Philips GoGear Muse 16 GB

philips-gogear-muse-16-gb

A player for all media files

The latest audio-video player launched by Philips has impressive compatibility with all types of files and is able to run more than four hours on a single charge of its battery.

Expectations

This player has a color LCD with touch screen technology and 3.2 inches on the diagonal (480 x 320 pixels resolution). The GoGear Muse, that’s its name, offers a simplified interface able to make you navigate through the menus with ease. In the audio segment, a FullSound technology was implemented to optimize music slightly to compensate for the loss of quality due to compression. However, Philips claims that this player is able to be used about 24 hours without pause for music playback and about 5 hours for video. Anyway, our team tested the 16 GB model. Let’s see the review. 🙂

Reality

philips-gogear-muse-16-gbIf you are looking at the weight of the GoGear Muse you will see that it is heavier that the competitors (about 132g). However, this weight is due to a steel case which seems really sturdy. Another feature included in this pack is a touch screen with 3.2″. If you look at the bottom, there are two small doors which give access to the drive and a microSD mini-HDMI connector. A bad thing is that in the pack there’s no HDMI cable supplied. Another pleasant thing is a mini-USB port located on the right, able to let you connect the player to your computer to transfer files and recharge the battery (a 30 cm cable is included in this pack). If you look at the Windows menu, you have two connection modes. The first one is the MSC (the player is considered a USB key) or MTP device. The second mode is necessary to transfer files protected by DRM. In reality we tested the file transfer speed and we found it a little bit slow (it took about one minute to transfer 190 MB in MP3 file format).

Pleasant user interface

A good thing about this device is the main menu. It provides full access to basic functions: music, videos, photos, FM radio, voice recorder, audio books and text file reader. The touch screen technology helps you a lot. Just simply press the icon to start the scan function and with your finger you can scroll through all the existent lists. However, comparing this to the iPod’s touch interface isn’t in the favor of this gadget. But the interface is pleasant to use. Anyway, the most important advantage of the GoGear Muse is the compatibility with a lot of media file formats. That’s how you’ll be able to listen to music without file conversion. The compatible formats are: for audio (MP3, Flac, Wav, WMA, AAC, OGG), photos (BMP, GIF, PNG, JPEG) and video (Xvid and Divx, MP4/H.264, WMV). Another thing you must know is that the player is able to work with the 720p HD video format, but the image seems to stutter a little. A bad point for this gadget is that it does not recognize the MKV and FLV file formats.

Good battery life

We’ve tested image quality and we’ve found it to be quite good. However, a bad thing is the glossy display which returns outside lights and colors disappear when you tilt the player to the right. Our tests revealed that the brightness of the display was excellent (with a medium value of 286 cd / m2), but the contrast wasn’t very impressive (637:1). For this review, we measured the excellent battery life of about 4 hours and 15 minutes in video mode that functioned without a pause. Another great thing are the default in-ear headphones supplied with the package. They are comfortable, they stay well in the ear and are supplied with three sizes of earbuds. The sound is clear and almost correct, but lacks a bit of heat, even when the function FullSound is enabled. We tested the bandwidth of the sound and we found it to be quite narrow (from 155 to 12 986 Hz), confirming the lack in bass and treble visible in the first test.

SongBird service access

On this gadget from Philips you can install software called Songbird. The dimension of the installation package is about 75 MB in flash memory. A pleasant surprise was the SongBird service which seemed to be very similar with the iTunes software from Apple in its design and features. With this application you can easily synchronize your media files between the player and computer. Another useful thing is that you can create different playlists, gain access to download sites and you can perform update of firmware belonging to the player. A pleasant surprise is that the Songbird software is an open source application that has its own community on the site with the same name. This software is very easy to use, but it doesn’t require you to transfer your files from a place to another, and this is another good point.

Review conclusion

After our tests we can say that the Philips GoGear Muse is an impressive gadget with its very good battery life and excellent file compatibility. The sound quality and screen are good, but could be better when you compare them to the rivals. Another pleasant feature is the touch interface (similar with the Apple solution), which is user friendly, and the supplied software (freeware) that is effective and easy to use.

Technical specifications

Display Size3.2 inch
MP3 PlayerYes
FM TunerYes
TouchscreenYes
WMA PlaybackYes
DABNo
Screen TechnologyTFT
Type of SD CardMicro SD
Type of BatteriesLi Polymer
Storage MediumInternal memory