Pure Sensia digital radio

The Pure Sensia is a digital radio with some impressive features. However, we found its interface frustrating.

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Pure Sensia
  • Pure Sensia
  • Pure Sensia
  • Pure Sensia

Pros

  • Excellent audio quality and cool features

Cons

  • Complicated to set up, unintuitive controls

Bottom Line

The Pure Sensia would have gotten a better star rating if it had been easier to use and not so complicated to set up

Would you buy this?

What's shaped like an egg but isn't? What audio device has a touch-screen interface but isn't an iPod Touch? What overly complex digital radio/social-networking device made us want to facepalm at times? The Pure Sensia!

Priced at $749, the Pure Sensia DAB+ digital radio offers a variety of "cool" features like a 5.7in capacitive touch screen; digital, FM and Internet radio; and applications for Facebook, Twitter, Picasa, weather reports and more.

This feature-rich digital radio is definitely a sign of the times. Not only can you listen to radio, but you can also use its touch screen to send tweets and Facebook messages.

With so many functions and a convoluted set-up process, the Pure Sensia is certainly not the simplest radio to use; in fact, it's rather complicated. The first step is to get the Pure Sensia online by connecting to your wireless network. This was relatively easy: the radio found our network, we clicked on it, entered our password and were almost immediately online.

After getting online, you can access a multitude of podcasts and online radio stations via the "Lounge". The Lounge is a Pure service and it required us to fill out of forms and answer questions about customer service in the retail outlet the device was purchased from. All of this tediousness requires using a computer.

After activating the "Lounge" side of things, you can browse through a seemingly endless list of Internet radio stations — one of our favourites was the Russian 90's pop station. A frequent annoyance was when the Internet radio station would simply drop out and a ‘service unavailable’ message would pop up (even though our wireless connection was stable), so off to another station we went!

The unit has great audio; with 2.1 30 Watt speakers the Sensia can easily fill a large room with audio.

Picassa access is available straight away once you've set the radio up; after registering online with Picassa and uploading your photos, you can watch a slideshow of your on the 5.7in screen while listening to music. To stream images and your own music to the Sensia, you can use a Twonky Web-based interface to share files from your PC or notebook.

To be honest, Facebook, Twitter access, and the media streaming — it all just feels too complex and unnecessary. For example, when trying to set up the Facebook app we initially thought the radio was faulty. We did two factory resets and set the radio up twice, but it still wouldn’t allow us to activate Facebook. Then one glorious day we switched the damn thing back on and ta-da! A pop-up window on the Sensia screen prompted us to update the software (two days earlier it wouldn’t let us update it!).

So finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we were able to set up the Facebook application, which then required us to use an actual computer to visit Pure's Facebook page. Then we were given a registration code to punch into the radio (which we really wanted to punch!) via its unintuitive interface. After all of this seemingly endless registering of information, we were finally able to see people's updates and make our own updates. What should have felt like a triumph was marred by an overwhelming sense of exhaustion coupled with frustration (and maybe a little bit of hunger as we had to work through our lunchbreak).

sensiadissapoint

The first and probably only Facebook update to be made via the Pure Sensia while it stays in the Test Centre

The Sensia's interface isn’t very intuitive and is incredibly frustrating to navigate. The touch screen is at times unresponsive and it’s easy to select something you didn’t want to. Unless you really want to check and update your Twitter and Facebook accounts from your digital radio, we'd suggest you just go for a plain Jane unit.

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Read more on these topics: digital radio, pure, home entertainment

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