Cons Battery Life (Not 60 hours)
Limited Video Codecs
Summary I was given this multimedia player (CNET needs to change the MP3 category to Multimedia Players) as an option to replace my Archos 43, which had replaced my Archos 5.0 IT. I had also owned the Archos 7 250GB machine, but took it back due to unsatisfactory battery life and it running hot. I had a problem with the size of the Archos 43 due to not being able to use the keyboard without pressing the wrong keys, no GPS and the SD Card slot breaking. I chose the 5.0 to solve the keyboard problem and chose it over the iPod Touch 2011 due to pricing and expandability. I had used Apple products since 2003 and still cannot figure what all the fuss is about as far as performance. the Archos was one of the most versatile players I've had and this equals or surpasses them in all areas except battery life. I was able to go at least a couple days before charging on the players with moderate use. I had to take my first 5.0 back because it was not getting the rated 60 hours (I was at 15% after around 16 hours with little use). I tested my new one out by just keeping Wifi on without using anything else and was able to get 24 hours (GPS might have been on too). I am currently testing it with everything off.I have tested the battery in standby without the WiFi (and GPS) and it has been 28.5 hours and the battery is at around 90-95%. I also found that the firmware updates come through the Samsung Kies desktop software. Kies also syncs multimedia files to the device which should help solve the codecs problem. Media Monkey is also a free option. Some people have complained about not being able to charge the battery past 80%, but I have never had that problem and some people in the Samsung SGP Forum stated that rebooting or charging while off could solve the problem. My only gripe is that it takes a while to recharge. As a former wireless sales and customer service person, I also know to fully recycle my device the first few times to maximize battery life and I will do the same with this device...in a few days it seems. This should increase my rating to 4.5.
I used to look to CNET Reviews to help guide my decisions, even though some salespeople were convinced that some editors were being paid by some manufacturers. Now, I must agree with that assessment. He admitted he was an Apple homer, insulted those who are not, and did not review this player with the same criteria that he did the iPod Touch 2011. Everything he derided the Samsung for, he actually praised the iPod. Neither are meant to replace phones or tablets. I have had wireless phones since 1995 and I own the HP Touchpad 32GB and Toshiba Thrive. Tablets are not as portable as this multimedia player. They are greater for work production due to their larger sizes. I also own the HTC Evo 3D and 4G Slide. I make calls from them and use them for other functions, including texting. I use my multimedia players to listen to music, view movies, view pictures and read e-books. I the editor is going to give the iPod Touch 2011 an Editor's Award, he should give the Samusung two. It has thing the Touch does not and with screen resolution being the only advantage, needs to reconsider his review.
The 5.0 does not play the amount of video codecs my Archos did (It played just about everything) and this is the major downer. I had a couple MP4 files which would not play and another which did. Other media were fine, especially pictures and e-books. The lower resolution actually helps consume less power and is negligible. The view of these files were great. The audio playback in stereo was nice as I do not use ear buds and use headphones sparingly.
The battery is the only other negative of note. Though it has a huge battery, it drains pretty quickly according to my experience. I read on another review site that there may be a calibration problem. I returned the first one as it is the rated for 60 hours and am now testing the new one before I add apps or files. I hope to update this review with something more accurate as I am one of those people who never gets everything out of an item that I am supposed to get.
Support sucks bad for this product. I called the mobile devices group and the person who answered did not even know the player existed. I was routed to electronics and the rep there was not much help as apps cannot be rearranged like other Android devices and there is not an update option, but was told that Samsung would update over the air. I have had other Samsung products, so experience tells me that they will do a push from their support website for download. Samsung support is usually top-notch, so I will assume this will improve in time. I was also promised an answer to my problems via email...5 days ago and have not received one yet.
To summarize: This is a great start for Samsung and should get better IAW Samsung's track record. This is also an iPod beater as attested by other reviewers here. Take away iTunes and the iPod sinks further. I am happy I did not get that Apple product and though I have been with Archos for a few years,I can say I am currently pleased with my decision to give the Samsung a try. I also did not mention that the 43 cost more than the $239 I paid for the 5.0. Do not listen to the editor. Do your favor and try the Samsung. You might be happy you did. BTW, if you have a fix for my issues, please notify me.
Updated on Dec 26, 2011
Updated on Dec 27, 2011I have completed my standby test and this device exceeded my expectations. It's been over 60 hours and the battery is at 85-90% according to Settings. The battery icon in the status bar is still full. After I drain it, I will conduct a moderate use test and update.
Updated on Jan 14, 2012I have had time to use the unit more. The battery is good when using it for listening to music, watching videos, or reading e-books. The battery does take a hit when using wireless, though it is good and fast when surfing the Net. I do have Webroot Anti-virus and Advanced Task Killer on at all times and do not know how they affected my juice.
