Pros The good, what else?
Cons The bad? Read on.
Summary Seriously Cnet? You point out the price and the fact that it's more of the same as the Galaxy line? Something tells me you guys don't really bother to test your non-Apple devices. You guys have lost your journalistic integrity over the past 3-5 years since I started following your reviews. I'm disappointed.
Pros GPS, Camera with flash, FM radio, size
Cons Learning curve, lack of accessories
Summary I have to disagree with the professional review here. I have an iPod touch 4th gen that I love, but purchased one of these on sale and have found that overall, I find it to be the more enjoyable device. I will attempt to address why and where I think the main review is off.
First of all the price can be an issue, but if you don't want to spend $269 you can also purchase a 4" model which offers all the same advantages over the iPod touch (the GPS, FM tuner, better camera, expandable memory), except with a slightly smaller screen. Personally I would have probably preferred the 4" as the 5" is small enough to pocket, but is still a bit bulky. The 5" was the only option I had for the price though, and I still enjoy it. The 4" model is available for $229, which is just $29 more then the equivalent iPod touch, and that is really the best comparison to make. Is it as cheap as a Kindle Fire? No, but I can't stick that in my pocket, and this is primarily a music player for me. The touch is the main competition on the market, and the galaxy player line is priced to be competitive vs those products.
The main selling point of the device is what you get in it that you don't in an iPod touch. The GPS and compass work fine, although I don't use them that much. With the proper app the device can be used as a stand alone GPS unit, although all maps must be downloaded to the device for that to work given the lack of 3G, but there is no monthly data charge to do so, which is a plus. The FM radio is somewhat basic, but it is functional and it is the main reason I wanted the device. I was tired of listening to a story on the radio in the car, then not being able to finish it while my girl friend would simply bust out her iPod nano and finish the story on that. I never understood why Apple would withhold that feature from the touch, and while I don't use it every day, it's very nice to have on occasion. The camera is far nicer then what I have on my iPod. While not perfect, it takes a reasonable shot, reasonably fast, and that's all I need it for. The flash is more helpful though, as it doubles as a nice little flashlight with the right app, and I've been surprised by how often it gets used. The larger screen though is a double edged sword. Yes, when I'm actually surfing the web or using an app, it's great, but for music playing, which is it's primary function, it doesn't add much, while it ensures that nothing else can fit in the same pocket as my player. Although this is really more design related. The inclusion of a micro-SD card slot is very important as these are only sold in an 8GB size, and without external storage this just wouldn't work for my purpose. The only real negative in features is the lack of a good iTunes alternative for Android. Yes I eventually got media monkey to work, but that was the 3rd package I tried, and even that lacked that certain seamless integration seen in Apples offerings. Oh, and the lack of parental controls just don't bother me. I always had to show my parents how to use a devises feature as a kid, and if I wanted to, I could always get around them.
This is the main problem area for the device. The simple fact of the matter is that the device is much thicker then the iPod touch, and is not exactly gorgeous to behold. I don't mind as I keep my iPod touch in a thick OtterBox case, having broke my first gen touch, but to some this will be a killer flaw. If you want a svelt sexy device, this probably isn't for you, but if you don't mind trading in svelt-ness for a couple nice features, then the device may be right up your ally.
Not perfect, but neither is my iPod touches. Sadly audio quality could be better, and the Sony Walkman Z series will likely be the champion in audio quality among this class of devices, if impressions are to be believed, but overall quality isn't bad, and some 3rd party apps can be used instead of the Galaxy music app to make things sound better. Still a turn off though for something that is primarily a music player, but it gets the job done, and at least it has that FM tuner I've been looking for.
Fine for what it is. I generally use a computer or television to watch most videos, but to show off a quick YouTube video the device works great. At my standard viewing distance it works just as well as my iPod touch, although closer up the iPod wins out, at least it does when I take it out of it's case.
Battery and Performance:
The battery of the Galaxy Player outlast my iPod touch in active use situations, but seems to have a shorter overall standby time. Performance is very comparable, and I haven't noticed much of a difference in internet surfing speeds, or app performance. Generally I find that I prefer the longer single sitting battery life of the galaxy player, as it means I can surf the web, play a game, or something else like that for longer away from an outlet. If you can't charge up often and are only using the device for low power activities like playing music, the iPods longer standby time would probably be the more important factor.
While I do enjoy the device a lot, it is not going to be for everyone. The android system does have a bit of a learning curve, although once mastered, can be slightly more efficient to use then iOS. (The WiFi and Bluetooth widgets are so much nicer then having to open the settings menu every-time you want to turn one on or off) The lack of accessories is annoying, especially the lack of a good durable case, which is why my iPod is still my primary player for some occasions. Overall though it's a nice device, and all things considered, if I has to choose one or the other, I'd stick with the galaxy player. Personally I'd like to see devices like these do well, not because of any hatred towards Apple, but simply because competition is good for the market. Apple rested on their laurels this year when they decided to not update the Touch at all except to add a new color, and having a couple good android alternatives is good for everyone. If Apple offered a touch with GPS, an iPhone 4 equivalent camera with a flash, and an FM radio, then I'd buy it right now and the galaxy player would rarely see the light of day, but until they do, there is a real niche to be filled by devices like the Galaxy player.
