Absolutely no complaints on the audio front, either – the rather cheap earphones apart. No matter what we threw at it - rock, opera, hardcore dance, the kitchen sink - the O2 acquitted itself more than acceptably, sounding - not unexpectedly - much like the S9.
Not a pocket-busting PMP...
If you want to mess about with your tunes, Cowon's JetAudio sound modification package has something for everyone and the large touchscreen makes setting up and changing the user-definable EQ a piece of cake. The 3D stereo expander also works with video playback which is a nice touch.
Though the sound quality itself was great we can't say the same for the volume. Even when cranked up all the way to 50, things seemed all together too peaceful, making it a less than ideal media player for loud environments such as airliner cabins, unless you have a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
Like the A3 the O2 has a fairly pointless single speaker but you can switch it off. It also comes with a voice recorder, a simple notepad that you can 'write' on and a calculator. No FM radio, though, and no TV outut cable either, that now being a optional extra.
The SD card expansion slot is unfortunately a case of Cowon giving with one hand while taking with the other. Like the iRiver E100, the O2 doesn't integrate media stored on the card with that stored on the player. To access files on the card, you need to tap the little SD card icon on the menu bar at the bottom of the respective media menu.
...despite the large screen
Since you can't view content by ID3 tag you aren't going to be missing anything in terms of viewing content by genre and the like because you can't do that to begin with, but having media storage divided into two distinct areas is still sloppy design in our opinion.
Another Cowon pants-device?
I own a A3 and I know when I've been 'done'.
The so called HD-TV side of things doesn't work right. It's a hardware Codec device so relies on firmware updates to get around the bugs in the hardware.
Pity Cowon dropped the A3 like a hot potato as soon as it realised that it couldn't get around the faults in the Texas Instruments hardware.
It's marketing dept. claimed far too much for this device and the News media believed it could do what they claimed without actually testing it.
Cowon soon dropped DVD support and despite people asking the site for support and news, they refuse to talk to serious journalists who've actually test the device and its claims out.
Its other claim about having user playlists got shot down as it only has one playlist - yes one.
And you can't make your own and import it to the device.
Buying a Korean product that has no English support is always going to be difficult here in the EU. But there is a decent Cowon user support forum online so that helps at least the poor consumer who feel trapped.
Quite how Cowon can think it can get away with bringing out a product that is really a beta and abandon it a few months later is beyond me.
This new device will be just the same. 3 months after its release, the company will finish with it and its customers will be similarly upset.
Why it can't listen to its EU customers is bizarre.
How on earth does this get 80%?
For about a tenner more than the 16Gb model you can get an iPod Touch 16Gb which *does* do playlists, tag support and gapless playback, with a better or equivalent screen, plus the web browser/email/zillions of apps available from the App Store. Sure it's missing support for the more obscure codecs and you need to use iTunes (which I know some people loathe with a vengeance, why I don't know, unless you're on Linux). But for smoother, sleeker, more capable and more versatile I can live with that.
And no I don't have a Touch... I have an iPhone 16Gb, same thing with a phone built in for (in my case) £159. That's £40 less than this turkey. And yes I know I have to pay for the contract, before anyone starts shouting.
Can't wait for the flames telling me that Apple kit is overpriced...
Quite nice, but...
This is 2009, FFS. No ID3 tag support? Album art has to be separate? No excuse: it plays music, therefore it is a music player. The thing is called iAudio, not iVideo, by the way... Even my still-faithfully-going-but-starting-to-fall-apart first generation iPod nano has no trouble with those things, how hard can it be.
Do I hear the frantic scrabbling of greedy corporate lawyers (the same breed of "people" that got us into the present recession) at a certain mobile phone company.....
that's a new one on me. very Karl Barth.