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Meizu M6 MiniPlayer: From mock-up to grub's up

We take a look at the Meizu M6 MiniPlayer, the iPod nano 'killer' that some people thought was an Apple fan's mock-up, too good to be true -- but it's real

The MiniPlayer looks so similar to fan mock-ups of the anticipated 'true video iPod', that some forum posters assumed it was a fake. But the Meizu player is, in fact, a bona fide entry into the MP3 player scene. It's as real as that other seemingly fantastical occurence, George W. Bush. What better way to launch an assault on Apple than to make an MP3 player that fulfils the dreams of fans desperately awaiting the real thing later in the year?

Those elite few who have had their hands on the Meizu seem to be rather taken by the thing. Could this really be a worthy contender against the iPod nano?

The M6 MiniPlayer is smaller than a credit card, weighs less than 60g, and has a 61mm (2.4-inch) screen that displays song info, synchronised lyrics, AVI video, photo slide shows, screensavers and games.

The M6 supports MP3, MP2, WMA and OGG audio formats and Meizu claims you'll get 20 hours of playback from the lithium-ion rechargeable battery. There's a built-in microphone that will capture nine hours of voice. The unit also includes the ability to broadcast FM radio -- this would let you transmit songs over FM radio to a radio receiver, such as your car radio, but would unfortunately be illegal in the UK. You horrendous criminals!

Pricing for the device looks appealing. The 4GB M6 will sell for $219 (£120) in the US, while the same size iPod nano is $249 (£169 in the UK). Meizu will also sell a 2GB M6 for $159 and a 1GB version for $139.

We don't have any information yet on whether the Meizu M6 MiniPlayer will be launched in the UK, but it is expected to be available in the US by August and importing the player should be straightforward. -CS