[Update] New model number but features stay the same as the AVH-W4400NEX.
Pros: Wireless and wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, easy to retain your factory steering wheel controls and backup camera, dual USB input (1.5 Amp), HD Radio, motorized display to adjust angle, dual camera inputs and a detachable faceplate.
Cons: Navigation is not included (optional GPS navigation unit sold separately).
First Impression: Hands down the most impressive feature of the AVH-W4500NEX is the seamless integration of wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The only time we used the wired version was to do the initial setup, which took less than 30 seconds. We just plugged in our phone, followed the on-screen prompts and were ready to go wireless. In our initial testing every time we’ve gotten into the car we’ve wirelessly connected to either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay with no issues. For Android users looking to go wireless make sure to check here see if your OS and phone are compatible.
An an added bonus for Pioneer’s wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay head units are that they are currently the only ones on the market that allow for wireless for both systems. Alpine has had wireless CarPlay for sometime now but no wireless Android Auto. JVC/Kenwood has wireless Android Auto but for CarPlay you can only use a wired connection.
While for us wireless is the standout feature, the W4500NEX still has plenty more to offer. Using a 7” WVGA clear resistive touchscreen the display had good response and vibrant colors. Keeping your factory steering wheel controls and backup camera is breeze, either with aftermarket harness adapters or an iDatalink Maestro. The built in amplifier puts out 50W x 4 watts but if you are looking to get better sound quality by adding on amps the W4500NEX has three 4V RCA preouts.
We primarily use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay for navigation but if you are one who likes having built-in GPS navigation you will need to spend an extra $400 for the AVIC-U280 unit. If this sounds like you check out the Pioneer AVIC-W6500 NEX (Apple CarPlay only though) with a MSRP of $800.
The Verdict: All in all, if built-in GPS navigation isn’t a feature you need the Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX is a great option at $700 to get both wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.