Sirius XM For Android Arrives

Rejoice, satellite radio fans! Sirius XM is now available for Android. It comes with a 7 day trial if you are not already a satellite radio subscriber, and from my brief experience today I don’t plan on becoming a subscriber in the future.

First of all, you need a great deal of patience to parse out the subscription options. Sirius doesn’t share what the options are for subscribers unless you log in as an existing customer, but they do assure you there’s a “discount” for internet listening (looks like it is $2.99 ON TOP OF your existing Sirius subscription). Of course, the non-discounted rate is frighteningly steep: $142, or around $11.87/month. For the record, Slacker Radio Premium is only $7.50/month.

More importantly, the app is terrible. I downloaded it to try it, but there were a few minor bugs and one unacceptable one. My first issue was that the app was very, very slow at first. It did pick up after a few minutes, but then had random periods of being super slow again. Second, and this was more worrisome than anything else, my Droid became very hot while Sirius was running. It was actually so warm that I couldn’t hold the phone comfortably in my hand at one point.

But the real showstopper was poor connectivity. In my office, where I get five bars of near-perfect Verizon service, the app had issues connecting. Outside, driving home from work, the app repeatedly dropped the connection. I know there are dead spots on my drive home, but the app had trouble well outside of these areas. If I use Slacker or Pandora, they usually hang on through the bad areas fairly well, with very little skipping. It was frustrating that not only did Sirius repeatedly drop out, it also took forever to reconnect.

Frankly, I wouldn’t pay any amount of money for Sirius for Android in its current incarnation. If you absolutely love a Sirius channel and would make use of the subscription with a dedicated unit or at a computer, it might be worthwhile, but it is definitely not worth it as a standalone Android radio. Incidentally, Howard Stern is NOT available through the app.

What I liked:
-Lots of channel selections.

What I didn’t like:
-Phone got so hot I could grill with it.
-App could barely find internet connection.
-Sound quality was terrible.

Categories: Reviews


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