In Dash GPS Navigation + Audio + Bluetooth System from bimmian.com
This new GPS system from Bimmian.com is a huge breakthrough in aftermarket Navigation technology. Previously the only options for in-dash navigation were to either pay thousands of dollars to retrofit a factory navigation system to your vehicle, or pay hundreds for a plastic bezel, and pay someone to spend upwards of 8 hours modifying the insides of your dash in an attempt to install a generic double din navigation unit into your vehicle.
With Bimmians new GPS system, you will get an economically priced in-dash navigation system, complete with bluetooth, DVD, iPod, steering wheel controls, USB and many other features listed below. This is a plug-and-play system with no need to search for brackets, cables, or adapters to do the install. This installation installs in under an hour, and requires NO PERMANENT MODIFICATION to your vehicle. This system was designed SPECIFICALLY for the vehicle for which is is being sold (E46, E90 or E39/E53 X5/e38) so it has a very flush and OEM look.
BMW TOUCH SCREEN LCD DVD PLAYER FEATURES:
* OEM inspired design
* OSD touchscreen function
* Built-in Bluetooth funciton
* Built-in Navigation(GPS)system
* iPod compatibility
* SD card slot and mini-USB port
* 45Watts x 4 sound output
* DVD,DVD-R,DVD-RW,DIVX,MPEG4,CD,CD-DA,CD-R,CD-RW,MP3,WMA,VCD and SVCD support
* Electronic and mechanical Anti-Shock System
* Screen: 7-inch Digital LCD (16:9) for E46/E90 and 6.2-inch for E39/E38/E53 X5
* Screen resolution: 800x480
* Four preset EQ settings
* Rear monitor video output (rear camera not included)
* 4-CH RCA line out for headrest monitor
* 30 FM/AM preset stations (AM 12 /FM 18)
* Full-function remote control
* Built-in RDS function
* For both LHD and RHD vehicles
At first all this seemed to be too good to be true. So we bought a sample and were pleasantly surprised. After being very pleased with our testing, we have decided to offer this system to our customers.
Note that for E46 LEFT HAND DRIVE ONLY, an additional OEM part IS INCLUDED with your kit (unless base kit is ordered). This part is necessary to relocate the factory heater/AC controls down below to where your storage drawer is currently located (see pictures). (Before ordering, check your vehicle interior and note whether the row of buttons above the ashtray are all on one strip (common) or if your buttons are in that row individually with vertical bars between them). You will need to know this information at the time of ordering. If you have a RIGHT HAND DRIVE VEHICLE, you will have to order this from BMW directly.
Below, I would like to make a few points about what we found to be good and bad about this system. We are going to be completely blunt and honest here, to try to give an unbiased review. First off, this is a very complex device, and for the price being in the hundreds as opposed to thousands, it is absolutely terriffic. It will have little disadvantages outlined below, but so does the $3000 OEM system. So if you think you can live with a system which performs 99.9%, please read on.
Installation: ***** So easy. Almost anyone can do this. It should take only about an hour or so. After trim pieces are removed, two wires (provided) connect the GPS to the vehicle electrical system. you then just run the microphone and gps antenna to convenient locations, and attach the GPS to the vehicle using only two screws. Step by step INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THIS SYSTEM - Unique to Bimmian.com!
Fitment: ***** This is incredible, most people think that this is an OEM NAV system based on the quality of the fitment. The angles, contours, material quality, are top notch and blend in perfectly with the vehicles dash and other components. Even the ILLUMINATION COLOR at night is a perfect match to the orange color of the other illuminated buttons throughout the vehicle.
Map Software: **** The map software is very good, it has lots of POIs (points of interest). The graphics are good. You have to fiddle with the 3D perspective view to get a good, useful view that looks nice. The directions given are efficient and accurate. The system doesn't talk too much either like some machines do.