Pros Good screen size and display
Built-in STEREO speakers
expandable memory (microSD card slot)
good battery life
supports most audio/video codecs
web browsing (flash support)
large market of apps and games
Cons 5.0 does not have a removable battery
4.0 does not have a flash for the camera
Summary The Galaxy player is a great multimedia device. The screen is bright and clear with rich colors and deep blacks. Despite being 800x480, the large screen size makes for easy movie viewing and text reading. Web browsing is fast and flash is always a welcome plus.These are frequently on sale at various locations like amazon and best buy for $30 off which brings the Galaxy player 4.0 $199 and the 5.0 $239. However, the Galaxy 5.0 is discounted even more at best buy and is currently(12/07/11) listed as $209! I'm not sure how long this price will last, but the larger 5" screen size, longer battery life and flash for the camera at this price makes for an interesting argument if you are comparing the 5.0 to the 4.0, or any other device for that matter.
The built-in STEREO speakers and fm radio (not mentioned at all in the cnet review) are surprisingly good and a nice feature to go with your music collection and internet radio apps.
This player can play almost anything you can throw at it: MP3,M4A(AAC,AAC+,eAAC+),AMR,WMA,Ogg,WAV and FLAC music files; AVI(divx,xvid),MP4,3GP,WMV,ASF,FLV and MKV video files. I was able to play all my videos and music without any problems or conversions.
I generally listen to the galaxy player with a pair of klipsch s4 headphones (awesome headphones btw), but I stream my music in my car through the bluetooth a2dp and use google maps with the gps. Everything sounds great as long as you are listening to high quality or lossless files. The native equalizer is handy if you want to tweak the levels.
Thanks to the microSD card slot, I was able to bump up the storage to 40gb (8gb on board + 32gb microSD) for an extra $35. So, even though $229 for the 8gb 4.0 Galaxy player is more than the $199 8gb ipod touch, the expandable memory makes the Galaxy player 4.0($229 +$35=$264) more comparable to the $299 32gb ipod touch. The Galaxy player 5.0 is $269, add the card and it's $304 for a beautiful 5in 40gb full-featured multimedia device.
Updated on Dec 7, 2011
Pros Large screen, GPS, expandable data storage. A decent smartphone without the phone and monthly bill.
"The Galaxy Player is the best Android player yet, offering all the fun of the Android experience without a carrier contract or monthly bill."
Cons It is true that it is a bit expensive, but the price is justifiable
Summary The official review is just plain unacceptable for a respectable website. This device goes toe-to-toe against the iPod Touch and should be compared with it, NOT with tablets, especially not the Kindle Fire, which occupy a different market because they are used differently. Presuming that anyone who wishes to consider a different player than the iPod must be an Apple hater is insulting. As if consumers don't like having choices and being able to compare similar devices.
Not only that, by the same criteria, the iPod Touch also would be a stupid product, because not only does it cost almost the same, a 8 GB version costing 199$ and the 32 GB costing 299$ whereas the Samsung Galaxy 4.0 starts at 230$ (frequently discounted to 199$) and the 5.0 costing 260$ (again often discounted), but it offers less features for the price. Expandable storage? Forget it for the iPod Touch, for the Galaxy players, buy a cheap 32 GB microSD card and you get a 40 GB player. GPS? Not on the iPod Touch, present on the Galaxy player. Screen size? 3,5 inch for the iPod Touch, your choice of 4 or 5 inch for the Galaxy players.
Considering that, and that all the critics against the Galaxy Player apply also against the iPod Touch, surely that means that the iPod Touch must have been similarly trashed in its own review, right? I mean, its price also doesn't differentiate much from sub-300$ tablets and it can be easily replaced with an iPhone, right? Let me check... 4,5 stars for the iPod Touch versus 3 for the Galaxy Player. Hmm, Surely then this must be another reviewer, the only way to explain such discrepancy, so Donald Bell reviewed the Galaxy Player and the guy reviewing the most recent iPod Touch was some dude called... Donald Bell. What a coincidence, and the two guys look almost the same.
Weird though. For the iPod Touch, not being a phone or needing a contract and monthly bill was considered a great advantage... for the Galaxy Player, it was considered a great disadvantage.
Pros See below...
Cons See below...
Summary "First off, let's take the iPod Touch out of the equation and assume that you've found your way to this review because of some deep-seeded repulsion to Apple products that acts as a cornerstone of your identity"
Do you realize with that one sentence you have invalidated your entire review? You are basically stating that you are so biased toward Apple products that you have no business reviewing any non-apple products. And why do I have to explain that to you? Are you so unprofessional that you can't see that?
"acts as a cornerstone of your identity"