The Samsung Muse will be most appreciated if it’s seen as an accessory to Samsung’s massively popular line of Galaxy phones, rather than a dedicated MP3 player. As a standalone device, it’s just too underfeatured and underpowered to be considered a true rival to the iPod Shuffle, SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip, or other more fully-realized players. Its compatibility issues with non-Galaxy devices and sometimes counterintuitive design don’t do it any favors either.
But as a $49 add-on to a Galaxy S III or Galaxy Note II, the Muse provides style, PC-free syncing, and, most importantly, great sound for any music aficionados who don’t want to lug around their smartphones (as ridiculous as that may sound) in sensitive areas like the weight room or the track.
It’s important to remember that Samsung is the biggest smartphone maker on the planet these days, so seeing it expand upon its ecosystem of devices should come as no surprise. The Muse probably won’t — and frankly, shouldn’t — be the biggest addition to its hardware lineup. But there is a sizable market of Galaxy owners out there, so perhaps this MP3 player will be given life by the smartphone revolution, rather than crushed by it completely.