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Philips GoGear SA6025
Philips' additions to the PMP market are quite worthy of attention. The company employs sleek designs, large clear interfaces, and navigation menus that are a breeze to use. But sadly there's always something missing that could have made their devices that much more attractive. Let's take the GoGear SA6025 2GB media player, for example.
Look and Feel
Let me get to the point. The GoGear SA6025 is a small, sleek, lightweight and yes, quite a chic-looking 2GB flash player. It weighs in at just 75g with dimensions of 93.5 x 53.2 x 12.5 mm. It has a clear 2.2 inch QVGA, and an LCD display with a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels sporting 65,000 colors. The large five-way navpad makes navigating menus easy, and a separate ‘Menu’ key returns you to previous options.
The volume keys are on the top, but I feel the placement of the 3.5mm earphone socket near the key lock and mini-USB slot at the bottom were a bad idea. The player can’t be propped up against anything if you’re watching something. That means it has to be held in your hand at all times. There’s a separate Playlist button on the side. On the whole, the SA6025 has a certain feel-good factor about it and it's comfortable to carry around since it’s so thin.
Features and Performance
Videos are easy to watch on this screen. Philips has been kind enough to provide their media converter software for the SA6025. It’s not too fast, but if your player is connected it’ll transfer the converted files directly. It’s also compatible with Windows Media Player 11 for syncing. Forwarding videos is painful though. It takes too darn long, as if it were moving frame by frame. It would have been easier to have just watched the whole part all over again.
The problem is, the converter may be able to convert plenty of file formats extremely well in most cases, but not being able to simply copy/paste files is a real pain. Enough with the proprietary bull s**t. At one point it simply showed me 'Transferring File' and I was quite happy about that, till i tried to view the file. It never showed up on the player at all. But it was showing up in the Video folder when connected to the PC. Odd. The sound and video quality, though, are really good, so if you’re not as impatient as I am, it's all good.
Next up is the image section. Not much to say here except that the SA6025 supports JPEG viewing, so you can view your images on the go.
The music section is of course a more important factor. Audio quality was quite good. Unfortunately the earphones provided weren’t. Although. They sadly produced too low an output for my taste. For a daily commuter it’s necessary to have sound swimming around your head that's loud enough to drown out the ambient chaos. The bundled earphones did not meet this requirement.
Although you do have the option of changing settings with the many EQ presets, what I did like is that Philips has provided a customizable EQ option. The biggest drawback is – if you’re listening to a track and you need to adjust the EQ setting, you have to go back through the various menus and return to the main menu, go to the Settings option, and then change it. Too long a procedure.
You will also need to create playlists of your music since it has no folder view option. But you can do this from the player directly, by simply using the Playlist button while the track is playing. The player also sorts tracks by artist and other embedded data if present. Files can be copy-pasted directly into the player when connected.
Radio and Microphone
The radio picks up signals extremely well when you’re stationary in a place that already has good reception, but not while you’re traveling. The signal tends to get distorted and inaudible. On the plus side it takes the SA6025 all of 10 seconds to find and store all available channels as presets. The microphone appears to have great range. I say 'appears' because if you have your earphones connected you can hear everything that’s going on around you quite clearly. But the recording sensitivity of the same is virtually non-existent.
Finally the battery. The SA6250 uses a 800mAh. Li-Polymer battery which is really good. It dishes out a good 14-plus hours of music and at least 3 hours and 40 minutes of video. That’s around a full movie and a little more than half of the next.
The SA6025 is a really good player in my book. A few kinks here and there are quite all right; no one’s perfect. But remember what I said about the player lacking something that would have increased its appeal? In the SA6025 what I’d love to have had is an external slot for more memory. The price of Rs. 6,999 may seem a bit steep for just 2GB of space, but it is a great player. You just had better have a nicer set of earphones though, to enjoy the full potential of the SA6025.