Bluepower Android head unit in S40 - thoughts / opinions / alternatives?
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    1. #1

      Bluepower Android head unit in S40 - thoughts / opinions / alternatives?

      Thinking hard about this, but the price is kind of hard to swallow. That said, I really like the idea of all the original dash and wheel controls working.

      I already have a (poorly installed by someone else) touchscreen Sony unit that works well enough, but it doesn't show the original screen info (climate control, etc) which isn't ideal.

      Also, if I do decide to bite the bullet and get the Bluepower unit, how do I determine what sound system my car has in it? I've seen videos where others main displays show "performance audio" or whatever at start up. Mine doesn't do this.

      Thanks!
      06 S40 T5 AWD : DO88 intercooler : 3" EST downpipe : Eibach springs (1" drop) : Magnaflow cat-back exhaust : Hilton stage 2.5 tune

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    3. #2
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      I'm not sure how to help you on which version of the sound system you have. Mine would display performance audio on startup so it was pretty easy. I really like my Bluepower unit, but its not a perfect solution. First of all, getting a hold of someone at the company is pretty hit or miss. They eventually responded and helped me along the install, but it sometimes took multiple emails. My version is the Android 7 version, but I saw on their website that they were updating it to the newest Android version. Along with my first point, I emailed them to see if I could send my unit back to get upgraded, and have heard no response...shocking! The things I like about it: 1) The installation final product is really clean. 2) The original controls for the climate control is money (not to mention the steering wheel controls work). 3) Adds capability that I wouldn't have anyways. Things I don't like: 1) The Apple CarPlay add-on uses a third party hack module and a program called Z-Box to work. It pulls up and looks like CarPlay and has all the capability, but over a long drive as the go between dongle heats up, the system lags to the point its unusable. I suspect its a thermal issue and have thought about testing it with a dedicated fan blowing on it, but that's neither here nor there. 2) The system is not that intuitive and the icons to my knowledge are not changeable. For example, the radio is its own dedicated icon, but to play bluetooth music, its under a different icon, plus another sub-menu. My wife wasn't able to jump in and figure it out without my help. 3) You have to download your own map program and set it as default. There's a free one through the google store that works pretty well. 4) The sound quality for the hands free microphone isn't great. 5) The system is pretty intensive to install.

      Overall, I'm happy with it based on how it looks and, after becoming familiar with it, it's not that cosmic to operate. I would love to see what improvements, if any, the new version will have. DM me if you have any other specific questions.

    4. #3
      Member AutoGeek's Avatar
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      How is the sound quality of the Bluepower? Did you do any other mods to the sound system (ie speakers)?
      2005 V50 T5 FWD M66 Passion Red (Radio Flyer) Bilstein HD, ECU spacer, Snabb Turbo Pipe

      1998 V70 NA - Sold, 2002 S40 1.9T - R.I.P., 2005 V50 T5 - RIP

      Remember kids, Speed doesn't kill ... impact does!

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    6. #4
      Quote Originally Posted by AutoGeek View Post
      How is the sound quality of the Bluepower? Did you do any other mods to the sound system (ie speakers)?
      Yeah, good question. How do owners feel the amp in the Bluepower compares to the stock amps?

      Don't want to end up trading quality for convenience. Especially at this price point. Heck, I could get the car professionally plastidipped for what the head unit will cost me!

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      Last edited by silent-circuit; 01-14-2020 at 11:24 PM.
      06 S40 T5 AWD : DO88 intercooler : 3" EST downpipe : Eibach springs (1" drop) : Magnaflow cat-back exhaust : Hilton stage 2.5 tune

    7. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by silent-circuit View Post
      Yeah, good question. How do owners feel the amp in the Bluepower compares to the stock amps?

      Don't want to end up trading quality for convenience. Especially at this price point. Heck, I could get the car professionally plastidipped for what the head unit will cost me!

      Sent from my PH-1 using Tapatalk
      Damn, that's low price for a fully dipped car.

      I just received my new bluepower unit last week. Waiting on a response from the to get 2 missing cables for the amo in the back and for the ICM. Will be posting a review once everything is installed.

      As for the price, I really dont think it's that high. Any OEM looking bluetooth unit for my e39 5 series is 400+.

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    8. #6
      Global Moderator R-Pow3R3d's Avatar
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      The $0.02 I'll offer is that I've not once seen a glowing review of their products. You just never see anyone calling these user-friendly, intuitive, fully-functional out of the box, straightforward, a complete solution, etc. YMMV
      2004 V70R MT TiGray/Nordkap - Replica 18" Pegs - Handbrake Mod
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    9. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by R-Pow3R3d View Post
      The $0.02 I'll offer is that I've not once seen a glowing review of their products. You just never see anyone calling these user-friendly, intuitive, fully-functional out of the box, straightforward, a complete solution, etc. YMMV
      I will definitely agree to the regarding the last version. Maybe I have high Hope's for this update. From the looks of their install instructions, it looks like it will be very simple to install android apps via SD card or USB.

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    10. #8
      Quote Originally Posted by ducktape View Post
      Damn, that's low price for a fully dipped car.

      I just received my new bluepower unit last week. Waiting on a response from the to get 2 missing cables for the amo in the back and for the ICM. Will be posting a review once everything is installed.

      As for the price, I really dont think it's that high. Any OEM looking bluetooth unit for my e39 5 series is 400+.

      Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
      It's a guy out in the country doing it in a glorified tent in his driveway, but I've seen his past work and he knows what he's doing.

