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Philips GoGear Connect, hands-on

CNET's Donald Bell goes hands-on with the Philips upcoming GoGear Connect Android-based portable media player, due out in September 2011.

Photo of the Philips GoGear Connect.
The Philips GoGear Connect runs Android 2.3. Donald Bell/CNET

Attention Android fans who wouldn't be caught dead with an iPod Touch. Philips is breathing some new life into its GoGear line of MP3 and portable media players by introducing the Connect, a new Android 2.3 device.

Due out in September with pricing starting at $179 (8GB), the GoGear Connect is chasing after the same Android-loving customer as the Samsung Galaxy Player. Most importantly, the device will come with Google's suite of mobile apps, including a fully stocked Android Market.

Fickle listeners will also appreciate the inclusion of Philips' own sound-isolating earphones, and FullSound audio enhancement. The more visual among you may be lured by a 3.2-inch screen that can downscale video up to 720p resolution.

The demo unit I saw today is still in its engineering stages, but I was happy to see that Philips is taking some uncharacteristically cool risks by placing the speaker up top with some unique buttons that have the look of machined copper. I'm not sure why Philips felt the need to make the tactile buttons so large (or the screen so small), but it's always nice to see that Android addicts will have a new toy to play with.