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CarlinKit Mini Box Review: Compact Yet Powerful For Wireless CarPlay

by Mike
Published: Last Updated on 6 minutes read
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Overview

CarlinKit Mini Box is a wireless CarPlay Activator that is suitable for almost every car that comes with wired CarPlay factory installation. It works with iPhones that run on the iOS 10 operating system and above. 

The compact and sleek designed product comes with one year warranty of repair. Considering the after-sale service, the company provides user-friendly customer service and helps with the installation process if required.

CarlinKit is one of the most popular brands that provided iPhone users a device that can make their vehicles into an infotainment joy ride. The brand first introduced wired CarPlay but later, they made dongles that provide their users a wireless experience to get rid of USB cables. However, there is still an option to use the USB cable if required.

Product Description

The model number of the device is CPC200-U2W Mini and it comes in the dimension of 45 mm x 16 mm x 46 mm. It provides features like Bluetooth, Type-C USB port, 5G WiFi Transmission, Plug and Play, and Auto Connect.

The device also features Siri voice control, an online upgrade for free, the original sound quality of the car, and additionally comes with a USB-A interface for connecting iPhone with help of a USB cable for charging and wired CarPlay usage.

One of the best parts about this product is that it is compact in size compared to other dongles in the market. It completely justifies the name “mini” as it is smaller compared to the Apple AirPods case and this makes it easier to carry around whenever required.

On the front of the case, you will find criss-cross unique pattern holes that are used for ventilation. These holes look pretty cool on the device while they also help to cool down the chipset that is placed inside the box. 

On the back of the device, there is a tiny hole that helps to indicate if the dongle is operational, powered, compatibility issues, connection errors, or if there is a cable power supply issue. 

The indicator turns red or green, depending on the situation. However, it is worth noting that the light is not very bright, which makes it soothing to the eyes if you like to keep your car completely dark while driving.

How To Use

Plug and play the device. All you need to do is after plugging in is to connect with your iPhone – which will take approximately 7-10 seconds – and then you are good to go. While you are searching for Bluetooth for the first time on your device, you will also get an option to connect with a USB cable in case you don’t want to go wireless.

Initially, you will see a boot menu that will provide you with various choices including various languages available in the system. You can also select options of “Save Log” and “Auto Connect,” which will save your time, whenever you connect with the device next time.

Once you are done, you can simply start using the multimedia box with help of the wireless iPhone that you have connected. Within a couple of seconds, the dongle made my car wireless and I could access everything including Netflix, YouTube, Music, and Navigation.

Using Experience

I used this dongle for four hours straight and didn’t find any lags during the music play, GPS, or while I was on a call. After reading the reviews many people noted that the device has improved quality when it comes to sound. 

However, after using the device I noticed that the sound quality is as good as other adaptors and there is not much difference. Although the microphone and the cooling quality seem to be improved. The radio got disconnected after one and a half-hour of listening but it got rebooted within 10-15 seconds. 

After using it for many hours straight, I figured out that only the backside of the case was heated up and the front side was still cool, which means the cooling system is quite powerful. 



Pros & Cons

Pros
👍🏻 Compact in size as it is smaller than Apple Airpods case
👍🏻 Plug and play within 10-15 seconds
👍🏻 Connects quickly and automatically whenever you enter the car
👍🏻 No lagging even after using for 3-4 hours straight
👍🏻 Type-C port provides fast charging
👍🏻 Compatible with almost every car that has inbuilt wired CarPlay feature
👍🏻 Voice to text command (use Siri)
👍🏻 It supports iPhone 6 and above models (iOS 10 and above operating system)
👍🏻 Affordable price compared to other dongles in the market with same features
Cons
👎🏻 Disconnects while using radio after an hour and a half
👎🏻 Not compatible with Android smartphones
👎🏻 Not compatible with Android Car System
👎🏻 Limited stock available

Conclusion

If you want a mini version of the wireless dongle that you have been using, then this is the perfect device for you. While the device size is compact, it is as powerful as any other dongle available in the market. 

One of the best parts about this CarlinKit Mini Box is that it comes with a powerful cooling system, which means you can use it straight for over three to four hours and not worry about heating it up. In fact, the bootup speed of this device is also quite impressive.

If you want to buy this product then you can check out this link as it is available for only $119.99. Whereas, on Amazon and other eCommerce websites, this product is available for $126.99. (Update: there is a $30 off on this site, the final price is only $89.99 now)

Considering the affordable price of this product and the features involved,  it is a must-buy if you are looking forward to making your wired CarPlay device into a wireless experience.

Moreover, the product comes with a free lifetime upgrade online and also provides you with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

If you are already using a dongle with similar features, then you can upgrade it with the CarlinKit Mini Box only if you want to get a more compact device. Also, it is worth noting that this product is only for iPhones. Hence, if you are using an Android device then please avoid purchasing this product. 

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