For many years the small principality of portable video was inhabited solely by its founder, Archos. But recently hordes of big-name manufacturers have arrived to buy their scrap of land – Sony’s NW-A805 is a new resident, SanDisk’s View is on its way, and now LG has sent a representative in the form of the FM37.

TV tech

While the Archos series is characterised by a geek-pleasing feature set, the FM37 brings one of the best small displays to grace the planet. Thanks to the same XD engine found in LG’s TVs, it has punchy colours, smooth flowing action and bags of low light detail. You soon forget you’re watching a 2.4in screen.

You’ll never forget you’re using LG’s Media Centre software though. With the finesse of something knocked up by a Year 6 class as Tuesday’s ICT project, it’s clunky and the absolute antithesis of such a stylish machine.

Touched up

The FM37’s touch-screen fares far better. In the initial stages we occasionally, due to a touch too many, went astray but you soon get the drift. We’re not sure how you’ll fare with your winter mittens, mind.

But what of its music playback? The LG is certainly up there with the best, but a slightly more laid-back sound means it’s outclassed by Sony’s rocking NW-A805. Battery life also rolls in at a fairly average three hours for video and 20 for audio.

There is one area where it is a class-leader though – sheer covetability. When other people see your gadgets they should instantly desire them. Think iMac, think Sony Ericsson W880i. And now, think LG FM37.

Use it with…

Stuff Essentials – In-ear headphones

Stuff says... 

LG FM37 review

LG is swiftly cornering the market in ‘shine’ and the FM37 adds further lustre to the company’s reputation