Philips has produced a line of speaker docks that are compatible with every Android phone. Say hello to the flagship AS851, the slightly smaller AS351 and the alarm clock AS111.
Say hello to the flagship AS851, the slightly smaller AS351 and the alarm clock AS111
Incredibly, up until now, there hasn't been a single music unit that has been able to work with all Android phones. Philips noticed that gap in the market at the IFA tech show this year (September) and have been working like crazy to produce a line of speaker docks that is compatible with every Android phone device. The result of Philips' hard work is three different Android-only speaker docks. These are the flagship AS851, the slightly smaller AS351 and the alarm clock AS111.
At the launch event, Philips talked about the difficulties it faced with designing a dock that worked with all Android phones. The solution Philips came up with was an "innovative micro USB connector that can be adjusted to different positions and orientations to suit each variable Android device, alongside a dedicated Philips App". However, Philips haven't managed to revolutionise the ways USB's work and this feature is only for charging purposes as you cannot play music directly thought the USB.
The main way that Philips wants users to connect to the dock is through its dedicated bluetooth music app called 'Philips Fidelio'. And although Bluetooth doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to audio quality, we were pretty impressed when we were played the traditional speaker testing song 'Sultans of Swing' by Dire Straights on the AS851 - albeit we only listen to 10 seconds of the track, but the noise was deep and clean. What did irk me about these speakers docks was that Philips have made this speaker dock Android-only, for what appears to be marketing purposes only. They could have relatively easily expanded this speaker dock to BlackBerry, Apple and Symbian OS's too just by created new Fidelio apps, but alas it will remain an Android only unit. There is a separate 3.5mm input located at the back of each unit to allow other device input though.
Philips have designed their own Fidelio app, which basically connects to the Android speaker docks and allows you to play your music via Bluetooth. The Fidelio app also comes with a clock(?), weather app(?), a quick link to its preferred music player the Songbird app and an handy audio equaliser. All in all, it's a solid effort and works well.
The AS851 is the biggest and most powerful of the three speaker docks launched by Philips today. It comes with 30W speakers, micro USB port, a remote control, five band equaliser and Digital Sound Process (DSP) for lifelike distortion-less music. Its current RRP is £199 and is on sale as of today.
The mid-range speaker dock is designed to give you music both at home and on the go. Philips have achieved this by giving the dock the ability to be powered either by AC or battery. The AS351 comes with 10W of speaker power, a Dynamic Bass Boost, clock display, AA battery operation and a micro USB port. The AS351 has a RRP of £129 and available to buy as of today.
The runt of the littler is the AS111 (aptly named as it is released on the 11/11/11). This is designed to replace your radio alarm clock from the mid-nineties. It comes with a 360-degree speaker design (so the wall gets its fair share of music too), soft glow nightlight mode, clock time synchronisation, 10W of power, a clock display and will set you back £70.