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Old 04-20-2017, 11:09 PM   #1
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Arrow Eonon GA7153 - a Review

This is kind of a thought dump on this head unit, framed as a review. My opinions in here with some snark sprinkled in there. Pics in there for the relevant bits. Never done one of these so doing it my way.

Before I begin, I am aware and openly acknowledging that Eonon is running a potential GB on a separate thread on this forum. I imagine they want feedback but I can see that the potential exists for people to feel obliged to provide only positive feedback because of a deal given. I wanted to remain objective so instead of buying from Eonon via group buy or their website, I went to eBay to obtain my head unit. See I bought a GA6153 the same day they released the GA7153. I returned the 6153 so I could buy a 7153 (wanted most up to date thing out there). Anyway, when I returned that 6153 it was shipped to what I assume is a US-based return warehouse address in NJ, to ship back to Hong Kong where the item originated. The eBay listing I used is in the same city (I confirmed same return address later on). So if Eonon comes in here saying that I bought a copycat unit, they’re full of it.


I had heard some pretty good things over the past few months about these Eonon head units for the mk6, so I figured I would try it out. I thought it would run and operate with a similar interface to my Samsung tablet and that it would be in the same realm of quickness. I watched a few YouTube videos on the install and some basic operations and it seemed like it might be a good fit. I was coming from an OEM RNS-315, for reference if that helps.


Youtube video provided by the eBay listing was for 5153, but there were only a few minor differences which I’ll get into later. There are no written instructions available from the vendor with this item, or on their website. Install itself took me maybe 30 minutes but that would be less had I not taken my time to not bust the clips which I had never used before. I unboxed the unit and here’s what I was looking at (tools I needed also on the table):

Remember when I said no instructions were available? Yeah this seemed weird to me but I followed the writing on there and it turned out ok:

Once you have the OEM headunit removed, you need to unplug a bunch of stuff in the back. The harness on the driver’s side is pretty self-explanitory, but the three plugs seen here are for radio (white) GPS (green?) and what I will assume is Bluetooth (blue?):


After I figured out placement of the GPS module, I had a time figuring out what to do with the USB harness and microphone provided. I saw there was a mic on the front of the unit so I did not use the provided mic attached to that harness in my install. I figured if installing correctly was important enough, they would have provided actual instructions. I also want to note that the 5153 youtube video mentions that eonon provides double-sided tape or maybe its Velcro to mount the gps bit to the top of your vent. To quote my friend Maury Povich, “… that was a lie”. I got everything connected to the head unit and mounted it back in the slot with a bit of struggling with how the wiring all fit back there – it’s snug, but doable.

It looks fantastic installed -at this point my excitement was at a high point – I had no idea what was going to be there when I fired this thing up. I knew I had some setup to do so I sat in my car in the sun for about an hour setting things up to download a few apps, etc… Then after a bit I wanted to put my proclip phone mount back in as I really like that thing… buit it didn’t fit. Oh well. But then I noticed some gaps in the trim piece on the HU (giving both angles here…)

Could be install issue on my end, or could be just how this thing sits. I don’t care but I tried to re-seat the trim piece and it’s not much better than what you see above. That’s the end of the pictures because now I’m gonna talk about the operational aspects of the HU.

First time I fired this thing up, it took 30 seconds or so to kick on. No joke. I recorded it and everything:

Subsequent startups took a bit less but not a noteworthy amount less time to fire up.

I installed some apps using the best wifi signal I had in my parking lot, the xfinity one. I had 2 bars on the unit, and maybe 3 or 4 on my phone right next to the head unit. It took a looooong time to download a few apps: spotify, google drive, and a podcast app I use on android. All of which would be used to get media on the unit so I could try various forms of entertainment I use while I drive. I suppose you could try Netflix, but I didn’t get that far because the downloads took a long time. I did some configuration stuff with Bluetooth and got my phone hooked up. The BT unit that is OEM will still try to connect but it will not work with the unit. But the steering wheel controls work, mostly.

Here’s my condensed notes that will serve as the rest of my review of the unit itself:

UI – pretty rigid, no what I expected. Wanted something more like my tablet.
Navigation – google maps is there, could use waze too. But youl’d need to mobile hotspot on phone for data or download maps of where youre going before you leave wifi area.
Bluetooth – this was frustrating. The BT cut out more than it does with my OEM BT module. really. It cut out more and in a strange quantifiable way, worse than OEM. Let that srttle in.
Music app – did not use but looks no worse than what I had on my OEM HU.
Other apps I’ll mention, google it if you don’t know it: Adobe Acrobat (files included are owners manual and a support guide from Eonon), chrome, gmail, “DAB+”, google app, google maps, and an APK instller.

