What is the SWM9218S or 9218S Android Head Unit?
Is the SWM 9281S easy to install?
Can the SWM9281S be considered good value for money?
The SWM 9218S is a branded version of the generic 9218S— 7″ Double DIN Android Headunit. You can find the SWM 9218S on every knockdown price store and online marketplace on every corner of the internet.
Yes, this is running Android. It is not running the Android you have on your phone! This is an outdated version of Android that everyone old enough has forgotten about. If you are not old enough to remember the early days of Android, you didn’t miss much. It was just getting better and better, not just due to Android development, but the mobile processors got faster, and the RAM got cheaper.
Why so popular?
The SWM 9218S and all the other 9218S-based double DIN android headunits are so well stocked and shifted because of the cost. 9218S is cheap, very cheap. But don’t let that stop you from buying one.
What should stop you in your tracks is the very poor value for money it is.
A very old and slow quad-core MTK G50 processor barely has enough power to run Android, let alone any apps you may want to use. But not only is it very slow, but a minimal amount of RAM is available.
The SWM9218S and all the other 9218S models are 7″ screens with a double DIN fitting. This universally acceptable size has fascias and direct fitment for many older vehicles. The connecting wires are missing the ISO sockets. This can put many people off from buying one of these, and with good reason. But if you are a glutton for punishment, we have an Android headunit wiring guide to the wires and connecting all the plugs from the 9218s to your car.
Please, Sir, can I have some more RAM
The 9218S has a miserly 1 GB of RAM. Considering that Android would eat most of that, only scraps are left for the apps you run. Current specifications for an Android headunit are at 4 GB, with some reaching 6 GB RAM and higher at 8 GB. This 4 GB / 6 GB is easily good enough to take a headunit into the future. 1 Gb will leave your apps stuck in the past and unable to upgrade to the latest versions.
It can’t be all that bad.
SWM9218S and other 9218S look just the ticket. The 7″ screen looks clear; it mentions that there are USB sockets, GPS, Bluetooth, reversing camera options, and supports steering wheel controls. It has the connectivity and features of better and faster Android headunits. What it lacks is the ISO connectors. So it looks nice on the sales pitch but is slow to use and difficult to install. From a user’s perspective, it is all bad and poor for money. This sort of hardware, along with the 8227L SoC, gives Android headunits a lousy name.
It looks good?
Avoid it. The (SWM) 9218S is just fit for the WEEE recycling. There are much better and more user-friendly Android headunits that, although more expensive, will serve you much longer and be more enjoyable. You will be disappointed if the reason you buy Android is for apps with the 9218S.
Quick Review Summary for SWM9218S
A 7inch Double DIN Android that is best avoided
It looks good in pictures
Double DIN mounting
No ISO connectors
Very old and slow processor
Not enough RAM
Very poor value for money
It won’t do anything Android well
Value for money: 1/5
Quality of construction: 3/5
Ease of installation: 2/5