Staying true to its commitment to bring the latest in-car connected technology to car owners across the board, Pioneer Electronics showed off a new solution at CES 2019 that makes futuristic features accessible to any and all vehicles. The SPH-10BT receiver is a single-DIN in-dash unit that looks rather unassuming when placed next to some of Pioneer’s other in-dash units, but it still packs nearly all of the important and connected features we’ve come to expect.
What’s impressed us before about Pioneer’s in-dash receivers is their big displays that give the user access to the company’s own in-car entertainment system and to the latest on-the-go UIs like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But while those systems are great and look fantastic when installed, not all cars on the road today have the ability to support a six- or seven-inch display. And that’s where the SPH-10BT comes in.
On the surface, the unit looks like something out of the late 90s or early 2000s when it comes to its size, the 8-bit style display, and the limited extracurriculars on the actual product. But what’s hidden inside this rather unassuming in-dash receiver is a mount that folds out where the user can place their smartphone. And that’s where Pioneer really hit the home run. Rather than limiting their potential customer base by asking the user to install a massive screen in their dash, Pioneer expanded their options by offering owners a solution that lets them use the large display they’re already carrying around with them as the “in-dash” entertainment system. Pioneer Smart Sync then transforms the phone into a high-res in-dash display that helps manage the in-car entertainment experience. It ultimately looks like it’s part of the car.
That truly integrated feeling of the smartphone is further assisted by the LED lighting on the unit, which syncs up to the colors displayed on through the Smart Sync app. It's that attention to detail by Pioneer that makes the SPH-10BT an impressive launch and one that's sure to be a hit with consumers.
The actual SPH-10BT unit has six physical buttons, including four central buttons for quick access to voice assistants, navigation, messaging, and phone calls. Their also customizable in the sense that you can tune them to your favorite messaging or navigation apps, for example.
Additionally, the SPH-10BT is compatible with Pioneer’s ND-PS1 rear parking sensors. So, when the sensors are installed and set up, the in-dash unit will provide audible as well as visual indicators (through beeps and colored lighting alerts) on both the actual unit and through the Pioneer Smart Sync app.
The SPH-10BT will launch at retail in February with a suggested price of $150.