Enjoy my Aurora Apple CarPlay Android 10 AI Box Review.
You can buy this AI Box for $239.98 from their store on AliExpress → https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_AK9wza.
In this video, I look at a new CarPlay AI Box running Android 10 OS from Aurora. This is a similar dongle to the MMB 11 Plus Android box, however, this dongle runs an older Android 10 OS, and it features the same specs as most of the earlier Android dongles I have reviewed on this channel.
Sames Specs & Different Performance
On first boot-up, I had to reconfigure the platform and reboot, but once rebooted I was back into the Android 10 OS in around 49 seconds. This included an initial setup screen, so expect launch timings to be a little faster than that into the Android OS.
Once in the Android 10 OS on my Alpine Aftermarket display, I was presented with a familiar UI to all the other dongles. Sadly they have chosen to go with the floating white dot and rollout dock menu to navigate home, go back in apps, enter split-screen, toggle the assistant, and clean up any running apps. I find this gets in the way and would rather prefer the persistent side dock options found on the Nexxon AI Box – which also ran Android 10 and had similar specs.
What surprised me, though, was that I found this AI Box to be one of the fastest, yet all the specs were just the same as all the other dongles I had tried before it. Whether that was due to a decent 5GHz Wi-Fi signal, which connected for the first time – unlike all the other AI Boxes I’ve reviewed!
Overall, I found the UI a little bit of a backward step compared to its rivals, but if you can overlook this, then the experience with the Aurora AI Box is much the same as all the others really.
One advantage is its price, but as it is from AliExpress, where everything is cheaper than Amazon, you have to factor in shipping costs and any overseas customs duty that you might get given once the dongle shows up on your doorstep.
Wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
But with lots of cooling, I didn’t find the dongle lag or play during my testing. CarPlay was smooth with decent video and audio quality. Calling was a surprise on CarPlay specifically. In that, it chose to use the low-quality calling of Siri when dictating an audio message. Usually, you can hear a hum on my Alpine that most dongles pick up on, but this unit didn’t carry that at all, so I wonder if the wireless echo in calling would be improved here. Sadly I couldn’t fully test this out at the time.
Wireless Android Auto was also decent, with a speedy boot-up and performance within any compatible apps that I tried. Again, I was limited by my Android data SIM, so with a decent connection for internet heavy apps, I am sure this dongle would be capable of performing well here too.
Android AI Box Security & HDMI output
Security is also a concern with this AI Box, as it is with all the others. Luckily the Android settings menu is open so you can dip into the security section and add a swipe or password to gain entry into the dongle so that you can keep your data and accounts safe should you get the dongle stolen from inside your vehicle.
Much like the MMB 11 dongle, the HDMI was also a little bit of a letdown. The thought of taking a box like this and a BT remote on holiday to connect to a hotel TV, with all your media, on sounds really appealing. But in practice, I was a little disappointed. This HDMI function is best situated in the Car, as audio is passed from the USB-C connection and not through the HDMI port, so connecting to an HDMI monitor or display with audio speakers doesn’t work.
So overall the Aurora CarPlay AI Box is a decent Android 10 dongle that happened to perform just as well if not better than all the other AI Box dongles I have tested so far. It just lacks a little refinement in the UI department and I hope we begin to see beefier CPUs and GPUs in future AI Boxes because they really could do with them.
0:00 – Brief overview
0:45 – Unboxing
1:23 – Features & Specs
4:29 – Installation & Demo
14:57 – Wireless CarPlay
16:35 – Wireless Android Auto
18:15 – HDMI connection
18:52 – My Impressions
20:42 – Android Security