In the first of a new series, we review some of the latest products and services to help you sort the best buys from the worst.
Category: MP3 player
Brand: Sony NWZ-W202
Price: Rs 4,990
For one, it’s the world’s smallest portable MP3 player. Better still, it’s the first wireless one. So don’t go by the heart-shaped exterior that comes across as a cheesy bauble for teenagers, or the fact that it looks like a Bluetooth headset connected by a cable. Its functionality is the key— and reason enough for you to pick it up.
It’s called Zappin. A new technology, it has enabled Sony to circumvent the lack of browsing display because of its headphone-only design. Activated by pressing the jog dial, it plays a snippet (4-15 seconds as per preference) of every stored song. When you come across your choice, press the dial again to restart it.
Another likeable feature is the handy ‘quick charge’, which gives you up to 90 minutes of playback with a three-minute charge. In the normal course, it takes 1.5 hours for a full charge. The battery and the electronics are housed in the two rectangular modules.
There aren’t too many controls, yet another plus. There’s the jog dial, shuffle button and volume control— but no power button. Take off the headset and the magnetic clips on each module hook together to shut it down. Separate them and it springs back to life.
Sony created history in 1979 by launching the Walkman. Three decades on, it looks set to make music history again—in a whole new format.
Category: Headphones | Brand: Sennheiser HD 800
Features: It measures 56 mm, weighs 330 gm, and the frequency response is an unprecedented 6-51,000 Hertz. Its sensitivity rating is 102dB/1V RMS. Price: Rs 79,990
Why Buy: While its fresh design hikes the comfort factor, its sound quality—you can hear a pin drop—takes your music or gaming experience to the next level. In fact, the HD 800 takes you closer to the natural acoustics of live music than any other headphone. Of course, this means that you have to give up the wireless dream.
Category: Airline (business class)
Brand: GoAir’s GoComfort
Price: Rs 1,000 more than the nonrefundable economy fare on the sector
Why Not to Buy
GoComfort, often referred to as GoBusiness on the airline site, promises to let you travel business class at economy class fares. This sounds like the business traveller’s Holy Grail, right? Wrong, and on several counts.
Category: Mobile phone | Brand: Nokia N97
Features: It boasts Nokia’s 5800 touch interface, a slide-out Qwerty keypad, 3.5-inch touchscreen and a 32 GB on-board memory.
Price: Rs 36,000
Why Not to Buy: Every feature comes with strings attached. The keypad is difficult to use, the 5-MP shooter delivers poor results, so much so that the image quality of the much older N95 is better. Then there is the slow interface and a battery that doesn’t even last a day. Bad call.