Squircle review: Squircle MP3 player

Typical Price: £15.00
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1 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good It has twin LEDs; works as a card reader; skims across a lake nicely; rock-bottom price.

The Bad That it exists; sound quality; battery life; design and buttons.

The Bottom Line Quite simply the most horrible MP3 player we've ever seen. It sounds abysmal and looks grotesque. Although it technically does work as a card reader, it should be considered an absolute emergency backup at best. Give your £15 to a charity and leave the Squircle on the shelf

2.5 Overall

The Squircle could pretentiously be called a convergence device, but it's really just a glorified card reader. Zero internal memory, no screen, a rubbery shell and a peculiar shape aren't the best starting points for an MP3 player.

But play MP3s it does, and to boot it'll jack into your nearest USB cable for all the card reading fun you can wave a stick and an SD card at. For just £15, we felt we should give this little guy a chance.

Find yourself a large lump of black Plasticine and squish it into a flat square shape. Then round off two opposite corners and leave it to go stagnant. The result is a lump of rubbery gunk that resembles half a square, half a circle -- hence the name. There are also five large rubbery buttons that require significant pushing and endless patience. It's about as pleasant to use as putting your hand in a trouser press.

On one side there's a mini-USB port and a headphone socket. On another, an SD card slot. There's no cover for any of these ports, so don't take it to the beach.

The back of the Squircle holds a single AAA battery, hidden behind a little flap. There's also a lanyard hook -- you'll be able to show off this grotesque piece of kit to all your friends.

We hoped the Squircle's primary feature was its card-reading abilities. Sadly, it's very slow as a card reader. It took over five minutes to transfer 90MB of digital photos from our SD card, as opposed to about 40 seconds using our usual reader. It also reads and writes to MMC memory cards. For emergency use, the Squircle will do the job.

Aside from being a card reader, the Squircle plays MP3s. If you have an old 256MB SD card hanging around, load it up with your least favourite songs and thrust it into the Squircle's card slot. Tracks can be skipped through quickly using the bloodcurdling navigation buttons. The Squircle will support memory cards up to 2GB in capacity.

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