Chigee AIO-5 Lite review | Motorcycle sat-nav, media control & dash-cam tested

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Date reviewed: May 2024 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: Around £490 | www.chigee.com

 

The Chigee AIO-5 Lite offers a lot of features in a small, fairly well-designed package. I’ve been using it for over 2,000 miles on a Zontes ZT350-T to find out if it’s worth the money.

Available direct from Chigee for a retail price currently of £486 – with free delivery – there’s also what we’re told is a permanent 15% discount at checkout, taking it down to £407.15. It’s important to stress that import duty and tax is NOT included, which could add around £80 to the price you pay. There are also various discount running on the Chigee site that might take it lower, for instance at the time of writing there was a 25% discount.

There are now UK distributors, including A Bike Thing and Life Is A Ride at the time of writing, which are offering direct UK shipping and two-year warranties at £499.99 with no additional fees.

 

 

Chigee AIO-5 Lite features

As standard, the Chigee AIO-5 Lite includes the main unit with screen, 32mm handlebar mount with adaptors for 28mm, 25mm and 22mm bars, front and rear cameras with sticky pads, power lead with ring terminals, a separate GPS antenna and two splice connectors, as well as security Torx drivers.

Chigee AIO-5 Lite claimed specifications

Screen type

5” LCD IPS (In-Plane Switching)

Brightness

1,000 Nits (1,200 Nits peak)

Waterproofing

IP67

Working temperature

-20 to 65°C

Internal storage

32GB

Optional Micro SD card

256GB maximum

RAM

4GB

Dash-cam sensors

Sony IMX307

Dash-cam resolution

1920x1080px

Dash-cam frame-rate

30fps

Dash-cam field of view

115.6° horizontal, 51.6° vertical (136.6° diagonal)

Chigee AIO-5 Lite features as standard

  • Android Auto / Apple Car Play for navigation, media control and calls
  • Speed, trip, compass, sunset and time display
  • Four physical buttons along the top
  • Front and rear cameras with loop recording
  • Blind-spot alert
  • Dash-cam parking monitoring
  • Rear-view feature – flip the rear camera image to behave like a mirror on the screen

Chigee AIO-5 Lite optional features

  • Tyre pressure monitoring (TPMS): £69.99
  • Wireless remote control: £59.00
  • Control via BMW Wonder Wheel: £69.99
  • Screen protector £19.00
  • Alternative mounts: £24.99 to £43.99
  • Real-time engine data on dash-cam recordings via Bluetooth OBD module (promised for future release)

 

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What is Android Auto / Apple CarPlay?

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are two fairly similar technologies that allow you to access compatible apps on your phone via a separate device. It’s NOT screen-mirroring, which simply shows the same screen that’s on your phone.

There are some differences in the way Android and Apple devices display the apps, but basically, as long as you have a phone running Android 11.0 or iOS 9 onwards, you shouldn’t have any issues. I’m using an Android Google Pixel 7 Pro.

The apps won’t always look quite the same on your Android Auto / Apple CarPlay device as they do on your phone, and they might not have all the same features. It’s also very important to understand that not all apps are compatible and won’t appear on the menu screen. The key ones are, like Google maps, the majority of media players and even the brilliant OsmAnd, but it’s disappointing to find that Calimoto is only compatible with Apple CarPlay at the time of writing, not Android Auto.

Apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are also compatible, but really not suitable for use on a bike (or a car I’d suggest).

An Android Auto / Apple CarPlay device needs to be powerful enough to process the data sent to it by your phone, but it doesn’t do any of the real ‘work’. For instance, it’s your phone that that finds your route in navigation, suggests alternatives and updates traffic etc, so if the phone battery dies, you no longer have any navigation (apart from the Chigee’s built-in compass on the home screen). However, because your phone’s screen remains off, the impact it has on the battery is significantly less. Whether you need to supply power to your phone will depend on the length of your ride, and the phone’s battery capacity. I haven’t had any need to on four to five hour journeys, and that included streaming music to my intercom.

Also, of course, as no mapping is built into these devices, you’ll need a data signal on your phone, or maps downloaded in compatible apps.

 

 

Mounting the AIO-5 Lite to the bike

The Chigee AIO-5 Lite has a ball fixed to the rear that’s secured into the supplied handlebar mount, but it’s a lot smaller than a RAM ball so not compatible with those fittings as standard, through an optional 1” ball is available.

