In this article, I will be sharing issues I’ve experienced with Android Auto from different smartphone manufacturers. Under each segment I’ll explain which phones have the issues the most, and which don’t. I get to use a lot of smartphones from different phone companies every year, and I believe I have a pretty decent understanding of the experience you can expect from different phone makers – especially with Android Auto matters.
Samsung, as you’ll see offers the best experience. Things work well, and there are no stutters or lags, or crazy failures when you need your navigation to be working. OPPO and Xiaomi follow closely.
You should also read the article on Must Have Car Tech Gadgets in 2022.
Problems you can expect on Android Auto and the Smartphones which have these issues:
Failure to Launch or Register Android Auto:
Whenever I am reviewing a device, I carry it with me everywhere. It becomes my main phone. This is the reason a review can take months to write. Because I need to experience the device for at least a couple of weeks.
Anyways, I’ve noticed that whenever I plug in a new phone, depending on the manufacturer, Android Auto never picks up. This mostly happens with the following brands:
It takes removing and reinserting the cable to the phone before Android Auto picks up with these two brands. Also, sometimes you’ll be driving and the Android Auto connection will just fail. No explanation, no reason.
I thought the issue was my cable, and I even bought new ones, but that experience hasn’t changed.
Samsung devices however immediately pick up. Even before inserting the cable, you get a notification on your device telling you “Android Auto is available Please Plug in“. Once connected, I’ve never had issues where the connection fails or weirdly reboots.
Other manufacturers that always pick up or register Android Auto without issues are TECNO and Infinix.
Apps not working on Android Auto Screen:
After plugging in, the Android Auto UI shows you the different apps you can access from your car screen. These include Google Maps plus Music and Podcast Apps. You can launch either of these apps and interact with it from your car’s display.
Something I’ve noticed is almost every manufacturer apart from Samsung – with the exception of a few high-end OPPO and Xiaomi devices – gives you the error “This app does not seem to be working right now“.
The biggest culprits for this problem are all TECNO and Infinix Phones. Plus almost all mid-range and budget offerings from OPPO and TECNO.
The solution to the error is to unplug from Android Auto, open the app you wanted to open, have it running, reconnect the Android Auto cable, and then things will be working fine with the app.
Only Samsung devices allow you to launch any app without having this issue.
Requiring phone display to stay on to access Android Auto:
This is an issue I’ve experienced with one manufacturer. TECNO on their Camon 18 device. The issue here is this: Android Auto won’t run unless the phone’s display stays on always. It’s crazy, annoying and makes the whole reason you have Android Auto pointless.
If you’ve experienced this on any other manufacturer, please share down below.
Heating up when plugged in:
This is exclusive to Samsung devices. I’ve not experienced it with any other phone makers. However, I’ve experienced it with all the following Samsung devices:
The Flip3 would be so terrible, I’d have to unplug it from Android Auto and let it cool.
The heating bit is Samsung’s only issue from all the listed issues, so that’s a plus on their side since you don’t necessarily interact with the device while driving.
Here the issue happens where you cannot interact with the Android Auto display. You can see whatever is on the screen, but the touch screen functionality once in a while fails until you replug the cable.
This happens to almost all phones including:
- OPPO and
- Occasionally Samsung devices.
It’s important to note that this could be Google’s problem and not the smartphone maker. However, the prevalence of the issue with TECNO and Infinix smartphones points to there being an issue with those makers.
Poor Sound Quality when listening to music:
The issue here is very annoying. You know the quality of your car speakers. You know they sound really good. But when you plug in Android Auto, your music from either Apple Music, Spotify or just stuff you’ve saved to your phone fails to sound as good as it should. There’s no bass, there’s no separation of ranges, and everything is flat and bland.
However, when you try playing music from the same device directly to your car using just a Bluetooth connection – without Android Auto – the quality improves.
This is an exclusive issue to the following makers:
- TECNO and
Every other manufacturer offers good sound quality over Android Auto. The best quality being Samsung devices followed by OPPO and then Xiaomi devices – especially Xiaomi devices that support Dolby Audio.
Android Auto Smartphone experience ranked:
From that extensive breakdown, here are the best phones for Android Auto ranked:
- OPPO and Xiaomi – a tie
Which phone are you using for Android Auto, and what has your experience been like? Please share.