Philips GoGear Opus 8GB review

Philips' GoGear Opus 8GB is an audio and video playing portable with a 2.8in screen.

The latest addition to Philips' GoGear line of portable music players is the Philips GoGear Opus 8GB, a sharp-looking and comparatively large 2.8in-screened player.

Decked out in brushed metal, with black and silver highlights, the Opus is an attractive device. It's vaguely reminiscent of the PlayStation Portable, only with the directional pad on the right instead of the left. It's nicely palm-sized - while no micro-player, it will fit easily in a pocket - and feels good in the hand. We were also impressed by the robust chassis.

The control system is simple, with a play/pause/power button in the centre of the arrow keys and a Back Up button just below.

There's also an Options key and dedicated plus/minus volume controls along the top. But that's about it, leaving the Opus clean-looking and user-friendly. The Philips GoGear Opus 8GB interface is pretty intuitive too, following the usual sub-folder method familiar to all MP3 veterans.

Song loading and battery charging are both achieved via USB 2.0 - simply plug the Opus in and either drag and drop your files in or go through Windows Media Player, and it'll refill its power reserves at the same time.

At 2.8in, the screen of the Philips GoGear Opus 8GB falls somewhere between those of Apple's iPod nano and touch models. We found the quality impressively sharp, despite the comparatively low resolution - its 320x240 is the same as the nano's smaller 2in display. Videos, images and album art all looked vivid and clear.

The Philips GoGear Opus 8GB features an optional FullSound mode, additional digital signal processing that's designed to restore some of the resolution lost from MP3 tracks during lossy compression.

This did seem to flesh out the audio somewhat, producing a generally fuller sound with more depth, both in bass and spatially; but quality remained moderate at best using the bundled headphones.

With those supplied, music seemed slightly fuzzy, and felt thin at the bass end, even with FullSound enabled. We'd recommend investing in some beefier replacement headphones.


A decent but not overwhelmingly impressive effort from Philips. The Opus looks great and is a pleasure to use; it's also temptingly priced. Unfortunately sound quality with the bundled headphones could be better, and that's a bit of a dealbreaker when you're an MP3 player.