Clarion Unveils Clarion AX1 Android-Based Car Stereo, Open for Sale Online

Clarion AX1 launch

At a regional-level media launch in Penang today, Clarion Malaysia introduced the highly-anticipated Android-powered Clarion AX1 car stereo. The audio specialist also kicked off its internet sales launch of the device, making available in 5 countries in the region — Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and India.

Clarion Malaysia Managing Director T.K. Tan revealed in his opening speech, “We are marketing the first 3,000 units of the AX1 at a very special price – RM1,599 (SGD$650 / INR34,200 / IDR5,800,000). To find out more about Clarion AX1, please visit clarion.com.my/ax1.”

The recommended retail price of the Clarion AX1 is US$725. Online orders are open today from http://infogo.com, and order fulfillment begin in November. Subsequently, all authorized Clarion retailers will be offering the Clarion AX1 in November.

Previously known as the “Clarion Mirage” installed at OEM level in some car makes, the integrated device has been rebranded AX1 which represents “Android AX1.”, Clarion’s first retail Android-based product offering.

The device is 18-months in the making, and is certified safe for installation and operation according to international automotive standards. The custom user interface is specially designed to ensure safety while driving. It works intuitively like a smartphone interface with three homepages and six large, easy to navigate main application icons.

The Clarion AX1 features a 6.5-inch WVGA TFT LCD display with automotive grade capacitive multi touch panel. The device runs Android 2.3.7, optimized for automotive application and powered by an 800Mhz ARM Cortex A8 processor with 1GB of RAM.

The automotive grade head unit is reassuringly durable – able to withstand high/low temperatures and vibrations. The device has a built-in 25Wx4ch Digital Amplifier, 6-channel RCA output, internal and external mic support, HDMI output (720p) and rear camera input. It also comes with two USB ports, external SD card slot and AM-FM Radio with RDS.

More photos from the launch at Flickr.

It supports 1080p Full HD video playback, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (A2DP and AVRCP) audio/video streaming, and 2-zone/multi-Zone playback. Built-in is also Bluetooth Handsfree (HFP, PBAP) 3.0.

The Clarion AX1 is compatible with Android smartphones and is “Made for iPhone and iPod”, supporting audio/video playback and charging.

What is interesting is that the unit can also be setup as a WiFi access point and client/portable hotspot giving passengers internet connectivity. You will require a data plan supplied from a tethered smartphone or data dongle, separately. According to Georg Doll, a technical spokesperson from Wind River Systems Inc, future iterations will include support for USB dongles to provide data connectivity for Android-powered head units.

Wind River, a 100%-owned Intel subsidiary, is the technical partner of Clarion, developer of the embedded apps and framework behind the AX1. We spoke at lengths with Doll after the launch proper.

In terms of software, the AX1 features a built-in GPS navigation app with voice guidance; an internet browser that allows web surfing, email access and YouTube viewing; Infogo online music store with access to 22 million DRM free music tracks and image/video viewer.

Infogo is Clarion’s technical partner which operates a large online music store spanning Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and India; providing ready content and an Asian internet sales outlet for the AX1.

Approved and safe software upgrades will be periodically available for download OTA through Infogo’s App Garage.

The AX1 is supported by Google but does not include a Google Play Store. There is a perfectly good reason for this. Apps need to be automotive-optimized and safe for automotive use. Technically though, a person with some technical knowledge should be able to sideload .apk files into the device, at their own risk of course.

Our first impressions of the device are very positive. With the AX1 you can literally turn any car into a connected car. With its rich features and intuitive user experience, the Clarion AX1 marks a shift in car systems and feature-rich one at that. Things can only evolve and become better. Clarion has generously supplied us with one unit, and we are eager to get this installed in one of cars and post a review. Hang tight while we do.

For more info, visit http://www.clarion.com.my/ax1. Order one of the first Android-driven car stereos on the planet now at http://www.infogo.com. Also find Clarion online here – www.youtube.com/ClarionMalaysia1010 www.facebook.com/clarion.ax1

Vernon Chan

Designer. Serial Entrepreneur. Blogger. Writer. Webhead. Tech geek. Twitter-addict. Mac advocate. Animal lover. Steve Jobs groupie. Footballer. Plays for KutipFC. Petrolhead. BMW fan. Alfisti. Chelsea FC.
  • pyy

    android 2.3???? omg

    • http://vernonchan.com vernieman

      Think of it as a base OS. It’s not really an issue at all, since you can’t install other apps in the unit aside from those curated and approved by Infogo.com.

  • CoolBro

    Tested one at the launch event. It was really up to hype. Definitely would consider getting one.

    • http://vernonchan.com vernieman

      It’s quite impressive. Can’t wait to get it installed in the car. Will post impressions and first hand review.

  • adi soesilo

    i have tried one in my car.. and there”s sooo many errors and it hangs a million times since the day i installed in my car and that problems require me to unplug the car’s battery socket so that it would run normal again.. tried the small hole beside the volume knob but it makes the unit off and stay off until the car;s battery unplugged… sometimes the screen goes blank,the volume wont work even the wifi reception is poor,sometimes it lagged so bad that u have to wait over a minute when you press a button… infogo app garage there’s no usefull app that can be installed since that infogo only provide with 6 lame app and you cant search app there.. no file explorer,etc… so bye bye to that tune in world radio,that television apps,video player apps,not to mention GPS google maps And many other useful apps… plus there’s no AV output to rear monitor headrest they only provide with HDMI output which cable is not included with the unit and the best part is they haven’t produce it yet.. so i bought a set headrest monitor for nothing.. and i really dissapointed with this head unit…I will Definitely replace this unit, All that money i spent for this unit is for nothing…

    • http://vernonchan.com Vernon Chan

      Hey Adi,

      I’ve been testing it since I got it installed about a month ago. Yes, it’s still buggy. Which version firmware are you running? The v705 firmware is much more stable and faster too.

      • adi soesilo

        Hey Vernon,

        i think its still running 6.x.x firmware and it never been updated, i have just tried to update the firmware but when i choose firmware in app garage it only says installed,couldn’t find any “update” button like in the play store,or maybe i just don’t have any idea how to… have you updated yours?… is there any particular or some sort of ways to update the firmware?,cos i believe, maybe it can helps with the issues i had with this Unit…. and um.. just out of curiosity , can it be linked with my headrest units since there’s only that yellow kinda jack comin’ out of that headrests… really appreciate your help vernon cos frankly i do like the unit and hope there’ll be some improvement in any sort of ways with the system…thanks

    • http://vernonchan.com/ Vernon Chan

      How’s it going with the AX1, Adi?

  • Pingback: Clarion AX1 Firmware Update v816 and Power Firmware v2.06 released

  • Sherman Guek

    i facing the same problem these 2 weeks , and today i just replaced a new player. It sucks , i believe it, i made so much and i deserve a shit thingy . I regret purchase this player . Eventhough clarion staff just replaced a new one but it came back to the same problem, hang frequently ,can’t even install any application like WAZE , and when i touch the screen , all buttons not working as well, i have no idea why clarion can sell such item where they did not test properly before sell it. Appearance of the player number one but implement and using it I do know what to say about it. I give up.

    • http://vernonchan.com/ Vernon Chan

      I share your frustrations Sherman. A bunch of us too have been experiencing many problems with the unit.

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