"Either I’m getting older or things are getting smaller” was what my father used to say 20 years ago when I was growing up. Well this week, I found myself saying the same thing, and apart from having one of the those “Oh my God, I am turning into my father” moments the reason for the outcry was because the Q-BE MP3 player (originally called the MobiBlu DAH-1500 in the States) had come through the letterbox at Pocket-lint HQ.
The Q-BE is small. So small in fact that we’ve already thought we’ve lost it twice while it's been in our possession. Think super sized sugar cube and you’ll get the picture. The controls are spread over two faces while the screen takes up a third of this tiny cube.
The controls are virtually identical to Apple’s shuffle design; a d-pad with volume, fastforward, rewind and play/pause in the middle. The other controls feature a menu button and a hold button so you don’t accidentally set the thing off when it's in your pocket.
The OLED screen is easy to read, although at times a little overcrowded as it tries to give you all the information it can. Everything from file format, to name of the track, to the volume, to the time played to the number of tracks this is in relation to other tracks, to the battery life, to the equalizer setting, to the status of whether it's playing or not is all here on a screen that measures about 1cm squared.
In the minuscule shell is 512Mb or 1Gb of memory to store tracks on and tunes can be transferred to and from the player without the need for additional software. Transfer is quick and it’s a case of pluging in the rather ingenious 3.5mm phono to USB cable into the headphones jack to connect it to your computer.
Although our unit featured a FM radio which we could only get to work in central London - and then not without a fair share of hiss finished units won't perhaps suggesting that the company believed like us the performance wasn't up to scratch.
The Q-BE is a good simple MP3 player that will have your friends ‘ohh’ing and ‘arhh’ing about how small it actually is and what is even better, is that the sound quality is good too boot.
As for the size, its certainly impressive, that for what is basically an overlarge die, you can store around 120 songs on it.
However as my father also used to say “Sometimes small isn’t so helpful” and anyone who is prone to losing things or worst needs glasses to even read a newspaper - this isn’t one for you.