Feeds
75%
Philips GoGear Spark

Philips GoGear Spark MP3 player

The ideal iPod Shuffle antidote

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Review We've not looked at any of Philips' GoGear media players before, so the arrival of the new Spark seemed like a good opportunity a poke one with Reg Hardware's metaphorical sharp stick.

Philips GoGear Spark

Philips' GoGear Spark: nice and smooth

The basic design of the Spark is a little reminiscent of iRiver's Lplayer, with the navigation controls being operated by pressing down on one of the four sides of the screen. The obvious benefit of this layout is that the screen – in this case a colour 1.46in, 128 x 128 OLED – can take up a substantial percentage of the device's frontal area so maximizing the screen-size to player-size ratio.

Philips doesn't quote a weight for the Spark, but in the hand it feels about the same as a SanDisk Sansa Clip, so we'd take a wild guess at about 25g. At 41 x 41 x 15mm it's a wee bit larger than the Clip, but then it has a much larger – and better – screen. The smooth and beveled design should ensure that snagging won't be an issue. It's a nice looking device too, with the silver screen bezel contrasting nicely with the black plastic body.

Around the periphery of the device you'll find a mini USB port, 3.5mm headphone jack, on/off/lock slider, volume control and menu options control. All other commands are issued by pushing down on the screen, an on-screen icon letting you know what each press will do in any given circumstance.

The Spark's menu layout is a model of common sense. Pressing the top or bottom of the screen lets you scroll through Music, Pictures, Recordings, Folder View, Personalize, Settings and Last Played/Now Playing. Simply push the right-hand side of the screen to move down a level or activate a function or push the left to move back. The screen press is nicely weighted with just the right amount of 'click', making for a pleasant tactile experience.

During playback, the screen can be set to show the relevant album art as background or you can dig about in the personalisation menu and set it to display a photo from your collection, which is a nice touch. Various plain colour backgrounds are also available if you just want to read the on-screen track information and are not concerned about pictures.

Philips GoGear Spark

Controlled with screen-bezel clicks

The Spark comes fitted with something called "FullSound", Philip's latest take on sound modification technology and designed to make compressed audio files sound less like – you guessed it - compressed audio files.

After listening to a few albums, it became quite clear to us that FullSound is really rather good, giving a feeling of warmth and depth all too often lacking from cheaper media players such as the budget USB players from Samsung and Sony that we looked at recently.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
A moment of brilliance? UPnP for Internet of Stuff lightbulbs
Thus doth tech of future illuminate present, etc
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.