Android headunits, like their cousins, the Android phone, need a processor platform (System On Chip) to run the apps, and this article refers to the MTK 8259 (M8259) SoC.
Yes. The MTK8259 is a fast processor, and it is not the fastest, but it is many generations faster than the 8227L and other quad-core-based Android headunits.
Yes. The MTK8259 can be considered a good choice for an Android headunit. The MTK8259 is not the fastest processor but a modern processor with 8 ARM cores.
No. The MTK8259 has 8 cores, and this makes it an octa-core processor.
Apps need a processor, RAM, firmware, and storage. The android headunit builds on this phone platform with a DSP, amplifier, reverse camera, and SWC inputs. The MTK8259 is the processing core and the SoC for an Android headunit.
More than a Phone
While the Android headunit is more than a phone, its underlying processor is shared with many phone processors and similar architecture. High-end phone can be cutting edge; Android headunits get the chips much later than the phones, and then users keep their Android headunits longer than they would a phone. This mid-range processor usage and extended time between upgrades mean picking an Android headunit that will keep running the apps you want is an important task. Buy too slow to start with, and you will need to upgrade before you had planned to.
The MTK8259L processor SoC appears in some of the later Android headunit. Often coupled with 4 GB RAM due to its 64-bit capable processor and 64Gb or 128Gb storage, there is often conflicting information about the M8259.
Aimed at Android 10 and having 8 cores (Octa-core), it is a much more modern and capable processor than many of the 1Gb and 2Gb Android headunits with only 4 cores that often struggle with today’s apps and are based on Android 8.1.
The MTK8259L-based Android headunit could be a good buy should you find one that fits your car. But this is where the factual information ends. The 8 cores could be A9 or A53; while this is not a huge difference, the A9 will often outperform the A53 while generating less heat and using less power. This improvement may be more significant for a phone than an Android headunit, but speed is king. Also, the clock speed of the cores stated for the MTK8259 ranges from 1.2GHz, through to 1.6GHz and right up to 2GHz—quite a range, which will be felt powering an Android headunit.
The general advice is that an MTK8259 is a reasonably modern processor, but you can’t make a comparison with, say, the PX5 Octacore. Each integrator may have clocked the cores at a different speed, or the advertiser has copied and pasted an old spec sheet. Do your homework and look at precisely what you are buying, and don’t just compare one 8259L with another 8259L, as they may be configured differently, and you could be disappointed.
Whatever you do, don’t confuse the Android headunit MTK8259L Processor SoC with the Intel i5-8259U Processor or even the Intel 8259 chip. While the numbers are the same, they are all very different processors.
See our AC8259 post, which is more similar to the MTK8259 Octacore chip than the others linked above.