Samsung P3 Review

samsung p3 rmain Samsung P3 Review

Samsung’s last blockbuster was the P2. It was a hot topic in our forum and a player that we put on our Top 5 Players of 2008 list. With that, you can imagine the P3 is a highly anticipated device for current P2 fans and possibly some other-brand owners looking to trade up to a very solid feature set.

For many of the P2 owners, the question is whether the changes made to the P3 make it worth upgrading. The P3 is a substantial improvement on features, build quality, UI, touch, and video playback and is very worthy of the incremental name. I might even call it a “P3.2”

  • Quick Look
  • Dimensions: 4.0 x 2.1 x 0.4 in.
  • Weight: 3.4 ounces /li>
  • Colors: Black, Silver
  • Capacities: 8G, 16GB, 32GB
  • MSRP: $150. $200, $300
  • Display: 3″ 480×272 LCD 16.7m colors, Touch Capacitive, Haptic
  • Audio: MP3, WMA, Ogg, FLAC, AAC, WAV, ASF
  • Video: WMV9, MPEG4 (AVI, SVI, XviD, DivX), H.264 (.MP4)
  • Photo: JPEG, BMP, PNG
  • Other: TXT
  • Transfer Protocol: MSC/MTP User Selectable for US fimware MSC only on Korean firmware
  • Audio: 5-band EQ, DNSe 3.0
  • Battery: 40h Audio, 6h Video
  • Other: Flash, Utilities, Games, Bluetooth (voice, phone dialing/answering, vCard transfer), FM, Voice Recording, Built-in speaker

Firmware

I wanted to kick this review off with some discussion about the firmware since in the past Samsung has made substantial improvements on the P2 throughout its lifespan. These firmwares were always stable, each of them breathing new life into the device by adding some pretty big features along the way. This is what is happening with the P3. Early “1.0” versions of the firmware were stable, but with the recent “2.0,” touch responsiveness has been improved, features have been added, with one of the killer features being native XviD/DivX support up to 800x600px.

Keep in mind that this review is based off of firmware version 2.10 KR. Some things are likely to change over the year, but they will be very welcome and for the better. Even in the latest update from 2.07 to 2.10 was a huge improvement in touch responsiveness. For the latest updates and various firmware hacks, stop by the P3 Firmware Forum.

In the box / Accessories

As most players these days, the bare basics are in the box: the player, USB cable (proprietary Samsung), earbuds, and software disc. Since the P3 is using the same connector as the other Samsung players, most of the fancier, less-known docks and speaker docks will work. There are also plenty of cases in whatever type of material you prefer: silicon, plastic, or leather. P3 Accessories Forum.

Design / Build Quality

The size of the P3 is nearly identical to the P2, with just an extra millimeter or two on the long dimension. While they may be similar in shape and volume, the P3’s design and build is a huge improvement over the P2. However, like its predecessor, the P3 is housed in an aluminum backing with a plastic face, but I will note that black plastic material they used on the face of the player blends extremely well with the aluminum back. For the first month I owned it, I thought it was all metal housing until I did more detailed material tests.

One of the issues with the P2 was that this metal back was painted and often times scratched. The metal backing on the P3 is painted too, but they solved the scratching problem by adding a brushed aluminum veneer so finger prints and scratches are no longer an issue. This is one of the many examples where Samsung clearly learns from its experience.

Sandwiched in between the front and the back half is a real chrome (not the typical plastic) piece that wraps around the top buttons and acts as a stable base for the dock connector, headphone jack, and Mic/Reset hole. On the top you will find the on/off/hold button, volume up/down, and speaker.

Of course the most important part of a touch based player is the build quality of the screen. Unlike a hard plastic used on the P2, the screen on the P3 is glass. You might find yourself wiping fingerprints from it, but you won’t scratch your screen. If you’re still worried that you might by some dumb chance scratch the glass, it is further protected by being slightly recessed into the housing.

It’s this screen that makes the touch experience better than the P2 . With the P2 it almost felt as if you could “press though” the screen- as if it wasn’t solid enough. The P3’s is a solid surface and has no give to it, lending to a better overall experience.

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Screen

The 3” 480×272 pixel 16.7m color LCD has the same specifications as the P2’s and very well may be the exact same one. As far as a device goes, there is little to improve here: colors are accurate, the screen is bright, and clarity is very good. Now this may be as top-notch as far as LCDs go, but there are still other screens that are faster and have better contrast rations, such as the AMOLED screen on the Cowon S9. While the difference between the two is very apparent when placed side by side,the quality difference is not big enough to be a deal breaker. For instance, I have been carrying both the P3 and the S9 for the last few months and I never thought “I wish I was watching this video on the AMOLED screen of the S9 instead of the P3”.

