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Samsung YP-U3: Hunting down the Shuffle

The YP-U3 is a new MP3 player from Samsung and comes in 1GB, 2GB and 4GB capacities. It has an FM tuner and a trippy blue light on one end. Can this really compete with the iPod Shuffle?

A new week and a new MP3 player. This time it's Samsung causing our saliva glands to work more overtime than a Chinese sweatshop, with the unofficial announcement of the YP-U3. The U3 is a flash-based MP3 player and is the successor to the YP-U1 and YP-U2.

It comes in 1GB, 2GB and 4GB capacities and supports MP3, WMA and good old OGG-format music files. There's a built-in RDS FM radio (very nice indeed, Samsung), a built-in USB plug (less nice) and it still sports a trippy blue LED on one end (oh dear).

Samsung told us this morning the YP-U3 is definitely going to be coming to the UK within the next two months, at the same time as the US release, but no price point has yet been announced.

The U3 is going after a similar audience as Apple's iPod Shuffle, but it does so with a significantly larger body and, like previous models, by having a non-colour screen. However, we get the feeling that while this is a nice-looking little guy it's just not outstanding enough to make a significant impact on the market, unless it a) costs significantly less than the Shuffle's £55, or b) comes with an 8GB capacity -- the latter being a definite no-chancer.

We'd love to have seen an 8GB version and feel such a capacity would do very well in a player of this size. We guess we'll just have to wait for the YP-U4 for that. Either way, it looks lovely and if it's cheap enough it'll do alright. Watch this space, Samsungites. -Nate Lanxon