Imitation. The whole concept carries such unpleasant connotations of copying, cheating and general sliminess that the other notions of flattery and evolution have disappeared completely. Well starting this moment I would like to bring them back because Meizu has just ripped off the iPod but in doing so made the multimedia player we all wish to see.
The ‘Mini Player’ snatches Apple styling left, right, left and right again and centre but is nonetheless a truly striking piece of kit. It measures a nano-challenging 79 x 48.2 x 10mm, is dominated by a large 2.4in widescreen display and comes in 512MB to 4GB capacities using flash memory.
There is a choice of black or white iPod thieving finishes with identical reflective silver backs, a swiped hold switch and strongly ‘influenced’ navigation menus. Going to the next level, however, the mini player boasts an inbuilt microphone, FM radio, support for MP3, WAV, Ogg and WMA, the ability to play native Xvid video files and a hefty 20 hours of battery life for audio and up to six hours when playing video.
Sadly, as you can see, the Mini Player clearly isn’t designed for a Western audience at this stage - though it is out next month in the Far East - and Heaven forbid what Apple would do to Meizu if it ever became that ambitious. Still, barring some truly catastrophic software implementation the product is clearly an evolution of the iPod range to date and since Jobs’ boys have yet to design a similar device for its baying public I say good on Meizu for not only grabbing the bull by the horns but subsequently lifting it into the air and body slamming it to the canvass.
(Not that I want bulls slammed to the canvass: it’s a metaphor, which is not a word to be confused with 'Minotaur' which is also a creature I have nothing against but would rather didn’t chase me some idle Sunday afternoon just minutes after I’d set out a picnic complete with red and white checked mat, croissants, fresh orange juice and chocolate cake. Mmmmmn, chocolate cake)
The Meizu Mini Player is now officially headed for the US with 1GB ($139), 2GB ($159), or 4GB ($220) available. What's that I hear… the distant thunder of stampeding Apple lawyers?