User Interface

With all players I spend a great deal obsessing over the user interfaces, and with Samsung players they have always been well thought out. There are almost always minor details in the UIs where I would recommend improvements, but the general flow of UI is well designed. The P3 is no exception and builds upon what Samsung has learned on the P2. P2 users will feel at home but will be pleasantly surprised by lots of little additions and refinements. For example: addition of a quick
menu at the top of the now playing screen, bigger touch area for menu buttons, better use of the now playing screen by using a popup menu, and one of my favorites- a touch area below the screen for additional shortcuts.

Here one of the default included videos demoing all the various aspects of the P3′s UI. The second video shows the real world preformance of the touch screen and UI.

Home Screen: The entire home screen is also redone with a basic grid style layout with extended “panels” which can be accessed by sweeping across the screen horizontally. The locations of these icons are customizable and can be moved to any panel. These additional panels are useful for other Samsung brewed or flash applications (more on that later).

Widgets: These panels are also useful for widgets, such as a calendar, clock, time zones, mini slideshow, and one of my favorites – the “sleep cat” which is a sleep timer. While the usefulness may vary by individual, I wouldn’t dismiss these as useless gimmicks since they give you quick access to features or display your content. For instance, there is a light bulb widget that gives you one-press brightness control, or the “sleep cat” which activates the sleep timer with one or a few presses, depending on how long you want the timer to last. There are widgets, too, for those who find comfort in uselessness. There is the gingerbread man who urges you to touch him, yet crumbles into destruction when you do, a cup of coffee with heart shaped foam can be disturbed with your finger, or your touch can cause a butterfly to leave a flower. There are only a handful of widgets at the moment, but I imagine that Samsung may add more with future updates.

UCI: User Created Interfaces are popular among the Korean manufactures as seen in iriver, Samsung, and Cowon. These will allow you to change the look and even the feel of the UI by downloading UCIs though our P3 forums and Samsung’s official Emodio.com site dedicated to their players. I personally haven’t found too many I like yet, but the availability of other will grow as the P3 becomes more widespread in the US. You can roll your own UCIs, but it is a bit more advanced than changing your background image. Download the latest UCIs in the P3 Theme forum.

Touch Screen

The P2’s touch screen worked well for the most part, but it was a bit sluggish and did suffer from many mis-presses. The P3, on the other hand, has a vastly different experience and is a big improvement over the P2. Touch gestures and presses are now accurate and on par with any touch-based gadgets as the S9 or the Touch. Though one thing to note is that it doesn’t “feel” as smooth, not due to the touch screen itself, but to the lack of frames in the animations; it can be visually choppy in comparison. Related to this, it also lacks kinetics. For instance, when flipping though a list it doesn’t feel “analogue” and doesn’t have momentum. Flicking a list on the P3 will simply do a “page down” or “page up”. In the latest 2.10 fimware update this behavior has become more kinetic and responsive, but it doesn’t quite redraw fast enough and still appears a little choppy on larger redraws such as on the main screen. I imaging that this will be improved over the next few firmware updates.

Haptics: One of the touting features of the P3 is vibrating feedback or haptics. What haptics aim to do is give button or touch feedback, letting you know a button has been pressed. This is a relatively new thing to gadgets and is cropping up on devices’ touch buttons, hoping to bridge that gap between tactile and touch. I believe iriver was the first one to use haptics on the SPINN, and now Samsung has stepped in with P3.

Haptics on the P3 is ok, but it is not convincing as it should be. The goal of haptics it to trick you into thinking you pressed a tactile button; it should be targeted and immediate. The P3 isn’t really either of those; it definitely needs to be better tuned, though it could be a limitation of the hardware. Now don’t get me wrong, it does not detract from the player. It does still give good tactile feedback. Just don’t get your hopes up for a fantastic implementation of haptics, its very “Haptics 1.0”.

Transferring Media / Software

The P3 shipped in the US will likely be an MTP device, but just like the P2 you can load the KR version of the firmware to make it MSC. For most the difference is irrelevant, especially those running Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. If you are running Mac OSX or some flavors of Linux, then you might want to switch to MSC.

The player can be filled with dragging and dropping content into the relevant folder, or you can use any popular media player to sync, such as Windows Media Player or Media Monkey or Winamp. If you are looking for a subscription service, Rhapsody and Napster are compatible.

Emodio

Emodio is the software that comes with the P3. In addition to its being a typical media player, it also handles extended functions like Datacasts, auto firmware updates, text to speech, and simple UCI downloading. If you are not going to use Datacasts or text to speech, don’t install Emodio. It’s a horrible piece of software- sluggish, buggy, and a terrible UI. Some of the above features like firmware updates and UCI installation can be done without the software by downloading from Emodio.com or our P3 forums. More on the Emodio specific features will be discussed below.

Battery

The P3 is rated at 6 hours for video and and 40 hours for audio. I loosely tested audio battery life at more than 32 hours for typical use. Battery life for video seemed to vary quite a bit depending on the codec used, so I did a mixed test playlist of WMV, H.264, and DivX. A few tests averaged around 4.5 hours of just video. Short of specified but it’s enough to entertain you for a PHL to SEA flight.

