updated 02:00 pm EDT, Sat October 25, 2008
Philips GoGear LUXE
Philips has hoped to boost its GoGear portable audio player line with the GoGear LUXE, a unique player built expressly to tie in with a phone. The device is designed to be wearable as a fashion item and to serve as a Bluetooth headset; the LUXE not only pairs wirelessly with a phone to warn of incoming calls but carries dual microphones of its own to answer the call with active noise canceling. A one-line display shows incoming calls without having to fetch the phone from a pocket.
In its core role, the LUXE holds 2GB of music and carries an FM tuner to pick up radio; the absence of a large display gives the small device about 10 hours of audio playback. Philips offers its own in-house audio enhancement technology to clean up audio compression artifacts.
The jewel-like outside of the player comes in red, silver and a likely future chromed shell, all of which help keep the player discreet when not in immediate use. Prices are set at the equivalent of about $94 US for the new GoGear's launch in Singapore for November, with other southeast Asian countries receiving it afterwards. No mention has been made of a North American release; Philips regularly sells some of its players in the region. [via CNET]