It's hard to get excited about the Philips SA3125/02. This mid-capacity device is very much a standard-issue citizen of the MP3-player world, with little to complain about but few special qualities to raise it above the common herd.

The Philips SA3125/02's design is neat and sensible. The Philips SA3125/02 is extremely portable, although (to be picky) it lacks the reassuring weight of bulkier devices. There are some rough edges at the top of the Philips SA3125/02 but it's generally comfortable in the hand.

The Philips SA3125/02 should stand up to a fair amount of punishment without losing its (quite pleasing) looks – fingerprint smudges are a bigger worry than actual damage.

Controls-wise, the Philips SA3125/02 largely follows the iPod school of design, with directional arrows arranged in a scrollwheel-mimicking circle and comparatively few other buttons – you do get a volume control, however.

The Philips SA3125/02's setup is simple and generally convenient, although the menu button is slightly unresponsive and the lock control is fiddly to operate. The navigation system is user-friendly. You can set up playlists without too much trouble – there's a dedicated playlist button, which is a nice touch – and audio performance was satisfactory.

As well as music – which it can churn out for 13 hours before requiring a recharge – the Philips SA3125/02 can play back video clips. We weren't totally convinced by its performance in this department, with picture quality rather grainy on the headache-inducingly small 1.8in screen. Nonetheless, the mere fact that a £51 player is capable of video playback is impressive.

See also:

Linksys KiSS 1600 wireless HD media player

HP iPaq 514 Voice Messenger WM6 smartphone

Creative Zen Stone MP3 player

Archos 704 WiFi portable media player

Apple iPod Video portable media player

Philips SA3125/02: Specs

  • 2GB NAND flash memory
  • 1.8in, QVGA 160x128-pixel LCD screen
  • MP3, WMA audio playback
  • WAV audio capture through built-in mono microphone
  • SMV video playback
  • jpeg picture viewer
  • rechargeable Li-polymer battery
  • 79x42x12mm, 48g
  • FM tuner, USB 2.0 connector
  • 2GB NAND flash memory
  • 1.8in, QVGA 160x128-pixel LCD screen
  • MP3, WMA audio playback
  • WAV audio capture through built-in mono microphone
  • SMV video playback
  • jpeg picture viewer
  • rechargeable Li-polymer battery
  • 79x42x12mm, 48g
  • FM tuner, USB 2.0 connector

OUR VERDICT

The price tag is probably the best thing about the Philips. Its design, control system and ease of use are all average, while video quality is slightly disappointing, but it offers tremendous value for money. This is an undeniably sensible – rather than truly desirable – gadget.

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