I will say that I am disappointed that Cnet did not make Bell redo or amend his review as this item has more features and better performance than the Editor's Choice item. Another site had reviewed them so close that the reviewer almost took the tag from the iPod T2011. Everyone has admitted that the features the Samsung has that the Apple doesn't are significant. So, how does the Pod still retain it's rating as does the Samsung? Bias. I am also disappointed that I contacted the head woman in charge and she has not responded. Maybe Cnet is on Apple's payroll in which case, I will no longer use or refer it to others for reviews.
Pros See below.
Cons See below.
Summary The 3 stars given by the "critic" seems is very undeserved, since this is a fantastic device. The problem with these reviews is the author doesn't spend sufficient time with each device to gain insight about the device, and everyone uses the devices a little differently, some mainly for music, some for reading, others for videos. Then there's portability, and ergonomics - some hands are bigger than others.
I've had the "Player 5" for over a month and use it at least an hour every day. I also owned the Acer Iconia 100 (7-inches) for about 2 weeks (but returned it), so I'll make some comparisons to that.
First, there seems to be some odd assumptions made in the review of the Galaxy Player 5. Regarding the author's statement "The logic behind Samsung's Galaxy Player 5.0 ... take Samsung's version of the Android 2.3 operating system...and you should have an appealing alternative to Apple's popular iPod Touch". Tablets, in general, are an alternative to PC's and laptops, not to other brands of tablets. And the 5-inch Samsung model simply fits into the spectrum of sizes that Samsung is designing. Samsung's philosophy is, apparently, to make a broad spectrum of sizes, something for everyone. Samsung is competing with all other device makers, not just Apple. And regarding it's being introduced "4 years too late", does this mean that there should never be a 5-inch tablet? That's a crazy thing to say. If I want to start a company to make 5-inch tablets, are you saying I can't? And should only Apple be allowed to make tablets? Should only Ford make cars? Of course there is always the "original" idea, but there will inevitably be competition, that's how capitalism works. Like with generic drugs, which people PREFER, because they do the same thing for less. By implication, people should PREFER the generic clones of the iPad, because they do the same thing for less. The point is, if they all do the same thing equally well (as is the case), why pay more?
Several things that should be emphasized about the Galaxy Player 5 (5-inch) that the author either didn't notice or didn't appreciate (not entirely his fault because he probably has many devices on his desk that he has to evaluate - who wouldn't be confused by this array of technologies?)
1. The Galaxy Player 5 has 2 speakers. This is definitely on the plus side.
2. It has a micro SD slot. An enormous plus. Getting my collection of music onto the device is therefore literally effortless, since I conveniently "dragged and dropped" my music files to the micro SD card some time ago for use with another device. I'm surprised the 4-inch version doesn't have a memory card slot, since its size makes it particularly well suited to be a "big screen" dedicated mp3 player.
The Apple iTouch doesn't have either of these 2 essential features, which would seem to invalidate any comparisons between the Galaxy Player 5 and the iTouch from the start. Certainly, the Player 5 would seem to be the superior device for these reasons alone. (I've owned an iTouch for about 2 years, which I use mainly to check the weather, which is does SO WELL! Plus Fluent News. But otherwise it sits in a drawer...).
Regarding the number of apps in the Apple store vs. the Android Market: it's ridiculous to buy into the Apple ecosystem because it has more apps. Both app stores have far surpassed the point of redundancy, and both would be far better with LESS, NOT MORE. All the killer apps are in both markets, and behave identically on both Apple and Android devices.
One ideal design for a tablet would be to have "the biggest screen size that fits into an average hand". The Player 5 does this. Which means that, ergonomically, it is, ahem, perfect. It's possible to hold it for hours. A 7-inch screen is also a great size but a little awkward to hold for long periods, and gets heavy. When the 7-inch models get down to about 5mm, and lighter, I'll get one, they do display more "at a glance". The merit of the 5-inch form factor has been challenged, but the simple fact is that the 5-inch tablet bears the unique distinction as being eminently holdable.
And the "Player 5" plays music SO WELL, especially using the Power Amp android app, available on the Android Marketplace.
It's great for reading, allowing you to easily resize text, besides it's clear, high contrast display. In fact, with this device, reading is a pleasure - as reading should be. This is mainly how I use it. Most other tablets dim when in web browser mode, where the user has no ability to override this, and which lowers the contrast. The Galaxy Tab 7 Plus, and others, have this drawback, I don't know why, which is why I didn't buy it. The user should have control over the brightness at all times. Sure it drains the battery faster, on a brighter setting, but most users are by an outlet pretty much all the time, so Samsung shouldn't deprive me of my preference regarding screen brightness while reading.
I like the slippery, fingerprint resistant glass screen, which is more effortless than tablets with regular glass like the Acer Iconia Tab 100 although this wouldn't be a reason to prefer one over the other.
