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Old 07-27-2013, 08:33 PM   #1
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REVIEW: Ca-Fi Toyota Universal - Stock Fitment ANDROID Stereo

So I know there is a certain level of hate for CA-FI here... but I have owned their older models with good success - and I loved that the new DashLinq was available in a plug and play STOCK FITMENT unit.... meaning no ugly double din adapters to make it fit. Not to mention being damn near 100% plug and play as it arrives (pull it out, plug in, bolt up - done).

So, I picked one up... So here is my review :happy0180:

Install: As mentioned this thing bolts in 100% with no adapters. Swap the stock brackets over and plug it in and go. Out of the box it will work nearly perfectly with the harness supplied. Only two things needed rectified - the antenna needed power, and the front speakers amp needed to be wired in. A quick clip of the harness solved this (its well labeled). Note, the stock Aux In, Mic, and USB input do not work out of the box. However - this unit has connections that can work with all of those if you wire them in. I was able to do so without issue.... though I decided to only wire the stock usb port as a power source.

Sound Quality: Easily improved 100x from stock.... with stock speakers. This is likely due to more power, but also this unit has a dedicated DSP that is very evident. Older Ca-Fi models were... eh not the greatest if you used the internal amp.
Note: it also has a fairly sophisticated 10 channel equalizer, with the ability to adjust crossover frequency for each speaker. This makes the rear speakers even better imho

Software: Sure, its Android 2.3... but lets get over that for a second. What are you using this for.... a car stereo, and to take advantage of a handful of apps that work well on a car stereo. Well... it does all of that surprisingly well! Waze, Google Maps/Nav, Sygic Maps, Pandora, Play music, Facebook, Angry Birds....etc. Everything that I through at it worked, without errors or lag.

One thing to note too, is the built in apps.... not only are they a step forward from the previous Ca-Fi apps... but they blow away the majority of the other chinese android stereos. The radio app for instance is amazing, the DVD app is great... even the launcher it comes with it damn good (very finger friendly). Dare I say, its very apple'esque, in that it just works.

Speed: Initial boot up from when you turn the car on is generally 30 seconds or less. Apps launch fast, no noticable lag even running several things at a time. I frequently run Pandora, Google Navigation or Waze... and have a background GPS tracking app I use. No issues switching between each or using the controls within.

WIFI Connectivity!!! So many of you I know have commented in the past about Wifi dropping out frequently on Ca-Fi units. My older CAFI units would do this all the time... very annoying. Before purchasing this, I emailed Ca-Fi to inquire if they had fixed that bug... and they were certain they did (great customer service there... Will is a great help).

Well they didn't lie. Not once have I had an issue with Wi-Fi dropping out, nor have i had a problem with it connecting each time. I exclusively use this unit tethered with my Nexus4 using Autotether to flip on tethering as soon as a bluetooth connection from the stereo is established. Works FLAWLESSLY.

Storage: This was the only thing that pissed me off. There is almost no internal storage... its actually setup to use an SD card for EVERYTHING. So you can't install any apps or anything until you add one. Fortunately this is a cheap fix... i picked up a 32gig microSD and away I went.

Touch interface: Previous units from Ca-Fi has resistive screens that sucked, period. This one is capacitive, while not the most sensitive, it is damn good. Out of the box it needed calibrated as it was a little wonky. After running the calibration tool in settings... its perfect every time.

Price was ~750 to my door as I remember. Its definitely a bit pricey, but after using it regularly - i find that it is totally worth every penny. Not to mention, the stock look of the stereo is what I was looking for... and this fits the bill

Note: I do not work for Ca-Fi.... just wanted to share my thoughts. Obviously this is not a unit for everyone - but figured I would share

Pics:




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Old 07-27-2013, 08:42 PM   #2
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For reference, here is the v1 that I had in my MS3... great unit, but vastly inferior to this new Dashlinq in the FR-S
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:53 PM   #3
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I think you're mistaken. There no hate per say for the Ca-Fi units, just the general feeling that the knock off units are "as good" for half the price. The DashLink looks great installed in your ride!

I wish Ca-Fi was more forthcoming with their system specs, particularly the audio capability. They don't say what kind of DAC or SNR the unit has. Also, none of the Android units seem to support a Sirius tuner or HD radio natively.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:55 PM   #4
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Torque not included?


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Old 07-27-2013, 08:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippman View Post
I think you're mistaken. There no hate per say for the Ca-Fi units, just the general feeling that the knock off units are "as good" for half the price. The DashLink looks great installed in your ride!

I wish Ca-Fi was more forthcoming with their system specs, particularly the audio capability. They don't say what kind of DAC or SNR the unit has. Also, none of the Android units seem to support a Sirius tuner or HD radio natively.
Yeah I may have mis-spoke about that

I agree about the forthcomingness about specs... however they have stepped up their game with better CS. I had a bunch of questions in advance of buying it, and i could always gaurantee a fast response back. Not to mention, when I got the unit I couldn't get the CD/DVD changer to work. Only to find out i skipped the instructions - there is two screws to remove after shipping.

Sirius is NBD as you can use the app, but HD radio would be nice... Though the radio quality IMHO is actually better on this unit than the stock with HD radio on the same station. Could be the DSP and better EQ settings though.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_m View Post
Torque not included?


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nope, it isnt sold or shipped with it on this version atleast. You can buy the adapter, it was confirmed to work with it apparently.... though you'll need a USB hub on the single 'system' usb port that the wifi adapter uses (the other usb input is only for storage really)

Unfortunately you can't easily use a BT adapter with it. Though JuilasBrothers forums (they hack ca-fi units) has a way to do it... but i don't have the balls to try it.
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:39 PM   #7
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Link to unit for purchase?
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:45 PM   #8
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Link to unit for purchase?
Should have included that.

http://store.ca-fi.com/index.php?rou...product_id=273

:happy0180:

MAKE SURE YOU GET THE WIFI DONGLE if you buy one. It does not come with one. Don't buy a microsd card from them, as it can be had cheaper elsewhere... but you will need one.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHIFTER View Post
Should have included that.

http://store.ca-fi.com/index.php?rou...product_id=273

:happy0180:

MAKE SURE YOU GET THE WIFI DONGLE if you buy one. It does not come with one. Don't buy a microsd card from them, as it can be had cheaper elsewhere... but you will need one.
Do u have link for installation of this unit to FR-S?
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by peace_noel View Post
Do u have link for installation of this unit to FR-S?
there arent any since its plug and play. remove stock stereo, swap brackets, plug in harnesses, bolt it in.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHIFTER View Post
there arent any since its plug and play. remove stock stereo, swap brackets, plug in harnesses, bolt it in.
I know i mentioned there were some wires to adjust, if anyone purchases one - I'll pull mine out and write up a how-to for them just pm me.
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:29 PM   #12
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there arent any since its plug and play. remove stock stereo, swap brackets, plug in harnesses, bolt it in.
@SHIFTER ,Does Ca-Fi works with iOS like iPhone5???? heard someone they only support Android phones? can you confirm that?
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:00 PM   #13
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In for detail on Torque working on this specific unit maybe @18Bravo34 can chime in - even if its a bit of work I'd be happy to do it as long as I know it works.
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Old 09-15-2013, 02:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peace_noel View Post
@SHIFTER ,Does Ca-Fi works with iOS like iPhone5???? heard someone they only support Android phones? can you confirm that?
I would be interested in knowing this as well. Also do you have any night shots of the unit? Does the head unit color match the stock orange lights??
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