      400+ I could handle, but the Bluepower unit is going to run $620 USD shipped, without Android Auto / car play, and assuming I can reuse my existing backup camera instead of buying theirs. That feels high to me for what others have described as a bit of a cludge. That said, I've yet to find a better alternative so I may end up getting it anyway in the end.

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      Last edited by silent-circuit; 01-15-2020 at 08:15 AM.
      06 S40 T5 AWD : DO88 intercooler : 3" EST downpipe : Eibach springs (1" drop) : Magnaflow cat-back exhaust : Hilton stage 2.5 tune

    11. #9
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      Waaaaay to expensive in my opinion, looks alright but not heared anything ravingl possitive thats made me feel like "ahhh yes its defenitly worth that amount".

      I just used a cheap tablet and adapted that instead, cost me £30 for a samsung tablet and routing the cabling to the aux / usb under the armrest. Mounts a bit of a working progress but its getting there, just using magnets for simplicity.
      -------------------------------------------------
      2009 Volvo S40 - With a few mods

    12. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by silent-circuit View Post
      It's a guy out in the country doing it in a glorified tent in his driveway, but I've seen his past work and he knows what he's doing.

      400+ I could handle, but the Bluepower unit is going to run $620 USD shipped, without Android Auto / car play, and assuming I can reuse my existing backup camera instead of buying theirs. That feels high to me for what others have described as a bit of a cludge. That said, I've yet to find a better alternative so I may end up getting it anyway in the end.

      Sent from my PH-1 using Tapatalk
      I paid $483 which included shipping and a paypal fee. The new updated unit does support apple and android car play, with screen mirroring as well.

      Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk

    13. #11
      Junior Member Sysyphus61's Avatar
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      It's basically a hundred dollar android tablet split into two, half goes in the glovebox, the other half is the screen, sits in the waterfall where the factory display and CD slot are, and there's a wiring harness to hook it all together and attach it to the car

      Sound quality is unchanged from factory, unless you have the base sound system - on the higher end factory systems the BluePower piggybacks into the aux input of the factory system... one unfortunate side effect of this is that the volume control simultaneously changes the android volume and the amplifier volume, so you only have about a quarter turn useable between can't hear anything and rattling the window
      2009 C70 T5, Celestial Blue 130k
      2011 S60 T6 AWD Caspian Blue

    14. #12
      Fairly sure I have the "base" factory system... The more I look in to it the more I'm thinking about just getting the stereo and starting from scratch.

      I've seen a couple people mention getting the wheel buttons to work (volume controls and track forward / back) with aftermarket stereos in V70s... Can the same be done with the S40 system? I mean, clearly Bluepower figured it out.

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      Last edited by silent-circuit; 01-16-2020 at 12:14 AM.
      06 S40 T5 AWD : DO88 intercooler : 3" EST downpipe : Eibach springs (1" drop) : Magnaflow cat-back exhaust : Hilton stage 2.5 tune

    15. #13
      Member AutoGeek's Avatar
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      I see a few posts mention using the aux-in to connect a tablet or that the Bluepower just connects to the Aux-in. If only we all had aux-in. In this case we would use the Bluepower's amp or connect an external amp. I haven't seen anyone do the later yet.
      2005 V50 T5 FWD M66 Passion Red (Radio Flyer) Bilstein HD, ECU spacer, Snabb Turbo Pipe

      1998 V70 NA - Sold, 2002 S40 1.9T - R.I.P., 2005 V50 T5 - RIP

      Remember kids, Speed doesn't kill ... impact does!

    16. #14
      Junior Member Sysyphus61's Avatar
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      Sorry. I do know BluePower have a different wiring harness for factory systems without AUX, but I'm not familiar with how the bluepower plumbs into those systems
      2009 C70 T5, Celestial Blue 130k
      2011 S60 T6 AWD Caspian Blue

    17. #15
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      had this unit in the car and had to rip it out because it took too much real estate in what is already a silly-small glovebox.

      The unit is ā€œokā€ compared to aftermarket systems and itā€™s not saving grace is that it fits into the stock waterfall cleanly. The connections to the screen are poorly made and break easily so be very careful with install.

      Setup itself if quite glitchy. Definitely not plug/play.

      Sadly no one else has come up with a better solution without spending more than makes good sense for a full custom job.

    18. #16
      Junior Member dobiegillis's Avatar
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      I read several other threads really trashing the system quality and customer service.

      Would be interested to read a newer review, especially for someone who put it in with factory dynaudio and 6-disc.

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    19. #17
      Junior Member jonasbuchholz's Avatar
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      I have had mine for about half a year now or so i think and i am pretty happy with it. For me the most important feature i wanted was bluetooth and a reverse camera. My car has the premium audio and i feel like the sound quality is pretty much the same if not a bit better but i don't think the center speakers in the dash board work anymore because of it.
      Also i have android auto function with a app from the appstore called headunit reloaded with that there is no need for the dongle, you just connect it directly to the unit itself via usb

      So while i think that it's overpriced i have the features i wanted from it so i am happy with it.
      2004 Volvo s40 2.4 - Dawn blue pearl

    20. #18
      Member AutoGeek's Avatar
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      Thank you. Good info
      2005 V50 T5 FWD M66 Passion Red (Radio Flyer) Bilstein HD, ECU spacer, Snabb Turbo Pipe

      1998 V70 NA - Sold, 2002 S40 1.9T - R.I.P., 2005 V50 T5 - RIP

      Remember kids, Speed doesn't kill ... impact does!

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