Pure Oasis Flow review
While Pure’s Sensia looked like a rugby ball, the company’s latest internet/DAB/FM radio is most definitely designed for the outdoor life.
Clad in sturdy aluminium casing and with rubber flaps covering the fragile ports, the Oasis Flow looks practically bombproof, let alone “weatherproof”. Designed to withstand the spray from the hose when washing the car or the moisture of the bathroom, the Oasis Flow doesn’t boast any official waterproofing standards, but it comfortably brushed off a light drizzle and the condensation of a hot shower room in our tests.
Yet, there are reasons to doubt its carry-anywhere credentials. The yellow-on-black screen is perfectly legible indoors, but we struggled to make out the onscreen menu text in bright sunlight. And for a radio designed to be carried down to the beach or local park (at least, if the pictures on the box are anything to go by), its arm-aching 2.2kg weight dents its portability.
That solidly hewn casing does have its advantages, however. The Oasis Flow’s sheer heft (155 x 140 x 230mm) helps deliver a cavernous, bass-filled sound that’s vibration-free with the volume cranked up. It won’t be drowned out by the hubbub of a garden party and comfortably filled a small living room with its warm tones.
The chunky case also allows Pure to include a sizeable rechargeable battery pack inside the unit. In our battery run-down tests the device lasted around five hours using a combination of internet and DAB radio at a middling volume, rising to eight hours for DAB alone.
The internet radio facilities are delivered via Pure’s “The Lounge” service, which lets users handpick their favourite radio stations and podcasts via a web browser, instead of the onscreen menu. That’s probably just as well, as Pure’s combination of touchscreen and traditional dial controls is a little awkward. Only a thin L-shaped sliver of the display is actually touchscreen, meaning users are often required to scroll through menu options using the dial and then confirm a choice by dabbing at the screen. Intuitive, it isn’t.
When it comes to digital radio duties, the Flow has a screw-in telescopic aerial that clips neatly into the rear of the unit when not in use, minimising the chances of accidental breakage. Even in our weak-reception test area, it performed admirably well. The device can also stream music from networked PCs and NAS drives, and includes a 3.5mm input jack for connecting MP3 players.
Overall, if you wanted a digital radio to go to war with, you’d choose the Oasis Flow. But for a battery-operated portable to lug around the house and garden, it’s probably overkill when compared to the more compact, similarly equipped and vastly cheaper Revo Pico.