Navdy Review: Unboxing and Installation (Part One)

Navdy recently sent us a few free samples in the mail to try out and review, so contributor Jon will show us how they work. The Navdy is a heads-up display that mounts to your car’s dashboard just above your steering wheel. It uses a projector to display information for your car and smartphone, stuff like directions, calls, music controls, and much more. The projection appears on a clear glass plate allowing you to keep your eyes on the road without missing a beat.

Take a look at Jon’s video that shows the unboxing and the installation.

Unboxing the Navdy

Currently retailing for just under $800, the Navdy isn’t what anyone would consider cheap. In fact, the price point puts it on par with much more involved car mods like custom stereos and lighting packages, but unlike those upgrades, the Navdy is extremely easy to install. This stylish black box contains everything you’ll need. Opening it up, the first thing you’ll find is the Navdy unit itself. The display is covered in a protective cloth. You’ll want to avoid getting fingerprints on this. On the front of the unit, you’ll notice a lens. This is used to detect gestures. You can wave left or right to accept or decline incoming calls and perform other functions.

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Below this is Navdy’s power button, and on the bottom you’ll find pins for the power connector. Underneath, we have the power cable, installation manual, and the steering wheel dial plus its included battery. This dial straps to the inside of your steering wheel. It lets you use your thumb to perform various actions. The power cable actually plugs into your car’s OBD II diagnostic port, so you won’t be using up a valuable 12 volt or USB outlet. This also allows Navdy to display information from your car including your current speed and so forth. Underneath that, you’ll find an adhesive mat that Navdy actually mounts to. Along with it, you’ll find additional mounting hardware to help the unit fit any size car as well as cleaning cloths, cable clips, a carrying case, and a sticker.

Installing the Navdy

Installing the Navdy is pretty simple apart from two steps which can be a little tricky. The first step is to figure out how high above your steering wheel the Navdy should be mounted. You want the base of the glass screen to just barely clear the bottom of your dash in your line of sight. If it needs to be higher, you can use the medium or tall stands and the included suction mount. In my car, I just needed the adhesive mat. Once you’ve got it where you want it, peel the backing off and stick it down. It’s not permanent, so it can be repositioned if you don’t quite get it right. The next tricky part is locating your car’s ODB II port. Mine is below my steering wheel on the left. In most cars, it’s hidden by a plastic cover. If you can’t find it, the Navdy app can help you. The steering wheel dial goes on easily. Just pop the cover off the back, insert the battery, and strap it on. The manual recommends installing it on the inside of the wheel just below 3 o’clock.

Since it is pretty expensive, you may not want to leave the Navdy in plain sight all the time. To remove it, lift it from the back. When you’re ready to drive again, the magnets will help snap it back into place. As far as the physical installation goes, that’s about all there is to it. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, the Navdy also comes with a free installation appointment from ENJOY. The installation service is available in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Miami. Just schedule a time, and an installer will come to you. I enlisted Frankie to come give me a hand with mine. The entire process only took about 15 minutes, and the Navdy fired up perfectly on the first try.

To use the Navdy, you’ll also need to install the Navdy app on your smartphone and pair it with the unit via Bluetooth. To see everything the Navdy can do, check out our next video where we’ll take it for a spin. I’ll tell you what I liked, what I didn’t like, and most importantly, what those good ol’ Uber passengers thought about it. Thanks for watching, and drive safe.

Navdy Review: Demo and Testing (Part Two)
Should Uber deactivate drivers who ask for the passenger's destination?

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