Remember Samsung’s Pebble MP3 player? In what is a surprising move to say the least, Samsung brought back the design and the name yesterday during its Galaxy S III smartphone announcement. The new S Pebble is classified as an accessory to the S III, and is essentially a 4GB screenless MP3 player that has the ability to sync directly with the S III as well as a computer. The controls are a mix between switches to control power and shuffle, and touch buttons on the front of the player (yeah, touch buttons…ugh). The tiny player is said to do 17 hours on a single charge, and sync via the 3.5mm port.
You may be asking why on Earth anyone would want such a device, or perhaps you’re already angry because Samsung has essentially taken a feature that exists on devices with USB host (assuming the MSC-enabled player you plug into it doesn’t try to charge off it) and made it a proprietary accessory. The idea of this device is that people who do activities where a 4.8-inch smartphone is unsuited – like running – can leave their phone at home and bring the S Pebble instead. There aren’t any features like pedometers or other sports related sensors in the thing though, it’s just an music player. With Samsung releasing a new Music Hub service with cloud syncing and iTunes Match-like functionality, it makes some sort of sense that they’re enabling the player to be synced directly from a phone that has all of this, instead of assuming that all music comes from a computer.
As long as they keep the price low I don’t see any problem with leaving this device unhated for now, but I fear that this is going to be another overpriced official accessory like all accessories Samsung and other first parties have ever released. If that’s the case, I have a feeling that I’m going to be struck with a sudden and uncontrollable need to bring my Galaxy S II, USB host cable, and Sansa Clip+ around with me and politely inform people that Samsung didn’t just invent the wheel.