Archos Gmini XS 202 review

Price when reviewed

Archos claims the Gmini is the smallest hard disk-based MP3 player, which immediately had us reaching for the ruler. It’s certainly much smaller than the iPod – 27mm shorter – and still holds 20GB of songs and has a longer-lasting battery, 20 hours to the iPod’s 14.

Archos Gmini XS 202 review

Archos has taken the minimalist approach. There’s only a small five-way joystick and two buttons on its compact case. The iPod’s click wheel is nicer to use, but the Gmini’s menu is logical and intuitive, and it’s clear on the seven-line 2in screen, even though it’s only mono. Skipping to the next track sometimes took a bit longer than expected (shuffle play showed no such problems), and bear in mind that it needs a powered USB port to connect to.

Sound quality is as impressive as its small size. Everything was crisp and clear when playing Black Keys’ Grown so Ugly. This was the case with every track we tried; The Mooney Suzuki’s Alive and Amplified album had us dancing in our seats, while Sam Brown’s version of Stop was a treat even on the noisy bus. It’s a great little player, and the volume control on the earphone lead is an extra bonus.

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