This is a rather cheap Linux OS receiver that packs Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, as well as the usual features you come to expect with many 2-DIN aftermarket receivers, such as AM/FM radio with RDS, Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX music streaming, Bluetooth handsfree calling, camera input and AV input.
Using the front-mounted USB-A or Micro-SD card slot, you can load and insert your own media files and also play them back on the high-resolution capacitive 7-inch IPS display. With a resolution of 1024×600 you get a sharp, clean and clear display for Apple CarPlay content with a responsive touch screen that makes navigation a breeze.
Audio sounds great through its built-in 4x45W amplifier with RMS 4x24W output. Although we didn’t install it in our vehicle, plugged into our Steljes speakers via RCA cable, it sounded deep and impactful, made even more so if the Loudness option was enabled. Equaliser options were easy to navigate to and the ability to set and select your own user profile was made easy also from the top navigation bar, along with easy access to dimming the display at night.
Using our CarLinkit 2.0 dongle, we were also able to turn this wired CarPlay unit into a wireless one. So if you are looking for a wireless receiver, you can buy both products and get a wireless receiver package for less than $250!
Many cables are provided to get you up and running in your vehicle, with some additional optional extras such as IR remote, rearview camera and parking camera. There is also a Bluetooth steering wheel controller to give you the ability to control the unit from the device, which can be attached to a dash or steering wheel for vehicles without such an option.
There is a lot to like about the ATOTO SA102 CarPlay receiver. It’s certainly entry-level, and in certain areas, it shows, yet it does pack a number of features that not even some receivers at twice the price come featured with. So if you can get around the rather cheap build quality and clunky front-facing controls, the SA102 is a decent entry into bringing Apple CarPlay to your vehicle.