Features

Datacasts

Datacasts on the P3 are basically RSS feeds imported to the player. This is a great idea in theory, but the unfortunate part of this is you need to use the Emodio software in order to import RSS texts and attachments (video or audio podcasts). It does work fine and you can have it set up to import all your favorite RSS news and podcasts – though there is a serious learning curve to the Emodio software. Datacasts on the P3 have remained relatively unchanged since the P2.

Text / Text to Speech

Reading text on the P3 is comfortable experience. The high resolution screen makes text clear and easy to read. Font sizes can be adjusted, bookmarks can be added, background / font colors can be changed, and changing pages is as easy as a simple swipe of the screen. All the features of a text reader that you need are there, along with the addition of a text to speech reader. This is an extra free download that plugs into the E
modio software, converting the text to speech and loading it onto the player. This is strictly software based and must be done from the desktop software. It’s a neat little feature, but personally I don’t care for weird robot like voices misreading stuff back to me.

Pictures

The photo viewer on the P3 is what you would find on any player these days. It’s a simple file folder browser with thumbnails and a slide show. Photos can be rotated or zoomed in on. One cool feature is you can choose “Set as Boot Image” which shows the photo instead of the Samsung animation.

Voice Recorder

The voice recorder is what you would expect: great to use for quick voice notes. You might be able to get away with recording lectures, but may have some volume issues. Voice notes are recorded in 128kbps MP3 files.

Radio

I found the radio reception to be very good, with the auto-program feature picking up only the clear stations. The radio interface is well done with a simple and easy to use layout. Changing the station is as easy as pressing one of the six on-screen buttons. You can flip to another set of six buttons by tapping the arrows to the side. There are a five different sets, for a total 30 presets altogether.

Flash / Games / Apps

There are a few applications and games available on the P3. Some of these are developed specifically for the P3 and are packed with the firmware. These applications are the Subway Maps, Sketchbook, Dictionary, calculator, and games. These applications are either “built in” or can be added by dropping new applications in the “My Pack” folder. There is not SDK out there that I’m aware of, and it’s unlikely Samsung will make a developer kit available, so you will have to wait for Samsung to add more of these applications.

However, the P3 supports Flash so many Flash games and applications already available can be added by dropping them into the appropriate folder. Many of the applications for the Cowon S9 and most of the iriver touch screen players work well on the P3

I don’t want to get too far into each application since the usefulness of each may vary by person. I can say, though, that they are stable applications with no found bugs so far.

Check out the Flash Games & Applications Forum for more details.

Bluetooth

The P3 outshines all other players when it comes to Bluetooth by extending these features beyond the basic AD2P wireless audio. While it still does a great job at pairing with wireless headphones with audio controls, it pairs nicely with many Bluetooth mobile phones. For instance, your phone can remain in your pocket, backpack, or purse while you answer your phone with the P3. When a call comes in, the P3 will display the caller on screen and pause the music. You can either decline or answer using the headphones and the built in microphone as your headset. There is no way to integrate your address book yet, but you can make phone calls from the P3 by dialing the number directly on the touch screen.

One of Samsung’s last players, the S5, did a really good job at being a Bluetooth speaker phone because of its large and clear built-in speakers. The P3 on the other hand, will not work as well due to its lower volume and clarity of its speaker. I was able to have a conversation over the P3’s speaker and mic, but it was rather frustrating repeating every other sentence, but having headphones in and speaking thought the mic works great.

Music

Music playback is very similar to the P2, but with a lot of little navigation and GUI improvements refreshing the overall music experience. It’s not dissimilar to other players, since it’s the basic layout (Now Playing/Artist/Albums/Songs/Genres/Playlists/Recorded Files) ID3 browsing screen for the main music menu. If you want to browse by folder they’re at the bottom of this main screen below “Recorded Files” is “Music Browser” menu item.

Most of these are basic lists of media, but the Albums section has three different views: list of 8 items and tiny album art, list of 4 with medium album art, and the album art “stack” similar to the P2.

Playlists / Bookmarks

Unfortunately there are not bookmarks for audio, but Samung does allow you to make up to five playlists on the go, more than most players in terms of on-the-go playlists. Playlists cannot be renamed and appear on the device as “playlist 1”, “playlist 2”, etc. Of course you can put as many playlists on the device which can be made on your desktop computer using any number of desktop media players.

Sound Quality

For the vast majority the sound quality will do more than please. Compared to the P2 its an overall improvement in clarity and overall flatness of the spectrum. Being overly critical I find that its missing a bit or warmth and tends to have a sound stage that’s a little more narrow than the Cowon S9 and Sansa Clip. However, Samsung’s in house sound shaping technology, DNSe 3.0, makes it a little more interesting.

