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Cowon C2 Review

cowonc2 main Cowon C2 Review

One thing’s for sure: never bet on what name/number Cowon is coming up for consecutive players in a series, you will most definitely be guessing wrong.

The D2/D2+ was a very popular player for its time, some four years ago, and many people craved for a more modern successor ever since it was released. Recently, when the D3 was announced, there were quite some outcries to be heard since it was a large Android phone-without-a-phone, with nary a resemblance to the D2 at all.

Enter the newly released C2. As I said, do not try to make sense of Cowon’s naming schemes – the C2 is ‘the real D3’, so to speak. It actually is still more of a D2 than anything else – basically the same hardware, the same form factor, the same screen, more or less the same functionality as its four year old ancestor. The most obvious differences are in the looks of the user interface, the move from a full-sized SD slot to MicroSD, the use of a power/hold button instead of a slider, and the addition of a speaker on the back.

Does that mean Cowon’s decision to move this revamped D2 one letter down the alphabet is a step back? Not necessarily, there are certainly some features to be found in the C2’s firmware that are fit for a 2011 player. Read on for the full review.  Continue reading…

Cowon C2: the Real D2 Successor

cowon c2 Cowon C2: the Real D2 Successor

Everyone who anticipated the D3 to be a successor to the venerable D2/D2+ was slightly disappointed (same as the X7 has barely anything in common with the older X5). However, Cowon’s product naming scheme barely ever made sense, and the C2 is no exception. Lo and behold, this time around we actually get a successor to the D2.

The C2 comes in four colors, has basically the same screen as the D2 (320×240 2.6″ LCD),  basically the same audio and video codec support (plays most audio, still doesn’t support MP4/h264), the same amount of tactile buttons on top (power/hold is now a button, not a slider), and the D2′s full sized SD slot has been replaced by a MicroSD slot. The C2′s glossy metal back sure looks fetching in product photos, but I doubt it will stay that pristine under real world conditions.

It has no AMOLED screen, no high resolution, probably no capacitive touch screen, no Wifi, no Bluetooth, doesn’t run on Android, or anything else that would go with current trends or would distinguish it much from the years old D2/D2+’s hardware. A speaker on the back is the only new feature, and probably an upgraded version of BBE sound enhancements. Fans of the D2 form factor might still find it a worthy upgrade, but I don’t see overly much incentive in doing so.

The player’s user interface appears to be one of the most cheese-tacky-tastic ones Cowon released so far, besides the V5‘s UI. It provides ‘witty’ or ‘cute’ messages depending on the time of the day. I can see how slogans like “siesta now – after happy lunch” or “thinking about you – all the time” will never get old when one has to look at them constantly on the main screen… well, there’s always custom user interfaces that can fix those Korean cultural differences.

Release in Europe or America? I know as much as you.

Thanks to Mr. Popo for the tip. Korean C2 product page. Via CNET.