Toybox: Touch MP3 player comes with fold-out speakers

Samsung players let you listen to radio at your desk

The engineers at Samsung have certainly not been resting on their laurels. The company keeps churning out MP3 players, which all look pretty similar but have very different features.

Toybox played with the T10 late last year, and now Samsung has sent over two other ones — the S5, which features stylish, fold-out speakers, and the P2, which has a 3-inch touch screen.

The P2 features a 3-inch, 428x240 pixel touch-screen display. There are no buttons on the front of the device, but a Power/Play/Pause button and Hold button on the left side and dedicated volume control buttons on the right. It’s got 8GB of flash, and supports MP3, WMA, JPEG, SVI and WMV. It also has Bluetooth support and a built-in FM radio receiver.

The device is 10mm thick, and battery life is reportedly up to over 30 hours for music.

I found watching videos on the P2 quite comfortable. For viewing photos, you can zoom in and out but not move the photo around with your finger. You can flick through the photos by sliding a finger across the screen, but this does not work as quickly and smoothly as on an iPhone or iPod Touch.

The P2 comes in a black coating, which is unfortunately very fingerprint-friendly, and retails for $379 (Update: the price has since been adjusted to $429).

I immediately liked the look if the S5 and its 1.5 watt fold-out speakers. The bottom half of the 15mm thick phone slides out to one side to reveal the speakers in the shape of a stylish dotted pattern. The speakers — while decent for their size — are not very loud, but they could be handy for listening to the radio at your desk, on the beach, wherever.

The S5 gets extra points for design; the device sits quite nicely on a desk or any flat surface with the speakers tilted upwards. The display and touch interface switches to horizontal mode when the speakers slide out.

Samsung promises 24 hours playtime using headphones, and five hours using the speakers.

The 2GB S5 has a 1.8-inch display, and I keep forgetting is not a touch-screen, jabbing at the screen with my grubby little finger. Instead it has touch interface below the screen — a four-way directional pad, a select button, a menu button and a back button.

When pressed and held, the back button will take you back to the main menu. The only other button on the little device is a power/hold button. The lack of dedicated volume control buttons on the S5 makes it a bit fiddly to adjust the volume.

The S5 is also equipped with an FM radio and Bluetooth. And it’s got another trick — when used together with a Bluetooth-enabled phone, it can be used as a speaker-phone.

The S5 comes in the same black coating. It retails for $299 including Bluetooth headphones.

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