What makes the Samsung Galaxy Player 50 especially appealing amongst the mist of a world of portable media players or handheld devices is that its been embroidered with the Samsung Galaxy badge – which many of you will know about due to the success of its distant cousin, the Samsung Galaxy S Android phone. While its second ‘attraction’ will no doubt be the fact that its runs on Android, a relatively cheaper alternative to Apple’s iOS if having apps is what you’re after.
At the time of this review, the 8GB version of the Galaxy Player 50 sent to us costed approximately £140 while the equivalent capacity iPod Touch costs around £170, we’ll see in this quick review whether a £30 difference is enough to convince us that the Galaxy Player 50 is the better bet.
Starting with its looks. The Galaxy Player 50 comes only in white, similar to the iPod Touch, its main hard key is a center key which acts as the ‘Home’ button. There are volume keys and power on/off buttons on either side of the device. All of these including the body of the Galaxy Player 50 itself feel plastic and dare I say cheap. Though its lightweight, its not the sort that feels sturdy and rugged, I would not have the confidence to let this drop onto my office floor and let alone put it through a stress test.
As you can see in the side view, it is not a thin device at all, 11.08 mm to be exact. The good thing about the Galaxy Player 50 is that its an Android device, which means mini-USB port, removable battery, and upgradable external memory in the form of a microSD (up to 32GB).
Generally speaking, the Galaxy Player 50 looks and feels like a high end budget phone, except its missing all the phone bits (on paper its specs does look that way) within which we can only assume has made it relatively lightweight.
Don’t be fooled by the Galaxy label
If you’ve got a mate with the Galaxy tablet or Galaxy S, you’ll know that Samsung can make decent displays when they want, unfortunately that wasn’t the case here with the Galaxy Player 50. The 3.2” WQVGA TFT LCD sports just 240 x 400 resolution which is considerably less than that of its four-inch display cousin and substantially poorer than the iPod Touch 4G’s retinal display. In fact, the Galaxy Player 50’s display has a resolution that is on average less than many other Android PMPs’.
The ‘pixelated’ display is not only a bother for viewing photos and videos by today’s standard (and indeed if you consider comparing it with the iPod Touch), its also not helped by the fact that the Galaxy Player 50 doesn’t provide any vibrating feedback when you navigate through its menus / applications. Luckily for majority of the time, we didn’t experience any significant input lag but only some jerks on loading applications – primarily to do with its limited hardware (more below).
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