Ottocast Lite C5 Motorcycle / Scooter CarPlay Android Auto Display Screen Review

In this video, I check out Ottocast Lite C5 Motorcycle CarPlay & Android Auto, AirPlay, SD and USB media Standalone Screen Display. You can buy this display for $259.99 / £220 / €243 direct from Ottocast store 👉🏻 https://bit.ly/ottocastc5.

This is a standalone waterproof display that mounts on your motorcycle handlebars, it powers from a direct power connection on your bike, or it can be powered from a powered USB connection. Its compact 5” LCD touch-sensitive display makes the display discrete whilst also functional. It connects to your iPhone for Apple CarPlay, and your Android for Android Auto. It also has the ability to AirPlay from an iPhone and you can insert a TF card or USB drive for further audio and video media playback. Audio and calling can be transmitted over a dedicated Bluetooth connection to either a pair of Bluetooth headphones or a built-in Bluetooth-compatible motorcycle helmet.

In the box you get a paper instruction manual, there is the C5 LCD display itself with its attached power cable and sun visor, there is a hard-wired power cable to power the display, and there’s also an alternative USB power cable too. You also get a mini-USB to USB-A cable, and there is a handlebar mounting arm and attachment kit provided too.

Design & Features

Looking over the C5 display. It’s a compact little unit with a protective plastic surround pre-fitted to it that features an included sun visor to help reduce water and sunlight on the display. It is IPX7 waterproof, which means it is durable enough to withstand the harshest of wet weather riding. Its micro-USB and TF card slots are on the side of the display and are covered by a screwed-in panel, which does make it more awkward to easily swap media.

The 5” LCD display has a resolution of 800×480, which is a common CarPlay system resolution found in many cars. So this means the display isn’t compromised, and you get the same 8-icon layout in CarPlay, and Android Auto displays its two-panel layout without any problem. With only one button on the display casing, to power it on and off, all other functionality is handled via the display’s on-screen software menus.

Boot-Up & Main Menu UI

Boot-up time of the display took 23.48 seconds before you could interact with the display. The menu displays some large touch buttons to connect to CarPlay, Android Auto, AirPlay and access Settings, with smaller buttons to access TF media playback and quickly connect to Bluetooth headphones. Along the top there is a persistent row of options to go back home, view the date and time, and there are small quick icons to navigate back to CarPlay/Android Auto, toggle day and night display brightness, alter volume and navigate backwards in the system menus.

The Settings area offers an area to customise and tailor the experience of the display and how it functions. From altering the wallpaper, setting date and time, connecting and managing Bluetooth devices, and audio connections.

Wireless Apple CarPlay

Connecting to CarPlay took 25.74 seconds after paring to its Bluetooth profile ID. Once connected to my iPhone, interactions were responsive, which was a surprise to me considering its smaller display size. Audio plays over the 3W internal speaker, which sounds ok for navigation and voice output, but less as much for music playback. For the best experience you will want to connect audio over Bluetooth, and the C5 also has some volume and equaliser profiles to help enhance the audio too. 

Microphone input can be taken either from the built-in microphone that’s located on the left of the display, or from the microphone on a Bluetooth-connected headphone or helmet. Call quality will vary on the wind noise conditions if using the built-in microphone, whilst external Bluetooth quality will depend on the microphone that it is connected to and where it is located.

Wireless Android Auto

Firing up Android Auto took 12.28 seconds after Bluetooth pairing. Like CarPlay, Android Auto performed great over its wireless connection, with touch actions on the display also as responsive. Its Wi-Fi settings were on the low side when compared to other displays out there with a max bit-rate of 150mbps and Wifi4 standard, but I found both CarPlay and Android Auto didn’t suffer from its below-par Wi-Fi spec. 

AirPlay Video Casting

Using the AirPlay function is only available from an iPhone, which personally is always the more stable platform when casting video to a display like this. AirPlay to the device is as simple as connecting to the display’s Wi-Fi hotspot, and selecting the Screen Mirroring option to AirPlay to the display. Android is also meant to be supported using the AutoLink Android app, but I couldn’t get this working myself.

