Auto Weekly: Launch X431 Pro Mini is an Android-Based OBD Dongle

There are plenty of diagnosis tools available on the market, for helping drivers figure out why their check engine light is on, without heading to a mechanic. But the Launch X431 Pro Mini appears to be taking that a step further. It's a car diagnostic tool that runs on Android.

It has two parts, basically. There's the OBD dongle that connects to the OBD port that is usually located beneath the steering wheel in your car. This is basically how you connect to the computer that runs your car and everything inside it. The other part is a durable Android tablet, that allows you to diagnose your car and see what is wrong. This Android tablet has a 6.9-inch display, it has been drop-tested (although they won't say that it is drop proof) and it is water-resistant, so it can be used virtually anywhere. It connects to the OBD port on your car via Bluetooth to figure out what is going on.

One of the more interesting features of the Launch X431 Pro Mini is the fact that you can do remote diagnosis. So you could hook it up to your car and then send the diagnostic results to your mechanic and find out what you should do with your car. Or you could use it to get advice from one of the many mechanic forums on the web. Either way, it's a great way to share the problem and find out the best solution to fix it. The Launch X431 Mini Pro does work with most car makers, and supports over 10,000 different models, as well as EV, hybrid and gas vehicles. So it's pretty likely that your vehicle will be supported by the Launch X431 Mini Pro.

Now the Launch X431 Mini Pro is not cheap, and there are likely some other OBD dongles out there that will give you some basic diagnostic results, but this will give you much more in-depth results and for some instances, tell you exactly what is wrong. And since it's not a universal OBD dongle, and it works for many different car makers and models, it will have much more specific results, instead of just saying that your engine needs more antifreeze. It recently passed through the FCC, and is expected to launch in the US fairly soon, although Amazon and Newegg do have it available already, coming in with a price tag of around $699 and up. It currently ships from China, so this is likely a US version that passed through the FCC recently and will be coming to retailers in the US. It needs to go through the FCC because it connects to WiFi as well as Bluetooth, and of course it runs Android. Obviously, we're unsure of what version of Android it runs, and whether it has Google services (since it's coming from China, it likely doesn't), but since you should only be using it for running diagnostics, that shouldn't  matter.

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Alexander Maxham

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Alex has written for Androidheadlines since 2012 as Editor of the site and traveled the World to many of the biggest Smartphone and Technology events. Alex has a background in Technology and IT and Deep Passion for Everything Android and Google. His specialties lay in Smartphones of all budgets, Accessories, Home Automation and more. Contact him at [email protected]
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