The Samsung Galaxy player is the Android equivalent of the iPod touch in that it offers a multimedia experience with all the bells and whistles without actually possessing a phone function. The Galaxy Player is slimmer, smaller and in most cases lighter than Android phones, again, much like the iPod touch compared to the iPhone. But is this where the similarities end? Or can Samsung translate the impressive stats into a true iPod competitor? Let’s see.
What you get
– Samsung Galaxy Player 50 with 1000 mAh battery
– In ear noise cancelling earbuds/spare set of cups
– Mini USB data/charging cable
– Quick start guide
– Warranty Info
– A voucher for 50 free tunes
The Galaxy Player 50 looks the part with its small frame and thin chrome surround, however it feels a little like Samsung media players of old, by this we mean it has a plastic and basic feel which certainly isn’t akin to the rest of the Galaxy family.
All of the input ports and some of the controls including the microphone, mini USB and 3.5mm jack are on the sides of the device making them easy to access. Sansung has sensibly placed the 3.5mm jack on the top so slipping the Galaxy Player in and out of pockets causes no issues at all, the sliding cover on the micro USB slot is another nice feature that keeps lint and pocket mulch out of the socket.
The square home button straddled by two soft touch buttons is housed below the 3.2 inch screen which is ergonomic and comfortable to use. Samsung has backlit these two soft touch buttons which prove to be handy when fumbling around in the dark.
The removable back cover has a central square cut out for the camera and three small slots in the bottom right for the internal speaker. When you take the cover off you will find the removable battery and a Micro SD slot.
So to summarize the design we’d say it’s small, compact but sadly lacks the luster of the other products in the Galaxy range. Samsung have opted for a design that whilst not feeling as solid as their Galaxy S Smartphone gets the job done on a budget.
Performance and battery life
The Galaxy Player isn’t built for multi-tasking despite what is says in the specs; it’s more comfortable doing one thing at a time which isn’t a great trait for a multimedia device. Despite this so long as it’s not overloaded with tasks it works pretty well and Samsung seem to have ironed out prior problems with crashing when installing or accessing apps.
Internet and keyboard
The only fault we could find with the web browsing experience was the lack of flash; admittedly this is down the Android 2.1 OS used as a basis for the Galaxy Player. So surfing the net is good but could be better (a bigger screen would also be an advantage here).
Text can be entered in a number of ways, a touch operated QWERTY, and old style 3×3 grid or handwritten. The best was undoubtedly the QWERTY when used in landscape as even with my small fingers portrait proved difficult.
The 3.2 inch screen is a bit on the small side for a PMP and offers up a disappointing 432×240 resolution, a far cry from the iPod’s retina display and it shows. For this reason we’d have to again compare the video on the Galaxy Player to an older model or cheap Smartphone – not good for a PMP.
On the positive side the Android software means a lot of different formats are supported for both video and music and because it’s Android you can just drag files from your pc or Mac without any need for over complicated syncing.
Another positive is the built in equalizer which lets you tweak sound to how you would like it. You can accurately adjust treble, bass, vocals, instruments and more and it all sounded great.
One thing that is annoying is that 2 GB of the 8 GB storage is taken up by software leaving only 6 GB for storage of media and apps; thankfully you can easily expand this with the Micro SD slot – problem solved and something that Apple doesn’t offer.
The in-ear headphones are pretty decent and are about on par with the ones Apple offers, so basically good for everyday use but you’d do well to bring a third party set for an improved sound (at the time we were reviewing the Dre Beats which are awesome).
Another disappointing feature is the 2 mega pixel camera (without flash) which shoots video at 15 frames per second, this might have been excusable a few years ago but we’d have to question Samsung’s thinking with these specs. The interface is better though allowing users to select from normal, panoramic, portrait and smile modes.
There is also a simple interface for editing photos on the move.
Here are some photos taken with the Galaxy Player 50:
As you might have guessed the Galaxy Player hasn’t managed to blow our socks off, probably because we hold the rest of the Galaxy range in such high regard. The Galaxy Player 50 should be seen as an entry level PMP. The RRP of £149.99 has already tumbled at many online stores settling at a more sensible £134.99 for the time being. This is £35 cheaper than the iPod 4G which goes some way to explain the specs and performance. Let’s hope Samsung has something more up its sleeve with the upcoming YP-GB1 Galaxy Player. We’ll be sure to keep you posted.
Get it from Amazon with free delivery.