Ratings of various things: BT stream 2/5; UI speed 3/5 (inconsistently fast or slow); WIFI 3/5; Sound 4/5 (I have low standards to this, so take with grain of salt); phone operations 4/5 (mic in weird spot, not amazing receiving reception I was told, but good enough).

List of gripes:
1. No reverse cam was installed, but it defaults in the firmware to a blank screen when you put in reverse. If you’re listening to music, it cuts it off and does not pause it for you. There is no way to disable reverse camera on the UI.
2. BT cut out (see above)
3. WIFI weak (see above)
4. Clunky, rigid UI
5. Slow boot up (see above)
6. Button configuration is all over the place. I don’t like the layout and after looking around there are more name-brand units out there with far superior configuarations that are better suited for those using this from the drivers seat.
7. Screen sensitivity not consistent. Could be a calibration issue, I never looked into it too much but wanted to bring up.
8. Didn’t take a previously formatted microSD I had laying around. Formatting though the unit took forever.
9. DVD player is useless to me - digital age means to be ahread of the game this venodr needs to get rid of this feature. not used or useful IMO.
List of things I like about the unit:
1. Steering wheel tie in –im sure its easy enough to do on the development end but this is a nice feature you might not get with other aftermarket HU’s.
2. The options on here are pretty cool I don’t feel like exploring that too much but I can if you really want me to.
3. The potential of the unit is huge if they can get octacore processors on here. Quadcore in there not just doesn’t cut it if it takes so long to boot up. With some intense configuaration setting sessions you could really make this thing your own and have it running the way you want it, if you’re willing to put that time in. Maybe rooting the unit will open up the possibilities but I ain’t about that.
4. Apps availability is pretty good – didn’t try Netflix but imagine it would work. Now that you can download shows and movies, you could have center console entertainment for passengers. If that’s a thing you want, anyway. Or you could watch Iron Fist on your lunch break at work, by yourself, I guess. You do you, man.

I will be uninstalling the unit and returning. I lose out on return shipping but will get a full refund because ebay and Eonon’s 60 day return policy. I’ll be putting OEM HU back in until I find another HU I like, be it OEM or above. Maybe I had too high of expectations for how the unit would perform. I just can’t keep it with that long of a gripe list with so many important things not the way I want it.

Feel free to comment or question. This is just my take on this thing, you don’t have to take my word for it. I hope Eonon is watching and takes note of my feedback. There is nothing they can do for me at this point to satisfy the hole left by the experience. Hopefully they can do something constructive with this book I just wrote here.

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Old 04-20-2017, 11:15 PM   #2
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That 1GB of RAM is killing these with the latest Android.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:25 PM   #3
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yeah that spec i figured would play a part in the speed as well. good pointing that omission out.

R135 ..............VAGCOM in Southern NH
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:21 AM   #4
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Woot...thanks for the review - color me unimpressed / disappointed.

A small note on speed: be it Octa or Quad doesn't make much of a difference: just like with full PCs and/or Tablets, the current Operating Systems are poorly multi-threaded for the most part...what multicore CPUs help you will are mostly outside the operating envelope of this HU, and most PCs too...unless you are transcoding video a lot, rendering images of playing specific multiplayer games, you are NOTABLY better with less but faster clocked cores than more a slow ones...Doesn't matter how much you've paid for your is like a FWD car with 225 rubber...once you go past a set BHP power, you are not limited by BHP, but traction...

Similarly, a badly optimized OS is probably the worst aspect of cheap Android tablets - and HU alike - apparently.
Having just 1GB of Ram, and probably not the fastest NAND / SSD drive doesn't help either. So at the end, it having 4 or 40 cores, would make zero difference...I believe 99% of the startup sequence is probably single threaded = i.e. running on one core exclusively. Just like OSX, and iOS and Windows 2GB of RAM would definitely help, faster NAND would probably help, faster clocks on the CPU would probably help, more of the same cores woulds almost definitely do nothing.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:45 AM   #5
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Yeah I got the first head unit they came out with that could screen mirror. My thought was I could mirror my phone and use my phone from my touchscreen for maps, Spotify etc. Would only work with parking brake engaged... Sucks, there is a hack way to bypass but not interested. Then fm was really bad. Had to keep twisting cable to get good signal. Then sat radio was not compatible. UI u can tweak with SD card which was cool. Push to talk was disabled I couldn't call people from steering wheel controls only answer calls. I did get instructions with mine but the grammar was so bad I couldn't understand them. Overall my opinion of this company is their marketing is great but their product and qa is garbage. I've written them off entirely. Also BT was bad as they use outdated/cheap tech their as well.

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Old 04-21-2017, 06:08 PM   #6
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I love my ga5153, so I am sure I will like the 7153. They have some niggles, but after i installed custom firnware, everything works great. Plus the reverse camera works instantly regardless of load time.
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