The supplied bar mount is solid and secure, but it was a little disappointing to find that it’s cast aluminium, not machined, which makes it feel a bit cheap.

The Chigee is connected directly to the battery with a pair of ring terminals (with a neat little inline fuse), but won’t boot up until it gets a feed from a switched supply, which can be tapped into using one of the supplied splice connectors. I’m not a fan of these as they can create a corrosion point in your bike’s wiring loom, and would have preferred a Posi-Tap connector. I solder my connections, and seal them properly with heat-shrink tubing.

Fitting is simple but you’ll most likely need to strip panels off your bike to route the cable. Also consider where the cameras will be to minimise vibration – I initially had the front one tucked under the Zontes’ beak, but it shook too much so I had to move it higher.

The fasteners on the screen’s clamp are security Torx (a star pattern with a raised pin in the middle), which will make it harder for a thief to remove (two Allen keys and a screwdriver are supplied). My concern is though that the unit looks vulnerable, so despite the fact that even if it was ripped from its bracket it couldn’t be removed as there are three cables hard-wired into the back of it, I must admit I worry that I’ll come back one day and find it hanging off.

There are other mounting options available, including a crossbar mount for 12-16mm diameter bars (like on the BMW GS accessory mount), a fork stem mount and several others, including some for specific bikes, like this ‘lossless’ mount, which fits into the dash of the BMW R1200RT, R1250RT and K1600.

 

Set-up and updating

The Chigee app is downloaded from the Google Play or Apple store, and takes you through the process of setting up once powered on. I noticed some poor translations, but nothing an update couldn’t fix. Once set up, the Chigee app is only needed to download the dashcam recordings.

Firmware updates are notified on the Chigee app, and installing them requires a WiFi hotspot to be setup between your phone and the device, but it’s reasonably simple to do by following the in-app instructions. From there, it downloads and installs seamlessly.

The only software issue I’ve had was being unable to make calls as I kept getting a message saying that it didn’t have permissions. After repeatedly checking the Chigee app, I realised that the device also uses settings in the hidden Android Auto app on the phone. Changing permissions here is harder as there’s no obvious app to find, but going to settings/apps/see all apps/Android Auto allows you to fix it.

It was in settings/apps/see all apps/Android Auto/Additional settings that I also found the option to stop music playing automatically every time the Chigee was turned on.

 

The physical buttons are great, but the on-screen buttons within Android Auto are rather small

 

Chigee AIO-5 Lite touchscreen sensitivity

Chigee AIO-5 Lite has an effective touchscreen that works well with compatible gloves, but unlike Garmin and TomTom sat-navs, it’s not as effective with standard gloves; with some it’ll pick up the touch, with others it won’t.

There are four physical buttons along the top of the Chigee:

  • Home screen
  • Cycle between trip data and Android Auto / Apple CarPlay screen
  • Cycle through the dach-cam camera views
  • Turn off / lock the screen.

The on-screen buttons on the home screen are fine, but those along the bottom of Android Auto are rather small – in summer gloves it can take a careful touch to press what you want, and in winter gloves it’s much harder. I’d love to see at least one of the physical buttons be user-definable, to take you immediately to an app of your choice.

 

 

Display layout & clarity

The Chigee AIO-5 Lite’s screen is very clear and bright, being easily readable even in strong sunlight. The auto-brightness feature works very well, dimming automatically at night, but I did find that on one very bright day when my lid was casting a shadow over the device, it dimmed to the point that it was barely visible. Fortunately, it was fairly easy to disable by adjusting the settings from the home screen to bring the display back up to full brightness.

The home screen is clear, with a good view of your speed (GPS generated). You can see your direction via a compass, though I wish that north was more clearly marked, perhaps in white and ideally with a larger character as it’s really hard to read when riding.

Next to this is the tyre pressures, but if you don’t have the optional sensors fitted, this graphic is still displayed. A cunning way to encourage you to buy them, but irritating if you don’t.

There’s also a display of the current time and, helpfully, the time that sunset will occur. Along the bottom are buttons to access the Android Auto / Apple CarPlay page, the dash cam screen, ‘meter’ page and settings, though of course the first three of these are also accessible via the physical buttons on the top.

