Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Philips MP3 Player Review: SA5245BT. BT is for BlueTooth!

I just added the Philips SA5245BT to my media player collection. It was a 4GB model for $129 that was just added to what Target sells. The package includes a CD with a Rapsody music organizer and the Philips Device Manager.

I discovered that the device manager software needs updated. You can find the latest version on Philips support site. Once you have that manager updated, it will be able to find the firmware update (highly recommeded) for the Philips SA5245BT and install it. There is no need to download the firmware file itself. The updated device manager will do that for you.

The Philips SA5245BT includes:

- Bluetooth AD2P and
- FM radio.
- Voice recording with built-in mic.
- A great set of earbuds, comparible to the ones that came with my Zune 80.
- Music or FM radio will keep playing in the background while looking at photos.
- Audible book support.
- Recording of FM (although for some reason not enabled on US version. Looking for how to change country code).
- Standard USB cable, not proprietary.
- NOT a touchsceen.
- 4:3 video. 320x240 Resolution
- About the same size as my iPod Touch, bigger than the P2.
- Brushed texture on plastic back doesn't show fingerprints.
- Comes with (cheap) leather pouch.
- Reads MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, and JPEG + BMP image formats
- Also plays WMV and AVI videos at 320x240 resolution.
- A great set of earbuds. I like them better than the ones that came with my Zune 80.

What intrigues me about this player is it's Bluetooth capability. This player has Philip's patented FullSound audio processing on board, as well as several equalizer presets. All work over headphones and Bluetooth, unlike the Samsung P2. The first time I listened to it I was amazed. That feeling didn't stop when I switched to Bluetooth headphones.

I've only had it for a few hours, and have not had a chance to test all the features. I'll write a more complete review, and probably a feature to feature comparison with the Samsung P2 once I've had it awhile. At the moment it is my best sounding player among the Zune 80, iPod Touch, Samsung P2, and several older lesser players.

5/24/08 Update:
- The Fullsound/equalizer options work with headphones, but have no effect and make no difference when listening via bluetooth.
- Bluetooth on the Philips is not fully formed. I was not able to connect it to any other device for file sharing or transfer. It works fine with all my bluetooth headphones or receivers, but does not support control via bluetooth. The volume controls are inactive over bluetooth, meaning any volume control you need must be available on the bluetooth headset or receiver.

4D

7 comments:

  1. I own a similar product Sansa View but it's not for Bluetooth....

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  2. I wouldn't have purchased the Philips without bluetooth. They make another 4gb model that doesn't have it and can be found for $59ish. Pretty incredible given a 2gb ipod screenless shuffle is $79

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  3. actually the equalizer does work on bluetooth, I have the sonyericsson bluetooth head set model HBH-DS980 and all equalizer settings work as I tested the sound, also even the FM stereo works on bluetooth provided u have another wired headset connected as antenna. The videos was a little tricky, I had to experiment around to get the best pictures and the bundled software was not as good in video encoding as it only does it to 512 kbps video quality on avi. I reckon up to 600 would produce a nicer picture, it can only take up to 614 according to the brochures.
    wish there was a silicon case or a crystal case with kickstand.
    Although this was 2.8", it seemed less tiring watching a video on this than the Samsung P2 which is supposedly 3" colors are more saturated, backlight was brighter and battery life was longer on wired headset. I agree the sound from this unit is far better than P2 when using bluetooth, wired also.

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  4. The 4:3 format of the Philips screen is what makes it easier to watch. The Samsung's screen is 16:9 at 3" diagonal, but this is actually less screen area than the Philips has. As for equalizer and Fullsound over bluetooth, I don't hear it. It's possible I've got a version of firmware that broke that feature, or that my ears are too old. Either way, thanks for your comment.

    4D

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  5. best player !!!

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  6. OMG IVE BEEN WANTING TO BUY THIS BUT I DNT HAVE MONEY DARN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  7. OH YEAH AND IF IT EVER GET OLD OR U DNT WANT IT ANY MORE SEND ME WAY PLZ !!!!! I WOULD BE SO HAPPY

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