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Old December 19th, 2011, 09:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My Thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy Player

Well it's an honor to be able to make my first post as THE first post in this forum!

I have been researching the Samsung Galaxy Players for some time. I'm very old school. I hate cell phone contracts, fees and data caps. And since I am on a PC all day, I don't need the constant connectivity of a smart phone. I like having my dumb Razr on GSM (AT&T) for $50 a month. Battery lasts forever and it is always ready and get's a good signal. No contract. Flip a SIM whenever I want or when I travel.

That being said, there are times when I want connectivity and can make use of free wifi. I hate Apple and the stranglehold that they put on their customer base. I liked the idea of the Galaxy tabs but they were too large to carry around conveniently. I thought of a used smart phone with broken cell radio, and then for a while toyed with the idea of the Archos 43 as a "pocketable" micro-tablet. Then I discovered the Samsung Galaxy Players and knew this was where I was headed.

These things are just amazingly awesome. I've had mine for over a week now and am very, very pleased with it. It just totally rocks! I'm on wifi at work and at home. So convenient to have this in my pocket or on the nightstand and check email, watch netflix, etc.

This is a very well-designed device. On board apps are well-integrated. All market apps that I have loaded are performing flawlessly. Wifi connectivity is great. YouTube and Netflix stream perfectly. The screen is just awesome. I know there have been unfavorable comparisons to the iPod Touch; I have not made the side-by-side comparison, but for me, the applePharm is not an option. I examined the 4.0 and the 5.0 player side by side and found that they both have great screens. I know the resolution is the same on both and that technically the 5.0 should not be looking as sharp. But it does. If you set the brightness on both devices to the same level, they both look fantastic. For me, the larger screen size just makes the unit SO much more usable and viewable.

Also, the battery on the 5.0 is twice the capacity (2500 mAh) of the 4.0 (1250 mAh) and is really lasting a long time!!! Very impressive. Even with wifi and GPS on. I've heard so many reviews of smartphones with significant complaints of poor battery performance. I'm really happy with how this is working out. Stereo speakers are great for watching netflix, etc, but not great if you really want to LISTEN to music. Sound quality through good earbuds is very good, although sense of spaciousness and detail is not as good as my old Sansa Fuze mp3 player. Plays all formats including FLAC and vorbis.

8 gB of internal memory not so great, but of course we ahve the ability to add capacity and flexibility with microSD card (on the 5.0, you do not have to remove the back cover to gain access).

It's a speedy little unit despite it's 1gHz Hummingbird single-core processor. I think dual-core is not really required. All apps are running very well without delays or glitches.

The only gripes that I might bring up are:
- The battery is not user-replaceable. Bummer!
- The speakers, while good for tiny stereo speakers, are located on the flat bottom of the unit so when it is laid down on desk or table, the sound is muffled.
- Needs a kickstand of some sort for netflix and video watching. Especially because of speaker placement noted above
- On-board sound recorder (many students tend to use this for recording lectures) only outputs an amr file. Should have the option of wav and mp3. Download Tape Machine on the android market. Well worth it.
- Woulds be getting close to perfect if this had HDMI cable output. Samsung TVs will stream data from this device and there's AllShare on board, for sharing files between DLNA-enabled devices. But that's not going to do most of us much good. Even the Archos 43 has HDMI output.
- for such a contemporary device, the 8 gB internal memory is a bit lackluster, especially since many apps cannot be run off the microSD card. And the 512 mB of RAM is also not stellar. but so far has not presented any issues.
- Not a lot of options for protective cases yet. Riot Outfitters (at Best Buy), and pDair (check amazon) are the best options out there.
- Camera is clunky and slow. Typical for all smartphones.

Pre-Loaded Apps:
GoogleMaps: Works well.
Skype: Have not enabled yet. Front and real cameras make Skype a good app for this unit.
Netflix on board pre-loaded. Works flawlessly. Same for YouTube
I'm in process of checking out MicroSoft ThinkFree Office suite. Create and read pseudo-Word, pseudoExcel and pseudo-PowerPoint with storage in the cloud.
AirShare: for DLNA-enabled devices. Not very helpful for me.
Task Manager: Works great.
Email and Gmail: Working great.
Stock browser: Runs well
Kindle: Works great.
Android Market: Works great
FM Radio: Great!
Music Player: I like it. Some don't. Seems fine.

+Android Market Apps and Widgets:
+Tape Machine: GREAT sound recorder and editor!
+Weatherbug Widget: Running well
+Dolphin Browser: comparing this to stock browser. I like it. May make this default. Like the bookmarks menu as a left-side-swipe menu.
+Real Calc scientific calculater: Great. Has RPN too!
+Wifi Analyser: Great too to see various wifi networks in your local zone and displays strength and placement on the channel spectrum, and displays open/unsecured hotspots. Very cool.
+Over Drive: for getting free Kindle books from libraries. Very good. A bit complicated to set up since you also need to have a library on-line account and you need to get an Adobe account to make OverDrive work. But ultimately you get Kindle books on your 5" screen for free. Awesome.
+Bar Code Reader: Works great.
+SoundHound: Works surprisingly well!
+Autodesk's Sketchbook Mobile: Awesome app for drawing and using photos. Photoshop "Lite".
+ Flashlight. Very cool. Works well on the 5.0 (4.0 does not have LED flash)
+ GoogleEarth: Fantastic!

Alright, well there's my little wrap-up. Look forward to hearing from other SMP owners! Happy Holidays!
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