Slightly larger, but thinner, than the original iPod nano, Samung’s YP-K3 enjoys the same ‘I want one’ kudos. It’s stylish and sleek, and its backlit screen is a thing of beauty. But further comparison with the nano is less flattering for the K3. We tested the 2GB version, although there’s a 4GB flavour for only around £120.
Bearing the Windows PlaysForSure logo, the K3 can be used equally well with Windows Media Player as with Samsung’s Media Studio software. Media Studio is a straightforward and intuitive piece of software but, as with many proprietary programs, Samsung’s offering feels like a downbeat retread of Apple's iTunes.
You load up the K3 with songs by dragging and dropping them on to either the WMP or the Media Studio libraries or, alternatively, simply drop tracks directly on to the player. After that you can take it out and enjoy the envious glances of friends and thieves alike.
The K3’s screen measures only 3cm across, but is 4cm high. This portrait style looks great when music is playing and the stunning graphic equaliser is strutting its stuff. It isn’t much cop when viewing photos, though.
Rather than an iPod-esque scrollwheel, the K3 has six buttons on its touchscreen. For the dextrous of digit this will be a cool way to navigate songs and settings. For your humble author, however, it paved the way to a frustrating hour or two of missed files, greasy fingers and swear words. The buttons are hyper-sensitive and the shiny front of the K3 looks smart only as long as it is free from greasy pawprints - which isn’t long once you start using it. This is a shame, because the file layout of the K3 is sensible.
The sound quality is pretty good, with an unusual amount of bass. You also get an FM radio, which is a bonus. Samsung claims a healthy 25-hour battery life and we had no trouble getting more than 20 hours out of it.