Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Philips GoGear SA5245BT: A Review
The Philips GoGear SA5245BT is one of Philips' exciting, new introductions to its GoGear flash audio/video line. It features Bluetooth technology and Philips patented FullSound technology for enriched MP3 sound quality. FullSound technology combines Philips' renowned expertise in music reproduction with the power of the latest generation Digital Signal Processor (DSP). DSP dynamically enhances its frequency spectrum giving the music a fuller bass with greater depth and impact and restores a sense of spaciousness that is lacking in compressed audio. It also enhances sound precision and detail.
Weighing at 0.095 kg and with dimensions of 106 x 9.9 x 58mm (WxDxH), the SA5245BT has a built in memory capacity of 4 GB using NAND Flash. It has a 2.8 inch display with 320 x 240 pixels, 262K resolution.
The digital MP3 video player plays MP3, WMA, AAC music files and WMV and MPEG4 videos. It also lets you view JPEG photos, listen to the radio, record voice and radio.
I received the SA5245BT last Thursday together with the Philips BTM630 Micro Hi-Fi System (review at a later date). The SA5245BT sounds surprisingly good with its premium headphones. The headphones are designed according to the curvature of the human canals, and has a noise isolation feature that directs soundwaves from the speaker to your ear drums with the highest definition. Combine with the headphones, the SA5245BT in my tests, gives a sound quality that is better than the iPod! Video playback however isn't that good. The SA5245BT plays only WMV and MPEG4 but with its Media Converter that you have to install on your computer, it will convert AVI, MOV, RM, WMV etc to a file that is playable.
Playback controls on the SA5245BT are achieved through the keypads located to the right of the display. Double action search keys allow easy speed control when scrolling through large libraries. You can choose to move through your playlist one song or video at a time or just press and hold down a little harder to SuperScroll swiftly to your desired file.
Besides the good sound quality and the premium headphones, I also like the fact that the SA5245BT lets me listen and record radio. The voice recording function will also come in handy sometime. Battery life in my tests is pretty good. After a full charge of about 4 hours, the SA5245BT will play audio up to 24 hours, pretty close to the 30 hours that Philips claims. The SA5245BT Bluetooth technology is also a good feature. It allows easy wireless connection to other Bluetooth devices on the go and enables you to use a Bluetooth headset.
What I don't like about the SA5245BT is that it only has a 4GB memory, which in today's standard, is a bit lacking, considering that it is supposed to be a video player too. The display is only horizontal. It doesn't automatically rotate to vertical when you change the orientation of the SA5245BT. There's no way to do this manually either. Charging the SA5245BT requires that I plug it to the computer using the USB. It's fine when you have the computer or notebook around but it will be nightmare when you're traveling and there's no computer for you to charge the SA5245BT. I don't think Philips sells an optional charger.
The Philips GoGear digital MP3 video player SA5245BT retails at a recommended price of S$249. You can view my photos of the SA5245 here.
Previously: Just in: Philips Micro Hi-Fi System and GoGear audio video player
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