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Thread: Hardware Review: CustomGadz X2 Module for Android

  1. #1
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    Hardware Review: CustomGadz X2 Module for Android


    What is it?

    The CustomGadz X2 Module meshes the smartphone to the car PC, allowing for user-friendly control of an Android-powered car PC through a larger touchscreen monitor.

    The Verdict:

    The CustomGadz X2 Module is the ultimate way to make your smartphone your everday car PC. Simply plugging in an HDMI cable from your phone to a monitor transforms your vehicle into a Android-powered experience.

    Description:

    The world of do-it-yourself in-car entertainment has recently seen a paradigm shift. The days of finding a space for a typical mITX motherboard and power supply are seemingly being phased out. Instead, more and more individuals are creating ways to install different forms of low cost, power sipping computing solutions. The most popular of these options going into automobiles these days are the Android powered tablet displays. The benefit of an entertainment setup such as this is easy to see at the surface. You get an instantly-on operating environment that is tailored specifically for touch screen usage. Most of the worries of destroying car batteries are a thing of the past, and a tablet device of any quality is going to have a display which is capable of viewing in all levels of sunlight.

    The challenge when dealing with this form of car PC is installation, particularly for a person who has already dipped into a car PC installation in the past. The very nature of a sleek, slim mobile device which essentially does it all can be quite the chore to wedge into a modern automobile console. Every tablet comes in its own shape and size, making a car friendly docking solution somewhat unachievable. So with these issues raised, what solution does an individual have when craving Android but cringing at the thought of taking an expensive tablet and hacking away to make it work in a dash?


    Enter the CustomGadz X2 Module. Based closely on the Mimics iPhone module, the X2 eases installation hassles by allowing Android control through dash-friendly 7 touchscreen display. The brain of a X2 operated car PC is your HDMI-capable smartphone. Once configured, the X2 Android allows users to control their smartphone from a dash installed touchscreen. The X2 plugs into the touchscreen ribbon cable found in the screen housing, and uses Bluetooth technology to translate those presses to the smartphone. With X2 Android installed, having a car PC is as simple as plugging the HDMI cable from your smartphone to your touchscreen monitor.


    The X2 is essentially the link that allows users to experience the same friendly user interface whether in or out of the vehicle. Other obvious benefits are the available mobile data connection, and the amazing capabilities of built-in Android applications. Users get Google music, navigation, and voice control. These are applications that car PC users have been searching long and hard for when installing Windows-based solutions. Users also get a system that is entirely portable, and easily powered, as the device only requires a 5v signal and your Android can be powered with an everyday automotive charge cable.


    As one can imagine, the many flavors of Android demands some configuration before the X2 becomes a perfect option. Quite honestly, configuration was somewhat confusing, especially having tested on the base module with the adapter for my 4-wire Lilliput touchscreen. Essentially, configuration requires connecting the X2 to a PC running custom terminal program. Users must also connect an external button and LED light (neither are included with the base X2 package) and enter button presses to correspond to the commands the application dictates. Once configured, the X2 module must then be calibrated through the combination of a downloadable Android app and another combination of button presses and led flashes. While a tad bit tedious, the entire process is well documented in the installation manual.


    The other obvious drawback to the current version of the X2 Android device is the compatibility is limited in both touchscreen monitors and Android smartphones. Be sure to check the device compatibility list before purchasing. Ultimately, the X2 Android device allows a new group of car PC user, those who don't want to fabricate and destroy dashboards to achieve all the things a car PC can be.

    The Positive:

    Allows instant control of your smartphone through a larger display
    Instant control response, no delay after presses
    Auto-power on/off
    Touchscreen presses are mirrored from both touchscreen and smartphone
    Included software walks you through touchscreen calibration
    Easy to power


    The Negative:

    Configuration and calibration are a chore
    Limited compatbility with Android smartphones
    Multi-Touch capabilities of android aren't available on most touchscreen monitors
    Base module does not include required adapters and add-ons

    The Verdict:

    The CustomGadz X2 Module is the ultimate way to make your smartphone your everday car PC. Simply plugging in an HDMI cable from your phone to a monitor transforms your vehicle into a Android-powered experience.
    Last edited by Sonicxtacy02; 09-23-2012 at 07:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Newbie jontheinstaller's Avatar
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    Sonicxtacy:
    Where can you buy this?
    And what is the price?
    Where can I see the list of compatible phones?
    Thank you

  3. #3
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    Looks promising, when will this be available?
    New Car PC Build list in progress

  4. #4
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    You guys can check with the manufacturers website http://www.customgadz.com/store/ for updates on this device as well as others.
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  5. #5
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    MP3CAR Team,

    you have tested this device. Apparently it is not available.

