Samsung Galaxy S Wi-Fi 4.2 review

The Samsung Galaxy S Wi-Fi 4.2 is an Android PMP with a 4.2-inch WVGA touchscreen

Reasons to buy
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    Fluid music player

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    Speedy processor

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    Android 2.3 OS

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No Super AMOLED display

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    Plastic form factor

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    Tinny speaker

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A PMP replication of Samsung's hughly successful Galaxy S2 handset, the Galaxy S Wi-Fi 4.2 pairs strong audio abilities with Google Android OS

Building on the company's increasingly popular Galaxy S branded range of smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S3, Samsung has taken its iPhone rivalling handset, pulled out the calling capabilities and brought the fight to Apple on an iPod challenging PMP front.

A strong device in its own right, the Galaxy S Wi-Fi combines a hearty collection of impressive hardware with the now largely familiar Android OS for a device that to the most effect is a replication of its smartphone siblings simply without the ability to send or receive text messages and calls.

Samsung Galaxy S Wi-Fi 4.2: Build

Taking more than a few styling tips from its smartphone featuring siblings, the Galaxy S Wi-Fi, as its name suggests, plays host to an expansive 4.2-inch display with the minimalist 8.9mm thick body lining up with the standard physical home button and touch sensitive Android controls.

Following the recent unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S3, the S2-esque styling of the Wi-Fi 4.2 causes the device to look slightly dated with the plastic construct and flimsy back panel offering little reassurance against unwanted but inevitable knocks, drops and scuffs.

Despite this less than reassuring choice of materials, the Samsung branded PMP boasts a comfortable fit in the hand and pocket with its slim line, rounded edged design both aesthetically pleasing and, thanks to its 118g weight, highly practical and portable.

Samsung Galaxy S Wi-Fi 4.2: Features

Far more than a simple music player, the Samsung Galaxy S Wi-Fi 4.2 is an all-round entertainment provider with video recording and playback capabilities, web browser and email clients, built-in cameras and an expansive app store keeping users occupied in all situations.

Fulfilling the seemingly insatiable consumer demand to have cameras adorning every device, the iPod rival's 2-megapixel rear-mounted camera and second, 0.3-megapixel VGA, forward-facing snapper are of an acceptable, albeit far from inspiring standard.

Easy to access and use thanks to the simplistic Android OS, images shot with the flash-less device feature muted colours that lack pop and sharp, defined edges.

Getting users into the action direct from the box, a hearty collection of pre-installed apps help bring the device to life with a selection of EA published mobile titles including Monopoly, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit and FIFA 12 lining up alongside the formidable Angry Birds to offer a highly entertaining introduction to the possibilities that lie ahead in the Google Play Store.

Samsung Galaxy S Wi-Fi 4.2: Screen

Whilst Samsung's Galaxy S handsets have become synonymous with high-end visually impressive Super AMOLED displays, the company's similarly styled PMP has opted for a somewhat less eye-popping WVGA TFT model with a reasonable but far from ground-breaking 480 x 800p resolution.

Although this display option is more than capable of providing acceptable and impressive visuals for app-based content and continued video playback, lacking the wow factor of its smartphone sibling, it is hard to overlook the available possibilities that the Wi-Fi 4.2 is missing.

Far more than an outlet to visual content, the media player's touchscreen display acts as the means of navigation with the TFT offering proving highly responsive, combining with the 1GHz single-core processor to ensure virtually no lag when swiping between menus and accessing applications.

Sadly, the omission of an ambient light sensor means the device lacks the ability to auto adjust its screen's brightness to better attune itself to the surrounding lighting.

Samsung Galaxy S Wi-Fi 4.2: Audio

The device does not disappoint on an audio front but once again fails to set the tech world alight with perfectly acceptable yet far from outstanding built-in stereo speakers lining up alongside a base mounted 3.5mm audio jack for headphone playback.

Whilst on the plus side the pair of speakers are well positioned so as not to be obscured or muffled when holding the gadget in the hand or laying the device down face-up on a surface, in terms of audio ability they fall short of expectation with output shallow, tinny and at higher volumes accompanied by an unwanted echo.

Boxed with a pair of reasonable, silicon-tipped in-ear headphones, the Galaxy S Wi-Fi provides a good quality music playback for individual listening with the buds enhancing the user experience via the inclusion of in-line volume controls and acting as an aerial for device's incorporated FM Radio functionality.

Samsung Galaxy S Wi-Fi 4.2: Battery

Although standalone MP3 players can be expected to host a longer battery life than the feature heavy Samsung Galaxy S Wi-Fi 4.2, the all-round entertainment and internet capable device, thanks in large to its size, packs a considerable life giver with the 1,500mAh battery keeping users entertained and filled with music throughout the day and comfortably into the next.

Samsung Galaxy S Wi-Fi 4.2: Verdict

Although a strong standalone device in its own right, the Samsung Galaxy S Wi-Fi 4.2 struggles to shake the overbearing shadow of its smartphone siblings that have given much guidance to the personal media player but taken many of the high-end components in the process.

Bolstered by its seamless Android operating system, the Galaxy S Wi-Fi does its job with relative style and grace yet fails to set itself apart from the likes of the market leading iPod Touch.

Furthermore, the device fails to offer users any reason to opt for it instead of saving pocket space and a not inconsiderable sum of money and simply utilise the music player features on their latest high-end smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy S Wi-Fi 4.2 availability: Available now

Samsung Galaxy S Wi-Fi 4.2 price: £179.99

Luke Johnson

Staff Writer on T3 Luke Johnson studied journalism at the Liverpool John Moores University and writes, news, opinion and interviews for the site. Topics of expertise include gaming, phones, photography, tablets and computing. Luke is a huge Apple fan, too, owning multiple Apple products and writing about iPhones and iPads frequently.