PROS / It has a built-in traffic receiver.
CONS / It doesn't have the ability to mirror a smartphone via HDMI.
VERDICT / The Alpine W940 does traffic and navigation well, but it has below-average smartphone integration.
The Alpine W940 is an aftermarket in-dash navigation system with Bluetooth connectivity and a satellite radio receiver. It has a traffic receiver built into the device.
This unit comes preloaded with maps of the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. It uses the Navteq navigation system, which has 6 million points of interest. This is significantly less than the databases used by its competitors, some of which boast 10 or 11 million points of interest. It does have a built-in traffic receiver, which is a welcome surprise in a head unit at this price point. You can check the traffic along your morning commute without pulling out your smartphone.
Like all the aftermarket navigation units we reviewed, the W940 has the ability to play DVDs and CDs. It also has a satellite radio tuner, which allows it to receive satellite radio signals (you do have to subscribe to the SiriusXM radio service).
The W940's Bluetooth capability allows you to make and receive hands-free phone calls. It comes with a microphone to enable its speakerphone functionality. Bluetooth also allows you to wirelessly play music from your smartphone over your car's stereo system. The unit is also compatible with Pandora internet radio, so you can control your Pandora station on the head unit as it streams via your phone's internet connection.
One of the W940's biggest weaknesses is its inability to do HDMI mirroring. Several of its competitors allow you to connect the head unit and a phone via an HDMI cable and mirror the phone's display on the head unit. With the W940, there is no way to project your phone's screen onto the navigation system's screen.
Unlike some comparable head units, the W940 does not have the ability to receive HD radio signals. Some FM stations broadcast in HD as well as standard definition, and you must have an HD radio receiver in order to receive those channels.
Apart from its built-in traffic receiver, the Alpine W940 is a rather bare-bones in-dash GPS. Its lack of HDMI mirroring prohibits you from watching movies on the screen, and it doesn't have nearly the level of smartphone integration as the best in-dash navigation units.