Just when you thought you were safe from new display technologies, along comes iRiver to introduce another one. This diddy 4GB player is the first to sport an AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) screen, a variant of the OLED technology that you're probably familiar with.
Without going into any techno-fluff, AMOLED consumes less power than other screen types, which is a real bonus for portable devices such as this one where battery life is crucial. It helps the Clix offer 24 hours of continuous music playback or 5 hours of video, but oddly this is around half the battery life of the LCD-equipped Cowon D2.
The unit's 'D-click' control system borders on genius. The screen itself can be clicked in four directions to select the relevant option. It's immensely intuitive and responsive and can only be described as a dream to use from the very first play.
Its unembellished black casing is darkly stylish and its compact size makes it perfect for the pocket, though some may feel that the 2.2in screen is too small for adequate video playback.
As for features, the Clix plays MP3, WMA and OGG, while video files need to be converted into WMV9 at 30fps using the supplied Movie Converter software (a time consuming process), but bizarrely it won't transcode DiVX because it claims the codec 'doesn't exist'. You also get the iRiver Plus 3 audio management software, which is just too cumbersome to compete with Media Player.
Also on board are a few games, an FM radio tuner with recording function, JPEG/text viewers and customisable flash content, such as icons or backgrounds.
AMOLED proves itself to be a very competent screen technology, allowing the Clix to make the most of its diminutive screen size. Pictures are delightfully vivid and engaging, the most striking aspect being the fulsome colour reproduction, which makes the kaleidoscopic Coral Reef Adventure clip look positively dazzling.
The large expanses of deep blue sea are slightly spoiled by some obvious block noise that isn't visible when the unconverted file is viewed on a larger screen.
Also impressive is detail reproduction, which brings the reams of tiny sea creatures to life on the 320 x 240-pixel screen. Some areas do look a little soft, but not intrusively so.
Music playback isn't up to the highest standards, but it's still very enjoyable. From jazz to rock via hip-hop and house, the sound is loud and full of verve, making this a great choice for music fans. And with an impressive arsenal of SRS sound technology on board, plus a handy Custom EQ mode, the sound can be perfectly tailored to your individual taste.
Not only does the Clix make great use of a burgeoning display technology, but it also boasts some unusual features, a terrific control system and decent sound quality.