Philips GoGear Aria (8GB) review: Philips GoGear Aria (8GB)

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CNET Editors' Rating

2 stars Mediocre
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Capable MP3 player. Small, lightweight design. FM radio and recorder.

The Bad Woeful low-res display. Obscure video file recognition. Dreadful bundled stereo headphones.

The Bottom Line With its terrible display, the GoGear Aria fails to deliver on its promise as a video player. It may be AU$20 cheaper than a comparable iPod Nano, but it's leagues behind in terms of quality.

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Being the middle child is never easy, and Philips certainly doesn't make it easy for the Aria sitting between its GoGear brothers; the slightly cheaper Vibe and the slightly more expensive Opus. Not only does the Aria need to stand out amongst members of its own family, but also from the Jonses next-door, in this case, the ever-popular Apple iPod family .

Video-groan

Apple's push into video with its Nano range has forced other companies to follow suit. The Philips Aria sports a 2-inch display and is capable of playing SMV video files, and if you haven't heard of this extension before don't be alarmed, it is a very obscure video codec. This means you likely have to re-encode all of your previously collected video materials using the re-encoding software bundled with the player. We tested the software with a 4.5-minute MP4 file and the re-encoding process took almost twice as long.

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Where to Buy

Philips GoGear Aria (8GB)

Part Number: CNETPhilips GoGear Aria (8GB)

Typical Price: $179.95

See manufacturer website for availability.