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Bluetooth version of Samsung T9 to debut stateside

Associate Editor Jasmine France hits the floor at CES 2007 to hunt out the hottest new MP3 gadgets. On deck: Samsung T9B.

Some of you may recall my whining when I originally found out that the U.S. version of the Samsung T9 was not to include Bluetooth. Well, it turns out my complaints did not fall on deaf ears (excellent--an excuse for more whining!). OK, so maybe Samsung wasn't responding directly to me when it decided to launch the T9B in the States, but we are getting the Bluetooth player sometime in the first half of this year, and that's good enough for me.

The T9B is pretty much identical to the Samsung T9, except that the B version has built-in Bluetooth. The T9B is available in 2GB or 4GB flavors (prices not immediately available), and you can choose from three colors: black, purple, or pink. As with the T9, you get a boatload of features, including a fantastic 1.8-inch color screen; a 30-hour rated battery life; an onboard FM tuner; support for photos, videos, flash games, and protected WMA tracks; and a built-in mic. This last feature paired with the Bluetooth capability makes for an interesting extra functionality: you can use the T9B to answer and make phone calls. Mind you, you must have it paired with a Bluetooth-enabled phone, but it's still a rather innovative extra.

And Samsung's innovation with the T9B doesn't stop there. The player is also designed to be used with a nifty accessory from Boston Scientific: a hearing aid-like device meant to help the hearing impaired enjoy music more clearly. For more information on this technology, check out our MP3 player for the deaf blog entry. Two thumbs up for Samsung helping all users get in the groove!