For those still lost in the mp3 player field and are lurching ever closer to simply going with Apple’s iPod Nano, slow down and take a look at the iRiver Clix, which made its debut in the middle of 2006 and has gone on to be one of the most critically successful mp3 players in a long time. The iRiver Clix managed to feature an original design and has some snazzy accessories available that are good enough to make a few iPod veterans jealous, though just a few. The player is a direct competitor with Apple’s iPod Nano and can be generally found for $160-$200 depending upon where it is your choose to look for the player.
The first thing to note is the iRiver Clix’s design; it looks like a small television cut out that fits into the palm of your hand. In an age where screens are becoming more and more important on mp3 players, this screen is nearly pefect (though it does attract fingerprints more than any other player on the market). It’s large and bright so you won’t have any trouble scrolling through menus and songs, which is a perk. With dimensions measuring in at 2.7×1.8x.6 inches, seeing a screen that measures 2.2 inches is actually boggling, but great.
Navigating the device is done simple; the proper keys are located on the sides and you’ll usually find yourself using both hands, rather than a single one to scroll through the necessary menus. There are times where it’ll look like you’re playing a game boy, but there’s nothing to complain about since it’s rather comfortable and easy to do. It comes with some reasonable headphones, but just like with almost every other mp3 player on the market, if you truly want to enjoy it you’ll have to go out and buy a new pair of headphones/earphones.
A leg up on the Nano comes by way of features, which the iPods have usually come to lack. The almighty FM tuner is included in the Clix, from which you can make twenty presets and several things including voice recording, alarm clock, and calendar. There’s a dock that can be purchased which truly brings out the TV look in the Clix and also brings even more sound to the player with built-in speakers and even a remote. It’s fun to mess around with and is even cooler when used as an alarm clock, the dock set is a must-have if you’re considering the iRiver Clix.
As for the specifications for file playback, the Clix supports ASF, MP3, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, MPEG 1-2.5 Audio. For storage, the Clix is available in 2 and 4 gigs, though a 6 and 8 gigabyte version are both expected some time in the future. Battery power is listed at 25 hours, but surprisingly enough it’ll probably only last you about 20 hours, which was the average for several tests.