This Is the Alpine ILX-F411, a Humongous Android Auto and CarPlay Head Unit

Alpine ILX-F411 6 photos
Photo: Alpine
Alpine ILX-F411Alpine ILX-F411Alpine ILX-F411Alpine ILX-F411Alpine ILX-F411
Touch displays have become so common in modern vehicles that it’s almost impossible to imagine buying a new car without such a piece of technology.
And given the adoption of Android Auto and CarPlay just keeps growing, a touch-capable display makes perfect sense, as it allows the interaction with these apps to become much more straightforward.

But on the other hand, not all cars out there leave the factory with a screen, and some of those that do actually boast small displays that come with little benefits to drivers out there.

Aftermarket head units are always the answer for anyone looking for a way to get a new-gen infotainment experience in a car, no matter how old it is. The installation of such media receives is typically straightforward, though in some cases, reaching out to a service center might be the more convenient way to go.

Alpine ILX\-F411
Photo: Alpine
Right now, there are plenty of head units to choose from, but if you’re interested in a large screen, the options are quite limited. And more often than not, you end up choosing one of Alpine’s Halo receivers.

The ILX-F411, or the Halo11, is a head unit that can do pretty much everything, all with a clever design that makes its 11-inch display easy to install and use regardless of your dashboard design.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand how Alpine managed to get the design right. Given it features an 11-inch display, the head unit obviously wouldn’t fit too many cars out there. So what Alpine decided to invent is a so-called Halo design, which means it’s boasting a floating-style screen that sits in front of the place where you normally install a head unit.

The device still comes with a standard single-DIN chassis, but the floating screen allows for a series of benefits, letting you adjust the height, the depth, and the angle thanks to a dedicated bracket. So this approach is ideal even in small cars where the console is typically full of buttons, as you should theoretically still be able to reach them all.

Alpine ILX\-F411
Photo: Alpine
If you’re not necessarily interested in Android Auto and CarPlay, the Halo11 head unit comes with lots of multimedia features, including Bluetooth support, a customizable interface with 22 widgets, iDatalink connectivity, support for the most common video and music formats, as well as a dedicated port for a parking camera.

There’s one HDMI input and one HDMI output, and the head unit is also sold with an external microphone to let you use the voice commands just the right way.

As for Android Auto and CarPlay, only the wired mode is supported, which is kind of unexpected given the price of the head unit. Furthermore, given the floating design, it might not be very convenient to plug a USB cable in the device, so make sure you get the wiring right during installation and connect a cord in a more suitable place.

There’s no CD or DVD player on the Alpine Halo11, but on the other hand, you can connect it to Pandora Internet Radio if you pair the smartphone with the head unit. But if you still want to listen to a CD, you can still do this using the aforementioned HDMI ports.

Alpine ILX\-F411
Photo: Alpine
As said, the ILX-F411 isn’t by any means an affordable head unit, and to be honest, this isn’t necessarily surprising given how large its screen really is. Alpine has a recommended price of $1,150, and this makes it one of the most expensive digital media receivers currently on the market. But if you’re into large screens with Android Auto and CarPlay support, there’s no doubt it’s one of the best choices.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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