Philips and Sony are both excellent brands, and the PD900/37 from Philips and the DVP-FX950 from Sony may seem nearly identical on the shelf. But the Sony 9-inch portable DVD player will cost you approximately $80 more. Is it worth it to pay extra? This review will compare these two portable DVD players and help you decide if you should upgrade to the Sony 9-inch portable DVD player.
What’s the Same?
As 9-inch portable DVD players, these two gadgets have a lot in common. They both support DVD, DVD+R and DVD+RW. Also, both are similar dimensions—the Philips model is 2.4 pounds and measures up at 1.5x9.5x7 inches, while the Sony is 2 pounds even and measures at 1.5x9x6.75 inches. So, in terms of form factor and portability, both of these DVD players are about the same.
If you’ll mostly be playing commercial DVDs from the Netflix or the store, either portable DVD player will be absolutely fine. However, these two models have slightly differing support for other formats. The Philips DVD player also supports CD, CD-R and CD-RW, Video CD (VCD), SVCD, DivX, MP3 and JPEG. This gives you a bit more flexibility for playing movies you’ve burned yourself. It also doubles as an MP3 CD player for audio only.
The Sony supports DVD-R DL (double-layer discs), DVD-R and DVD-RW, JPEG and MP3. It may not support VCDs.
The Philips DVD player is 480p, and the Sony is 480i. Both of these are standard resolution. There’s a subtle difference between 480p and 480i, but in general, a 480p DVD picture looks better. You may not notice a difference, however.
According to the tech specs, the Sony has a longer battery life of up to 7.5 hours. The Philips has a rated battery life of 5 hours.
Philips has outfitted its DVD player with “Simulated Sound.” In theory, this is supposed to improve the flatness of the built-in speakers. In practice, it doesn’t come close to actual surround sound, but it may improve the audio somewhat.
The Philips DVD player has a 1 year limited warranty for parts and labor. The Sony’s warranty is 1 year for parts, but only 90 days for labor.
The Sony widescreen has a swiveling screen that rotates 180 degrees. This can make it easier to share between two or more viewers. The Philips model is more basic, with the classic clamshell design like a laptop.
The Sony has a better battery life, weighs slightly less (just half a pound) and has a swiveling screen. However, you’re sacrificing on quality with the 480i, rather than the 480p with the Philips. Plus, you’re paying $80 more. Unless any of the playback formats are absolutely essential to you, the Philips portable DVD player is likely a better buy.