"Android without the phone and an ideal size."3.5 starson by kobolila
Pros: Size; extremely portable yet not eye straining.
Majes a great wifi phone with free apps.
Awesome as a e-reader.
Access to the Android Market.
Beautiful screen; properly encoded videos look great.
Cons: Kies, Samsung's tool for managing files on the SGP.
RAM, and CPU; the device is peppy but can bog down.
Summary: Let me start by saying that in my family we have no less than 9 iPods of various incarnations in this house and 3 are Touch's. Obviously we are not Apple haters. That said I have to agree with so many other posters here who are criticizing the cnet review; it very biased IMHO. The Final Thoughts section alone leaves me baffled.
Two of the iPods we have are mine & the SGP 5 stomps on my ipods and leaves them in the dust. My wife and our 2 boys each have the Touch; they are really cool devices, but still, IMHO, no match for the versatility or USABILITY of the SGP.
The screen resolution difference is frequently a factor I read about in threads where elitist posters scoff at the SGP's v's the Touch's; In reality the visual difference is negligible at best, especially when you compare the comfort difference between the Touch's tiny screen and the SGP's 5 inch screen.
I wasnt looking for a e-reader but, now that I have the SGP 5, I am devouring books just like I was a kid again. There are more than a few good apps for reading books on the market and tools on the net to convert whatever format you get, ie pdf, to the standard ePub that so many readers use. The best thing though is that the SGP 5 is so much more portable than the standard e-readers out there; it just drops right in my pocket.
Yesterday I was listening to some folks talking about the devices they used for e-reading; some used the traditional and popular e-readers & a couple used a iPod Touch. The conversation started when one of the folks with the iPod mentioned to their friend who was using a Kindle how they didnt like reading on the Touch because the screen was too small The e-reader folks liked the bigger screens they had, but the device itself was a bit larger than they liked. I introduced them to the SGP 5, I was using it as a reader at the time, and they loved it.
My iPods have always been my 'beater' music players; something to drop in my pocket and use with ear buds while mowing the lawn, etc. When I traveled or was just relaxing somewhere and wanted to either listen to music or watch movies I have used a Cowon A2. Cowon is legendary for the audio quality of their devices. The audio quality from a ipod is so far removed from the A2 that it isnt a fair fight. The stock audio player in the SGP doesn't compare with the A2 either, however there are some very good apps out there that let you tweak the sound to the effect of making it a pleasure to use.
The A2 was also known for its great screen and watching videos was the main reason I got it; I was never disappointed. Trying to watch the same movies on the classic iPod was not only a joke because of the screen size but battery life positively sucked as well (I easily got 8-9 hours watching on the A2. The SGP 5 has very good battery life giving me hours of video, internet, reading, music and gaming.
The SGP comes closest to the visual experience I enjoyed with the A2; lower encoded videos will not look great but given enough bits the images are really nice. I am tossed though whether I like the A2's brighter image or the SGP's richer colors.
The argument made by the reviewer that there is no reason to purchase this device since most people who would consider it already have an Android phone is, IMHO, naive bordering on just plain dumb. Not everyone wants to pay the exorbitant monthly fees and be locked in for a couple years. I am in that that crowd that chooses not to. I have had a cell phone since around 1997 and have never purchased a cell phone plan, preferring instead pay as you go. As cellphones became more and more advanced it was harder and harder not to want a smartphone, but the ridiculous price I would have to pay just to have those features quickly brought me back to reality. Instead I have a 'feature' phone that will get me on the net if I need to and now, with the SGP5, all the cool Android toys I want to play with.
The primary purpose of a phone is to make and receive calls, especially in an emergency. I cant tell you how many friends I know of who have to shut off their phone or find a place to plug it in during the afternoon or early evening because the battery is just about dead from all the other stuff they were doing on it. The SGP gives you the fun without sacrificing your phones battery.
Although marketed as a Personal Media Player the SGP 5 is more of a mini tablet which is much more portable than any of its 7 or 10 inch cousins. It is also, despite the authors claim, much better feature wise than any e-reader I know of. I am baffled by the excitement over the new Kindle Fire or even the new Nook Tablet. My wife has the original Nook Color, it is a really nice device, especially rooted, and it was the inspiration for me to seek out a Android device to replace my ageing A2. The thing that kept me from jumping into the tablet market was their size. The SGP 5 changes all that; you CAN have your cake and eat it too.
As stated above in the CON's there are a couple things that I hope future versions can fix.
Kies is a sucky program, fortunately you do not NEED it to use it to manage your files, but if a firmware update comes out you will to use it.
The device has 512mb of RAM, with only 300+ available for your apps, a gig would be better. I find that I have to occasionally kill some apps that are hogging resources; the same for the signal core processor which those rogue apps are also taxing. Add at least a dual gore and a gig of RAM and it will be much better.
The Short of it is this: If you want to play with Android apps without taxing your phone, if you want to have a e-reader, or multimedia player and do moderate gaming, a tablet that is easily pocket-able as well as having expandable memory capacity than this is a device you want to seriously look at. The iPod touch is a nice toy, but it is not the jack of all functions that the SGP is with its diminutive size really being a turn off for me. And as for parental controls, as another posted stated, you can find apps out there which offer that protection.