One negative I noticed, although a tiny one, for me, with the Galaxy Player 5, is videos don't play well. They stop after the first minute or so. That may be related to my particular wi-fi setup, but happens consistently even if I'm next to the router. But because most embedded videos are only a minute or so, it's not a problem, and I don't otherwise use it to watch videos. This could be a big negative for some, but not for me. Then again it could be my device.
One other small "issue" is the wi-fi stops occasionally. But it reconnects almost immediately, and automatically, so it's not really a problem. When this happens I just go back and touch a hyperlink again, I just don't consider this a problem. Dropping the wi-fi signal happened more often with the Acer Iconia Tab 100, where I had to go into the settings menu to reconnect, then work my way back to the web page I was trying to get to, which is obviously more work than with the Galaxy Player 5 - and another reason that I returned the Acer Iconia, besides it's getting "heavy" after only a few minutes.
Regarding cameras on PMP's, tablets, or cell phones: where these devices have 2 cameras, one should be at least 8 mega pixels. Anything less is superfluous because everybody has equal access to better cameras already. Redundant cameras just inflate the prices of these things and it's a waste of natural resources to make superfluous lenses and associated circuitry. By the same token, tablet reviews shouldn't devolve into an essay about the camera, as if there's any question that a camera less than 8MP isn't a gimmick. No tablet or cell phone will ever take good pictures, one need not ask this question anew with every new tablet or cell phone.
In conclusion, I'd give the Galaxy Player 5 about a 96 out of 100, which translates to 5 stars. It's actually a dream to use, compared to using either my laptop or PC, what with all the ads, reminders and warnings. Tablets are definitely a breakthrough and I expect to eventually own a 7-inch model, besides the 5-inch I currently own and the iTouch.
Pros MUCH cheaper than an IPOD Touch or a smartphone to USE. Solid Cost alternative to an Ipod Touch 32GB. More practical 5"screen.Android apps much cheaper, The main ones people USE range from free to inexpensive. Better connectivity.
Cons Could be lighter. Next version should be dual core.
Summary Much cheaper to own and USE alternative to a smartphone. NO contract needed in order to use the non-phone functions. Wireless excellent for using Skype. More handy as Skype Internet telephone than any tablet. Comparing Galaxy Player with a tablet is like comparing a tablet to a desktop computer and declaring the desktop a better buy.I learned in the early decade of personal computing to be skeptical of "professional" media product reviewers, ESPECIALLY if they accept, like Kim Komando, and are paid (again, like Komando) to promote a specific brand or two. For a long time, no one criticized Microsoft, Gateway, or IBM products. Not that they were flawless or great but they laid out a lot of advertising money in each issue of the top four computing magazines. If they wanted to sell their articles and reviews, they did not upset the big advertisers.
I can not say whether or not Bell is in the tank directly or indirectly but I am suspicious he may be compromised somehow by Apple. I do know his review of the Galaxy misses the mark and lacks imagination to the point where I wonder why any consumer would be interested in his take in this matter!
Bell totally ignores that demanding alternatives to Apple products is MORE than a matter of mentality, attitude, being cheap or personal taste. Apple is and always has been highly proprietary, meaning the cost of owning Apple devices goes further than the inflated cost of their devices. By an Apple computer, tablet, phone, whatever and you are locked into buying proprietary Apple software, apps, etc. Its even worse than using Microsoft Windows. Use Windows and you get trapped into a money consuming, time consuming world. Fortunately, there are Linux alternatives, something that eats at the souls of Microsoft executives. Apple and Microsoft share Bill Gates in common and his mentality. Foolish people buy stock in these two giants which never have and never will pay a dividend. They save all the excess profits for senior management, who retire young and oil prince wealthy.
Galaxy is an alternative for people who wish to use a smartphone but refuse to be hamstrung by a phone company. Bell recommends a cell phone over the Galaxy. How is being forced to pay $80 plus a month JUST so you can have the Android computer functions of YOUR smartphone UNLOCKED so you can use it smarter and cheaper than a Galaxy player?
He compares a $220 (street price) Galaxy Player, which has many quality apps FREE to Apple Ipod which charges money for the same apps. Isn't that like buying an inkjet printer for $90 but forgetting the ink cartridges are $30 each, or an HP color laserjet for $250 but forgetting it takes six toner cartridges that cost $75 each?
OK, so Ipod comes with a parent feature that lets parents protect children from porn sites. Bell wants me to believe he is such an incompetent gadget "expert" that he is unaware that there are several FREE Android apps that do this and some do it much better? Like a corporate marketing department drone he USES screen numbers to "prove" IPod is superior. Come on. An "expert" should know it is what this actually means visually that matters.
