- Great sound, slim design, looks great, drag and drop, impressive controls, nine-band eqaliser
- Nothing of note
The YP-U3 is an absolutely fantastic music player. It combines everything you could want from such a device including brilliant sound quality, a great design, convenient transfer and loads of extra features. Those after a music player will be hard pressed to find a better device for their money.
Price$ 119.00 (AUD)
With a slim, lightweight design and a four line OLED display, Samsung's 2GB U3 doesn't look like much, but housed within the slim black chassis is one of the best flash media players we've reviewed. Combining excellent sound quality with all the features we've come to expect from such a player, the YP-U3 is a great solution for those who want music on the go.
The best thing about the U3 is its sound quality. We've noticed a general increase in the quality of audio produced by flash based media players in the past year or so, and the U3 is a prime example of this. Its sound is quite laid back with quick bass that doesn't extend too deeply, giving a smooth tone. There is a lot of detail in the mid range and the highs are nicely balanced against the rest of the register. As usual we tested with a pair of high quality, third party IEMs (In Ear Monitors) for an accurate assessment, and to put it simply, this is one of the best sounding MP3 players we've heard.
As you'd expect, the U3 has a 3.5mm headphone jack. In addition to testing with our third party headphones, we gave the included headphones a quick run through. They sounded quite good for default earbuds, as Samsung's models tend to do, and should satisfy most listeners.
We were also impressed by the design. With a slim body and minimalist touch-sensitive controls, the U3 looks great. It also comes in a range of colours including pink, white, yellow, blue and black. Furthermore it weighs just 22.8g, making it ideal to carry when jogging or exercising. Despite being constructed entirely of plastic the unit is sturdy and should be able to handle more than the occasional knock with no trouble.
The controls are quite simple and very intuitive. Most of the unit's functions are controlled via the touch sensitive buttons on the face. There are track skip and volume keys that double as a directional pad as well as a menu button in the top corner. These are complemented by the record and play/pause buttons on the top and hold switch on the bottom.
As this is only a digital music player, the menu isn't all that complex and so these controls allow perfect, intuitive navigation which will be accessible by most people. The menu is broken up in a fairly standard tiered format, with tabs for music, settings, now playing radio and voice recorder. During our tests the voice recorder worked well however the real standout was the radio. It worked flawlessly both indoors and outdoors, providing crisp, clear audio with minimal distortion. Radio lovers will find the U3 suits them perfectly. The blue four line OLED isn't anything special, but it does the job just fine providing legible and bright text that is easy to read.
All the usual sound options are present including shuffle and loop modes and a variety of sound presets (rock, concert, etc). There is even a nine-band equaliser for those that want to take a more hands-on approach.
Another nifty thing about the U3 is its PC connection. For a few minutes after receiving it, we puzzled over the device, assuming the USB cable had merely been omitted from the package. However a quick glance at the scant manual showed us that a USB connection is actually built into the device. All you have to do is slide a switch on the side and it shoots out, ready to be insert into your PC. Combined with drag and drop functionality, this makes for easy sharing of music amongst friends. Of course software is included if you want to manage your music more efficiently; or you can simply synchronise the device with Windows Media Player. The U3 supports MP3 and DRM encrypted WMA file types.
Samsung quotes the battery life at 15 hours, which is about average for such a player, and during our testing this seemed roughly accurate. We achieved about 13 hours before needing a recharge. The device is charged by plugging it into your PC, eliminating the need for a charger.
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