Samsung S2 Pebble

Tiny mp3 players come and go but the Samsung S2 Pebble is one stone you should turn over.

With all of the mp3 players on the market, one could liken the sort of product out there to a rock pool. Some are heavy and bulky like boulders while others are not too heavy and able to be held quite easily like rocks. Very few portable music players are small like a pebble, a rock that has a smooth surface and can easily be skimmed across water.

The Samsung S2 Pebble is just like that (though I wouldn’t suggest skimming it across water).

Based around the design of a small stone, the Samsung S2 Pebble is a hell of a lot more stone like than Creative’s Zen Stone, an mp3 player that resembles a stone only in name and not appearance. The Pebble is light, simple, and while the top looks like a smooth metallic pebble black sheep found in the middle of a Zen garden, the bottom is set with a small tactile button pad allowing you to pause, play, skip tracks, increase volume, and play with the Smart button found as the lip on the side of the circular controls. The Smart button lets you choose repeat, shuffle or playlist modes and even runs Samsung’s Digital Natural Sound engine which will make the music sound like it’s coming from a studio, a concert hall, or just your regular headphones the way it should.

But because the Pebble is smooth like an mp3 player and only had one input hole – the headphone jack – Samsung have come up with a nice & elegant way of solving the USB dilemma allowing for anyone to connect to it quite easily: a USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack combined. The combination works a treat and while the S2 Pebble comes with an installation disc, if you’ve got XP or Vista, you should just be able to move music over using Windows Media Player, Winamp, or through the hard drive mode as it is.

The S2’s main competition is obviously the iPod Shuffle, no doubt a thorn in the side of the Pebble because while the Pebble is one sexy and very curious piece of design, it’s not practical in the same way as the iPod Shuffle. Even the SanDisk Sansa Clip has the edge against the Pebble because what the S2 Pebble lacks is the ability to keep itself with you at all times short of strapping it to a lanyard and keeping it around your neck. If you’ve done that, it should be fine but it’s not as logical a device because at least with the iPod Shuffle and the Sansa Clip, you’re clipping the actual unit to your shirt, pants, or hat. With the Pebble, you’re forced to actually either wear it or pocket it, a stringy lanyard hanging on the side.

If you don’t opt for the wearable string to keep it with you, you’ll find that the Pebble gets lost very easily. While it’s certainly sexy, the only thing keeping it from being thrown away as an actual pebble is the glossy metallic paintjob and the controls underneath. Losing it altogether is likely to be even easier especially as it lacks the clip.

Still, with 2GB of space and up to 13 hours of playback, and the ability to play MP3, WMA, and even OGG files, people looking for a small mp3 player without the need to spend a lot of cash will love the Pebble.

Click to enlarge

Product: Samsung S2 Pebble

Vendor: Samsung

RRP: $59

Website: Samsung S2 Pebble