The budget end of the MP3 player market has become more crowded than a Tube platform at rush hour in recent years. Not content to leave Archos, Apple and co to it, Samsung has rocked up with the Tic Toc, a screen-free music player that’s billed by the Korean tech titan as being, “…for young women who want the latest fashion gadgets.”
Whether the “Hello Kitty” model we reviewed counts as being fashionable is questionable. Tacky paint jobs and garish colours should not be a byword for marketing MP3 players to women. A gadget should stand and fall on its usability and build, everything else is irrelevant, although the early teen users this is aimed at will probably love it.
Fortunately for Samsung, the Tic Toc is actually a pretty handy little MP3 player. Chunkier and more rounded than the iPod Shuffle and Archos Clipper, it’s nonetheless a smart piece of kit. The egg cup-shaped dock is neat and means the Tic Toc doesn’t simply hang out of the side of your PC in unsightly fashion.
It’s also loaded with a set of great playback functions. By shaking the Tic Toc three times, you can skip through different modes to match your mood. There’s normal, which plays back tunes in order, shuffle and then fast and slow modes. The latter pair are the Tic Toc’s real calling card. Shaking it to fast was great when we took it out for a workout and kept us pushing on as we started to flag.
The headphones are surprisingly sharp for an MP3 player which comes in at around £30. Sound is relatively rich and offers decent detail, especially when compared to those bundled with the Tic Toc’s Apple and Archos competitors. The 4GB of storage is more than ample and seeing as it costs about £10 less than the 2GB iPod Shuffle, it’s not a bad option for those after an MP3 player to take down the gym.
While MP3, WMA, AAC, Ogg and FLAC are all supported, although Ogg and FLAC lovers will want a more capacious effort than this. The PC software isn't very good though but you get Mac support.
For the young female market the TicToc is clearly aimed at it works well, but otherwise if you’re in the market for a cheap MP3 player, Archos and Apple offer better alternatives.
Samsung Tic launch date: Out now, link Samsung
Samsung TicTock price: £30-£55 online