The ‘meter’ page shows speed, direction and time, as well as the tyres’ pressures and temperatures (if TPMS fitted), battery voltage, elevation and trip time / distance. There’s also space for throttle position and engine temperature, along with a big rev-counter across the top, but these will only work if you buy the optional (and not yet available) Bluetooth OBD sensor.

This also switches with the ‘Car Link’ page, and the quality of the layout on this screen will depend on the app you’re using, and whether you’re an Apple or Android user. On Android, it can display the single app (like mapping), or split the screen to also show one or two more at the side, which is great for quick control of music while navigating. Another view here shows all the installed apps.

Finally, there’s the dash-cam screen, which can show front or rear, or either, with the other inset. There’s also the option to flip the rear view, so it acts like a mirror.

 

Chigee AIO-5 Lite waterproofing

The Chigee AIO-5 Lite is IP67, which means rain won’t cause it any issues. What particularly impressed me is that, unlike even TomTom and Garmin, the screen appears unaffected by water droplets, so it won’t move around or activate unexpectedly.

 

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Google Maps is the obvious choice for getting from A to B as quickly as possible, especially with its reliable traffic data, but OsmAnd is also compatible, and great for exploring

 

Ease of navigation

In most sat-nav reviews I’d break this up into sections, but of course you have far more navigation options with a device like this. Ease of route planning, speed camera notifications and adapting your route will depend on the app you’re using. Equally, finding fuel will be easier with some than others, though do keep in mind that the on-screen ‘buttons’ can be rather small, so in Google Maps, for instance, clicking the search function button can take some careful finger control. If you have an intercom, you could use the phone’s voice assistant, though if you need to touch the button to activate it, it is still quote small.

When powering off the bike, a summary of your ride is shown for about 10 seconds as the Chigee is also hard-wired. This is a nice feature, but also very valuable on bikes that briefly cut their auxiliary output while the engine is fired up, so avoiding an annoying fresh boot-up.

The Chigee AIO-5 Lite takes 12 seconds to get to its home screen, then another 20 more to load Android Auto and get to your mapping. This is more frustrating on the Zontes as auxiliary power only comes on when the engine’s running – on most bikes that energise this circuit at ignition on, it’ll be far less frustrating.

 

 

Controlling music and making calls with the Chigee

I’ve used DoubleTwist, Player Pro and Google Podcasts (now being turned off – thanks Google), and skipping forwards or backwards, and playing / pausing is simple. Music streams direct to my intercom from the phone, so there’s no additional faffing; the AIO-5 Lite just acts as a controller. You can also go deeper and select playlists etc, but it will depend on the app you use.

There’s no option to play music direct from the Chigee, via the SD card, which is a shame, but that space is needed for dash-cam recordings.

Making and receiving calls is fine too, the Chigee again acting as a controller. My only frustration is that you can’t use the hardware buttons to go back to the map page – you have to press the little app button on the bottom of the screen after the call.

 

 

Chigee AIO-5 Lite dash-cam quality

Chigee’s inbuilt dash-cam is fairly typical in that’s it’s constantly recording so could prove useful in the event that it’s needed (though I really hope you never need it), but it’s not a patch on a dedicated action camera when it comes to documenting your rides, due to low quality footage and awkward access to the files that are broken up into one, two or three-minute long clips.

The front and rear cameras are held in place with self-adhesive pads, and can be rotated through 360°. They record in 1920x1080 resolution at 30fps, and while there appears to be some electronic image stabilisation (not much), there’s no option in the settings to turn it on or off.

Of course, the quality of the footage relies on clean camera lenses, and in winter especially they can be quick to get filthy, so get into the habit of giving them a quick wipe before each ride. Ultimately, the footage is about average for a motorcycle dash-cam, but audio quality is very good, no doubt due to the microphone being in the main unit, which keeps it tucked away out of the wind on my bike.

I fitted a 256GB card to the Chigee AIO-5 Lite (the biggest it’ll handle), which is enough for just over 16 hours of front and rear recordings before the oldest files are automatically overwritten.

This could potentially be doubled by taking the option to merge the front and rear footage into one clip (with one of the images smaller in the corner of the other) but this would of course reduce detail.

