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Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 review

A capable media player saddled by aging Android software that may have trouble justifying its price

Our Verdict

While there's nothing inherently wrong with the Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 and the concept of a cellular (and contract) free Android device is admirable, it's doomed to be a niche product aimed at entertaining kids whose parents are already fans of Google's mobile ecosystem.

For

  • Front stereo speakers
  • Kies Air app
  • Larger display than iPod touch
  • Contract-free Android device

Against

  • Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread
  • Price matches Nexus 7 tablet
  • Poor camera quality
  • No Hulu Plus or Chrome support

Weight and girth aren't the only areas where Apple has Samsung beat: With an LCD WVGA screen at 800 x 480 pixels, the Galaxy Player is no match for the iPod touch and its 960 x 640 Retina Display. However, Samsung gets the nod when it comes to display size, with 4.2 inches of screen real estate compared to 3.5 inches of its rival.

That's not to say that the Galaxy Player 4.2 has a bad display. Pixel density enthusiasts may scoff at the lack of detail when viewed up close, but for the majority of users, the screen is plenty bright, colorful and pixel rich.

Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2

In keeping with the current trend of Android devices without physical keyboards, the Galaxy Player is entirely a multi-touch affair. Unfortunately, users are stuck with Android 2.3.6: Gingerbread here, enhanced by Samsung's TouchWiz UI.

Given that this particular Galaxy Player model only just came to the U.S. within the last few months, it's a bit of a head scratcher as to why Samsung didn't go with Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich. With the carriers out of the way, there's just no excuse for this.

Criticisms aside, Samsung makes the most of what they do have, and the Galaxy Player 4.2 is as faithful and complete an Android device as Gingerbread allows, complete with a TouchWiz soft keyboard that rivals the one Google baked into Android 4.0.

Internet and connectivity

The Galaxy Player 4.2 may be merely a Galaxy S II gutted of its cellular radios, but users won't have to go far to get connected. The media player features Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n wireless, and we had no problems getting connected even via the Mobile Hotspot feature on our iPhone 4S and new iPad.

A pair of decent earbuds are included, but we found them lacking in bass and midrange. Thankfully the Galaxy Player 4.2 also features Bluetooth 3.0, so the media player is willing and able to wirelessly connect to most any accessory you can imagine, including wireless headsets.

Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2

That also includes DLNA compliant devices, which can use the preinstalled AllShare app to beam videos, photos and music without wires. The app picked up the signal from other media devices in our office and allowed us to play content to a DLNA-connected HDTV.

Unfortunately, as is usually the case with these apps, the results were less than stellar. Those expecting a fluid experience like Apple's AirPlay are likely to be disappointed, but for occasional use it works just fine.

Tech Specs

Product TypeFlash Portable Media Player
Flash Memory Capacity8 GB
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Product FunctionsAudio Player, Video Player, Photo Viewer, FM Tuner, Camera, Voice Recorder
Maximum Audio Battery Time3 Day
Maximum Video Battery Time8 Hour
Product FamilyGalaxy
Music Service CompatibilityYouTube
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD Card
ColourBlack
Brand NameSamsung
Image FormatsJPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG
Audio FormatsMP3, WMA, OGG, FLAC, AAC, WAV
Screen Size10.7 cm (4.2")
Video FormatsAVI, MP4, 3GP, WMV, ASF, MKV, FLV
Display Resolution384000 Pixel
Display Screen TypeColour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
HeadphoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Height124.2 mm
Width66 mm
Depth8.9 mm
Operating SystemAndroid 2.3.5 Gingerbread
Colour SupportColour
Effective Resolution2 Megapixel
FeaturesGlobal Positioning System (GPS), Calendar
ManufacturerSamsung
Product ModelYP-GI1C/NA
Product NameNew Galaxy Player 4.2
Product LineGalaxy
Manufacturer Part NumberYP-GI1CB/XAA
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

On the Go Music

Get instant access to your music with WiFi, without any monthly service fees. The Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 gives you a choice among the top music apps, and the tuner radio function turns your player into a fully functioning FM radio. Use the music shortcut bar to easily play or pause your music on the go.

Connect with the Power of the Android Platform

Explore all of the content you could ever want. Fast. The Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 features Android's GingerBread OS, and a blazing fast 1GHZ processor, bringing you great performance and speed for multimedia and browsing Adobe Flash Player compatible websites. Fully integrated with services such as Google Maps and YouTube, you can search, view and easily download any of the over 450,000 apps available in Google Play.

Platform SupportedPC
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker
Weight (Approximate)113.4 g