Alright, let’s first react to MKBHD’s review, shall we?
“It’s meant for older cars without an infotainment system”
That’s right, newer cars generally have their own proprietary infotainment system that connects to your phone, or they have an implementation of either Apple CarPlay and/or Android Auto. So say you’re not a big fan of propping up your phone on a phone holder. Or following your navigation. Or listening to music through earbuds. Then Carpuride might be a good alternative. It offers a bigger and bright display with an easy to use interface which is made for driving.
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🖥️ Buy the Carpuride W707
“Here’s the price: $250”
Now depending on your budget, this might be a lot or not so much money but to give you a bit of perspective, generally getting something like this built into your car will easily cost two to four times this price. And some of those units don’t even support BOTH Apple CarPlay and Android auto, but just one of the two. Carpuride supports both. 250 bucks gets you the unit with a backup camera like Marques said. For 20 bucks less you don’t get the camera. That’s one we have.
“You need to connect power and an audio cable if your car has it. There are other methods of connecting it.”
Well, what are those other ways, Marques? So yes, the Carpuride is ideal for older cars which support a 12 V charger and an AUX input. The other options that Marques didn’t mention for outputting audio from the device is twofold. You can have the audio come from the Carpuride device itself, or you can transmit the audio signal through FM radio frequencies. Since my car doesn’t support an AUX input I ended up trying both of these alternatives. And spoiler alert. They both are not great. Using the speaker of the device itself sounded bad and the second option of using FM transmission has its downsides too. You are essentially trying to transmit over open air frequencies and all the disadvantages it comes with. So depending on where you are there could be radio frequency interference and the quality is just tinny and not very clean. Now, don’t get us wrong. They both work perfectly fine. And the setup was easy. They just aren’t as great as having an audio input in your car. One tip, if you are setting this up with FM transmission then make sure to go into settings on the Carpuride and turn off the device speaker else you will not hear any audio come through anywhere.
“Suction cup mount to put it up onto your dash”
Sucking or mounting – two ways to use this ride. The suction cup is one way you can install this. Stuck to the windshield – that’s the way we initially set it up. But you can also use the same suction mount to put it on the dash like Marques did which we also did afterwards. There is a bit of sticky material on the suction mount and we were a little bit sceptical whether it would stay in place but it sucks hard. We had a hard time trying to get it off of the window. The advantage of putting it on the dash is that it’s much closer to you and in arms reach. The other way you can mount this is using a static mount with an adhesive but that will be a little bit more permanent. That’s why Carpuride has included a second adhesive sticker in the box. On that same static mount you get holes if you really want to drill and screw this onto your dash. Another advantage of the suction mount is that you have an adjustable arm so you can adjust how far it is away from you as well as a swivel head to change the angle. Oh and you will not have an adjustable arm nor a swivel head if you use the static mount.
“ on the user manual it says it works with Apple Carplay and Android Auto”
Isn’t that great – both are supported. And both worked – really well. You can even set up an Android phone and an iPhone. Both will work without having to disconnect or forget a previous device. You can use Carplay or Auto either wirelessly or wired. Wired is the easiest since you just plug it in and it charges your phone at the same time. But wireless was very easy as well – just find the Carpuride in the bluetooth device list and connect to it. Now every time you step into the car it will connect automatically. As long as you leave the default settings as they are. But when you’re done, you will need to turn the Carpuride off though, at least in my car. Else it’ll drain your car’s battery. That’s another thing – the device has no battery on board. Some previous models came with a Type C port so you could plug in a powerbank, but that’s no longer supported. When asked why – Carpuride said there were users who used low powered plugs in the car and complained that it didn’t work. So Carpuride decided to go back to a normal DC plug. Low tech users always gotta ruin it for the rest of us eh?
“You don’t have to buy a new car. You get most of the functionality. You can play music from your phone.”
You actually get a lot of “functionality”. Besides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto you can also use Apple AirPlay to “cast” content onto the screen. The downside is that you need to forget the CarPlay connection from your iPhone before you can use AirPlay. Kind of inconvenient. Did it work though? No, it didn’t. We did everything Carpuride told us to, but no luck. What kind of worked was the Autolink feature. It essentially mirrors your phone onto the screen. For Android you need to install an app from the Playstore first. When we tested it with a Pixel 6a, you could see the phone’s display and it was reasonably responsive. But when we played a video, there was no audio. On an iPhone there was audio, but the video would lag at times. So neither AirPlay nor the mirroring features were really much to write home about.
Apart from those main features there are few more worth mentioning. There’s a 16 band EQ with presets and the ability to make custom ones. Does it work, yes it does. Should you use the loud toggle? No you shouldn’t. It made the bass sound very distorted and not pleasant at all.
The other feature is the simple bluetooth for calling. So if you don’t need all that fancy CarPlay and Android Auto, then this works. Just connect your phone by bluetooth and you can receive and make calls. This same feature also supports bluetooth music. But if you just need that then why bother with this device in the first place? There are far cheaper alternatives out there. Anyway, let’s hear some samples of the microphone shall we? We compared it to the Oladance for reference because those are the ones I generally use in the car.
