Cowon V5S, a Less Tacky V5?

v5s Cowon V5S, a Less Tacky V5?

Snooping around Cowon’s Korean website I found a new rehash of the V5 PMP, the “Smart Study” V5S. It seems this version is specifically made for the fiercely competitive high-pressure world of Korean education, loaded with lots of gimmicky study apps, dictionaries, and the like. This PMP will probably never see the light of day outside of South Korea, but the V5S’ firmware might be worth a second glance.

One of the main issues of the V5 (as described in our V5 review) is it’s tacky, counterintuitive, backwards user interface. Indirectly, Cowon seem to admit they botched the V5 interface, since the V5S comes with an UI that resembles the Android-powered D3 more than it’s hardware-identical sibling, the old V5. The V5S’ main screen is much tidier than the V5′s, with real icons that actually seem to do something, and main functions don’t seem to be hidden in subcategories as well.

How is this relevant, since the V5S is very likely to be sold in Korea only? Well, maybe the V5S firmware could be put on the V5, since both their hardwares seems to be exactly the same. If it’s not locked down in some way, it might work right away – if not, some hacker might certainly find an easy way to fix that. Of course the V5 is anything but a popular player, so community support is minimal – but who knows, it’s worth a try in any case. Unfortunately my V5 is the only Cowon that ever bricked, so I can’t try the V5S firmware on it.

Cowon V5S product page (Korean) and firmware download.

Update: Rafa got this firmware working on a regular V5. Only the main screen changed, everything else is the same – besides the additional Korean study apps. Read the installation instructions on iAudiophile.


tds01 on February 26, 2011 5:37 PM

Well, this working on the V5 would mean I’d get myself 1, instead of the quirky X7 – IF this supports ID3 tags for my tunes. Please, PLEASE make it so!!!

The Larch on February 28, 2011 12:38 PM

I would miss having pictures of all the Monopoly pieces on my home screen.

Dale on February 28, 2011 10:02 PM

Wouldn’t the language be in Korean though?

tds01 on February 28, 2011 10:22 PM

Good point, since you never know when a fast paced game might pop up :p

Martin Sägmüller on February 28, 2011 11:16 PM

Dale, all Korean firmwares for various Cowon players I tried had English language as well.

Dale on March 2, 2011 3:39 PM

It didn’t work for me. I guess we need more UI designers.

Confispect on March 2, 2011 4:25 PM

I agree F the X7 but then again……F this two unless it’s somehow better. But then again since it might not even come here…..

Dale on March 4, 2011 4:56 PM

I found that you can rename the V5S .bin file to zip then extract. I can see all the contents but I’m not sure where to put them.

Dale on March 10, 2011 12:32 AM

Now if we could just get ahold of a DTS plug-in or codec.

al luna on March 21, 2011 7:50 PM

There are different language versions of the upgrade. Counting from the top, which is the english version? THNX!

Dir on May 30, 2011 3:14 PM

You know, the biggest difference between V5 and V5S is that V5S used another chipset so it can play 1080p unlike V5 which can only play up to 720p. (A guy figured out to play 1080p in V5, but Cowon stoped him from spreading it probably because of V5W/V5S) anyway. my point is V5 : 720p V5W : 1080p + Wi-Fi V5S : 1080p. We believe Cowon released V5S since the Wi-Fi in V5W could bother you from studying. Actually, W in V5W comes from from the word Wi-Fi, S in V5S comes from the word study. The slogan of V5S is Smart Study, so you’re right about the educational stuff.

Dir on May 30, 2011 3:15 PM

Sorry, it turned out you already said about Smart Study. My bad.

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