updated 10:25 am EDT, Thu July 17, 2008
Creative ZEN Krystal Slips
Creative is trying its hand again at competing with the iPod shuffle through a new and sleeker player, according to an unofficial release from its own website. The ZEN Krystal appears a successor to the earlier ZEN Stone Plus but is designed from the start to be used with its OLED screen with an upright design rather than the side layout of the pebble-shaped ancestor. It also targets the exercise market with a built-in pedometer that not only tracks jogging but comes with several games that tie into the pedometer's sensitivity to movement.
While no clip is built in as with its Apple counterpart, the Krystal comes bundled with a wrist strap to wear the device during a run, Creative adds.
The new ZEN is limited to MP3 or WMA audio but is designed to work as a drag-and-drop device that allows transferring music without requiring special software; an integrated FM radio provides extra music and can store as many as 32 preset stations for avid listeners. Krystal's size gives a battery life of about 10 hours.
Just a single black version with 4GB of flash storage is expected for the initial launch. Without an official release date, no pricing or launch information is available, though most Creative players first debut in Singapore and quickly launch in the US. [via ABI]