The Sensei SMPVF 204G Does its Work, but in Bits and Pieces

  • price

    ₹2,790.00

  • tech rating

    2.5/5

  • user rating

    4.2/5

I’m a big fan of Japanese companies - the tech-related ones, of course. So when I got the Sensei 204G, it initially looked like a winner (and a good competitor) in the PMP field. But what follows is what I actually found out.

Design
The 204G is a small little player, with dimensions of 72 x 42 x 9mm and at 50g it's pretty light to carry around. The screen is just a 2-inch TFT display, and although it’s not surprising that the screen size couldn’t get any bigger, it feels a bit weird watching a video on such a tiny thing. Moving on to the buttons of the player, you can find a four-way keypad next to the display and above that is the mode button (which got me all confused at first!). The keypad has buttons for volume, play/pause and forward/backward, which double up as navigation buttons when you are in the menu.

240G: The video disaster

240G: The video disaster

 

On the right side, you will find a port for mini-USB, the power button and finally the 2.5 mm headphone jack. Did you notice anything weird? Well, it doesn’t have a lock button, and the headphone jack is not a standard 3.5mm. At the back of the 204G is a loudspeaker, so you can refrain from stressing your ears every now and then. The earphones that are bundled with the device have the feel of those cheap plasticky headphones that might not last too long.

 

 

 

240G : The music master-in-training

240G : The music master-in-training

 

Overall, the design was below average. I felt the button placement could have been better, or maybe the overall size itself (but that is the company’s decision of course) could have been a little bigger to accommodate those essential components that make a PMP.

User Interface and features

The Interface is a very dull one, and maybe some light shades in the background would have given it a bright and intuitive feel. The icons and fonts are quite appropriate. Traversing through menus is a little confusing, partly because the "Mode" button does random things and partly because the volume button should NOT be used as a "back to the previous menu" button. It gets even more irritating because they are placed one above the another! So as I said, the UI is dull, but the software is certainly not sluggish and can handle quick browsing.
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It has a capacity of 4 GB which is sufficient for small journeys where you can throw in some songs and a movie or two together.  The PMP can handle very few file formats for both audio and video. Audio formats supported are MP3, WMA and WAV. The player can only play AVI files actually, but they bundle a software CD that contains a converter for you to convert other formats like RM, VOB, DAT, RMVB into AVI, and the CD acts as a saving grace in simple words. The 204G also has a FM Radio and the reception quality is not bad. Of course, it doesn’t get any reception in closed areas, but maybe that is to be expected. It also has an e-book reader and a game of Tetris, and that’s about it.

Performance
I was quite impressed when it came to the bundled headphones, because, unlike what I felt at first glance, they were quite loud and sounded bright. The lows and highs were all in place, and with headphones of this quality you can’t expect it to have a huge boom-box, so the bass is very negligible. The overall sound was very nice and played all genres of music pretty well.

I tried on another pair of headphones (cursing for the fact that you don't find a 2.5 mm jack so easily) to see whether the player actually did well. Alas, the player showed its true colors (or true sounds) and the audio quality was downright sad!

 

The 240 G can play Tetris!

The 240 G can play Tetris!

 

The video performance wasn't all that great. Firstly, as said before, the screen size is too small to play videos. Not that you can’t watch stuff on it, but the experience overall will not leave you satisfied. Also, the video quality is very low, as it doesn’t capture all colors and for some converted videos, the playback is absolutely sad. It is choppy and at times also has a problem of framing. So maybe the video converter is not that great after all.

Battery life is okay-ish, with about 5 hours 15 minutes for audio and a good 3 hours 30 minutes for video. The loudspeaker is well... not loud enough, but in a quiet environment it can handle the audio pretty well.

Verdict
The player is cheap at Rs. 2,790 MOP (Rs. 2,990 MRP). The design could have been better, the button layout or at least the functionality should've been properly distributed. Video playback needs a lot of improvement. On the whole, the player could have done okay as a cheap DAP - if they cut off the video support and reduced the price further, they might have a winner. Buy this only if you want a mediocre audio player with a 4 GB capacity.


Specifications

Display

Display TFT
Colour or Monochrome Colour
Screen Resolution 220 x 176

Memory

Capacity 4
Videos No Information
Expandable Memory No Information
Type of Expansion No Information

Audio Features

Audio Format Supported MP3, WMA WAV, APE and FLAC
Voice Recorder Yes
FM Radio Yes
FM Recorder No Information

Visual Features

Photo Viewer Yes
Photo Format Supported JPEG
Video Player Yes
Video Format Supported MPEG-4, AVI

Connectivity

USB Yes
Bluetooth No Information
WiFi No Information

Sound

USB Yes
Bluetooth No Information
WiFi No Information

Battery

Battery Type Li Ion
Battery Life for Music Playback 5
Recharging Time (Hours) No Information

Requirements

OS No Information

After Sales Service

Warranty Period 1

Price

Warranty Period 1

Battery

Warranty Period 1