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Buying a F90Bt? Think again!!!

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After owning 2 D3's in both my cars I had high expectations for the F90BT. Once again I fell into the hype and marketing lies these companies tell you to get you to buy thier stuff.


My complaints (which are well documented on this site)

1. Volume knob is unusable if you have "man" fingers What were they thinking? this knob is as slick as ice and way too thin to even grab onto much less adjust the volume.


2. Exteremely slow startup times even with the update. They need an update to the update to even make the unit acceptable. 20 sec until music ove 2 minutes until bluetooth. 1 minute until Map and forget about changing anything until about 1.5 minutes.


3. The Bluetooth simply sucks compared to my D3. The D3 worked and was reliable. This thing with a Blackberry Curve attached, huh good luck with that. And why is the volume control for Bluetooth on a touchpad and not the useless knob like the D3? Come on Pioneer!!!!


4 The GPS is very slow and cumbersome. I assume because it is using a huge GUI to provide the cool graphics but its very slow.


5. They completely changed the way the map and it's controls work from the D3, which might be nice if they needed changing but the the touch screen has such a huge delay that it is MUCH slower.


6. I have a feeling that Pioneer will keep feeding us "updates" until it works better, but why do we have to be the guinny pigs?


Take a hard look before you buy one of these because it is far from what they claim it is.

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crap, im thinkin about buyin the 900bt tomarow, i hate seeing mixed reviews on a product when im about to drop the kind of coin i am on this thing.

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I had a D2 and absolutely love the 90BT! I had the same fears as you LoadThis but I honestly couldn't be happier. I'm buying another for my wife's car, my cousin saw mine and bought one as did a friend of mine. I've shown it to less than 10 people and sold to 2 - and before that not a single one was looking to buy a new radio/GPS, it just sold itself.


Bootup time is slow but I get radio within 20 secs and by the time I've backed out of my driveway I have map and iPod, bluetooth about 2 blocks later. My D2 map pulled up but it would put me on the wrong street for the first .25 miles, so I don't see how its that different.


Screen is immaculate and the voice command is beyond amazing. It has its quirks (like twice a month or so it doesn't connect to the iPod requiing me to unplug it and plug it back in - TWICE A MONTH!). I can voice dial, call out a playlist, artist or an album and it plays and bluetooth sounds good on both ends.


I'm not "stuck" with it now that I have bought it, I can easily afford to replace it but I love it! Wayy better than my D2, and more impressive than the Kenwood iplayed with (5150 or something like that)

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Two weeks ago I installed the F90BT.


I’ve been following/researching this unit since it came out in June. It has everything I wanted and it is a complete in-dash solution. However, I could not find one single good user review. The complaints were hard to ignore.


When firmware 2.0 came out, I decided to take the plunge. Most users on this forum were raving how much better/usable the unit became.


Since I never used the D3, I cannot compare, but after 2 weeks of use, here’s my take (which mirrors some of Thomas’ complaints):



1. Start up time (40 seconds) is ok with me. Unit starts as I’m warming up the car. (I live in Northeast) After all this is a computer running Windows and whether it is Mac OS or whatever OS, it is going to take some time. 2 minutes start-up time is not acceptable, 40 seconds, it’s ok.


2. My Bluetooth is working fine with iPhone 3G.


3. I love the GPS auto zoom-in/out feature in 3D mode.


4. Love the fact I can hack it by booting Windows CE.


5. iPod controls work just fine.



1. Volume knob is too small.


2. Overall the unit feels sluggish / underpowered. The hardware engineers missed a great opportunity to make this unit fast and “zippyâ€. Something is holding back this baby, maybe is the video card or RAM storage or maybe even the CPU. This is my biggest gripe with this unit. It overshadows all the great features.


Overall, on a scale from 1 to 10, I give it a 7.


If Pioneer releases another firmware that concentrates on performance

and stability, I’ll give a 9.

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I can't tell if I am happy with this unit now because it was so bad before, or because it really is just that good.


Considering I was a day 1 adopter, and this series was, uh almost unusable at that point, considering its state now I use it ona daily basis and I have nothing to complain about.


Music comes on with xm at say 10 seconds, map screen is up in 30. Blue tooth phone and complete boot in just over a minute.


This is a huge improvement from what it was, and I honestly see no issues with it now. It boots up as fast as my D3 did regarding music and navigation screen.


If I didn't know better I would say you haven't installed 2.0 yet, check your version number.


I would like to see more updates, but if they don't, I personally am very happy with this unit now, and I am a bit concerned perhaps your expecations are a bit, eh too high? How fast do you expect a windows ce computer to cold boot? Because 10 seconds and 30 seconds to map is pretty damn good now.


Telling people to not buy the unit, because its not instant on, and it takes time to read information, which eh, the D3 took just as long reading from a DVD.


Also given the massive amount of features its not really fair to compare an older functionally limited unit to something thi complex.


Any navigation unit i've seen, magellan etc, took time to route information, and this unit is no longer or shorter based on my experience.


I think there is a point where perhaps you should say, i can't be satisfied, give up and just go back to the factory head unit, buy a tomtom etc, and be happy, Knowing you can't be satisfied with what current technology and market products can provide.

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I've had my F90 for over a month now. This is my first navi and I love it. I've read all the reviews and comparison of its predesessor. I think people need to realize that the unit reads information from memory like a computer so therefore it has to start up like one. By the time I crank my car up and strap on the seat belt and out of my parking space, the map and music is playing. I think some people are just real picky and impatient on some of the things that are not really a big issue. Just my two cents.

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I came from a D3 as well, and the D3 executed the features it had, MUCH better than the F series executes what it has. Sure the F series has more, but execution is shoddy.


Case in point..as mentioned above..the inability to now control bluetooth phone call volumes from the knob, and instead..Pioneer lazily coded a on screen volume that covers 1/3rd of the navigation screen, AND renders the touchscreen functionality of the nav USELESS while you are on a call. Did Pioneer EVER think that perhaps while the driver is using the handsfree, the passenger might need to touch the nav screen for function?


This is simply one example..of several of Pioneers failures at execution with the F series

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To all of the ex-D3 users: you need to keep in mind that you are coming from a D3, as in 3rd generation D series. The D1 sucked, the D2 showed some improvements and then the D3 was quite good.


I am personally happy with my F series. I agree it could use some more tooling, specifcally with start up and bluetooth, but overall I am happy. i know that as time goes on the F series will get better and better just as the D series did.

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I have already updated the unit with V2.0 and it is better. But as someone else mentioned they made the volume for the bluetooth a onsceen overlay that seldom works. When I'm on the phone with an important customer, I need a reliable phone connection not one that is locked up in a wide open voume level. It's a joke actually.


Since I am a machinist I made a new knob out of stainless that is actually funtional. I will post pics when I get a minute. It's MUCH better than that hokey knob Pioneer put on there.


Someone else also mentioned that this unit does more than the D3 and that is true. which is why I bought it. But if the new features don't work right, whats the point. Has anyone even read the complaints on this site about the bluetooth problems. I am experiencing most of them with my BB Curve.


I just really POed when they design a great product and then fail to engineer the damn thing to work. You could put "bluetooth compatible" on a cardboard box, but if it doesn't work.. Whats the point.


Don't get me wrong, I have some things I love about the F90BT which include a MUCH better Nav than the D3 and much better Ipod. But again when you are driving around and it mysteriously switches from Ipod to FM and you didn't touch it... I'm thinking somethings wrond (this is all well documented on these forums)

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