It unveils three highly impressive players that, on paper at least, could cause quite a stir.
Samsung is a company doing good things at the moment. It’s making great notebooks (expect a review of the gorgeous X50 soon), and had so many ground-breaking products at CeBIT that we were forced to do a special report. Now it looks to have applied its current magic touch to the music player market.
To this end there are three models it is making immediately available and predictably they cover the three main market sectors: large capacity, mini and Flash. We’ll go from biggest to smallest with these which means the YH-925 (above) is first up.
This 20GB player has already won a CES 2005 Innovation Award and has a super high 260K colour screen which Samsung promotes as ideal for viewing photos (it is a shame there are currently no shots of the YH-925 switched on). On the audio side of things it supports MP3 and WMA files and is one of only a handful of players to also handle Ogg (my prayers last week are answered).
A built in recorder can capture songs in MP3, and it can act as a USB host given its ability to connect with USB OTG-compatible digital devices meaning it can perform file sharing functions without the aid of a PC.
If there is a downside to the YH-925 it is the weight, because although the dimensions are reasonably svelte at 61 x 106.8 x 16.6mm it does weight 198g which is heavier than the competition (a 4th generation iPod is 158g). Guide price is £249.99 including VAT and for that you get a carry case in the box.
Moving along we have the YH-820 (above). This 5GB player has a 1.6in, 128 x 96 resolution screen which should also be good enough to display photos. Like the YH-925 it supports MP3, WMA and Ogg and has an integrated MP3 encoder, while the dimensions (50 x 88.3 x 14mm) are smaller than an iPod mini.
Bundled ID3 tag update software allows users to customise their file info and Samsung promises a “smooth, intuitive” GUI. RRP for this one is £169.99 including VAT (carry case included).
Finally, we have the YP-T7 the Flash memory based offering that comes in 512MB and 1GB sizes. Even at this level Samsung manages to fit a 65k colour screen so the option to view photos still remains.
MP3, WMA, Ogg, Jpeg and ASF formats can be recognised by the YP-T7 and there is something uncannily iPod-esque about the control system (do I hear the sound of lawyers stampeding?). Like many Flash players you get a built in FM tuner, while audiophiles will be pleased to know it has an adjustable graphics equaliser (something curiously lacking on many competing devices).
For £129.99 (512MB) or £159.99 (1GB) you’ll get a whole bunch of goodies thrown in with the YP-T7 including a carry case, “necklace” (I presume it means a cord to hang the player around your neck), a direct USB adapter and an in-line encoding cable.
At this point it is worth pointing out that while the stats on the YH-925, YH-820 and YP-T7 are all undoubtedly good, like any new MP3 players they will live and die on the quality of their interface. We should be able to fill you in on this missing detail soon as all three are winging their way to us as we speak.