"A Terrific MULTIMEDIA PLAYER and iPod Beater."3.5 starson by lacyrice2
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.