CLICK HERE to listen to the mic samples.
Wow – weren’t they incredible..ly bad?! And this was after I moved the Carpuride closer by removing it from the windshield and mounting it on the dash. Phone calls are for me and probably many others a crucial feature for a piece of tech in the car. With these microphones it’s just not doable. The people on the other end of the call had to put their phones on speaker, crank up the volume to max and put it to their ear and still had difficulty understanding me. Unacceptable in our books. If you’re still heavily invested in getting the W707 for phone calls, then there is a port for an external microphone or just using bluetooth earbuds.
And then you can also play media from a good old USB drive or an SD card. Playing music files and showing images didn’t have any issues. Playing video on the other hand didn’t work. We got an error that the file type wasn’t supported. We checked with Carpuride and they confirmed that the file type we were testing was supported. They suggested another USB drive. We tried, but that didn’t work either.
What’s new about the W707 model compared to older models is that they’ve added the touch capacitive buttons on the left side for home, volume controls, voice assistant and a back button. Definitely a good addition and we find ourselves using mostly the home and back button. Voice assistant could be summoned using the wake word and volume was changed on the car itself.
In the settings you can do some basic configurations. Like changing the language, the colors of the buttons and what should happen when you connect your phone by wire. You can have it start up Apple CarPlay or Android Auto depending on which phone you use. But you can also have it start up screen mirroring instead.
“You just need to face the challenge of how you actually connect it to your older car.”
That is definitely an important challenge, like we mentioned at the start. If your car supports an AUX input, then perfect. If it doesn’t, then do realise you’re compromising on audio quality by using FM transmission or the speaker on the Carpuride itself.
Other challenges and things that didn’t work well
But these aren’t the only challenges you’ll need to consider.
- There will be cables running down the side of your dash; at least one to power the Carpuride and potentially another for the audio cable. And if you plan to use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay wired, then that’s another one. So be prepared to do some cable management.
- Then speaking of the 12V power cable. You better hope you or other passengers don’t accidentally touch or look at it the wrong way. Because then your Carpuride is out! You’ll need to fix the loose connection and wait for it to boot back up. It didn’t happen all too often in our usage, but something to take note of. And of course, this depends strongly on where the 12V socket is in your car and also how secure the fit is. There is a handy LED on the plug to be able to see if it’s powered or not.
- Installing the screen on the arm is a bit finicky since you have to line up the hinges correctly. You get better at it with time but let’s be honest. There’s only one solution. Magnets guys – magnets!
And we even made sure the volume within the app settings on CarPlay or Android Auto as well as on our phone was set to max. But no luck. I mean, it’s not unusable if you’ve got the volume for music relatively high. But if you turn down the volume for whatever reason, you have no way to keep voice guidance on at a higher volume level. We seriously hope Carpuride can improve this!
It’s not all bad is it?
It’s not all bad.
- Like we said, for the price you’re getting an easy entry into Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. You can avoid expensive built-in solutions if you don’t want to spend so much. Of course, it will be cleaner and better integrated into your car but it’s always a trade-off. Many newer cars with built-in solutions can be quite restrictive. They either only support Android Auto or only Apple CarPlay. Sometimes they only work wired and not wirelessly. On the Carpuride you get everything.
- We also like how you get different ways to connect audio to your car, despite the fact that having an AUX input in your car is still the most ideal option.
- The different mounting options included in the box are nice. You can use the suction cup with an adjustable arm. Or you can go for a static mount with an adhesive sticker or affix it with screws. We like the adjustability of the telescopic arm with a swivel head, you can really dial in the best position.
- The 7 inch display itself is sharp and bright. It can also automatically adjust brightness depending on ambient light. Or you can also choose to override it manually. We kept it on auto and it was very readable in direct sunlight too.
I’m not going to use it!
But still I won’t be using it after this review. And the reasons are quite simple:
- Firstly, my car doesn’t have an AUX input. So I can only get audio through the Carpuride device itself or through FM transmission. Both are bad in terms of sound quality! So it’s a downgrade compared to the bluetooth unit I got set up in my car.
So who should use it?
The Carpuride is perfect:
- If you have an older car or even a newer car without a good infotainment system with a large and responsive touch screen display.
- If you want Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Or the flexibility of both if you share the car with your partner for example and they happen to use another phone.
- If you have a 12V power socket in the car and an AUX input for the best sound quality you can get on this device.
- If you don’t want to spend lots of money to get a new system built into your car
- And especially if you’re an iPhone user since you can’t get a CarPlay app from the App Store. Android, on the other hand, does have Android Auto as an app so you can technically get a cheap phone holder and use a lot of what Android Auto has to offer straight from your phone.
You’ve been having a pure ride in the car And we’ve been DHRME Namaste!