Footage can also be set to record if the bike is knocked while it’s parked. Sometimes this results in the LED on the Chigee flashing, others not, so there is a risk that it’ll alert someone to footage being stored. Then again, it might warn them off.

That LED flashes all the time you’re riding to let you know that it’s recording. It’s not a disaster, but I do find it a little distracting at times.

Overall, the dash-cam feature is good, but if you don’t need / want it, the Chigee AIO-5 Play costs £369.99.

 

Chigee AIO-5 Lite samples

Footage shot from a quite vibey Zontes ZT350-T single-cylinder bike

 

Accessing your recordings requires going to the Chigee’s settings and selecting ‘Down’ then turning on the button that activates a WiFi hotspot. Then connect your phone to that hotspot to allow a connection between the Chigee app and the AIO-5 Lite. Authorise that link then you can access the cameras and recordings, which can be downloaded to your phone. You wouldn’t want to do more than a handful this way as it’s not fast or convenient, and finding the clip you want can be hard.

For this review, I wanted to access loads of the recordings, so took the micro SD card out by pulling open the silicone flap then using a flat-bladed screwdriver to release the card. I then had to copy the files off to a hard drive connected to a PC laptop, because the format used by Chigee isn’t compatible with Macs. Then I plugged that hard drive into my Mac and went through the files to find the ones I wanted.

The Mac hassle won’t be a problem for most people, but while the card does need to be safe, it’s still a pain to get out and put back in, especially as re-seating the silicone sleeve needs the tiny Torx screw removing, poking back into the flap, then screwing in again. It’d be easy to drop and lose, and it doesn’t stop the flap being opened as it just pops over the head. For security, this really needs to be a hard plastic door (with a seal), with the screw retained.

I’d really like to see Chigee introduce a physical button press to ‘lock’ a specific recording and file it separately. That way, if something happens that you want to keep, it’ll be a lot easier to find and it won’t be overwritten. It’d be easy to implement too, with – for instance – a long press of one of the buttons on top of the device.

 

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The ‘Caution’ banner appears when another vehicle is in your blind spot

 

Chigee AIO-5 Lite blind-spot warning system

One of the benefits of the AIO-5 Lite’s front and rear cameras is that the screen unit processes this data to provide warnings in the form of a red ‘caution’ banner that appears on the left or right of the screen.

The system generally distinguishes well between vehicles you’re overtaking, and those that are approaching or could be a danger, and if the unit is within your peripheral vision it could be quite valuable; I have it mounted on the bars, which is too low really.

At night or in poor weather it’s not as effective, missing some vehicles or all of them, depending on the street lighting.

It’s a clever bit of coding and a useful addition to the features.

 

 

Chigee AIO-5 Lite optional TPMS

The Chigee’s Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) includes two sensors with a range of 0 to 116psi (0-8bar), which are very easy to pair to the screen. Once done, they give you front and rear tyre pressure AND temperature, with the ability to set an alarm if the pressures go out of range.

It’s a brilliant safety feature, though the Zontes I have this unit fitted to already has TPMS as standard, so it’s belt and braces for me.

Of course, you don’t have to spend the £69.99 on them, but the TPMS section on the home-screen is always goading you.

Each sensor weighs 7g and is said to last up to a year, but the internal BR1225A cell only costs £1.99 from Battery Station (my favourite battery shop).

I’d only recommend using external TPMS sensors like this on metal valve stems, though if using on rubber stems ensure they’re good quality, in good condition, and replaced with the tyres (as they should be).

The irritation with any system like this is that you need a supplied tool or spanner (in this case 13mm) to remove the sensor before pumping up the tyre.

An internal TPMS system is available from Chigee for £75, but the batteries aren’t replaceable, and only last a claimed two to three years.

 

 

Chigee AIO-5 Lite optional remote control

At £59.00, the optional remote control is quite an investment. It’s wireless, and the internal 3.7V 300mAh cell is charged via a USB-C port, but you’ll have to unscrew it unless you have a charging cable near or on your bike.

The three buttons on the remote allow you to answer or hang up a call, or move between pages on the screen, though the latter is easily done with the buttons on the main unit.

You can also navigate some of the on-screen buttons, but I’ve found this to be far too much of a faff.

