Enjoy my Ottocast U2-Lite Android 10 AI Box Review.
In this video, I take a look at the Ottocast U2-Lite, which is an entry-level Android OS AI Box for existing Apple CarPlay systems. With this AI Box, you will be able to download and install Android apps and run them on your CarPlay display system in your car.
This dongle comes with all the necessary cables to connect to your wired CarPlay system. The dongle itself comes with a meshed top and bottom casing to help cool the 4-core processor inside. There’s 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage for downloading apps and media files onto.
Without an internet connection to the dongle, like all AI Boxes, they are a little dumb, however, they offer wireless Apple CarPlay and also wireless Android Auto. By simply connecting to the AI Box’s BT connection you can not only stream audio, and call from your Phone over BT, you can also enable CarPlay or Android Auto to operate wirelessly (if your existing CarPlay system doesn’t support wireless connections).
Wireless CarPlay & Android Auto
CarPlay and Android Auto seemed to operate as expected, with the usual wireless traits of a 1-2 second delay in audio playback, audio navigation commands, and calling. These traits are just things you need to overcome when it comes to using wireless on either platform.
CarPlay connected flawlessly and at a good speed – around 10-12 seconds on its first pairing. The displayed feed during navigation and swiping between apps with some fast motion did struggle a little from time to time. Displaying some skips and lags on the touch. This is likely due to the lower spec’ GPU inside the AI Box. If you can overcome some shortfalls in performance, then the U2-Lite behaves decently in day-to-day CarPlay functions. Audio capture felt like it was taking it in a low-quality mode, which might help with calling, but I wasn’t able to fully test this at the time of the review.
I had trouble first connecting to the AI Box with my Google Pixel 5 Android running Android 12. But after forgetting the initial BT pairing and then restarting both Pixel and AI Box, I was able to connect without issue the second time. Boot into Android Auto took a little longer than other dongles, but this might have been due to the initial pairing process taking a little longer.
Connecting the U2-Lite to a wi-fi connection opens the dongle up to the many possibilities that AI Adapters offer. Browsing the Google Play store offers so many possible new uses in the car, that are missing from Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto. All have their own caveats and distractions whilst driving, so take care of yourself and other drivers when using apps whilst driving!
Apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other video streaming apps run well on this dongle, but the performance of navigation and streaming depends on your internet connection as well as the limit of the entry-level specifications of the internal CPU and GPU of the U2-Lite.
It really is a case of “you get what you pay for” with this AI Box from Ottocast. For low taxing tasks like music and video streaming, this box handles it well enough, however high rendering tasks like browsing app content, panning through navigation map tiles, generally making lots of movement, as well as taxing graphically intensive games, all might start to struggle with the low-end chipset inside.
For $169, the U2-Lite comes in at the low-end of AI Boxes, but its specs inside reflect that price. It does the job, but maybe a little slower than AI Boxes at twice the price. If you’re on a budget and you’re only interested in streaming media, this box might serve you well, anything more intensive and I would dig a little deeper into pockets.
0:00 – Brief overview
1:04 – Unboxing
2:45 – Installation
7:22 – Wireless Apple CarPlay
10:47 – Wireless Android Auto
12:40 – Android OS Apps
20:22 – MicroSD Media Playback
21:45 – Bluetooth Playback
22:37 – My Impressions