Samsung YP-K3 digital audio player
Nice curves, but does it have anything worthwhile inside the casing?
Review "Refined, Stylish, Classy, Sleek" - are all words that have gone to describe Samsung's latest offering to the digital audio player world... mostly by the Seoul-based manufacturer. So, after all that hype is there anything besides aesthetics to drive sales of the Samsung K3 in this Apple iPod dominated market? Read on...
The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is often the launching ground for the latest and greatest gadgets. This year was no exception; what stood out was the number of devices with touch-sensitive displays, from the new iPod phone to the LG Chocolate range. And not a manufacturer to capitalise on such trends, Samsung launched its flashy K3 flash-based DAP with touch-sensitive controls. Born from its K5 player released in September 2006, the K3 is similar in both appearance and the navigation menu used. The K3 is just under a millimetre thicker than the latest iPod Nano, weighing in at 10g heavier and is much easier on the eyes. The screen is identical that found on the K5: a sharp, 1.8in full colour OLED display.
The K3 offers three forms of entertainment: a digital music player, an FM radio and an image viewer. All of which are accessible through its elegant interface and via the touch-sensitive LED back-lit panel. Gliding from menu to menu, option to option is very graceful with snazzy effects all shown off on its crisp display. Clearly a lot has gone into the K3 OS to make it very attractive and appealing, moving on from their Z5, which it's set to replace in the UK.
On the DAP front it currently addresses the most common formats, WMA, MP3 and ASF. What's missing is the OGG format, which is found in other Samsung offerings. Nowadays getting away with the very basic in audio codec's isn't going to cut it anymore in an environment where competitors offer a larger range of better sounding formats. Making up for this in someway are the five predefined EQ settings that accompany audio playback, with two standing out – Bass Boost and DNSe 3D sound. These created a really good sound, and in fact even the standard audio output is nothing to be sniffed at. A customisable EQ setting isn't a feature of the K3 and not really a necessity as the sound effects that accompany it are good enough.