I’m typically not a huge fan of sound enhancing technologies; my complaints being that these enhancements sound too synthetic. The only one I have found to be acceptable is BBE (used in professional studios and typically found on all Cowon players). The third revision of DNSe is a different story. I still don’t find DNSe to be as good as BBE, but in this latest version it is much more natural. For instance there is a “clarity” tweak which opens up that slightly lacking sound stage without the synthetic haze and the equivalent of BBE “MachBass” can bring back some of that low end warmth. In addition there is a 7 band EQ for further sound tweaking.

Video

Video is one of the P3’s strengths, sighting the fact that it will playback most video formats you throw at It such as the popular three: DivX/XviD, WMV, and H.264/MP4 codecs. Testing these three codecs with 640×380 versions of the same video showed no difference in quality – all played back flawlessly. Even though 800×600 pixel video conversions are unlikely, the P3 will play files up to that resolution.

Mosaic Search: One of the really cool features in the video section is the “Mosaic Search” option. This will create a screen full of thumbnail screenshots to jump directly to a section in the video. This doesn’t do any kind of smart scene selection, but it simply splits up the video thumbs in equal parts. You can select the mosaic to be broken up 16, 32, or 64 thumbs. Additionally there is a progress bar at the top you can press to jump to any part of the video if you prefer that method. The progress bar is instant, whereas the Mosaic Search may take a few seconds for the thumbs to show.

Playback Speed: Another great feature is the ability to change the playback speed of the video from -5 to +5. It will also pitch-adjust the video so voices don’t sound like chipmunks. This works pretty well for the first few increments +/-2, maybe +/-3, but 4 and 5 starts to become a bit squeaky/choppy with some video. Screen shot, circular control.

VibeWoofer: With this option the player will vibrate to the video’s lower frequencies. Personally I found this to be more of a gimmick that was cool at first, but wears off after you use it once or twice. I didn’t do any battery tests with it on versus off, but there will likely be an hour or two less with this on.

Bookmarks: For the long movies, or to save your place in any video, the bookmark feature is located in the under the video options with the rest of these features. Simply tap once and you are bookmarked.

Conclusion

Considering the overall user experience it really feels like Samsung put in a genuine conscious effort into listening to user feedback and improving their product. The P3 is a genuine update to the P2 improving on almost every aspect, video playback, build quality, sound quality, UI responsiven
ess, intuitiveness, and so on. There might be some fluff and candy in the form of silly widgets, but can easily be tucked away if you want to rock your P3 with a straight face. To sum it up in a few words, the P3 can be described as very well rounded and an overall fun mp3 player.

Purchase

You can pick this up on Amazon for usually the best price, free shipping, and no taxes (It will be available in May for the US). If you are in the UK, you can find the P3 at Amazon.UK as well.

74 Comments

GoblinKing on April 15, 2009 8:46 PM

Good Device

Dunks N Jordans on April 15, 2009 9:02 PM

This is a good player but so is the Cowon s9. As you can tell, im having problems chosing which one to choose. Any suggestions?

panzerfan on April 15, 2009 9:21 PM

we have talked about it much in the forums. Basically, P3′s stronger suit against the S9 lies in the Bluetooth connectivity, improved metal construction and haptic vibration whereas S9 has the Cowon audio quality, the AMOLED and battery life going for it. Availability wise, Samsung is much more accessible than Cowon worldwide. I think you can’t go wrong choose any one of the two.

Vlad on April 15, 2009 9:26 PM

Which audio codecs does the P3 support?

Odum on April 15, 2009 9:32 PM

I’m just hoping that this one works for me… I have very bad luck with mp3 players. I’m 17, and have had 8 players in two years… yeah it’s bad hahaha! I’ve had two Samsung P2s, one of which is my current player, and both of them are succumbing to the dreaded headphone issue that seems to plague the P2s. It seems that I try two devices from each company before moving on to another one, so I may try my luck with this one… it looks good, I just hope it lasts more than a year with me :P

electron on April 15, 2009 9:55 PM

nice player. very nice review. thanks man :)

Joe on April 16, 2009 12:49 AM

I guess this supports H.264, but does it support the HP level of H.264? If not, no big deal. Having that even at the SP level is good enough for a small player.I know the old version did vorbis, does this do it as well? Does it play ogm or mkv files, or what audio can you pair with h.264 video?

yuki on April 16, 2009 12:54 AM

sweet hd video of the gui ^^ , keep those up !

Sammy Wiki on April 16, 2009 5:23 AM

As a Sammy fan in need of a new MP3 played I am very interested in this! Thanks for the review. Nothing showing on Amazon (UK) atm, any news of a release date?

infernus on April 16, 2009 10:58 AM

If it’s like the P2, depending on the phone, you might be able to send the vCard contact info over via Bluetooth (my Sony Ericsson allows this).

MMerengue on April 16, 2009 12:41 PM

Grahm, this page says that the P3 and P2 have identical screen specs. However, according to the P2 review, it has a 262k color screen, not 16.7m like this page says. Could you clarify this?

