The Galaxy Player is Samsung’s spanking new, Android-packing PMP, taking its cue from its bigger bros, the Galaxy S smartphone and the best-selling Galaxy Tab. It’s clearly got the Archos 32 in its sights, but how does it stack up against Apple’s iPod touch? And is a PMP really a viable, go-to gadget when so many phones, including Sammy’s own, can handle music just as well, if not better?
Where the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab both scream class, it’s clear from the off that the Galaxy Player is aimed at punters who like looking after their pennies. The white plastic design brings to mind Sammy’s older media players, hardly a ringing endorsement. But that’s not to say this is a device lacking the necessary smarts.
The music player is sleek, functional and easy to navigate, with well-crafted auto playlists, including most played, recently added and recently played, helping you get to the tracks you want in snappy fashion from the start up screen. Best of all, the bundled buds aren’t a total disgrace, giving the Galaxy Player a real edge on its Apple and Archos competitors. These in-ear efforts offer up reassuringly hefty bass and pick out detail admirably considering they come free in the box.
The screen, at 3.2 inches, is ample for video snacking and with the brightness cranked up to 11 churns out a slick image which is every bit as good as that found on comparable smartphones. That said, it can’t match the iPod touch’s Retina Display and if you’re after a PMP for extended video sessions, you might want something with a more capacious panel.
Samsung Galaxy Player 50: Android
Android appears here in its 2.1 incarnation, now gazumped twice over. This would be cause for concern on a mobile, but is somewhat forgivable on a media player. Unlike the Archos 32, the Android Market is here in all its glory, which means you can load up the on-board 8GB storage with add-ons galore, leaving the expandable SD slot to handle your tunes and vids. Apps already preloaded include the ace Google Latitude and Google Places, taking advantage of the surprisingly snappy AGPS inside. But the inclusion of Google Maps Navigation is what really sets the Galaxy Player apart. This free, peerless software alone makes it a worthy iPod touch battler.
The two megapixel camera is a bit of a blow out though and without a flash, it’s hardly worth the hassle. There are plenty of scene modes and adjustments, including panorama and smile shot, but snaps are at best grainy. The sharing options are plentiful, with easy Gmail and Picasa uploading, but swift social network-friendly snaps are all you’ll get from this camera.
In all though, the Galaxy Player is a decent PMP.
Lengthy battery life (ours kept kicking for four days while we gave it an assorted barrage of music, film, email and web tasks) and Android’s natty interface make it a decent bet, although £50 can get you an iPod Touch. But with smartphones ruling the roost, the question remains as to whether a PMP really is a decent investment in 2011? Especially now we've seen the Samsung Galaxy Player, with it's superior screen and UI is on the way.