Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 Review (Audiophilia III)

As previously written, I recently bought myself a new media player: the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0, model YP-G70. Overall, I'm pretty happy with this device. Before buying it, I saw it had hundreds of user ratings above 4.5 out of 5, so I read the 1's and 2's to see what the naysayers were complaining about. Most of those are in regard to a bug that quickly causes the device to either shut down or freak out, which hasn't happened on mine and seems to have been quickly corrected by users after a return and replacement at the retailer.

Here are the things *I* have to complain about:

1. Don't spare the juice! For the life of me I don't know what Samsung believes is a decent amount of battery power. True, I do have my screen timeout set at max (10 minutes), but I want to see what it's doing even if I don't touch anything for a little while. If I played music all day at work or in the car, I'd have almost no battery left. This being my first such device, I will assume this is just a case of me having unreasonable expectations. However, it would be nice if Samsung let me choose to have the screen never time out when the device was being charged.

2. Where are the accessories? I can't really be angry about this: weeks before buying anything, I'd looked for some case, holder, car adaptor, flippy wallet thing, or any version of the dozens of other cool accessories available for the several Samsung phones that are out there, and found next to nothing. I was surprised to see, in the store when I bought the 5.0, a snap on case (made, coincidentally, by a company headquartered almost in my own zip code), but that turned out to be a fluke. Not even this local company makes anything else for the 5.0. The closest we as consumers get is to find a comparably-sized (Samsung) device and see if it'll work. I haven't had the time yet to go on this quest, and I'll be very stingy with my money when it comes time to buy anything. With the exception of grossly overpriced screen protectors, even the aftermarket choices are almost nonexistent, unless I want to pay $20+ for something made overseas that I haven't had a chance to test fit or feel. Seriously, Samsung, at least offer us a wrist strap or something. What I'd really like to see are accessories similar to those for the Galaxy Note smartphone, which is just a tad bigger than the 5.0.

3. Proprietary micro-USB connector. This outright pisses me off. If I'd known about this before I bought the 5.0, it might have been a deal breaker, or at least made me more careful how I handled the cable supplied with the device. While other micro-USB cables fit just fine, they don't do anything--can't charge or transfer data. It's almost like somebody suggested a proprietary connector in a board meeting, but somebody else (correctly) pointed out that stuff like that doesn't fly with consumers, so they all put their heads together and decided to make it look like a common micro-USB connector, but not work like one. Bastards.

4. Home screen won't rotate. This is sort of trivial, but missed details greatly agitate me. Considering the image I found to put at the top of this post, I'm sure this must be a case of me doing something wrong.

Aside from these things, which can all be worked around in one way or another, I've found everything I read about the 5.0 to be true. All in all, I really dig it. I have yet to become very comfortable with the Android OS, so I'm sure there are lots of cool things and probably a few uncool ones, too, yet to discover. The Google Play app market is easy to use and has plenty of (honestly, too many) choices in both free and paid-for apps, not only big products like popular games but tools to do weird, specialized tasks, as well as alternatives to standard apps in case you don't like the looks of what you already get. So long as the quality is (stays) good, and nothing bad happens like [deleted so as not to jynx myself], I look forward to dozens of months of enjoyment with my fancy new music media player. 

Now if I could only beat the AI in the free chess game I downloaded, life would be great.

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