Alex on April 16, 2009 2:28 PM

Yeah. like infernus said, it is possible to call by contacts.. I have all my cell phone contacts on my P2 and it words great.You can either transfer the contacts by bluetooth or by transferring the vcard contact manually (as i did :P )Also, like MMerengue said, the screen quality is better and brighter than the P2.. If you look at the Generation mp3 video comparing the two players.. it is certainly brighter and crisper.you should also mention for the photo viewer, that there is an upgraded slideshow function with transition effects (which was missing in the P2).

Relyt on April 16, 2009 4:57 PM

The P3 looks nice but the ui seems to be slow and laggy…

Yuval on April 17, 2009 5:04 AM

The player looks great!I gotta say that Samsung is very pleasing and it nice to see that Samsung listened and learned from the public opinion about the P2 and I think it was worth it. I wish that more companys will act the same.One big flaw is the size of the screen, it gives S9 a major priorety.I have to say that comparing to other reviews, this review looks a little bit lazy. There is no specifications at the begining as always, the conclusions and videos is a bit poor, and the pros/cons list is missing. However the essentail content is exist.and overall, a good review.Thanks! :)

Confispect on April 17, 2009 10:39 AM

I agree with Relyt I need to replace my S9 but seeing this review….I think it’s just another Cowon for me. Whats the advantage with the P3….bluetooth…bla I’ll go for better battery,sound quality, and video quality anyday. Does seem like much of a contest between the two. In my book the Cowon wins hands down. Oh wait a 7-band Eq vs, a 5 from the Cowon..COWON for me.

Confispect on April 17, 2009 10:40 AM

I meant it DOESN’T seen like much over a contest….sorry just had to clarify that.

Relyt on April 17, 2009 6:07 PM

To me the P3 has a better form factor – that is, I like it’s style and it’s size better than the S9. The plastic and curved design of the S9 just turns me off.

justam on April 18, 2009 2:36 AM

pft who cares? the S9 and P3 are both great players, and as long as they can put touch owners to shame, I don’t really care which player’s better.

karu on April 18, 2009 6:17 AM

Nice ReviewI’m gonna get the 16gb P3 and use the money I would’ve saved from buying the S9 for a new pair of sennheisers nowthnx

PowerTorsk on April 18, 2009 11:13 AM

@ConfispectOn the S9 you can set the frequency for each of the bands. And don’t forget about the other advanced BBE+ functions you can fine-tune as well.As for the P3, I think the UI looks childish compared to the S9. The albumart browser on both players is useless…Some may find the S9 to look boring when comparing the two, but you can spice the mainscreen up by setting you own backround and choosing the colored icons instead. The Now Playing screen can also be vastly improved with UCI’s.

scooter on April 18, 2009 8:37 PM

I compared the Cowon s9 with the Samsung P3 in-store yesterday. It’s very hard to choose between the two, but there are some physical differences that haven’t been mentioned by reviewers:The S9 is significantly lighter, which may be important for some people.The P3 is much more solid than the “plasticky” S9.Personally, I don’t like touch-screens much because I don’t like having to take a player out of my pocket to skip tracks or change volume. The tactile buttons on top of the S9 are easier to access (change volume and I think skip tracks, although I can’t quite remember) without removing the player from your pocket.In all, I’m still trying to choose but erring more towards the S9 because I intend to use the device for listening to music, and the S9 has better sound quality.

rzl on April 19, 2009 12:26 AM

Nice review!Anyways i had some questions regarding the bluetooth pairing..Can i use earphone’s mic (i.e. ue vi series, etymotic hf2, phonak audeo with microphone) or should i use P3′s integrated mic?Kinda funny if i had to put it close to my mouth whenever I speak..

Finbarbat on April 19, 2009 10:42 AM

What will lock me in on the P3 is napster-to-go compatibility. I’m a huge fan of that subscription service and napster already supports the P1 and P2 (among other Samsung products). My fingers are crossed that the they carry the P3 as well. I wrote both companies with this question and both said that the info was not yet available. Really? Hurm…

PowerTorsk on April 19, 2009 6:23 PM

@ScooterOn the top are buttons for Play/pause, skipping and volume.Also, the doesn’t get scratched because of Corning Gorillaglass (article on that somewhere here at abi).

Trevor on April 22, 2009 5:34 PM

The buttons on the top only control volume, at least for now.Also, I’ve not had success with either Napster or Rhapsody in uploading subscription tracks, only purchased tracks. I’m sure this will change once the release is “official” in the US next month.FYI – there is a SDK available for the UI as a Flash file (.fla).

Chris on April 25, 2009 2:33 AM

Does the P3 support gapless playback? I think the S9 doesn’t, and gapless is pretty important to me (lots of trance and albums where songs run together like movements).

