CNET First Look
Pioneer AVH-4100NEX multimedia receiverThis is Pioneer's entry-level NEX model, but its value and features put it in the sweet spot.
So you're looking to add Android Auto or Apple CarPlay to your commute, but you don't want to buy a brand new 2016 model. Well, I've got just the thing here for you, the Pioneer AVH 4100 NEX, and it is a in-dash multimedia receiver that handles both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. When you plug an iPhone into the 4100 NIC, the interface is taken over by Apple CarPlay, and that gives you big icons for your maps, your music. All of the basic sort of Apple apps that you'd want to use on the road, and you get access to Siri. So you can hold down a button. Directions to the nearest coffee shop. And you get access to all of the Series I3 voice commands for navigation, for incoming text messages, and for initiating and answering calls. Now if you're not an Apple user and you have an Android smartphone, you can plug that in as well. And you'll find that the interface is then taken over by Android Auto. Now the functionality is similar but the sort of interface is a little bit different. But you do still get access to navigation using your phone's software, a couple of audio apps. And even things like hand free calling and voicemail. And of course you can voice search things here as well. Directions to San Francisco international airport. San Francisco is twenty one minutes from your location by car in moderate traffic here are your directions Now the feature sets for Android Auto and Apple Car Play are pretty similar so it's just a matter of which phone you prefer to carry around. If you happen to leave your phone at home, you have access to a full gamut of digital audio sources including USB connectivity, and HD radio. So, it's got a lot of bases covered right there. Like the top end 8100, the 4100 uses a T touch touch screen, this is a seven-inch unit, the same size as the flagship. The only difference is the 8100 uses a capacitive screen and this one uses a resistive screen. Now if you didn't tell me that this was a resistant unit I wouldn't know, it's very responsive. [UNKNOWN] tells us This is a specific version of resistive touch screen technology developed in concert with Google just for this receiver. One of the things that's unique to the 4100 is that it has a detachable face plate. If you live in an area where security's a concern and you don't want someone stealing your stereo, this is a very nice feature to have. And the 4100, the entry model, is the only unit in the next series that does this. Now the 4100 isn't the flagship of Pioneer's next model. It's actually the entry level unit. As an AVH unit, it doesn't have built-in GPS, doesn't have all the bells and whistles of our current editor's choice, 8100NEX, but in a lot of ways, that makes it a better receiver for most users. By skimming off all of that stuff, you basically get left with an in-dash DVD player that has some pretty good Set of audio inputs and, most importantly, Android Audio and Apple Car Play compatibility right out of the box. Now, what you don't get, is the 8100's gigantic price tag. At an MSRP of about $700. And you can save a lot of money by just getting the features that you need with this entry level unit. So that is the Pioneer AVH4100NEX in a nutshell. It's my personal favorite in the NEX lineup and that it's the cheapest is a nice bonus. I'm Antoine Goo with cnet.com and this is our first look at it.