Sony has just announced the latest addition to its infotainment systems on its official blog, but this time around, the Minato, Tokyo-headquartered tech company brought up-to-date features to the table, making the XAV-AX100 its first smart car audio system to come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support.

CNET’s Road Show reports that while it does not have an interesting name, the device makes up for it in other areas, like connectivity and pricing. The site also considered phone connectivity as the selling point of this infotainment system. And it does not hurt that it comes with a decent price tag of $499 compared to its established rivals. 

The relatively affordable double DIN system comes with a 6.4-inch touch panel, which was initially reported by sites like GSM Arena as capacitive. However, 9To5Mac got official word from Sony that the XAV-AX100’s display is resistive. So, it’s a good thing that this audio system has physical buttons. 

9To5Mac also learned that the screen resolution of the display panel is 800x480 which is not up to par with the quality new iPhones and Android smartphones are capable of rendering, but it is still considered decent for an in-car display.

XAV-AX100’s physical buttons are very straightforward. The topmost button is for home, the large rotating one is for volume control, while the other two smaller buttons are for skip forward and back — all four are found on the left bezel of the device to facilitate easy access for the driver. 

As an audio system, XAV-AX100 delivers powerful sound thanks to its 4x 55W amp with Sony’s Extra Bass feature and a 10-band equalizer. Furthermore the downward firing door speakers are enhanced by the Dynamic Stage Organizer (DSO) feature, GSM Arena noted. 

As mentioned earlier, phone connectivity is considered the selling point of Sony’s XAV-AX100. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that the device has Bluetooth connectivity and 3 pre-out connectivity ports for amplifiers and other accessories. There’s also input for a rearview camera. For its downsides, while It does come with a USB port, it is located at the back. Also, it lacks an AUX input unlike most of its competitors. 

Sony’s XAV-AX100 is slated for release in North America in November. The specific date is still unknown, but Sony stated that consumers can expect the device to arrive in the later part of the month. 

XAV-AX100 Sony XAV-AX100 infotainment system comes with delightful features and a decent price tag. Photo: Sony Official Blog