Cowon V5 Preview

cowon v5 main Cowon V5 Preview

Simply put the Cowon V5 is a really nice upgrade to the O2. The V5’s form factor is similar to O2 but it’s a bit thinner and it feels sturdier. Not that the O2 had a bad build quality, but the V5 feels more dense and less hollow compared to the V5- plastic, buttons, and screen remain more or less identical.

However, the big news is how well it handles 720p content and its robust HDMI and component out video out. The O2 worked, but it wasn’t as smooth as the V5 and there were always issues with trying to get the screen sized right for the TV you plugged it into. The V5 is straight forward HDMI plug and play with the optional cable. This is no longer a sketchy dongle (lol), it’s a rather robust proprietary plug on the player itself, rather than micro-usb-ish plug seen on other Cowon players.

What is intriguing to me is how Cowon is not shy to hide the Windows CE 6.0 OS, in fact you can launch Windows Explorer from the Utilities menu or even close the Cowon UI and just use it as a Windows CE device. I don’t know what this means exactly for customization, pardon my ignorance of embedded OSes, but perhaps you can code your own UI on top of great sounding Cowon hardware. The possibilities could be endless. In fact Martin states on IRC: “[17:57] if you can launch a normal explorer, it should be exploitable to no end

Not that the current UI is bad, but it’s not as finger friendly as I would like to see. You can completely operate the V5 with your finger, but some of the buttons get pretty small. If someone were to port the S9 or the J3 UI to the V5 I think it would be a pretty killer PMP.

Below is a video showing the basics and some photos, I will be passing the V5 off to Martin for a full review since he wrote the in-depth O2 review. Stay tuned for more on the V5.

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15 Comments

fsplayer on April 15, 2010 10:34 PM

“but the V5 feels more dense and less hollow compared to the V5″Shouldn’t it read “but the V5 feels more dense and less hollow compared to the O2″just a small error I thought I’d point out.

fsplayer on April 15, 2010 10:40 PM

Nice preview. Looking foward to own one someday, looks like a pretty darn solid PMP. Hope Cowon fixes the GUI.

daniel on April 16, 2010 3:49 AM

I wont expect to many hacking apps though.. as they has win ce on the cowon q5w aswell..I have it, not even coreplayer runs well on it. Thus i cannot play 720p on it.This one seems to run 720p though, guess its a better processor.

misterno on April 16, 2010 5:27 AM

J3 !!!

J0KER on April 16, 2010 6:27 AM

Can you access the internet with that thing?

Pete_xci on April 16, 2010 8:42 AM

I’m pretty sure that he’d have mentioned wifi, if it had wifi.the v5 seems to be too big for any pocket… (I’m not wearing cargo pants) and if i can’t have it with me when I’m out and about… then what’s the point of having it? there are easier ways to watch hd-movies on my tv!

daniel on April 16, 2010 8:30 PM

Id never leave home for travel without a pmp. The start up speed, the hassle free things with a pmp will never come close on a laptop. Laptop is work. Pmp is movies, mp3 players is music. phone is for talking. Yes, i carry many devices when travelling.Im sure it has wifi.. Q5W has..Q5W can even stream from network shares. However, win ce 6.0 is very old.. And not even same basis as phones are today as they are Windows mobile (6.5.5) latest versions..

joe on April 17, 2010 2:14 PM

Hey Dan, I believe WinMob 6 and 6.5 still use WinCE5 and not 6. Maybe 6.5 uses 6 now.WinCE isn’t all that bad. I just wish Archos and their PMP was a little better.If it doesn’t have a capacitive screen nor a decent browser, it will be a hard sell.

RedSarah on April 17, 2010 9:02 PM

quick question… why is this a “preview”???the Cowon V5 has been sold on Amazon for quite a while now…just wondering…

Jaigoda on April 17, 2010 11:29 PM

Damn, it’s resistive (stylus = can’t be capacitive)… That kinda sucks TBH. It looks like it does need it though, since a lot of the stuff seems to require a stylus because of being so small. Otherwise it does look pretty sexy and much less bulky than its predecessors. If I wanted a video-centric PMP, this would definitely be one of my considerations. Can’t wait for the full review.

sunami88 on April 18, 2010 3:57 AM

What’s with Windows CE? Why not Win7?In the days of iPhones, Androids et al, this just looks ugly and clunky. It took me to about 3:30 in the UI video to decide it just looked like a mess.I dunno, I’m usually all about utilitarian (damn iPhones), but with WinCE it only gets so good…

Zingo on April 18, 2010 10:59 AM

Someone mentioned above me has mentioned it has wi-fi. It does NOT. Its not mentioned anywhere on the cowon website. Also, if it had i think cowon would mention the browser of the device on the features page.Because of the lack i think this device should be worth not a lot of money, because its just a video/music player.

Man_On_Fire on April 19, 2010 5:27 PM

I need explain that:O2 is no HD player but it can play someone Hd file.(Avi)The output of earphone is 32mw against 30 for v5.Equalizer 10band for O2 and 5 band for V5….I agree with the quality of this screen but the price is too much just for that and this UI.

misterno on April 21, 2010 7:17 AM

I know I’m annoying, but J3 review soon please. Just hoping to hear it from abi first.

Tiax on April 21, 2010 2:09 PM

Well, there are A LOT of quite good chinese pmp available, there are dirt cheap and can play HD movies very well, check out Ainol V8000HDS for example. So there is nothing special in this Cowon

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