Philips Fidelio AS851
Docking speaker for Android
In a world choke-full of smartphones, tablets, TVs and whatever else has to do with them, Android speaker docks are quite a rarity. And yet there are a lot of people who want one, but finding such a gadget is rather difficult. A number of manufacturers do create such stuff, but specifically for their products and in general the market for generic docks isn’t as powerful as the one for smartphones, tablets and other such popular items. Philips and its Fidelio AS851 – a FlexiDock system for its new Fidelio Android speaker dock range – wants to change that. Is this new gadget efficient or not? Let’s see what our review has to say.
15W of amp power / driver
The first thing to notice about the new Philips Fidelio AS851 is the way fingerprints stick to it like there’s no tomorrow. This docking system has no way of keeping them away, so that is quite a turn-off. The body is made of plastic which is flex-free and solid; we saw no cracks when, during our test, we threw the speaker dock on our stone floor. Looking at the front of this product for the first time we noticed that it was made of a metal mesh which didn’t require us to continually polish it in order to get rid of unwanted fingerprints. 3″ drivers – each of which had 15W of amp power – sat comfortably behind the said mesh.
FlexiDock’s microUSB port
In the matter of ports, the Fidelio AS851 boasts a 3.5mm aux-in, a USB port and a power port for the included AC adapter. The aux-in comes with a suitable cable in the box and the USB is perfect for charging a second device. The gadget also featured a little IR remote which was able to control source, volume, power and other settings; it moreover offered shortcuts to an Internet radio feature on one of Fidelio’s apps, to a Songbird app and many more. The front the product sports the following: a Bluetooth status light and buttons for power and for turning the volume up or down. We saw, when we performed our test, that the FlexiDock’s microUSB port plug was seated on a movable platform which could easily slide right and left so as to make room for phones in horizontal orientation. To put it simply: this plug accommodates the majority of gadgets that have a microUSB connection and it performs admirably.
We also discovered that the Philips Fidelio AS851 made good team with all devices that offered support for the stereo Bluetooth standard, such as iPhones, PCs, Windows Phone and Macs. Even when the product we were using at a certain time didn’t fit the dock, we were still able to stream music from it.
Philips offers users a free Fidelio application in its Android App Market. When we ran the app, it began to scan and then pair with the gadget we’re reviewing here. Then, when we docked our smartphone to charge it, the aforementioned application restored the Bluetooth connection automatically.
Some volume problems
The Fidelio AS851 does lack something, and that is a microphone and the ability to handle voice calls. Whenever we received a call from someone, the music we were listening to paused but unfortunately the audio was sent back to our phone’s speaker.
Performance for this gadget was overall good. There were some problems with the volume and the bass which tended to get crunchy at times. Pop, rock and vocals sounded good, but classical music was fuzzy.
In conclusion, the Philips Fidelio AS851 is a really neat docking system when it comes to casual listening and users who love simplicity.
|Songbird Music Management||yes|
|Soft Glow Nightlight||–|
|Pure Digital Sound Processing||yes|
|Output Power||30 watts|
|Internet Radio (Fidelio App)||yes|
|Free Android App||yes|
|Dynamic Bass Boost||–|
|Clock Time Synchronization||–|
|Charge tablet with rear USB port||yes|
|AA Battery Operation||–|
|5 Band Equalizer||yes|
|Bluetooth wireless music streaming from Android device||yes|
|Smartly designed FlexiDock to fit and charge Android phone||yes|
|Optimal acoustic volume to match speakers’ requirements||yes|
|Songbird to discover, play, sync music between PC & Android||yes|
|Charge your second mobile device via USB||yes|