Gadgets aren't just for men only. We've seen how manufacturers have been targeting a more niche market: the female consumer who's looking for a device that also conforms to her sense of fashion. This is true for Philips and its consumer electronics lineup. Of notable mention is its recent MP3 player cum Bluetooth headset, the Philips GoGear LUXE.
Setting our sights on the LUXE, we'll see how it attempts to capture the hearts of women around the world. Sporting a clip-on form factor, the LUXE stays inconspicuous with its petite size. But what sets it apart is the body's design. The LUXE is available in either shiny silver or glossy red. Yet, these colors pale besides the real head-turner - a multi-faceted surface which manages to make the LUXE resemble a bling item.
Buttons are within easy reach and well-spaced, even for a device of its small size. For easy access, the Play/Pause button, which also doubles as the Call/End button during its Bluetooth headset mode, is located at the tip of the device's surface. On one side, we found the grooved switch that transitions the different modes of the LUXE: FM radio, Music, and Shuffle. Its Volume and Forward/Back buttons are also adequately raised, allowing one to press it without excessive pressure.
Small as it may be, the LUXE does have a display screen. A single line LCD screen, it acts to list out the current song, radio station, and play status according to each mode. Caller IDs will also be displayed on the screen, which saved us the trouble of digging out our mobile phone to decide if we should take or ignore the incoming call.
In designing the LUXE, Philips opted to go for the micro-USB route for both data transfer and power charging. Much as we rather use a mini-USB connection, we found no reasons to complain about its speedy USB 2.0 connectivity. Moreover, music transferring is easy, utilizing the basic drag and drop motion to dump your MP3 or WMA files into the LUXE's 2GB storage.
Being primarily an audio peripheral, we placed our focus on its audio delivery. And delivered, it did. We experienced the right amount bass and trebles with its music playback. Heavy bass jazz tracks such as Keiko Lee's "Night & Day" had the correct ommph in the lows, without reducing the vocal mids. We activated the FullSound feature on the LUXE to determine the amplification one gets from the audio booster. The difference is more prominent in the bass levels, seeing as how the lows were strongly amplified to suit drum and bass tracks.
Our tests ended on a good note when the LUXE finally came to a halt after nearly 5 hours of music playback, with around 30 minutes of talk time during its Bluetooth headset mode. This didn't deviate far from its specified 4 hours of talk time or 10 hours of play time.
Much as Philips have touted the Philips GoGear LUXE as a fashionable gadget for women, we felt that the device is just as well suited for men. Not for the accessorizing factor, but the practicality of its design. You get a 2GB flash drive, FM radio, MP3 player with a decent audio booster in the form of its FullSound technology. Finally, don't worry about paying a premium price for the above mentioned features, since the LUXE is priced rather reasonably at S$139.