It’s called the Galaxy Player S Wifi 4.2, so its name should be a dead giveaway that it’s slightly larger than the 4.0 and slightly smaller than the 5.0. Also, it’s white/grey-ish instead of black.
Other than that, there really aren’t any big differences to spot between the various models. They all have the same 800 x 480 resolution (in an IPS variety on the 4.2, contrary to Samsung’s usual AMOLED screens), same 1 GHz processor speed, same Android 2.3 operating system, same codec support, same connectivity options, and so on. The new 4.2 still seems to lack HDMI output – an issue users have criticized as one of the biggest shortcomings of the 4.0 and 5.0, and a major drawback of an otherwise nicely specced PMP.
The 4.2 comes with 8 or 16 GB of internal memory, and of course a MicroSD slot to add some more. Its battery holds 1500 mAh, so let the speculations about its run time begin. No release date or street price have been announced yet.
Oh yeah, before I forget it – the 4.2 comes preloaded with some random game. This seems to be a big enough deal to mention it in the specs sheet of the press release.
Already announced in January 2011, it took good old Sammy long enough to get these 4″ and 5″ 480×800 screen things on the American market. Speaking of market: contrary to Cowon’s D3 and Archos’ Generation 8, Samsung’s phones-without-a-phone come with the official Android Market installed. The long wait for the Galaxy Players’ release also paid off on the operating system side of things – both players run on Android 2.3.5, which is one of the more recent ‘Gingerbread’ versions. Besides the usual variety of codecs and containers found on Android devices, the Galaxy players support MKV, FLV, OGG Vorbis, and FLAC as well.
Hardware specs are quite exhaustive. With front and rear cameras both shutterbugs and chatterbugs should be happy; GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, and Wi-Fi B/G/N are present as well. Not to mention a very necessary MicroSDHC slot – since internal capacity is only a pathetic 8GB for both players. Samsung claims the 2500mAh battery in the Galaxy 5.0 should last up to 60 hours for music playback, which sounds a bit implausible. Eight hours video playback seems more realistic, though. The Galaxy 4.0 runs on a 1200mAh battery and should presumably deliver 54 hours for music and five hours for video.
Samsung’s new oversized iPhone/iPod Touch lookalike, announced at Mobile World Congress, causes a bit of confusion. It’s obviously the bigger brother of the equally tediously named Galaxy S WiFi 4.0. Some people say the 4.0 was formerly known as YP-MB2/Galaxy Player 50, while our very own industry insider, lebellium, clarifies that it’s actually the YP-GB1, released without Korea-specific DMB features for the international market. So where does that leave the 5.0, in the sea of all these confusing names and acronyms? I don’t know, my head is already spinning. Maybe it’s just a shrunken Galaxy Tab 10.1…
What we know is that the Galaxy S WiFi 5.0 (let’s just call it GSW5, ok?) runs on Android 2.2, uses Samsung’s TouchWiz interface, sports a 5″ Super Duper Clear LCD screen at 800×480, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, a MicroSD slot, and a 5 megapixel camera with flash, for all your artsy Facebook photography needs.
The great thing about this phone-without-a-phone is that it comes with Android Market support right out of the box. This is a huge advantage over the non-phone Android offers from Archos (Gen 8 devices) and Cowon (D3), which have no official access to the Market – therefore rendering them quite inferior, software-wise, to even the humblest of Android phones, such as the ZTE Blade. While some kind hackers already gave Archos users the possibility to access the Market, there’s no such option for the D3 yet, leaving you at the mercy of Cowon to come up with some quality apps, such as scientific calculators. Samsung licensing the Market on their Galaxy players is the smartest move so far for devices without SIM card slot.
Availability of the GSW5: sooner or later.
Thanks to sideways for the tip. Read more in the forum thread. Additional info via Engadget (1, 2).
Samsung has had great success with the Galaxy Tab Android tablet and the Galaxy S Android phone, and now they’re taking it even further and announcing the Galaxy Player. The parallels to Apple and the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad lineup is hard to miss, but given the specs of this thing they have more than a fighting chance of success. It will run Android 2.2 Froyo, have a 1Ghz CPU, 4″ 480×800 screen, GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi, 3.2 mega pixel rear camera, VGA resolution (640×480) front camera for video chatting, T-DMB tuner and a microSDHC slot. It will be capable of playing back HD video and have access to the Android Market.
One of the biggest flaws of the Galaxy Tab is that there aren’t really many apps made for that big a screen (both in terms of inches and resolution), but he Galaxy Player will be the size of a cell phone and so not have that problem yet still retain most of the features. It has a 1200mAh removable battery which is about the same as any other similarly sized device on the market, so I’d estimate it’s going to last 6-8 hours. It will come in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB capacities, but no prices are known. Samsung is expected to release more details and showcase the device at CES 2011
Samsung Alps, Samsung’s Austria team, posted a video in their YouTube channel showing off the player’s in a near 3 min commercial. It looks like any Android smartphone, but thats not a bad thing since you are devoid of a monthly bill. You will just have to hop between Wi-Fi oases. The Galaxy Player 50 will run Android 2.1, come with a 3.2″ screen, 2MP camera, GPS, Wi-Fi, and a microSD slot. What is exciting abut this is that it has full support for Google’s Marketplace, and the mainstay Google apps such as maps. This is something that has not been done yet with an Android device that was not a mobile phone that I know of. The bad news is there is no word on a US release yet.
The Clip+ has a fantastic little form factor; somewhat cheap in build quality but very rugged. The interface is simple and relatively straightforward. The features on the Clip are more or less average, however it supports the alternative Rockbox firmware which provides tons of additional options (gapless playback, Replaygain, playlists, Last.fm scrobbling, etc). Read the full review or go ahead and buy it.
The J3 is a fantastic PMP with a very nice AMOLED screen and tons of features. It sports Cowon's trademark BBE sound enhancements, and offers a customizable user interface with strong support by our user community. You can usually find it at Amazon for the best price - and don't forget to check out our review.
Microsoft Zune HD
Sure, many of us are not big fans of the walled garden, but there are a lot of great things going on with the Zune: sturdy hardware, ultra easy to use user interface, and a media player that is worthy of Editor’s Choice. You can check out our Zune HD review or stop by our Zune forums for the latest info and gossip.
Phonak Audéo PFE
Phonak Audéo PFE offer outstanding clarity and precision; natural, dynamic mids and treble, and decent bass for a single armature in-ear phone. They handle dense, complex music very well. The PFE work well with most acoustic and some electronic music genres, but bassheads might have to look at other alternatives. They're great for sports as well, since they fit very securely. Check out our review.
The Hippo VB (Variable Bass) offers a serious subwoofer for on the go, right in your head. They don’t just deliver generous quantities of punchy, textured bass, but good audio quality over the whole frequency range with decent clarity and exceptional soundstage. Exchangeable bass ports let you customize their sound to your liking. Read our in-depth Hippo VB review.
Soundmagic E10 / E30
The Soundmagic E10 and E30 are basically right in the middle between the Phonak PFE and Hippo VB - not too analytical sounding, not too bass heavy. The E10 provide a bit more bass, the E30 a bit more clarity. Both come with a very fair price tag considering the sound quality they deliver - a great choice for the audio aficionado on a budget. Read our E10 and E30 reviews for more info.