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Review: Uproar phone also good MP3 player

PC World

(IDG) -- A cellular phone that plays MP3 music files--now finally there's a convergence product that makes sense.

The $400 Uproar SPH-M100 from Samsung combines a stylish cell phone with a decent MP3 player. In some respects my shipping copy felt like the first-generation product it is, but I found plenty to like, too.

Start with the small-but-mighty, dual-band (analog and digital) flip phone. Slightly bigger than a large pack of gum, the Sprint PCS phone includes extras such as voice dialing, memo recording, Web browsing, and a PIM.

The keys are tiny, and the flip door is flimsy, but overall it's a good phone that would probably sell for about $250. INFOCENTER
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The real reason you'll want to get this itty-bitty cell phone, though, is the tunes, baby.

The phone's MP3 player has 64MB of built-in storage for about an hour of music compressed at 128 kbps. Aside from struggling with a too-short USB cable, I had little trouble transferring the music. I used the included MusicMatch software, but the company said the software could change by press time.

A large Play button starts the music, and small side controls handle volume. Navigating the tracks, however, requires using either the tiny keypad or a lame remote control that dangles from uncomfortable but decent-sounding ear-bud headphones; the headphones also include a microphone, so you can keep your hands phone-free.

The headset works well with the phone, but it's somewhat silly-looking, so I preferred to use my own standard headphones to listen to the music.

I enjoyed using the MP3 player, and I squeezed almost 11 hours of play from a single charge of the phone's standard lithium ion battery. The Uproar lacks some features, but the sound is quite good. I would expect to pay $200 or more for a comparable player.

If you need a new cell phone and want to add music to your life, the Uproar makes sense, even though it is a bit rough around the edges. At $400, it's cheaper than buying two devices, and besides, it's a whole lot easier to carry.

PRO: Lets you play MP3s on a cool-looking cell phone.

CON: Phone has a first-generation feel, with unexceptional headphones. Track navigation is tricky.

VALUE: This solid package costs less than buying individual devices.

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Samsung Electronics America, Inc.

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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