Review of Samsung's P3
Seeing as how many people have questions about it and are on the fence about getting it or the S9, I decided to put together a comprehensive look at the YP-P3 while taking the questions that have been asked into account. Hope this helps:
(I have the 16gb black version of the P3)
First of all let's talk about the build quality of the device. With metal backing and glass front, this thing feels solid. When I put it in my pocket, I can feel its presence there, which is kind of reassuring compared to player it is replacing, the Creative ZEN. Also, what's reassuring about the weight is that it doesn't feel like it can break so easily. I had an iPod Touch for a while and I was always afraid that even putting it on the table too hard would cause some kind of damage to it. But the P3 feels rock solid.
As for other aesthetics of the device, it's all black. On the front, there is a small "Samsung" label, which isn't too over done, it's just there. While the display area looks quite small due to the bottom bezel and the mysterious black portion of the glass screen under the display area, once you turn it on, you find that there is plenty of screen estate to play with. The back of the player has the usual stuff etched into it, not too much of a surprise. As for buttons, they are all placed on top, Hold and the Volume buttons, and squeezed next to them is the tiny speaker. The headphone jack is at the bottom along with the USB connection (propriety connection unfortunately).
Now the main beauty of the YP-P3 is the screen. While not made from the much lauded OLED technology, that ironically Samsung is a pioneer/maker/user-other-devices of, it still provides vibrant colors. Watching almost any type of video on it is a pleasure, from brightly-colored anime to the gloomy-hued CSI (Vegas of course), you can enjoy it as much as you want.
What's nice about having a 3" screen is the fact that it makes the device usable with only one hand. The 3.5" screen of the iPod Touch was just a little too unwieldy (and also the aforementioned fragility fear) to be used one-handed. Thankfully though the size/weight ratio seem to go hand in hand because I can watch videos easily as well as do other things on it one-handed without feeling any strain, which is great!
Now, since I have talked about the screen, I may as well talk about videos. My past couple of PMPs have forced me to convert videos to the point that I have become used to it. But now I am enjoying the luxury of being able to plop pretty much any AVI file (so far, I got a lot of them) and be able to watch them without hassle. MKV and RMVB formats are not supported (not even when you rename the RMVB to AVI) but that's ok.
Besides the format support, there are some excellent features to be found in the video section, namely the mosaic search, which breaks the video into 16-,32-, or 64- sections so that you can scan through the file and pick out where you want to start from. Also is the VibeWoofer, which causes the player to vibrate with the sound (more of a gimmick than anything, but hey, at least it's there). Also nice to see is the fact that you can use equalizer settings for you video as well. It's nice to see the level of effort made on the video player.
Ok, now let's talk about music/sound. The P3 is really easy to use, especially when navigating through the files that one has. I keep my files well tagged so I don't use the file browser as much, but it's nice and simple so there is no worries about it. The music menus system is pretty self explanatory and does exactly what it needs to do, which is all I really want or could hope for. The P3 does support on the go playlist creation, enabling one to make up to 5 playlists right then and there.
The sound quality of the P3 is amazing. Paired with my Etymotic Er-6i, I am enjoying how much more of the sound I can get out now compared to the iPod Touch and the Creative ZEN. Without using any EQ settings (which I don't normally use, but I tried them out on the P3 and they work great, helping to provide a good extra bit of clarity to the sound), anyways, without the EQ settings, I feel the music is given a bit more room to breathe and is a lot warmer, which allows for music to be enjoyed a lot more and once you put on the EQ you get a soundstage which is great.
Finally it's time to talk about the interface and the extras. Running on the 2.10 firmware, the P3 is smooth as butter. While on the official abi review you can see it kind of choppy, but the 2.10 update really fixes that up. The buttons are pretty responsive, but you can notice just this ever-so-slight delay between pressing and it responding. Unless you are in some kind of race to get to the menu, you will barely register it. The only time the interface really is screwed when you switch to the pseudo-coverflow style of looking at your music. Then everything slows down and becomes choppy like crazy.
The touchscreen of the P3 is the haptic kind, which means that it vibrates ever so slightly whenever you touch the screen to give you some kind of feedback. While I understand the principal, it really still hasn't reached a high enough level of realism. Also, what makes it worse is that you actually feel the vibration on the back of the P3 rather than on the finger that is doing the touching, so it feels kind of disjointed in a way. Am hoping as technology improves they will get it right.
As for the extras, we get the standard picture viewer. It does exactly what it needs to do, so no complaints or praise for it. The FM radio is nice and simple, and does its job, picking out the clear stations with minimum fuss. The P3 is customizable, but I haven't done that so I don't know much about it. and as for widgets, some come preloaded with it, but there are only one or two (the screen dimmer and the memo widgets) which are of any real use, the others are just space fillers. The subway map is a pretty cool feature to use and quite useful when needed. I have gotten the Flash player ot work more or less, though it does not play audio for the files I have tried playing, I am working to figure out how and why, but it's not a high priority.
Finally we come to the bluetooth abilities of the P3, something it is known for. It can pair up with a stereo headset or mobile phone, and be used to transfer files. I don't like using bluetooth headsets, but the phone pairing i useful since I pretty much ignore the phone, much to the annoyance to the people who call me. When they are paired, I get notified when someone is trying to contact me (then I decide whether or not to pick it up, haha). It can be quite useful in the right hands, but those hands aren't mine. At least I can say that the functions are easy to understand, almost intuitive.
One last thing I should mention before wrapping up, the battery life is quite good. I get around 35 hours audio (that's with minimal button touching and with vibration setting at 1) while video I get average 5 hours with the screen at mid-brightness and the haptic feedback on level 1, and with a medium amount of playing around with the player.
Final words, the P3 is totally worth what I paid for it, 16gb@ £138.00 (price is a little lower now on amazon) and I hope to be able to enjoy this player for a long while yet.
Hope this was a helpful review!
(sorry, due to the perfect storm of bad lighting, bad camera, and my own poor camera skills, the photos I have of the P3 aren't the greatest)
Last edited by zhalfim; 05-04-2009 at 06:18 PM. Reason: wanted to add pictures
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