Philips is a brand known for its cost-effective products that offer good performance at the same time. Their GoGear line of portable media players have been fairly successful in the past. Building up on this series they’ve have launched the GoGear Vibe 4GB MP4 player that has some neat features for an entry level portable media player. Like all PMPs in the market, this product aims to compete with the iconic iPod.
There is no lag while scrolling through the menu
Design and Build Quality
The GoGear Vibe is an average-looking MP4 player. The face of this PMP has a glossy black finish and it features a 1.8-inch LCD screen that supports a resolution of 160 x 128. Button layout is simple, but effective, which makes navigating the PMP easy. There are 7 buttons in all, of which the largest is the Play/Pause button. The long button right below the screen has the option for return on the left and a menu option on the right and feels quite sturdy. Below that is the four way D-pad. These buttons are made of plastic and they don’t feel very sturdy. In fact, there is some play and the buttons seem to wobble a little bit.
The back and sides have a matte Grey finish with the naming on the upper area of it. To the left of the player is the volume rocker that too has the grey finish. Located at the top is the on/ off/ lock button. The build quality of the volume buttons as well as the on/off switch are good. At the bottom of this PMP are the mini USB port and the 3.5mm audio jack.
Volume rocker blends with the rest of the body
The earphones that are bundled with the GoGear Vibe are of pretty good quality and measure around three feet. These earphones have a soft rubberized cushioning and it feels quite comfortable to use. The overall weight of this product is around 34g, making it feel really light and easy to carry around during jogs or for any other activity.
The interface of the GoGear Vibe is decent looking with each option occupying the entire screen. To scroll between the options, either the up or down button can be pressed. There are a total of six main menus which are music, video, pictures, FM radio, folder view, settings and now playing. The theme of the interface can be changed to different colours. While scrolling between the options, there is a slight animation showing each option fade before the next one comes up.
Album art is viewable on this PMP
The folder view is a neat option as it displays the contents of the folders on the PMP. There was no lag noticed while scrolling through the different menus and we found this good. The player can support different audio formats such as MP3, WAV, WMA, FLAC and APE. These are fairly common audio formats and are easily available. Philips have added two still image formats that are playable on this player which are bitmap and JPEG. This player can support MJPEG video format, which is from the MP4 video format. However, it can read videos encoded at a really low resolution such as 120 x 120. Another useful feature of the GoGear Vibe is that it has FM radio and allows you to have 30 preset stations. One can record from FM as well, in a .WAV format. Apart from this, the player has an equalizer with set presets such as rock, funk, hip hop, jazz, classical, techno and custom. The custom mode is pretty in-depth for an entry level PMP and various frequencies can be adjusted. Apart from this, the player has a sleep timer option, as well as display settings where one can adjust the theme, backlight timer and screen saver. Unfortunately, the only thing we found lacking was the ability to do voice recording. There are PMPs in the market that are cheaper and can perform this task.
The Philips GoGear Vibe 4GB is lightweight and carrying it around is extremely easy. The buttons are very responsive and we did not face any issues with it even with a considerable amount of usage. The volume rocker, on/ off/ lock switch work well, too. The LCD display is not that great and there is some pixelation that we noticed. Otherwise, it does the job it's meant to.
The on/ off/ lock button at the top
During audio playback, album art appears on the screen making this appear similar to other PMPs with a display available in the market. If a name of the track is long, it scrolls horizontally so the whole name can be read. The settings list in the music option is pretty vast and from the play mode option, the track can either be shuffled or repeated. Through the media option itself, one can delete a song, it does not need to be tethered to a PC to make this possible.
The volume during audio playback is really loud and at below 50 percent, the volume is decent enough to hear clearly. This brings us down to the fact that the bundled up earphones are really good. There is a fair amount of punch in the bass, but it is the mids which delivered the most crisp sound. With the equalizer set at none, there is no need to change to the specific genre you’re listening to. However, if you want that little bit more from the genre, the preset equalizers are capable of delivering. It takes about 30 seconds to set the FM stations and once set, they remain in the list.
USB and 3.5mm jack at the bottom
Philips rates the battery life of the GoGear Vibe at up to 25 hours of audio playback. This is quite good for a portable media player.
Average looking PMP
The Philips GoGear Vibe 4GB sells at a market operating price of Rs. 3,800 in India. This isn’t the best looking portable media player in the market, but it has some really good audio quality. We really enjoyed listening to different genres on this player and our only qualm was the build quality. PMPs have to be really special to stand out in the market as entry-level ones like these are a dying breed. There are mobile phones in the market available at a slightly higher price that offer similar features. If one wants to gift a portable media player to someone who has a mobile handset without these capabilities offered here, then this an option, which can be considered.
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