Pure Sensia – hands-on with Pure’s touchscreen Twittering radio

Pure has launched – with the help of Absolute Radio’s Christian O’Connell - its most radical product ever, the Pure Sensia: a lifestyle, touchscreen D

Pure has launched – with the help of Absolute Radio’s Christian O’Connell - its most radical product ever, the Pure Sensia: a lifestyle, touchscreen DAB and internet radio that also has social networking skills.

The Sensia looks a lot like a squashed B&W Zeppelin, comes in four colours and has no physical controls. It comes with a tilting stand to allow you to have it at various angles, plus a RF remote. Changing DAB stations, streaming music from your PC or listening to one of 12,000 internet stations via Pure’s Flow tech.

The most clever feature though is being able to check your Twitter or Facebook pages – it is all done via the capacitive 5.7in touch screen. In normal use, most of the screen is taken up with the list of stations, with a box top right that you can flip with your finger to change between screens and apps. However, most apps will have the option to go full-screen

The Sensia also supports Slideshow, part of the DAB+ standard, a DAB radio capability that we’ll be seeing more of in the next year. It lets radio stations push information and pictures to compatible devices, including travel information, weather and playlists.

There is no iPod dock on the Sensia but it does have a 3.5mm input jack. The company seems to have missed a trick here, by not having a dock and allowing the screen to show videos from your iPod, or even streaming them from a media server.

When pushed on this, Pure said it didn’t want to get away from the Sensia being a radio product, but didn’t rule out video in future versions. It referenced iPods, including an aside about the new Nano now finally getting a FM radio, suggesting that everyone is getting used to using colour touchscreens to access their entertainment.

The Sensia also supports Pure’s ChargePAK battery, maing it portable. Just be careful you don’t drop it, given it’s slippery profile.

A number of apps will be available from launch, including news, Picasa, Twitter and Facebook, with more to follow. Pure will be releasing the SDK for developers later in the year. The Sensia is based on Linux.

Pure is well-known for great-sounding radios, throught its ClearSound build and software architecture, and its engineers have been working night and day to ensure the Sensia has sound quality to suit it’s high-end lifestyle looks. The acoustics at the launch were not good enough to test this theory, but Stuff recently had a sneak preview of a pre-production Sensia, and it was already sounding good then.

The Sensia launches at the end of October for £250. It will have 5 apps at launch, with more becoming available very soon, and downloadable from Pure’s online Lounge service. The cost of third-party apps for the radio, once the SDK is released, has not yet been decided.

If you're still jonesing for more information on delectable DAB radios, do take a look at our DAB Radio Top 10, it's glorious.