Shaft on April 26, 2009 12:27 PM

Any chance there will be a full Review, not just the comparison of the P3 vs The Cowon S9?

highway61 on April 30, 2009 7:01 AM

Can you create subdirectories in the P3 for drag and drop? For example, can I have U2 as my directory and Joshua Tree as a subdirectory that has the music files?

SquiRe on May 1, 2009 12:49 PM

Ive got 2 questions, i love the design of this and have read on most sites that the audio is even much better on this than P21. Does this have bookmarking function for audiobooks or do they resolve this with firmwares usually?2. Does this device emit some kind of light like the P2 when not touched?. That is very annoying as i keep hearing my music before i go to sleep and since its touch screen, tugging it under a pillow wont be good for it :)

BrYo on May 3, 2009 2:10 PM

“Since the P3 is using the same connector as the other Samsung players, most of the fancier, less-known docks and speaker docks will work.”Can someone explain this? Is there some way to know what players work with what speaker docks?I have a creative dock. What players will work with it?

Oldarney on May 16, 2009 6:06 PM

omgzorgs! flash applications support on a mobile device. I didn’t know this even existed until i came here. As a godly flash programmer i must have on of these players. iPods cave shove their proprietary conectors where it fits best.

Unwill on May 19, 2009 8:59 PM

Can the P3 read PDF files?What about WiFi ?

TK on May 20, 2009 8:29 AM

Will the P3 sound better or the ipod touch with Sennheiser IE 7 earphones?

extreme9040 on May 27, 2009 10:45 PM

The P3 sound 1,000,000 times better than all the ipods. Ipods have inferior sound quality compare to many others mp3 players.

Jessie on June 1, 2009 12:58 AM

can anybody tell me if you can record FM radio on the P3, and more specifically, does it have a timer function so you can set it to record a specific program??Thanks

sim on June 17, 2009 2:23 PM

the biggest complaint i have about this player is its crap playlist creation. i want more than 400 songs and not use preset playlists please. id like to be able to create my own and save them. also the ability to add to the now playing list would be another plus in my book.other than that, an absolutely amazing player.

JohnBlack on June 18, 2009 10:33 AM

Good review but why have you left out the pros and cons? You usually place them with the conclusion ?

johnk on June 29, 2009 11:12 AM

I just downloaded the P3 manual, and it says that the player can only handle “baseline profile” MP4 video.Most of my own MP4 conversions are “main profile”, 624×352 (I use main profile because it’s the highest level the Archos players can handle).Can anyone confirm whether the P3 can handle main profile MP4s?

Jason on July 2, 2009 9:26 PM

i wanna love p3 but i don’t want to at the same time. To me, p3 is been refreshed from p2, build quality, better Bluetooth, sound quality, and hardware is been updated. I am gonna wait for p4, until then, good luck Samsung!

anon1 on July 6, 2009 12:42 PM

Im thinking of buying the p2, but saw the p3 and now im not sure, i originally thought that the p3 was better but its cheaper, so can somone tell me which one is better??

Mo on July 11, 2009 9:20 PM

The link to buy it goes to the P2…where can I get the P3???Thanks!

gabe on July 16, 2009 8:14 PM

this device would rock with the nivida tegra chip in it. it needs wifi too.

wayne on August 3, 2009 1:30 PM

Hi. Has anyone tried reading an ebook on this device? I’m looking for an ebook reader and this would be much cheaper than the larger ones. Is it a strain on the eyes after a while?

legend_bob on August 11, 2009 4:43 PM

Video out. My (bricked) S9 had an optional cable that let you play video on a TV. Can the P3 do this? How about the X-1000?(btw, the captchas here are killing me!)

Mike on August 15, 2009 1:05 PM

Bad news, apparently this is discontinued in Canada! I haven’t been able to find it for a while and I emailed Samsung last night getting this response:”Thank you for submitting your inquiry to Samsung.Unfortunately, this model is discontinued”The only places I’m able to get one are online stores (mostly in US) or on ebay.

John on September 12, 2009 5:12 PM

The sound quality DNSE really is amazing! Since everyone is about ipods these days i tell you now,it does not even come close. You could put some cheap JVC Gummy headphones with the Samsung and it will sound like a Walkman, Put some Sony headphones in and wow, its immense!!!! DNSE !!!!

allister on September 28, 2009 11:45 PM

I have a samsung P3 but I’m having a problem with my touch screen,it was working all the time but I had stop using my P3 for a wild and now although I had updated it I’m still having problems with the touch responce. Does anyone have any answers?

ashiiya on October 8, 2009 1:02 PM

I’ve had mine for about….a month now. I must say, the screen is VERY nice. Apart from the fact that it shows very nice colors, it really is durable o.o I’ve dropped it a couple times on the sidewalk. The metal back has suffered some serious damage and so has the front (for some reason, only the top right corner keeps getting dents) but the screen has remain untouched.As for the audio quality, it really is one the best ones out there. For some, it might not be like the Cowon S9 or Sansa’s Clip, but it certainly is above average. And I don’t care if it doesn’t have a zillion apps or wifi, it’s still better than an iTouch.

r4 firmware on October 27, 2009 5:30 AM

it sounds superb, making this a top contender for audio enthusiasts.it includes a boatload of features such as Bluetooth connectivity, widgets, an FM radio, and voice recording; there is support for a wide variety of audio formats.

