If you thought the Samsung YH-925 was little more than a colour version of the Samsung YH-920, well, you were right. It's somewhat less, having lost key features such as an FM radio, a docking cradle and a wired remote. Plus, it's still stuck at 20GB -- Samsung has yet to offer a model with more storage. Sound quality and battery life haven't improved either. On the other hand, the YH-925 offers the best interface this side of the iPod, and it supports a wealth of audio formats, including secure WMA, Audible and Janus subscription services. It also lets you upload photos directly from compatible digital cameras -- not bad for a colour player that sells for as low as £179 from many online vendors.
Like its greyscale predecessor, the 770g Samsung YH-925 packs everything into a slim but slightly long case. Its 46mm (1.8-inch), 160x128-pixel screen looks bright and colourful -- perfect for viewing photos and navigating menus. The menus themselves remain a marvel of simplicity, as do the player's controls. Admittedly, the large four-way control pad lacks the panache of the iPod's scrollwheel, but it makes for extremely easy operation.
To make a voice recording, you just slide a switch on the side of the player and start talking, then flip the switch back when you're done. Regrettably, voice notes can be recorded only as 32Kbps stereo MP3 files, while line-in recordings -- which also encode directly to MP3 -- are limited to 160Kbps. Support for higher bit rates would be welcome, and so would the charging cradle that came with the YH-920. All that's left is the proprietary Y-cable that splits between USB and AC connections -- not ideal for travel.
The Samsung YH-925 accommodates Windows users like few other players. It supports not only MP3, WMA and DRM-protected WMA files but also Microsoft's PlaysForSure spec and Janus subscription services such as Napster To Go. The latter required a firmware update, but installation went quickly and smoothly.