Samsung's latest peculiar portable media players

Samsung's latest PMPs, the IceTouch and the MyFit, have some odd--though intriguing--design choices and features

In the past, Samsung's portable media players have had excellent audio and video quality, but the user experience was marred by some strange design choices. The company's latest, the IceTouch and MyFit, seem to fit into this tradition.

A follow-up to last year's P3, the IceTouch's (YP-H1) oddest feature is its 2-inch transparent AMOLED touchscreen. Yes, I'm confused too and the press images Samsung provided don't really demonstrate how this works. The player seems to be divided between the tempered glass display and a colored skin/grip below it. All of the hardware buttons appear to be located on the edges of the player. Flip the player over, and you'll see a reversed view of the display (shown in the image to the left). Besides the question of usefulness of a transparent display, I'm also concerned that 2 inches simply isn't large enough to comfortably watch videos or provide easy UI navigation.

Like other Samsung players, the IceTouch is quite flexible when it comes to multimedia playback. The player supports MP3, WMA, OGG, FLAC, AAC, M4A, WAV and MP3HD audio codecs, and plays MPEG4, WMV, H.264, Xvid and Divx files. The player also has an FM tuner as well as Samsung's excellent DNSe 5.1 channel sound enhancement technology. It also features a version of Samsung's TouchWiz UI called Sweep. TouchWiz is found on many of the company's smartphones like the Omnia II and the Behold II. I don't mind TouchWiz, but many users find it too cluttered or difficult to use.

For fitness junkies, there's the MyFit (YP-H1), which features "wellness-promoting" technology. If you need help staying on track with your New Year's resolutions, the MyFit will keep you in check with its fat and stress sensors. I'm not exactly sure how these sensors work, but I'm certainly intrigued. The MyFit also has a smoking cessation tool--another feature I can't quite wrap my head around. Some more useful, realistic functions on the MyFit include an accelerometer-based calorie tracker as well as a tap control mode for uninterrupted use during workouts.

The IceTouch and MyFit will be available in the first half of 2010 with 16GB and 8GB capacity, respectively.

I can't make any real assessments until I actually get to play with the IceTouch and MyFit--hey, maybe the transparent touchscreen works quite well. I'll have a closer look at these PMPs on the show floor at CES and follow up with a hands-on review. Check out our complete coverage of CES 2010 here.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags samsungportable media playersmp3 players

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ginny Mies

PC World (US online)

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?