If you’re an avid swimmer, monsoon lover or a jogger that won’t quit even in the pouring rain, or even one of those bathroom artists who loves singing along to your favorite tunes while doing your business, here’s something that you’ll really appreciate, the Nu Dolphin TOUCH waterproof mp3 player. While it seems like a great device to get your ‘gadget’ on for the upcoming, or should I say already here, monsoon season, allow me to clue you in as to whether or not the Dolphin TOUCH is worth breaking open your piggy bank.
Its cylindrical design is quite appealing. It has a 2.5mm earphone socket on one side and comes with one set of earphones quite conducive to be used while swimming. The same set also comes with interchangeable in-ear earplugs so you can use it even when you’re out of the pool. The company has also provided an additional set of earphones for normal use. The waterproof set has to be snugly screw-fit into the socket to prevent water entering the device. All ‘three’ sets are quite comfortable to wear in or out of the water.
On the other side of the device is a power/Play& Pause button. The rest of the keys are touch sensitive and placed on one side of the small monochrome LCD display. According to the company this is the first Curve Touch Controlled player as of now. The device itself is not just water resistant as most watches you can buy off the shelf, it’s also fully water proof (International certified IPX7).
Features and Performance
In order to test this I had to enlist the help of our resident photo genius Vipurva who also happens to be a frequent swimmer (so he says). He agreed to run some tests for me while doing his lap, I mean laps, in the pool. According to him, the sound quality under the water is just so-so. Firstly, what I did notice and he agreed, is that the player needs to be strapped to your goggles just above your ear and this is quite uncomfortable. I tried them on myself and felt the same. What makes it quite cumbersome is the lack of tactile buttons. It becomes very difficult to know what you’re doing unless you remove the goggles and make the adjustments.
Of course you’ll need to create a playlist and then you shouldn’t have too many issues. It’s just that you won’t be able to do much once you’re on the go. You can also store music in folders. The player didn’t seem to support a resume playback function. If I shut it down in the middle of a track and restarted it, it would go back to the very first track in the list. Although it’s designed well and comes packaged with all the fasteners required, it's still just a little uncomfortable and I’m not sure you’ll be able to get used to it quite easily.
The bundled set of normal earphones are neither comfortable nor do they provide you with sound quality that’s redeemable in any way. I’d recommend you use your own set but you’ll also have to buy a converter (2.5mm to 3.5mm) which shouldn’t set you back more than Rs.100 but believe me it’s worth it. The Dolphin is actually capable of dishing out some pretty damn good tones. With virtual 3D surround and EQ presets to make a few adjustments it’s even better. If you’re using it as a normal music player it’s not too hard to get used to the controls. FM reception and clarity was great. It quickly set up all the presets and on my daily commute, I was pleasantly surprised with the reception quality in most places. No issues here. It even works relatively well underwater.
One issue is that the LEDs behind the control band are a little too bright and you really won’t be able to look at them directly. You’ll have to do so at a slight angle. The best part about this particular product is the abundance of relevant accessories included with the package. As I already mentioned, it comes with interchangeable in-ear plugs for swimming and normal use in other wet conditions. There’s also the additional set of earphones for everyday use. All clasps and fasteners are provided to strap it onto your goggles while swimming and an arm band, which has an additional slot, is also provided.
When it comes to battery life the Dolphin is not one that is right up there with the creatives and others, but it does fairly well. It clocked in at about 7 hours and 50 minutes or so which is not too great.
The Bottom Line
The Nu Dolphin TOUCH is a good player, no doubt about it. As just a basic MP3 player with an FM radio it does well. It comes with great accessories, but if you’re going to use it for swimming, I don’t think you’ll like that. As a waterproof player it’s aces. Using it in the monsoons or the shower will work out just fine. With a price tag of Rs. 5250 (MOP) for 4GB of storage, it’s a pretty good deal. You’ll have to settle for jogging in the rain and not swimming though.
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