Philips announced its GoGear Aria and Opus players for Europe
back in February, but they've finally got around to showing off the units Stateside, along with offering prices, a timeframe, and a bit of company. The 2-inch screened Aria lands this month in 8GB and 16GB versions for $80 and $100, respectively; the 2.8-inch QVGA Opus does 8GB at $100, with a 16GB model in the wings; the teensy new ViBE has a 1.5-inch screen and comes in 4GB and 8GB flavors for $50 and $60; and there's a new little thumb DAP called the Mix, which is short on details. All the DAPs have FM radio and mics, and all but the Mix can do video. They also include trial subscriptions to and support for Rhapsody and Audible, along with a little browser widget to download YouTube videos and load them to the player -- a nice touch. Still, the line is pretty lackluster; we played with the players briefly, and while the design is getting better, there's still a lot of wasted space, mundane controls and ancient-seeming software -- we suppose you get what you pay for. We did appreciate Opus' inclusion of FLAC and OGG support, and its build quality really puts the rest of the line to shame.
Philips Aria, Opus, ViBE and Mix hands-on