The folks at Alpine have created something really special with the new ILX F259, the spiritual successor to the ILX F309 model that they unveiled a couple of years ago.
This new Single DIN unit has a beautiful 9 inch touchscreen display with incredible articulation and a unique installation set up that lends a high-end look and aesthetic to any vehicle, regardless of make or model.
Shoehorned into this Single DIN set up is a stunning amount of top-tier hardware. Featuring a pretty premium price tag (though not the most expensive digital media receiver on the market today) you’ll still feel like you are getting every penny’s worth when you upgrade the entertainment system in your vehicle with this Alpine option.
If you want a big, beautiful display in the latest and greatest hardware and software calling all the shots for media in your vehicle while on the go the Alpine ILX F259 makes a great argument that it is the only way to move forward.
The box for the Alpine ILX F259 is going to be a little bit larger than most digital media receiver boxes if only because this one has a 9 inch touchscreen monitor tucked away inside.
Even though this system is built for Single DIN installation set ups it is a real whopper. That 9 inch touchscreen looks and feels a lot bigger but the engineering behind this system (and the multiple points of articulation) make this digital media receiver appear even larger than it is.
Prewired and ready to go straight out of the box and accessory wiring harness is included as well to streamline installation as much as possible. Numerous pre-out and camera harness connections are included as well to give you full extensibility of this system straight out of the gate.
An external microphone attached to 12.5 feet of cable (terminating in a 3.5 mm connection) allow you to place the voice command and control microphone anywhere you deem comfortable and discrete in your cabin. It’s obviously a good idea to get it close to the driver for high quality calls and consistent commands but you have a bit of freedom to play with thanks to this extra long cable.
A 5 foot USB extension cable can be plugged into one of the two rear USB ports to allow for always accessible hardwired connections between your mobile devices and the digital media receiver itself.
A visor clip, double-sided tape, numerous installation screws and hardware, cover plates, and a quick reference guide, installation manual, and online registration details fill out the rest of the Alpine ILX F259 box.
One of the coolest features of the Alpine ILX F259 is the 9 inch touchscreen and for obvious reasons. The screen is oversized, jaw-dropping visually, and also has capacitive response technology that eliminates input lag almost completely.
Another cool feature of this 9 inch touchscreen is that it “floats” on top of your dashboard rather than appearing to be set inside it like traditional nav/digital media receivers. The articulation components allow you to move the 9 inch touchscreen up, down, side to side, and tilt the screen forwards or backwards. You’ll be able to zero in exactly how you want to scream to be positioned before you lock it into position. Of course, you’ll always have the opportunity to readjust on-the-fly as necessary.
The user interface of the Alpine ILX F259 is clean and uncluttered as is. But it also allows you to take things to the next level with an almost infinite amount of customization options. Up to three different customize home screens can be created and you’ll be able to play with 22 different widgets to create a personalized UI that makes sense for you.
Apple Carplay and Android Auto integrations are built right in though this is something we will do a bit of a deeper dive on in a little while. It’s a treat to use though, that’s for sure.
Bluetooth 5.0 technology provides wireless access to your mobile device. It includes Secure Simple Pairing technology that basically encrypts your wireless connection for safe use as well. When your phone is connected you’ll see icons regarding your battery level and sell signal on-screen also.
Special enough on its own, the Alpine ILX F259 becomes even more impressive when you plug your smartphone or tablet into this digital media receiver over USB.
As soon as the digital media receiver recognizes your devices operating system it triggers either Apple Carplay or Android Auto. You’ll instantly gain total control over your mobile device through the 9 inch touchscreen itself or over voice control but you’ll also gain access to the full suite of mobile applications installed on your phone that don’t come with the Alpine ILX F259 right out of the box.
Streaming media that’s been downloaded to your phone or tablet or available through streaming applications becomes effortless. Navigation options work with your favorite maps programs including Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze and more. You can even use the external microphone included with the Alpine ILX F259 for voice to text dictation on text messages and emails and send them out without ever picking up your phone or taking your hands off of the steering wheel.
Right out of the box you should be able to use your steering wheel controls with this digital media receiver. However, some automobile manufacturers may require an accessory adapter available for Alpine to carry over this kind of functionality.
Unlike some other digital media receivers with large screens like this you will not be able to detach and stowaway the 9 inch touchscreen on the ILX F259. It is permanently affixed to the articulating mounts.
This functionality may become available in the future but right now Carplay and Android Auto are only available when your phone has been plugged in via USB.
There is full support for GPS navigation through the Alpine iLX 207, with all the wiring included to use Alpine navigation, Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze right out of the box.
Settling on a new digital media receiver these days can feel like a bit of an uphill battle. Not because there are so few top options to pick and choose from but because there are so many.
Thankfully though, the folks at Alpine have made your decision at least a little bit easier with all the cool bells and whistles that the ILX F259 series has to offer. Easy to install, easy to use, and really easy on the eyes this is a pretty nifty piece of advanced technology that upgrades your automobile entertainment system right away.
There is a premium price tag associated with the Alpine ILX F259 and all the cutting-edge advancements it has to offer but it isn’t going to blow up your budget along the way, either. There’s a lot of value for the money here for sure.