Optimized Android 10 AI Box for Factory Apple CarPlay | KyeBriq Briq2-Pro Review

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In this video, I check out the KyeBriq Briq2-Pro Android 10 AI Box.

You can buy this AI Box for $253 from KyeBriq directly here → https://bit.ly/briq2pro and use coupon code ‘carplaylife‘ at checkout for $10-OFF your order.

This new AI Box is the Briq2-Pro. It is a plug-and-play Android 10 Adapter for existing factory CarPlay systems and aftermarket stereos, that enable you to run Android apps such as video streaming apps like Netflix and Youtube on your CarPlay display.

In the box you get a small thank you card with a QR code on it that you scan with your phone to access the manual installation guide, there is the dongle itself and a rather generous 50cm long USB-C to USB-A power cable and USB-A to C adapter for modern CarPlay USB-C ports.

Looking over the dongle, it carries a similar form factor to a number of other new AI Box dongles that I will be showing on this channel over the coming weeks. At first glance, this model features only one USB-C port on its casing, but underneath there is a button that you slide out to open the side casing on the dongle that reveals the TF or SIM card slots for local storage or internet. Media can also be downloaded to the dongle’s 50GB of remaining internal storage and the internet can also be provided by local WI-FI or a personal hotspot from your iPhone or Android device.

Its casing is like a modified ApplePie Mini case, with a new chrome outer casing and a glossy black top with a white KyeBriq logo positioned in the centre. Underneath you have the same round metal heatsink plate and cooling plastic swirl design to keep the Qualcomm 450 chipset inside cool. My review unit didn’t come with a button to slide out the SIM and TF card cover, so if your unit ever comes like this you can push the cover out with a 3.5mm jack or something thin and long enough to poke the side cover out.

Bootup

From a cold boot on the Coral Vision CarPlay display, I timed 45 seconds before the Android 10 OS home screen icons would display. From a hot boot, I timed around 28 seconds to get to the same home screen.

The home screen and general user interface mirrored most Android AI Box interfaces with the same floating home button I love to hate. There are the usual setup of default apps pre-installed on the dongle, which includes streaming apps YouTube, NetFlix, Disney+ and HBO Max, and there are other key pre-installed apps such as Spotify, Waze and YouTube Music. The usual Google suite of Maps, Chrome and the Google Play Store are also here ready to be used once you’ve logged into your own Google Account.

Over in the settings app, you can customise your experience further and set up your Bluetooth and Internet connection, unless you have a SIM card installed, both are required to breathe any form of life into the Android AI Box. You can also choose to connect the dongle to a mobile personal hotspot or connect it to a local Wi-Fi or Mi-Fi hotspot.

Internet Connection

I tried SIM, personal hotspot and my home Wi-Fi connection, and all were swift to connect the first time, which can’t be so easily said for some older AI Boxes. If you wish to use this AI Box simultaneously alongside wireless Android Auto or wireless Apple CarPlay, you will need to install a SIM card into the AI Box, otherwise, the Wi-Fi connection to your Wi-Fi or personal hotspot will disconnect to allow your mobile phone to wireless connect to CarPlay or Android Auto wirelessly.

Once connected to the internet I tried all the usual apps for their functionality and performance. Due to the QualComm450 processor in this dongle, you can expect my usual concerns about this dongle’s lack of grunt and performance. The team at KyeBriq however has done some software optimisations to eke out improvements on this dongle’s 1.8Ghz 8-core processor, over other dongles, and it shows. Google Maps doesn’t seem to stutter as much it does on other AI Boxes with the same hardware, and general navigation between screens feels a little smoother. But once you get into more demanding apps and games the QC450 CPU does still struggle and leaves you longing for a faster and smoother experience seen on much faster AI Boxes. But if streaming video content is what you most want to do here, the Briq2-Pro achieves this in a fairly tolerable way.

Video Streaming Apps on the Go

Apps like NetFlix and YouTube perform acceptably well on this AI Box, and the Android 10 UI allows for picture-in-picture modes on the home screen and over other running applications, as well as in split-screen mode beside other running apps. Disney+ and HBO Max apps also come pre-installed, should you have an active subscription. The HBO Max app doesn’t work within the UK and Disney and Netflix apps can’t be upgraded from the Google Play store, yet apps like Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer and SkyGO apps can all be installed on the AI Box without any issue.

The AI Box features built-in GPS, should you wish to use it for Android based navigation apps, yet you will need a decent internet connection to get the best experience out of these apps on this dongle. Google Maps and Waze perform well with less stuttering on zoom in and panning tiles as I have seen on other dongles running on the same hardware.

Gaming Whilst Charging Your EV

If you’re looking to play games on this AI Box, then the QC450 CPU, 4GB of RAM and Adreno 506 GPU will limit what games you can play smoothly on this platform.

Popular games like Crossy Road, Angry Birds Journey and Subway Surfer just barely perform well enough on this AI Box, so I found it’s best to stick with less demanding 2D games than complex or fast moving 3D games.

Wireless CarPlay & Android Auto

If you wish to use this AI Box for wireless CarPlay or Android Auto, the pre-installed Zlink app allows you to connect your mobile wirelessly to the AI Box. This it the first time I’ve seen the newer 5.2.43 version come pre-installed. This version brings a few nice additions including a way to improve the sharpness of the wireless stream in high definition and float a Zlink option button over other applications for fast switching, whilst background connection and driver position toggles round up the app’s more standard settings.

Connection to wireless CarPlay took around 15 seconds, whilst Android Auto took a little faster at about 10 seconds to connect, after the initial Bluetooth pairing. So for a bigger picture, add these times to both the initial bootup of the system and the dongle startup time and you’ll end up with around 80 seconds from a cold boot into Wireless CarPlay and about 77 seconds into Wireless Android Auto.

Once in either platform, the experience is much the same as you would expect with any wireless adapter, however, I did notice some streaming artefacts occur with fast map movement in wireless CarPlay at times, and on my Coral Vision display the Android Auto interface was very small and practically not that useable due to the size of the icons and their hit zones when pressing them. But with that said, everything functioned as intended on both platforms, with the usual wireless audio delay traits and experiences.

The Briq2-Pro AI Box retails for $253 plus shipping from their website directly. You can also use my coupon code carplaylife to save yourself $10 off the retail price at checkout.

Overall, my time with the Briq2-Pro has been good, but when considering the faster alternatives out there, it isn’t the best. It does tick many boxes as the most current and popular AI Boxes do, with its average level of technology inside its sleek looking case, just don’t expect a zippy experience overall. KyeBriq has done a great level of optimisation on the Android 10 platform, which makes this AI Box good enough for video streaming and low-level tasks. It’s let down by its no frills, floating button user interface, which can frustrate at times compared to a fixed side menu.

I did lose audio at times in the media player and in games, and I also found times where it struggled to display my high bitrate local video files, so this just shows if you push this AI Box too hard with certain performing apps it will bite back at you and it may leave you wanting something that performs a little better.

TIMESTAMPS:

0:00 – Brief overview
0:24 – Unboxing
0:43 – Features
1:59 – Bootup & stock apps
2:41 – Internet connection
3:33 – App performance
4:20 – Video streaming apps
5:00 – Built in GPS & Maps
5:19 – Gaming
5:46 – Wireless CarPlay & Android Auto
7:11 – My Impressions

You can view this video and many more on my YouTube channel. If you like what you see, please do Like and Subscribe to our channel so you can be alerted when our next video goes live.

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