Loretta Kaufman on October 28, 2009 1:40 PM

When it states in the review above that the P3 is compatible with Rhapsody, does that mean it works with the “Rhapsody To Go” service (meaning it’ll play songs transferred directly from Rhapsody to the player without having purchased them – if you have a Rhapsody To Go subscripton)?

r4 dsi on October 29, 2009 3:06 AM

The Samsung P3 is an excellent multimedia device that packs a grand amount of features into an impressively compact package with one of the best screens available.

fuzzy squirrel on December 5, 2009 1:25 AM

i personally was in korea back in april and brough back a p3. I also brought back a mpio v10.i retired the cowon x5l.the iaudio 7 is pure crap. sound quality was a joke at best. the x5 sounded tons better in every way. gave that to my gf who didnt like it. thats been retirednow now she has a american p3. the korean one i have came with yepp on the front. the amercian has samsung.no way would i take the chance on a cowon 9. i think the battery life has been uprated due to poor performing chips. the specs are too close to the crappy i7. screen? dont care. its an audio player. whoever asked for a vid output…buy a dvd player.no headphone is good unless you want to spend thousands. so i use the eq on all my players. the cans i run are the grado sr 80 with headroom amp, and a sennheiser px100.let me tell you. there is no bass roll of on the p3 like the cowons have severity of. mids highs lows…its all there. no coloration. its very close to being a perfect player and id take a pepsi challenge with any player out there using my grados.wifi? anything else? i have a tilt 2 for all that nonsense. its a music player first and foremost. use it as such.seriously…if you want a great sounding player buy it.

fuzzy squirrel on December 5, 2009 1:32 AM

also…i had the player and was back in the states before this article was written.i also think some of you are lying as it wasnt available in the states for several months afterwards.and yes. i checked out the cowon s9 in korea as well. d2 with dab as well.cowon HAD good audio back in the x5 days. now they dont.

Benny on December 8, 2009 12:34 PM

hey, so you have chance to reveiw the Samsung R1?

fuzzy squirrel on December 18, 2009 10:36 PM

nope.know nothing about it either.if i end up in korea again in april 2010 will check it out.

zombie on December 23, 2009 1:42 AM

samsung p3 vs new walkmans ?!whos sound quality u guys think is better reply plz if any1 has used both >_

Justin on December 27, 2009 12:19 PM

Is there support for a microSDHC card in the P3?

Green on January 11, 2010 5:08 PM

Silly, I know, is this compatible with itunes?

Daver on January 23, 2010 11:19 PM

Just received my P3 via internet/mail order. One of the not often mentioned benefits of the P3 is that it can play mpeg-4 AAC files. I was trying to get away from my iPod, but I did not want to lose all my iTunes songs. Now, I can just use Windows Explorer to drag/drop songs from the iTunes windows folder, onto the P3, and life is good again.The P3 is not compatible with iTunes (the windows application), but it is compatible with the M4P files that iTunes uses.See the Samsung support article below. The article states that either the P2 or P3 can play iTunes songs, but the firmware must be 2.08 or above; my P3 shipped with 2.18 (yes, I tested this compatibility and it does work).http://ars.samsung.com/customer/usa/jsp/faqs/faqs_view_us.jsp?AT_ID=57260&PROD_ID=841&PG_ID=-1&PROD_SUB_ID=0

Daver on January 23, 2010 11:32 PM

Another problem with exiting my iPod co-existence is – in Canada, nobody seems to sell any docks other than iPod docks. Since the P3 is fully (and more) bluetooth capable, I got a bluetooth receiver, plugged it into the 3.5mm jack of my iPod dock, and voila! I can’t notice the sound difference between a docked iPod and the bluetooth fed music. I can lie in bed and still have the full functionality of my P3 while listening to the ‘dock’ from across the room. The bluetooth receiver does not need to be expensive. I got mine from DealExtreme.com:http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.20427

2gb compact flash on March 4, 2010 6:13 AM

Hi..At first blush, the Samsung P3 doesn’t look strikingly different from its predecessor, the P2, and in fact, the design updates are far from massive. However, the few changes Samsung did make give the device a more polished and put-together feel. First, the P3 is slightly thinner, measuring 4 inches by 2 inches by 0.3 inch. Also, while both the P2 and P3 are constructed mainly of metal, the P3 lacks the shiny clear coat that gave the P2 a more plasticky appearance. All in all, the P3 comes across as sleeker than its predecessor, and it also feels more durable than the iPod Touch, though whether or not this is a fact is up for debate.