Audio sync over AirPlay seemed ok when trying YouTube videos. Copyrighted apps will not work, however. Although this is a nice feature to have, I still wouldn’t want to use this feature whilst riding a motorcycle and it’s likely your phone screen is bigger than the 5” display of the C5.

TF Card & USB Media Playback

Inserting a TF card and USB drive full of media displayed a no-frills menu to access its content directly on the C5. This is a nice way to playback additional forms of content, however, I did encounter some select file format playback limitations that I haven’t had on most CarPlay AI Boxes. Playback was just fine though, with media using its own built-in player with easy enough ways to browse and playback media that’s stored on the inserted media. Having this area exposed to the elements would be the main issue here though, so this removes the ability to use the USB drive input, and reduces the ease of hot-swapping TF cards too.

The USB-A cable can also be used for wired CarPlay and wired Android Auto. Although this is a nice way to keep your phone charged whilst on the move, again, you’ll want to weather these ports somehow, if you want to use this connection method whilst riding in the wet.

My Impressions

The C5 Motorcycle display retails for $259.99, £220, and €243 from the Ottocast store directly, and you can check the links above to learn more about the C5 display and to buy yourself one.

Unfortunately, I do not own or ride a motorcycle to test the C5 on what’s been made for, however, I did mount the display onto my eBike handlebars and powered the display with a portable battery pack. I rode for over an hour using Maps navigation in CarPlay and simultaneously listened to Spotify music on my second-gen Apple AirPods Pro earbuds. I found the display to be a decent size whilst simplifying interactions whilst on the move, thanks to CarPlay or Android Auto. Its reflective screen does have some level of glare to it, but I still found it viewable once the sun came out, and with separate display settings between day and night you can tailor the brightness to your liking. 

I played audio through a pair of Bluetooth-connected Apple AirPods. Throughout my riding time, I didn’t have any disconnections and after a reboot of some microphone settings, the display reconnected to CarPlay and connected to my AirPods soon after without any manual interaction. The audio quality was good, but when the volume is maxed out the level of bass did start to distort, and that’s without the loudness mode on. 

Powering itself from a fully charged 10,000W battery back, after an hour and a half, the battery was still somewhere between 75-100% charge, so the C5 seems to sip on the power and using a battery pack is a possible alternative to hardwiring its power connection.

Interacting with the display whilst on the move was good. The main menu was large enough to select from, however, seeing as CarPlay and Android Auto weren’t really made for a screen this size, some buttons or options were sometimes prone to miss hits whilst on the move. With a microphone set up, you can control song choices and navigation using Siri, just as long as the microphone you use can hear you over any wind noise. Calling from the built-in microphone becomes only acceptable when stationary, yet the call quality still sounds quite distant. Using a Bluetooth headset with a microphone is the better choice here.

I found mounting the display to be a smooth process, with lots of mounting bars and screws to tailor the best mounting option for you. There’s an anti-theft screw mount at the back to secure the display, otherwise, the display can be easily taken off with a simple unscrew of the ball joint. I’ve gone over its waterproof credentials and the display survived a good scrub down from a wash of my bike. Whilst the C5 was running I did see CarPlay start to navigate and do its own thing with each water droplet hitting the screen, so I don’t know how this will transfer when riding out in the rain. If cold or hot temperatures are a concern, the C5 is able to operate just fine from down to -20 and up to 80 degrees Celsius.

There are few options for CarPlay or Android Auto displays for motorcycles, so if you’re looking for one, it’s likely you will come across this C5 (or rebrands of it) online. I think this solution is great though. Its 5” touch screen offers more of a simplified and permanent display of CarPlay and Android Auto on your motorcycle, without the need to rely on a mounted phone on your handlebars.

TIMESTAMPS:

0:00 – Brief overview
0:53 – Unboxing
1:29 – Design & features
2:33 – Boot up & menu UI
3:26 – Wireless CarPlay
3:56 – Microphone quality
4:46 – Wireless Android Auto
5:17 – AIrPlay video casting
6:10 – SD Card & USB Media playback
7:10 – My Impressions

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