Alpine’s flagship product is the Halo9, a single DIN head unit with a massive 9-inch display sticking out. Once installed, that large display floats above your dash and can be moved up and down as well as tilted for the perfect fit. For cars with single DIN slots, it brings a modern display to your old car.
Sony is doing the same thing with the new XAV-AX8000, a new head unit with an 8.95-inch floating display attached to a single DIN unit. The display shares the same low WVGA resolution, though this is adequate for a head unit, and has both wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Aside from interface and design choices, the Halo9 ILX-F259 and the new XAV-AX8000 are almost identical, including their $600 price tag. You’d likely be choosing between them with brand loyalty and the preference of touch buttons vs hardware buttons.
A selling point is promised future support for WebLink, coming later via software update. It’ll allow you to stream certain apps from your Android or iOS device to the head unit like YouTube.
The head unit is coming to the US in December, so if you’ve been waiting to upgrade to an Android Auto unit, this might be the way to go. And hey, the new Android Auto interface rocks!