Does it have a built-in 4G modem, so you wouldn't have to get a dongle if you didn't already have one? (I know you can use your phone as a hotspot, but a dedicated connection sounds better to me)

No, there is no hardware behind the SIM slot, you need to use a dongle. I used one of the usb that I have routed inside the glovebox. No setup needed, just works.

When it boots up, does it go to the home screen or does it resume the last app(s)? ( I always have my Dynavin displaying the map, with either aux or sd card music in the background, and I really like that it comes up how I left it when I last used the car so I don't have to mess about prodding buttons every time I get in).

It's an option to either resume last app or not. As with the previous unit I had, I let it to resume whatever it was doing before

Is the screen readable in bright sunlight and does it dim at night? If so, how's that controlled? (I love the ambient light sensor on the Dynavin, but having it dim with when the headlights are on would be an acceptable second best).

The screen is readable, but by no means compared to a screen which is specced as "sunlight readable". When I had the carputer with a dedicated sunlight readbale screen it was perfect. The avant is a bit of compromise here. I will check on the other stuff (dimming) as there's a night mode somewhere

Are the buttons re-programmable? So could I, for example, map the "Radio" button to the DAB app?

There's a remapping option, to press a button and then choose action, but I haven't tested that yet. Will do it tonigh

Is the volume between sources (apps) consistent? So if you switch from radio to sd card music, say, you don't have to readjust?
You need to readjust.
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:13 AM   #5
elfer
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thanks
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:48 AM   #6
CabrioPassion
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@paraklas

Thank you a lot for this very interesting topic!

Do you think that the Avant 4 features are the best ones that are available on the market nowadays? In addition, do RAM and OS work good with many apps at the same time too? And does BMW Quadlock 6M Navigation Extension Cable is the same of what we all used on Avant 2?

Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paraklas View Post
It seems to have larger screen than the Avant 2 one, right? Despite it miss the DVD reader (that was useless TBH) and the 2 microSD ports (albeit the latters are substitued by the SD port on the right).

Does GPS map work on the same SD card used as HDD? Otherwise, does it work on internal memory storage? Overall, on the Avant 2, as you know, there are two different cards because one id for GPS only than the other is for any other kind of files.

Quote:
Dash re assembled and unit in place
Trance music addicted here too!

Last edited by CabrioPassion; 04-23-2019 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:50 AM   #7
kricker
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One thing that always bothered me is Bluetooth. Maybe it was a limitation on the Avant 2 or Bluetooth in general. If my phone is connected via Bluetooth, calls will ring through, but nothing else. So if I am using Google assistant on my phone or Google maps, none of the audio comes through the car speakers. Is it the same on the 4? Is there any way to make all audio pass through to the unit when connected via Bluetooth?

Last edited by kricker; 04-23-2019 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:09 AM   #8
CabrioPassion
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Hi kricker. I have not reached any trouble with BT on my Avant 2, but I used it to call with hands free only, so I cannot give you a concrete feedback on Google assistant and Google Maps both. However, I may try to do some tests if you would.

Overall, I had some trouble with WiFi that is very weak, thus it needs be litterally in front of a router to get the signal. So, I hope that the Avant 4's one is better than the Avant 2 (I do not know how Avant 3 was).

In addition, I hope that rear camera is better than the old version, because my one died after 3 years. Further, I am curious about the new version of the front camera, which seems able to work with the back one, albeit my actual version is merely separated from it.

PS:

I am comparing some features of Avant 4 to Eonon and they appear quite similar but I am not sure. In addition, I do not know any more 2 din brands, so I am not aware about any others better or worse then those just mentioned.

Last edited by CabrioPassion; 04-23-2019 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CabrioPassion View Post
Hi kricker. I have not reached any trouble with BT on my Avant 2, but I used it to call with hands free only, so I cannot give you a concrete feedback on Google assistant and Google Maps both. However, I may try to do some tests if you would.

Overall, I had some trouble with WiFi that is very weak, thus it needs be litterally in front of a router to get the signal. So, I hope that the Avant 4's one is better than the Avant 2 (I do not know how Avant 3 was).
I asked Tommy about the Bluetooth not allowing anything other than calls a while back. I recall he said it wouldn't work, but I don't recall if it was due to the unit itself or Bluetooth limitations. As for wifi, I never had much issue with it. It is not the strongest antenna but I could connect from about 20 feet away from my router through walls. I have always had high-end routers with strong signals though.

