Samsung's iPod botherer

The video iPod hasn't had to wait long for its first serious challenger to emerge – the new Samsung YH-J70 has just requested a title challenge, and i

The video iPod hasn't had to wait long for its first serious challenger to emerge – the new Samsung YH-J70 has just requested a title challenge, and it should be a close fight.

Like Apple's flagship 'Pod, the YH-J70 is a multimedia warehouse for your MP3s, MP4 videos and JPEG photos (unlike Apple's player, it also brings WMA and Oggs to the party). The rather smart black 20GB version is available now for £220, while a white 30GB version is due out in November for an unconfirmed price.

Samsung's principal weapon is a claimed 5 and a half hours video playback - audio will last you 25 hours - which means it should last over twice as long as the iPod, which only manages 2 hours of video juice.

It's also an attractive bit of design, and lets you play games such as Tetris while you listen to music. There's an FM tuner, too.

On the down side, the screen is only 1.8in compared to the iPod's 2.5in effort, which effectively rules out any extensive viewing, and the presence of a rocker switch suggests it may lack the intuitiveness of the virtually perfect Apple interface.

Real video aficionados will want to check out the chunkier and more expensive Archos AV500 or 20 GB Gmini 402, but the YH-J70 still looks like it could battle it out with the iPod for the attentions of anyone looking for intermittent video-watching on a pocketable, sleek multimedia device.

We'll give you our verdict once we gets our hands on one.

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