    As a rule, this website should not review a device that is not available unless it has a release date.

    If the manufacturer misleads on this date ( so that the review takes place), then the credibility of the company can easily be judged.

    I have looked for this type of device for a while and now I get this close only to wait for a date not even announced........

    UPDATE:
    can someone help me to select which device to order for use with an ATRIX 2 smartphone. the review here calls out X2, but the website uses "X2" verbiage with every device. I need help with which specific device i need. I will order the display from the website also so that i get correct compatibility.

    thanks guys............
    Last edited by kafklatsch; 10-03-2012 at 08:47 AM. Reason: update

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kafklatsch View Post
    MP3CAR Team,

    you have tested this device. Apparently it is not available.

    As a rule, this website should not review a device that is not available unless it has a release date.

    If the manufacturer misleads on this date ( so that the review takes place), then the credibility of the company can easily be judged.

    I have looked for this type of device for a while and now I get this close only to wait for a date not even announced........

    UPDATE:
    can someone help me to select which device to order for use with an ATRIX 2 smartphone. the review here calls out X2, but the website uses "X2" verbiage with every device. I need help with which specific device i need. I will order the display from the website also so that i get correct compatibility.

    thanks guys............
    Its orderable. I have it installed. It just takes awhile to get and setup.
    There is more info on the thread:
    http://www.mp3car.com/android/149669...roring-33.html

  7. #7
    FKA CivicModz
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    Quote Originally Posted by kafklatsch View Post
    MP3CAR Team,

    you have tested this device. Apparently it is not available.

    As a rule, this website should not review a device that is not available unless it has a release date.

    If the manufacturer misleads on this date ( so that the review takes place), then the credibility of the company can easily be judged.

    I have looked for this type of device for a while and now I get this close only to wait for a date not even announced........

    UPDATE:
    can someone help me to select which device to order for use with an ATRIX 2 smartphone. the review here calls out X2, but the website uses "X2" verbiage with every device. I need help with which specific device i need. I will order the display from the website also so that i get correct compatibility.

    thanks guys............
    Sorry for the confusion:
    "Mimics" = iOS only (Original version)
    "X2 Module" = Android - Gingerbread only (Updated hardware to support Android)
    "MimicsX2" = iOS/Android - iOS/Gingerbread/ICS/JellyBean (Completely redesigned hardware with Firmware updates/Setup using a MicroSD Card)

    New version is much easier to setup and install.

  8. #8
    FLAC hexxamillion's Avatar
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    Any idea on when the MimicsX2 will be available and in the mp3car store? This actually looks very practical.
    "Live Free!!!...It's all about Open Source"
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  9. #9
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    All I can say to anyone ordering this product is this guy Dave who runs this operation is either a fraud or a completely irresponsible business man. I ordered the MimicsX2 whatever back in January 2013 only to receive promises of delivery in a week then oh I've been busy and forgot about you to, I've got your package right in front of me waiting to go to the postal carrier. Lately the lie has been to send me a tracking number by email to an Australian postal carrier but the number tracks to nothing. It is now April 14, 2013

    I even told this guy that I would search this product and warn all who are considering ordering from this company/guy Customgadz/Dave. I am sick and tired of dealing with this guy.

    I have all the email correspondence with verifiable proof of this guys fraud or lies or whatever kind of business this guy is running. I don't know how they do business in Australia but anywhere else in the world these kind practices would put you out of business. and I am considering posting it on the net make it searchable for others to see the method of lies he tells to the unsuspecting.

    Don't get me wrong Dave has answered some, not all email correspondence and he has been most cordial. I want to be sweet talked out of my money as badly as I want to be a victim of armed robbery. Which is honestly what this is starting to feel like. I don't know what recourse I have due to being on two different continents.

    Since I lost my money I hope my story saves someone else from the same fate.
    No MimicsX2, no money no way to get JUSTICE!

    This is some B.S. Dave!

    SO FAIR WARNING TO ALL CONSIDERING ORDERING THIS PRODUCT.

    If this guy sends my merchandise I will update my post. But the fact remains about the blatant lies and bad business this guy Dave has presented thus far.

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