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Apple Peel 520 Review: Turn an iTouch into an iPhone

posted 6 Aug 2010 10:27 by Ramy Caspi   [ updated 6 Aug 2010 10:29 ]

By Chris Chang, posted August 5, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Apple Peel 520

Not long ago, we had reported an adapter case that turns an iPod touch into an iPhone, and it had been called “Apple Peel 520″. The official price for this adapter is marked around $388 RMB (about $57) and it has an one-year warranty. Chinese tech website PConline has just done a review for it and we are presenting to you now, in English.

We have personally contacted the main distributor of this Apple Peel 520, and we were told that this reviewed unit is still in prototype form, the final retail version will be a plastic case instead of silicon rubber. What’s more, we may get an approval to resell this adapter on our site, so please stay tuned!

So, let’s start off with the highlights. This Apple Peel 520 slap on a regular SIM card and make calls with your iPod touch. It does not support 3G, but includes a removable 800mAh battery which gives you up to 3 hours of talk time and 120 hours of standby juice. The funny thing is that when the battery is installed successfully, the adapter itself will vibrate, so we’re guessing it supports vibration.

Apple Peel 520

The adapter has six main parts, a speaker on the top to hear the call, a removable battery, a SIM card slot, a “vibration motor”, a baseband chip, and a dock connector.

Apple Peel 520

It’s not really thin…

Apple Peel 520

The 800mAh battery.

Apple Peel 520

The vibration motor.

Apple Peel 520

The power button and the speaker (for hearing calls).

Apple Peel 520

Apple Peel 520

The Apple Peel 520 works with the iPhone voice calling and text messaging app, so the iPod touch needs to be jailbroken to allow those iPhone default apps to be installed on the device. The adapter will not automatically add these apps to the iPod touch and users need to do it by themselves.

Users need the “Yosion” and “YsSMS” apps on the homescreen to start using the adapter.

The UI of the Yosion calling app is pretty simple.

On the left pic, it shows the inbox of the SMS app on iPhone, while on the right it’s the inbox of the “YsSMS” app on the iPod touch.

The iPhone can delete messages one by one, while the iPod touch could only let you to clear all messages with no further options.

The iPod touch with the adapter allows you to import all contacts from the SIM card to the device memory.

Adding contacts works just like the iPhone.

The SMS app does not support full screen on the iPod touch.

Apple Peel 520

According to PConline’s review, the adapter works very well. Making calls is perfectly alright, just like any mobile phones out there. There’s no drop calls but there’s a little bit delay when the call is made from the iPod touch. It supports 3G SIM cards but it still only allows you to make/receive calls and send messages. The reviewed unit does not support Bluetooth phone call and hands-free calling, but the retail version will fully support these functions. There’s one more thing to take note of, the 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack on the bottom right of the iPod touch has been “modified” to act as an antenna with the adapter’s dock connector, and users will access the 3.5-mm headphone jack on the bottom left when the adapter is attached. Here are some minor problems with the Apple Peel 520 for making calls:

  • iPod touch shows “Calling” even though the call is picked up.
  • Incoming phone numbers and contacts may not appear.
  • If there’s missed calls, you may receive “blank” messages for reminder.
  • Ringtones could not be set up for incoming messages and calls, the device will vibrate and rings by default. The default ringing sound can be disabled.
  • You can adjust the call volume, but there’s no difference after adjusting.
  • When there’s incoming calls, the display of the iPod touch will not light up, and the accepted call could only be hung up by the other party.

  • And a few problems for the SMS function:

  • The SMS text is smaller than the text on iPhone.
  • Deleting and forwarding a single message is not available.
  • The draft will still appear in creating new message even though the message is sent.
  • Adding multiple recipients at the same time is not allowed.

  • This magical adapter is not officially available yet. Chinese customers can visit the online store on Taobao to pre-order it, by giving a deposit of $100 RMB (about $15). The good thing is Apple Peel 520 supports all three generations of iPod touch. So, why not try to buy one for just making calls and sending SMS?

    Source: PConline

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