michael on March 8, 2010 10:40 AM

The Cowon S9 seems to be the closest to a major competitor for the P3. I was wowed by the audio features (and the ability to record from FM, obscure but important to me) and went with the S9.However, I’ve pinpointed a major problem with the Cowon S9. People are reporting problems with the lock on/off/lock switch. Mine just recently went bonkers, too; my S9 is now perpetually locked. So, I have a nice black plastic brick not even heavy enough to serve as a paperweight. Cowon is happy to fix this under warranty, but after that i’m sure it will continue to be an issue for these players unless Cowon makes substantial changes to the interior; a successor to the S9 is the more likely outcome.Now I wish I had chosen the P3 as I can’t find any mention of hardware issues. this is obviously more important in the long run than any other feature- if you can’t access the feature it doesn’t count for much.

Brian on March 15, 2010 8:56 PM

One note that’s very important: I love my p3..but it is NOT a good recorder. For one reason or another (I’m in radio) interviews often suffer skips, or long gaps. Just this past weekend, I lost a key portion of the interview I conducted with our Governor.

stolennomenclature on March 19, 2010 7:06 PM

Noticing how Samsung was praised for listening to customer comments and improving there player, I can’t help wondering why these companies, whose business it is to design and manufacturte these things, are’nt a lot better at it. Why can’t they figure out the same things that the customers can? The Samsung engineers can use the player too, in the same way a potential customer would, so why can’t they do so, note the weaknesses and problems, and fix them before they release it to the public? Rather than praise them for listenin gto the public, perhaps they should be criticised for not doing it right in the first place?

Popcorn on March 23, 2010 10:48 PM

Great review! I wanted the S9, now I am not sure. I am now leaning towards the P3. My opinion of Cowon’s biggest fault is the inability to add user made playlists in MTP mode. I have had some success, but every attempt has been bug ridden. The P3 obviously has this user created playlist feature and it obviously works as it was intended. Other than than, you pointed out so many other fabulous features with the P3. It is getting hard to find one here in Canada. Only by buying online and then try and get the higher 32gb capacity. I really hope they come out with a P4 and an even slightly larger screen. 4′ screen would be fantastic.Thanks Grahm for all the time you spent on a very detailed review!

john on March 24, 2010 6:57 PM

ipod nano vs p3 please list differences

Chris on April 9, 2010 7:40 AM

The P3 plays FLAC files and sounds very good… BUT it does NOT support FLAC tags so you will not be able to select your tunes by Album, Artist, Genre, Track Title or even Track Number and you will see no album art. All you will get is a very long list of file names. Absolute pants!Further, the included Emodio software will silently install a windows component called ‘contentSAFER for Winmax’. This piece of malware does not play nice with iTunes and completely trashed my Squeezebox Server installation. What’s worse, it cannot be uninstalled in the usual way. You have to find and delete its files and then find and delete its registry entries (not for the fainthearted). Apparently this malware is also installed with Samsung phones. Thanks Samsung. You are now on my blacklist.I am returning my P3.

Rod on May 16, 2010 11:59 AM

Hi all! I’m Rod, a newbe in this good website.I compared this samsung yp-p3 with the samsung yp-r1 and the cowon s9 in the “compare” page, and it came out that the p3 doesn’t have bookmarks support.It means that the p3 read the aac files, but don’t remember the position like in my old ipod?I searched for an answer in the reviews and in the forum, but I’m still confused (I’m not a master in english :\)Bye and thanks for the help!Rod

Wick1 on September 23, 2010 8:06 PM

Bought the P3 based on info on the Samsung web site and various reviews including this one.

Imagine my disgust when I tried to copy a wav file to the player and received an error message that it’s not supported.

Even Samsung’s web site says wav is supported. Called Samsung and spoke with elevated tech support who told me that on page 100 something of the manual, it notes the file formats supported and wav is not one of them.

I don’t want FLAC as it is not really lossless. Look up info on FLAC and it states that the files are about 50% smaller than wav. The only way to do that is remove data from the file.

What a waste of $200.00!

daniel on October 28, 2010 12:08 AM

@Wick1

calm down, just use flac, you can’t tell the difference, you are just deluding yourself which is a waste of time and effort.

Mark on November 9, 2010 1:35 AM

My first gripe : no FM radio over BT!

echoplex on November 11, 2010 4:02 AM

Everyone’s P3 has started breaking about a year after purchase. This is a terrible waste.

Radu on December 4, 2010 5:49 PM

My sister and I have the P3 from the first day it came to Europe and it works great,my friend also has a P3 for about a year now and we never had a problem with it. Sound quality IS great, video support is very good, and battery life is still very good after almost two years of intense use :)
Three very happy P3 owners here ;) :) :D

daju on December 26, 2010 9:11 PM

i just got a p3 for christmas
i have a macbook
it doesnt recognise the p3
has anyone resolved this problem?

do i simply need to get something else?

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