Honestly, I don’t think the Chigee remote is worth having. There’s also a BMW-specific version for £69.99 that allows you to use the Wonder Wheel (if fitted). I’ve not tried this though, so can’t comment on its effectiveness. 

 

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Chigee AIO-5 Lite optional screen protector

As standard, the Chigee AIO-5 Lite’s screen seems reasonably hard, but not scratch resistant (I tested it with a screwdriver).

The £19.00 Chigee tempered glass screen protector is claimed to be 9H hardness, but don’t confuse that with the Mohs scale – I don’t have the equipment to test it, but expect scratches at around level six, with deeper grooves at level seven.

It’s also claimed to be oil-resitant and anti-fingerprint. It doesn’t come with instructions, but there’s a wipe to remove dust and oil, a cloth for residual stains and a sticky sheet to get the final dust particles off before applying. Mine was a bit of a fiddle to apply as I kept getting dust under it, but now it’s sorted it feels resilient and doesn’t affect the viewing performance.

 

Alternatives to the Chigee AIO-5 Lite

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay devices are becoming more popular now, but there are other options too…

  • Carpuride W502. Available for less than £200, I’ve not reviewed one, but have spoken to many owners in the research for this review, who’ve generally found it to be good, though some would prefer the 7” W702 version. One owner was disappointed with connection drop-outs, but others have found it fine.
    The Carpuride seems to have a very generic and cheap feel to it, with the same small icons issue as the Chigee, but there’s no auto-brightness on the Carpuride, which will quickly get annoying in changeable conditions or when riding at night. Being wired to a switched output only, it can also be frustrating in that it turns off the moment the ignition is cut, then has to go through boot-up again.
    Comments were made about difficulty in updating the firmware, which is vital to a product like this.
    Another owner said that through heavy rain in France and extremely hot conditions in the Sahara, they had no issues with the Carpuride, but it was pointed out that the new Chigee AIO-5 Play is closer to the Carpuride, and while more expensive, seems to be of higher quality.

  • Innovv N1. Soon to be released, this appears similar to the Chigee in spec and costs about £317 at the time of writing, plus duty and taxes.

  • Carpe Iter V4b tablet. For arguably the ultimate navigation, consider a dedicated tablet like the Carpe Iter V4b, which is what I have on my GS. It costs about £700 for everything, so it’s not cheap, but you can use any Android navigation app in its purest form – I like Calimoto, OsmAnd and Locus Maps for having fun, and Google when I just need to get there as fast as possible. It’s a big, clear screen, and it’s got its own SIM card, as well as excellent GPS performance. You can also download the maps for many apps, so there’s no need to worry about having cellular data in remote areas.

  • Dedicated sat-nav. The £399.99 TomTom Rider 550 used to be my favourite sat-nav – the progress bar on the side that shows distance to the next fuel station and average speed camera zones is a cut above everything else I’ve tried. But the screen’s very small and it’s really long in the tooth now. Way overdue and update, perhaps TomTom is focussing on software now… The £19.99/year subscription is tempting to run on my Carpe Iter instead of Google maps. For a hardware sat-nav now though – with built in maps so no need for a data connection – I recommend the £529.99 Garmin XT2 thanks to its large screen and up-to-date features.

These are just some of many alternatives – you can find all the motorcycle sat-navs we’ve tested here and be sure to regularly check for the discounts available through Bikesocial membership.

 

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Chigee AIO-5 Lite review: Verdict

After several months and over 2,000 miles, I’ve struggled to really find fault with the Chigee AIO-5 Lite, besides the small size of the on-screen buttons in Android Auto, and the difficulty in getting at the dash-cam footage. Otherwise, most of the little things I’d like to see improved could be sorted with a firmware update.

If you want more versatility than a dedicated sat-nav thanks to the ability to use your choice of navigation app, the fact that this has worked so seamlessly for me is very impressive. Not all apps are supported though, and some features aren’t active, so if you want complete freedom, look at a dedicated ruggedised tablet.
However, the Chigee sits in a very good place for a lot of riders, and I like that I just start the bike, it connects automatically to my phone and I’m off. I’ll often program my route before I leave the house, knowing that it’ll be there for me when the AIO-5 Lite starts up. Clever tech that, for the most part, doesn’t get in the way or frustrate.

 

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