On a 5" display most people will be very pleased with Galaxy's 800 X 480. IPod has to have 960 X 640 to make text readable on a 3.4" screen. Bell says Galaxy sound is wanting. Wanting in exactly what way? Most people are thrilled with 5 channel sound because in all honesty few people can truly appreciate 12 channel. If you can not hear the difference is there a real difference? In the world of small screens, there is a big difference between 3.4 and 5, especially a big difference when it comes to photos, videos and something you skipped over viewing Internet Pages.
My wife isn't the only person who wanted a smartphone but not the overpriced phone services. To her shock, she learned that even if she goes out and pays full price ($500 or more) for one, it really isn't hers because she can not use the computer, the wireless, nothing, unless she signs up for outrageously priced phone service.
For such people who want a pocket device, not a tablet, Galaxy is the way to go. It may cost more than a IPod but she can insert an inexpensive microSD that instantly comparable to a much more expensive Ipod. How much is a 32GB Ipod Mr. Bell.
Pros Don't know
Cons Don't know
Summary We should all complain to CNET to get this product re-reviewed by someone who isn't so obviously an apple fanatic. He didn't even give this a chance. Everything he bashes it on are similar flaws in the ipod touch yet that got 5 stars. What a hack! He left out so many things that this has that are missing on the ipod. He compares it to tablets, but it's not meant to compete with tablets. Hey Donald, people want this because it is pocketable and offers more features than the ipod. Also, Donald should have looked into some of the possibilities to change lacking features through apps(content filtering).
CNET, what happened to your great unbiased reviews? You are starting to disappoint me. I used to go to you to read about products and feel I was getting an honest un-biased review, but now I don't feel that is the case any more. You never criticize Apple for anything now. Are you on some companies payroll. That would be unethical, you know?
Pros -5" screen (literally a tablet by Android standards), but it still fits in an average pocket (unlike a 7"-10.1" tablet)
-No contract (unlike most other Samsung Galaxy devices)
-Expandable memory (up to 32GB)
Cons -Many games in Google Play that you can find for the iPod touch in the App Store are incompatible with Galaxy Player 5. No Modern Combat 3.
-Larger battery takes a long time to charge
-Built-in music app UI is kind of gross.
Summary I got this device because tablets are too big to fit in a pocket, on-contract phones are outrageously expensive, and the same phones off-contract are still not worth it.
I used an iPod touch before this, and I loved it. But some thief decided he needed it more than I did. I used the opportunity to try out Android. My first device was an LG Optimus V (good starter device), but I soon found out about this slightly more expensive, but much more powerful option.
My first impressions were BIG HUGE SCREEN, FASTER PROCESSOR, and IT FITS IN MY POCKET. I bought Shadowgun and World of Goo (tablet only) for $.49 apiece, and I was impressed by ensuing mobile gaming entertainment. I wanted more, so I looked up other such games. Dead Space. That's all I found (because Gameloft doesn't do it for me). So I looked up Gameloft games. I learned that there aren't many Gameloft titles compatible with the Player 5.0 either.
That surprised me, because I looked up the hardware specs, and they're a little better than those of the iPod touch. It has the same (1GHz) CPU as iPod's underclocked A4 SoC (Samsung's Hummingbird), 370+ MB of RAM (compared to iPod's 256), PowerVR SGX540 graphics processor (iPod has SGX535, not sure what the difference is), and fewer pixels on the screen (less work for the GPU). I guess that means that the weak link of graphical performance is Android itself.
But you don't need graphical performance to read ebooks! Reading is about half of what I do on the Galaxy Player. It has a big screen with color and decent pixel density, and many possible ebook sources. AND IT FITS IN YOUR POCKET.
I also like using this to watch movies. There is a pair of pretty decent and loud stereo speakers on the back, and 5" of "hdpi" movie beats out watching shows on a 3.5" iPod touch. And it's better than hauling around a 7"-10" tablet any day BECAUSE IT FITS IN YOUR POCKET.
There are some other nice features too, which I don't often use: Decent web browsing with Flash support, FM Radio, 3.2 megapixel camera (I DO use the LED flash as a flashlight), Android's Gallery app, and ThinkFree Office, among others. And it thinks it's a tablet that FITS IN YOUR POCKET.
My main gripes with this device are:
Relatively weak Wi-Fi reception
Limited Bluetooth functionality (still better than iOS
Long time to charge the large battery (about as fast as iPad)
Android's inherent graphical performance issues
The headphone jack is on the bottom
Smartphone keyboards cheat on button hotzones. You have to type slightly lower on the keyboard than you'd think, or risk unintentionally hitting the key above.
I'd recommend this for:
Android lovers on somewhat of a budget
Phone service provider haters
People who like big smartphone screens
People who like LED flashlight apps
People who like stereo speakers built-in
People who like showing off
People who like tablets that FIT IN THEIR POCKETS.
P.S. I found mine on eBay, used but in perfect condition for $200.