11.12.2011

Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0

SNAGHTML135a3c0bI picked up the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 about two weeks ago at BestBuy.  The Galaxy Player is essentially the gutty-works of a Samsung Galaxy phone but without the carrier radio,  using a LCD panel instead of AMOLED screen and featuring lower resolution front/rear cameras.  It is available in 4" (the 4.0 model) and 5" (the 5.0 model).

The device I purchased is running a flavor of Gingerbread and has a single core 1Ghz CPU and 8GB of built-in flash storage.  I immediately installed a 32GB MicroSD to allow for music and other media storage.

The device is very responsive- much more so than any other Android phone I have owned (a list which currently includes the HTC G1, Motorola Droid, HTC Incredible, Motorola Droid X, Google Nexus One, LG G2x and Sony xPeria Play) which is what I have come to expect after trying the Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy S phones in kiosk displays.

This device is designed to be an iPod Touch competitor (even the box it cam in looked eerily familiar to an Apple iPhone package, including white ear buds) and it does a pretty decent job.  The main issue I see with this tactic is the device thickness (to accommodate the large removable battery)- however this shortcoming is readily overlooked when you consider the better cameras, inclusion of a GPS module and microSD expansion.  If you have a mobile hotspot, another sell point is the Galaxy Player makes for a good turn-by-turn GPS device via Google Maps navigation.

The battery lasts about two days when on 'standby' and lasts most of a day when listening to music or audiobooks.  I installed the Audible app and listened to a book for almost 6 hours over Bluetooth headphones and the battery was still over 50%.  Video and CPU intensive games do draw the battery down a bit faster (as anticipated).  Plants vs Zombies looks great on the 5" screen I and playing for 30 mins dropped the battery charge about 8%; if the battery drain is linear, I estimate I could play for about 5h 20m before needing it would offer a low battery notice.

I love the form factor and performance of this device, but for me personally it will definitely be a YADIRDNN (Yet Another Device I Really Do Not Need).  With the upcoming release of the Galaxy Nexus I am sure this device will end up on eBay soon thereafter.

This device is perfect for someone that already has a phone and wants a nice Android device without a service contract.  It makes for a good MP3 player, but I find the iPod Touch to be a little more enjoyable to use- and the size/battery life ratio of a Touch is near impossible to meet.

If you are an iPhone user and you want to try out the Android ecosystem, then this is the perfect device for you.  However, if you are a Android phone owner with a fairly recent device, there is not too much new here- especially if you are a Galaxy S/II owner- and I would recommend looking elsewhere if you are in search of a dedicated MP3 player.

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