Speed: ***** This is by far the fastest navigation system we have ever used. Faster than MKIV OEM BMW, faster than iDrive, faster than double din aftermarket units as well. When you enter a street name, for example, and press accept, the screen instantly asks you for the street number. Other systems add delay there while they look up the list of valid street numbers and refresh the screen.
Touch Screen: ***** The touch screen is very accurate, and makes inputting so quick. By default the unit chirps each time you touch the screen but thankfully you can turn this off.
Bluetooth: ***** We had no problem linking our blackberries to these units. Pairing was simple and worked great. One nice feature about the bluetooth that we have not seen before is that the volume knob actually controls the volume of the person you are speaking with. We mounted the microphone in the overhead console near the map lights where BMW puts their stock microphone for bluetooth. While obviously speakerphone, people report good quality calls.
Steering Wheel Control: ***** This is a great feature which enables you to use all the steering wheel control buttons (volume, track, etc) to control the unit. The delay after pushing the button is minimal compared to most PAC units on aftermarket GPS systems. And unique to this system, there is no splicing wires in the steering column to complete this installation. Access to the IBUS is gained through the connection in the main radio harness.
iPod/iPhone Connectivity: *** The level of iPod compatibility you will expericence is largely related to the ipod model and firmware versions you are using. The newest versions 5+ of this unit, available now, are much better than the old units for iPod compatibility. On all models we have seen, the iPod will charge and play audio through the speakers, although compatibility with on-screen browsing for music varies from iPod to iPod. Since the iPhone has bluetooth connectivity, phone functionality works great with the iPhone without even plugging it in.
USB Connectivity: ***** You are able to plug a USB stick into a usb cable that is the perfect length to sit in the ashtray (not included). The system will play the MP3s from this stick as you would expect. Quality is good, and interface is very good.
Interface: ***** The interface in this device is quite intuitive, although the system does use two completely separate interfaces. The unit runs on Windows CE embedded, so like any windows device you can switch between two tasks. There are two programs running at any time on the system, the first is the nav software, and the other is the ICE (in car entertainment - radio, iPod, bluetooth) part. The NAV button as shown on the front of the unit acts as a hot key to switch between these two programs. The GPS software takes a few seconds to load the first time you use it after turning on the car.
Remote Control: **** The remote control, while functional is not very aesthetically great-looking design. It is, however, included at no extra charge (which is more than most aftermarket systems offer). A remote control for a car audio system has always made me wonder. I, personally, do not see much use for it anyway.
US MAP CARDS INCLUDE
USA + Canada (Mexico available email before purchasing)
EUROPE MAP CARDS INCLUDE
Austria, Belgium, BosniaHrz, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Rep., Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom. Note that for smaller countries, 100% street data may not be avaialble.
ASIA+AU+SA+MIDEAST MAP CARDS INCLUDE
Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belarus, BosniaHrz, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Egypt, Estonia, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Macao, Malaysia, Moldova, New Zealand, Oman, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates.
Note that for smaller countries, 100% street/POI data may not be avaialble.
Since the unit is windows CE based, if you preferred to install an alternate brand of GPS software, this is possible. ie. tomtom.
The map data, and GPS navigation software program are stored on a SD card. Due to the fact that the GPS software becomes obselete more quickly than the map data, they are paired together and they are both updated together at once. You cannot upgrade one without upgrading the other. So you cannot just replace ONLY the maps without replacing the software.
In several years, if you choose to update the maps, you just go to the store and buy any GPS navigation software+maps package that runs on windows CE. Then you take that card, and put it in the gps system to have upgraded SOFTWARE AND MAPS.
This unit carries a one-year manufacturers warranty. If you experience a problem within 30 days of your purchase, you may return your unit to us at your cost and we will cover the cost of return overseas. Outside of 30 days, we will arrange the return with the factory but you will need to send your device there at your cost. Either way, the unit will be returned to you at no cost after the repair. A "loaner" unit may be available to borrow while your unit is being repaired. A deposit and shipping charge will be required. Ultimately, all decisions regarding warranty repair or replacement will be those of the manufacturer and not of Bimmian.com