Sony took to Berlin to announce a few new products, alongside the Xperia 5. That includes a new Android Auto receiver, which has the biggest display we've ever seen on an after-market Android Auto receiver. Coming in at 8.95 inches.
There's actually two receivers being announced today. There's the high-end XAV-AX8050D with Android Auto. Then there is the XAV-1500, which uses WebLink with Android and iOS compatibility, but no Android Auto or Apple CarPlay as expected.
Sony puts Android Auto on a bigger screen
After-market head units usually come with screens around six to seven inches. But Sony is going all out with the XAV-AX8050D, and bringing it to a 8.95-inch display. That's pretty large, and while it might sound like a distraction to the driver, it isn't.
With a much larger display, it's going to make those touch targets larger, and easier to hit without taking your eyes off of the road. Google Maps will also be larger, making it easier to see when you're using navigation. And most of all, it'll look incredible.
Sony is using a responsive anti-glare touchscreen on this model, so no matter how bright it is outside, you'll be able to see it without much issue.
Of course, the XAV-AX8050D has smartphone connectivity with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay included. With Android Auto, you'll be able to use the Google Assistant to bring up directions to a restaurant, or find the closest gas stations. You can play music through Spotify or Google Play Music, and even respond to texts and make calls, all hands-free.
The XAV-1500 is for those that want a better music experience in the car
From a smartphone connectivity standpoint, the XAV-1500 isn't as impressive as the XAV-AX8050D. Since it does not support Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, but it does have Weblink so you can still use Bluetooth to cast music from your phone and make calls through your stereo.
But the major selling point with the XAV-1500 is going to be the audio quality. It supports Sony's EXTRA BASS, which is going to allow you to get some really great bass out of this head unit. It also has Flac file compatibility, which should come as no surprise, since this is indeed Sony.
Finally, the XAV-1500 is rear-view camera ready, so you can easily hook up a rear camera to your car and see it on the XAV-1500. That's a minor thing these days, but definitely a welcome feature to have.
These two head units will be available later this year
As per usual with these announcements, pricing and and availability is pretty scarce.
The XAV-1500 model is going to be priced at £270 / €300 and available starting in November of this year.
Meanwhile the XAV-AX8050D is going to be priced at £580 / €650 and available in November 2019 as well.
So far there is no word on how much these will cost in the US, or if they are coming to the US. We should hear more about that as we get closer to November though.