Yesterday we took a look at the Polaroid SC1630, a digital camera with a big optical zoom and Android running at its core. There are plenty of other non-smartphone gadgets being demonstrated at the CES this year that come very close to being one, often lacking only a cellular radio. The latest we’ve heard about is the Philips GoGear Connect 3.5, a Gingerbread-running media player.
Philips has been producing the GoGear line for some time now; we first looked at the family when GoGear was still running Android 2.1 back in 2010. There have been several iterations since then, with the GoGear Connect 3 (pictured) arriving last fall.
What we know about the Connect 3.5 is mostly limited to its functionality, rather than many hardware specs. It will display 720p video, that much we know, but nothing’s been said about screen size or resolution. For the Connect 3, there was a 3.2-inch HVGA screen hardly the optimal conditions for 720p viewing so we’re hopeful there might be some improvement there. Phillips mentions Skype in particular, but there should be nothing stopping you from using the majority of Android Market apps on the Connect 3.5, just as you would with a standard smartphone.
With devices like this, which offer only a slightly-tweaked experience compared to a regular smartphone, fate comes down to a numbers game. For Philips to successfully position the Connect 3.5, it’s going to have to be priced to beat off-contract smartphones. If it turns out the media player’s hardware specs don’t make much of an improvement over the Connect 3, it’s going to be even more difficult to price the Connect 3.5 low enough to make it more appealing than just going with a full-on smartphone for your media player needs. We’ll learn the fate of the device soon, as Phillips plans for an April release.