Your safety on the road depends on how well you can see the stretch ahead of you and how well you can avoid distractions while driving. Head-up displays sit atop of your car’s dashboard and are designed to relay important information to you without needing to take your eyes off the road. This information typically gets displayed on a transparent screen and is projected to mimic augmented reality.

Navdy is a popular brand as far as head-up car displays are concerned. It is compatible with the OBD-II port of most car models. Navdy uses your phone’s built-in GPS and Google Maps to enable you to determine street names, routes to your final destination, and even speed limits where you’re driving.

Head Up Displays for Cars: Everything You Need to Know

Navdy can be connected with Android and iOS devices to display smartphone data including texts, social media alerts, and texts. Access to such information is easy due to the presence of a scroll wheel, which is attached to your car’s steering wheel. To enhance your safety when using Navdy heads-up display, its operation can be complemented by gesture control, something unique to this product.

Navdy Pros

  • It is easy to set up and use
  • Has great brightness levels and detailed graphics
  • Can easily be shifted from one vehicle to another
  • Its GPS functionality works without data connection
  • Gesture controls
  • Nice-looking graphics and interface
  • Works with polarized sunglasses

Navdy Cons

  • Has an expensive price tag
  • It is not ready for prime time
  • Glitchy
  • Menu times out quickly when changing settings
  • The steering wheel dial is flimsy
  • Can overheat
  • Not compatible on cars older than 1996

Top 10 Best Head Up Displays for Cars

What’s in the Box?

A Navdy system features the main unit, which includes the screen and electronic hardware. The screen and the electronics have opposite magnetic charges. Therefore, Navdy’s screen magnetically slides and locks into the electronics unit. The system features a thumbwheel controller or otherwise known as the Dial, and a wire that connects to your vehicle’s OBD-II port. There are three types of mounts that accommodate dashboards of different shapes. There are also sticky plastic clips that help keep wires out of the way.

The Navdy unit has a height of 3.7 inches, a width of 5.2 inches, and depth of 5.5 inches. Therefore, it is relatively compact and smaller than other head-up displays that you will see out there. The unit features a transparent display panel, which won’t hamper your vision on the road. You can flip down this head-up display when you are not using it.

To prevent vision obstruction while you are driving, Navdy’s panel projects images and texts at 30,000 nits of peak brightness. Therefore, your images won’t fade or wash out in sunny conditions. Your pictures will look sharp and detailed regardless of the prevailing light conditions. The brightness can be lowered at night to prevent glare.

Installation

The elastic, multi-piece base of the mount features an adhesive that ensures that the display is held into place even when driving on rough terrain. The simple design makes the device easy to connect in a matter of minutes. Nonetheless, you will still be required to search beneath your car’s dashboard so that you locate its OBD-II port. Installation and setup shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes. To make installation easy and hassle-free, Navdy has partnered with Enjoy, which undertakes same-day delivery and mounting of the heads-up display.

Navdy Functionality

The Navdy heads-up display unit comes with a range of remarkable features, which are even better than what you will find on the navigation systems of most late-model cars. Even without linking your car’s Navdy system to its companion app, you will still be provided with direction info, traffic info maps, a clock, and crucial vehicle data including engine RPM, speed, and fuel level.

Once you connect Navdy to a smartphone, you will get access to additional cloud-based content. The unit features two different types of views. These are the App Glances and Driving Glances views. The latter carries notifications pertaining to traffic, calls, calendar items, and fuel level. It also lets you play content from your smartphone. On the other hand, App Glances carries email, social media, and text message notifications.

Once you have set up the unit, you need to install its app on your smartphone. The physical Navdy unit on your dashboard will pair with the smartphone app and await your command. A virtual gauge showing your car’s RPM and speed will be displayed on the screen by default. This will be the first information to be displayed after the OBD-II connection is made. Thereafter, you can configure bars on each side of the gauges so that information pertaining to time, average MPG, and direction is displayed.

The Navdy system is Google-powered and therefore, you will get similar directions to those that Google Maps typically issue. The display pane actually displays a simplified version of Google apps. The Navdy app that you install on your smartphone allows you to choose favorite destinations and contacts that you wish to add to your speed dial. The app similarly comes with a Quick Search function featuring a search bar that has icons for gas stations, ATMs, eateries, and parking lots.

A Settings menu on the app lets you choose various audio connections, speed limit warnings, and voice guidance styles and volume. In addition, you can also choose items that you want to be displayed on the steering wheel dial. In as much as the panel’s default display view is similar to Google Maps, you can alter it by simply rotating the dial’s edges.

There is a button located at the center of the steering wheel dial, which you can push to access the main menu and other available features.  Whenever a text, phone call, or any other Glance comes in, its information will be displayed on the pane’s right side. However, you need to take note of the fact the Navdy’s steering wheel dial is a bit flimsy. Therefore, it can easily get damaged if subjected to considerable strain.

Navdy Performance vs. Other HUDs

Despite being smaller than other head-up dashboard displays, Navdy packs in all the required information. This information will also be relayed to you in a manner that isn’t distracting. The incredible brightness means you only need to throw a glance at the display to get the information that you need.

Arguably, one of the most outstanding features about the Navdy system is the fact that it is easy to use. It is quite intuitive and gesture controls are unique to this product. Most aftermarket heads-up displays require some significant searching into their menus especially when you want to tweak the information displayed. Many don’t even give you the option.

With the Navdy unit, all tweaks can simply be undertaken using its steering wheel dial. Navdy’s steering wheel dial allows you to conveniently browse through different settings and menus quickly. In addition, it is easy to customize this HUD exactly as you wish by choosing various favorites to represent your contacts and destinations.

The HUD’s map display is significantly sharper and more detailed than what you will even find in more expensive models. When calls come in, you can answer them by simply turning the steering wheel dial or by dismissing it using a gesture control. The HUD’s voice recognition feature is also incredible since you only need to state your destination and thereafter, you will be guided about the most convenient route to take.

Is Navdy Worth Buying?

Arguably, you won’t find an aftermarket HUD that outperforms Navdy. Some other aftermarket HUDs mirror your smartphone’s screen and they still can’t deliver the same level of convenience, customization, and versatility that Navdy offers. What’s more, Navdy is a lot more functional than some HUDs that most late-model luxury cars have.

Unfortunately, the creator of this HUD recently closed shop. Therefore, the main question is how much longer Navdy will be on the market. Basically, this HUD will work as long as you carry your smartphone with you. The device is likely to fall out of use and be rendered obsolete in a few years. This is likely to be caused by the fact that crucial device functions such as voice recognition and navigation won’t be supported. When this happens, other functions are also likely to grind to halt.

The fact that Navdy won’t be updated any longer means that it will lack crucial conveniences in a few years’ time. The parent company has already closed shop and it might not make sense to invest in this HUD even with its impressive features.

Among the aftermarket HUDs that you will find out there, Navdy is one of the most outstanding. This HUD delivers an array of incredible smart features, which will definitely make your driving experience more immersive and fascinating.

Our Final Verdict

Despite its flimsy steering wheel dial and somewhat exorbitant retail price, Navdy should be your go-to HUD if you are seeking to have one on your car’s dashboard. It is every techie’s wish to see Navdy’s parent company return to business so that it can continue churning out more advanced HUDs.


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