Last edited by kricker; 04-23-2019 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:39 AM   #10
elfer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kricker View Post
I asked Tommy about the Bluetooth not allowing anything other than calls a while back. I recall he said it wouldn't work, but I don't recall if it was due to the unit itself or Bluetooth limitations. As for wifi, I never had much issue with it. It is not the strongest antenna but I could connect from about 20 feet away from my router through walls. I have always had high-end routers with strong signals though.
I don't know if it helps you, but it's not a limitation of Bluetooth since I can stream music and nav directions to my Dynavin from my Android phone over BT. It could be a limitation of the Avin, a limitation of your phone, or just that yours are only paired for call audio and not also media audio?

Last edited by elfer; 04-23-2019 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:51 AM   #11
kricker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfer View Post
I don't know if it helps you, but it's not a limitation of Bluetooth since I can stream music and nav directions to my Dynavin from my Android phone over BT. It could be a limitation of the Avin, a limitation of your phone, or just that yours are only paired for call audio and not also media audio?
It has always paired for calls and media as I can also stream music. I didn't mention that, but those are the ONLY two things that will stream over Bluetooth. It is frustrating when using Google Assistant and I can't hear it reply, or when using Google Maps and I have no audio prompts for directions.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:55 AM   #12
elfer
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Ah, gotcha. That's weird that you can BT stream music but not directions. For my N6 I do have to be in A2DP mode to get the directions, but they do come when I am. (NB That's from an Android phone, dunno about Apples)
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:02 PM   #13
kricker
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Quote:
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Ah, gotcha. That's weird that you can BT stream music but not directions. For my N6 I do have to be in A2DP mode to get the directions, but they do come when I am. (NB That's from an Android phone, dunno about Apples)
... not to keep this thread sidetracked, but how do you go to A2DP mode? I am using a Google Pixel.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:23 PM   #14
elfer
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Sorry, A2DP is the source I select on the head unit to hear the Bluetooth audio. What do you select on the Avin to hear the Bluetooth music?
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:06 PM   #15
kricker
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It just has a source called Bluetooth.
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:19 PM   #16
paraklas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfer View Post
Sorry, A2DP is the source I select on the head unit to hear the Bluetooth audio. What do you select on the Avin to hear the Bluetooth music?
There's an A2DP "widget" that launches a music player that you can stream music from your phone.

I have a Samsung S10+ paired and works wonderfully. I'm a loyal fan of electronic music from di.fm and streaming is excellent. It reads properly the album, channel, track, allows back/forward etc. Much better than the prehistoric Avant 2.
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:39 PM   #17
kricker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paraklas View Post
There's an A2DP "widget" that launches a music player that you can stream music from your phone.

I have a Samsung S10+ paired and works wonderfully. I'm a loyal fan of electronic music from di.fm and streaming is excellent. It reads properly the album, channel, track, allows back/forward etc. Much better than the prehistoric Avant 2.
Is that new on the Avant 4? Can you here audio from other apps on your phone like Google Maps and Google assistant?

Last edited by kricker; 04-23-2019 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:49 PM   #18
alirz
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So i just received my avin4. Installed it right away and swapped my avin 2. Gotta say, as much as i hated the avin2, i love the avin 4 that much more. Thats mainly because the gui is so fast due to a faster processor. Things that took 30 seconds to load now load almost instantly. I can actually zoom in and out in google maps and waze. LOL.
I wish the unit had AC band wifi though but i can live with N. I sync my music to the Avin SD card from my NAS to over wifi and its just a lot faster on 5GHZ band wifi than N.
I havent looked so far yet but i assume i can assign the right knob press to control brightness on/low/high like avin 2?

i had a strange BT audio issue also. I could hear phone call audio on the avin 4 however i could not hear music if i streamed it from my phone to the avin. I didnt really change anything but after a few minutes it started working fine. Not sure what i did other than unpair and pair again.

I just cant stress enough the fact how much more use able the unit is just because its fast. Makes HELL of a difference.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:41 PM   #19
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Would you put a link to the radio I’m interested. I currently have a Eonon and may upgrade. Thanks


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Old 04-23-2019, 04:47 PM   #20
alirz
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My avin keeps turning on to the radio even though I never use the radio and it was not the last app I left running. How do make it just startup at the home screen?
What's the factory settings password?

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