Pioneer SPH-C19BT review: using your smartphone for safer driving

Pioneer SPH-C19BT is a car audio head unit that promises to make your driving habits much safer. It works in conjunction with the Pioneer’s own Smart Sync app that works with both iOS and android phones. Here is our review of Pioneer SPH-C19BT.

Pioneer SPH-C19BT

Pioneer SPH-C19BT has single din layout and one single array of buttons for controlling source, volume and track selection. In addition to that, it has dedicated haptic buttons for triggering Pioneer’s voice recognition system that can be used for making phone calls, sending messages, starting navigation, readout aloud text messages and even make phone calls.

There is a cradle on top of it that is good enough for holding even the biggest of smartphones out there. This cradle can be rotated so yes, you want to use your phone in portrait mode as well.

Before you get started, you must install Pioneer’s smart sync app on your phone. Once you have installed it, you will find shortcuts to Google Maps, Waze, FB messenger and WhatsApp. You can tell it to use a particular app for mapping so if you prefer Apple Maps over Google Maps on your iPhone, you will be able to do so without a problem.

What makes Pioneer SPH-C19BT so special?

Pioneer says that once placing the phone in the cradle and hooking it up with the Smart Sync app, they will be able to interact with their phone without looking at it. Users can make use of the dedicated voice recognition button to get the tasks done.

While the voice navigation is not as natural as Amazon Alexa or something that Google offers, it gets the work done if you say the exact phrase. Yes, Google Assistant or Apple CarPlay integration would have been better, but it would increase the price considerably as well. Pioneer wants to keep the price down and SPH-C19BT is definitely on the affordable side.

Pioneer Smart Sync

I loved the fact it has support for the rear camera. It will beep if your car is about to collide with something when in reverse gear.

Verdict – Pioneer SPH-C19BT is a great product and once you have learnt the voice commands, it definitely makes driving more distraction free.