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Samsung Galaxy Player 50 review

Can Samsung and Android combine to best the iPod touch?

Our Verdict

An abject failure. A potentially good player is hidden behind some of the worst software issues we've ever seen.

For

  • Good build quality
  • Decent price for the specs

Against

  • Operating system doesn't work
  • Android Market doesn't work
  • Forgets your info if you turn it off

With the Samsung Galaxy Player 50, we seem to finally be seeing a household name come out with major competition to the iPod touch. Now that the Galaxy brand is strong, the time seems right for this Android media player.

Samsung's plan seems simple enough: forget the over-engineering and compete on extra features and price. It's a familiar Android tune, and one that's worked pretty damn well in the smartphone market.

What we have is a touchscreen PMP with Android 2.1, Wi-Fi, micro-USB connectivity, a two-megapixel camera and a built-in microphone. It beats the iPod touch in a couple of key areas, with a built-in GPS chip, removable battery, FM radio and a microSD card slot for adding up to 32GB of additional memory.

There's already 8GB of on-board memory, so all that looks pretty good for £149 – £40 less than the 8GB iPod Touch. There's also a 16GB version for £179.

All of that sounds enticing, but there are a few caveats. The 3.2-inch screen is slightly smaller than the iPod's 3.5 inches, which isn't that big a deal in itself, but the resolution is only 240 x 400 pixels.

Samsung galaxy player

While we weren't expecting Samsung to match the glorious 480 x 960 of Apple's Retina display, we were hoping for something more like the 480 x 800 four-inch screen on the Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Omnia 7 or Google Nexus S.

One other thing those handsets have in common? They're all AMOLED. This isn't.

The screen on the Galaxy Player really looks low-res, too. It's pixelated and text can appear unclear.

The other advantages the iPod has is its front-facing camera and the ability to record video in HD. Spec for spec, are these worth the £30 more that Apple's charging? We'd say yes, primarily for the Retina display, but the microSD expansion and GPS chip mean we'd probably call it even on value for money based purely on the specs.

Samsung galaxy player

The Galaxy Player is plastic, and feels light and a little cheap. However, that's not to say it's low quality. It's feels solid in the hand, and the lightly bumped battery cover adds some grip to it.

Samsung galaxy player

At 54 x 11 x 105.5mm, it's a fair bit thicker than the iPod Touch, but is smaller in the other two dimensions. At just 84g, the Galaxy Player trounces the iPod when it comes to weight, with the latter coming in 101g.

Samsung galaxy player

On the front of the player, underneath the multi-touch screen, are three buttons: Menu, Home and Back. The Home is a physical button, while the others are touch sensitive.

Samsung galaxy player

On the device's right side is a lock/on/off key and the microphone, while volume controls are on the left. On the top is the 3.5mm headphone socket and the micro-USB port, which has a little slide-over cover that actually feels pretty solid and reliable.

Samsung galaxy player

The removable battery is 1000mAh, which is much smaller than what you'd get on a smartphone. This isn't so much of a problem as there's no cellular radio constantly going here (unless you let the GPS run all the time), so battery life is actually pretty acceptable. Not really any better than its competitors, but not bad by any means.

Tech Specs

Product TypeFlash Portable Media Player
Flash Memory Capacity16 GB
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Product FunctionsAudio Player, Photo Viewer, Video Player, Camera, FM Tuner, Voice Recorder
Maximum Audio Battery Time1 Day
Maximum Video Battery Time5 Hour
Product FamilyGalaxy
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD Card
ColourWhite
Brand NameSamsung
Image FormatsJPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG
Audio FormatsMP3, WMA, OGG, FLAC, AAC, WAV
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Video FormatsDivX, XviD, AVI, MPEG-4, 3GP, WMV, ASF
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
USBYes
HeadphoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Height105.5 mm
Width54.2 mm
Depth11.1 mm
Colour SupportColour
Effective Resolution2 Megapixel
ManufacturerSamsung
Product Model50
Product NameGalaxy Player 50 16GB Flash Portable Media Player
Product LineGalaxy
Manufacturer Part NumberSAMGAL16G
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

Samsung's Galaxy Player 50 is the first multimedia player to make the jump to the Android operating system. Straight away you will notice how it simply outshines your previous MP3 experiences. New features such as Drag & Play for your music, Gmail Service, Google Maps for Android and the new Lifestyle Apps will transform your day. And with everything you need, from your favorite multimedia to must-have internet applications like the Android Market, life will take on amazing new levels of entertainment and communications. Add to this an unbelievable SoundAlive audio experience, and the Galaxy Player 50 is ready to blow your mind.

Platform SupportedPC
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Galaxy Player 50 16GB Flash Portable Media Player
  • Earphones
  • USB Cable
  • Charger
  • Battery
  • Quick Guide
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesRadio, Speaker, Microphone
Weight (Approximate)84 g