Philips releases three new budget-friendly MP3 players: Luxe, Spark, and Raga.
Philips GoGear Raga
If you want something sporty and inexpensive, the Philips Raga is hard to beat at $34.99 (2GB) or $44.99 (4GB). Like the iPod Nano (fourth-generation) the body of the Raga is made from a solid piece of anodized aluminum, available in red or silver for the 2GB model or a red-only 4GB version. Accessories such as armbands and sports-style headphones will be available for the Raga, as well.
The Raga includes an FM radio, voice recorder, and supports playback of MP3 or WMA music files. Battery life is approximately 27 hours.
The Luxe is an odd duck, combining a clip-on Bluetooth microphone with a basic MP3 player. It's beautiful looking, though, and carries a tempting price point of $89 (2GB) or $99 (4GB).
The Luxe includes a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, FM radio, and support for MP3 and WMA audio playback. Premium Philips headphones are included, as well as a standard-to-mini USB cable.
Once paired with your cell phone over Bluetooth, the Luxe allows you to answer incoming calls by just tapping the front of the MP3 player. Caller ID information pops up on the small display on the top edge of the Luxe, which also offers menu and song playback information.
Philips has been showcasing the Luxe in three color variations (silver, white, and a jewel-textured red), however, only the silver version (pictured) will make it to the U.S. Apparently, we're not fashion-forward enough to pull off the red model.
The Spark is one of the more tempting MP3 players we've seen from Philips over the years. Priced at $49 and $59 for 2GB or 4GB, the Spark offers a 1.5-inch color display, Rhapsody support, FM radio, voice recorder, FullSound audio enhancement, and support for MP3, WMA (including DRM), and FLAC audio files.
Navigation is controlled by squeezing one of the four sides of the screen, similar to the Iriver Clix. Battery life is rated at 30 hours.