G Styled: Samsung Galaxy Players – High-Class Android PMPs or iPod Knockoffs?

G Style

I must say right off the bat, the Galaxy Player 4.0 definitely looks like a first generation iPhone or maybe the iPhone 3G. The 5.0 not so much. The Galaxy Players are supposed to be the media- only counterparts of the successful Galaxy S Phone models, but the real question is “are they worth buying?”

If you’re going to buy any of the Galaxy Players, I would suggest the 4.0. Though when you use it people won’t know if you are using a Galaxy Player or an iPhone, the 4.0 is the better of the two. It’s small, compact, and the screen is awesome! I used to have the Samsung Captivate, and the one thing I loved most about it was that sexy screen. To me, it was like having a mini HDTV in your pocket; the screen looked that good! The same thing holds true with the Galaxy Player 4.0.

The Galaxy Player 5.0 however is another story. It’s like the 4.0 got all the looks in the family, and the 5.0 was left with what remained at the end. The 5.0 is chunky, and oddly shaped at 5 inches. That extra inch makes it kind of weird. It’s too small to be a tablet it, but too much of a monstrosity to be a regular old MP3 player. To add insult to injury, it doesn’t have as great of a screen like the 4.0. So for all its size, it doesn’t even have that mini HDTV in your pocket feel, which is a real fail on Samsung’s part.

The questions still remains: are these worth buying? I mean if you like Android, you probably already have an Android phone, making the purchase of this pointless. And if you have an iOS device like a iPod Touch, I can’t see why you would switch to this, especially when the 4.0 is going for more than the cheapest iPod Touch. But if you just have to have an Android device to play your music and movies, but don’t want to pay for a data plan, the Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0 might be for you. You can skip the 5.0 model though.

Galaxy Player 4.0 G Style Rating: Fashion Forward
Galaxy Player 5.0 G Style Rating: Fashion Fail

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  1. male46 Says:

    Guess you never bothered to factor in that a FEW people may enjoy the larger screen? Some of us don’t know the screen is inferior to another device unless we put them side by side. I don’t intend to do that. My eyes will look at the 5 inch display and say WOW….thank you very much!

    Gonna enjoy the wifi, the cameras, the SD card slot, and probably will figure a way to make a phone call with it over the net using Google Voice! You keep your cell plan, I’ll keep my Google voice.

    thaniks!

  2. kobo Says:

    Anyone who knows me knows that fashion aint never been high on my list of priorities, so when I buy a device as a tool or whatever I am more interested in its function than how good it looks. With that said, and with all due respect; I could not disagree with you more.

    I am from the crowd, which, IMHO, with the soft economy, is growing, that wants the android features but not the phone. I have had a cell phone for over 15 years now and in all that time I have never bought into a plan; for me it just did not make financial sense, I dont care what the phones can do. The last 10 years or so I have used a basic Motorola flip phone with Tracfone; with double minutes that $20 card can last me a couple months. I dont spend more than a couple minutes at a time talking and my texting isnt even that long. With Tracfone now offering a couple of feature phones (not ‘smart’ just not as dumb as my old one) I upgraded to one of those for the web access it offered, easier texting than on a keypad, and triple minutes. Now, if I really want to, I can check the weather, Facebook, things like that, but honestly, in the last month I have used the web features of the phone for all of 5 minutes, and that $20 card, with the triple minutes, now lasts me even longer.

    Having used such a dull phone all these years you might think I am some kind of technophobe but you couldnt be more wrong; this family, all of whom use pay as you go phones, loves its electronic toys. My first encounter with android came months back with my wife rooting her Nook Color, a really nice device, and it didnt take long before I decided I wanted a tablet of my own. I knew two things right off the bat: I didnt want a Apple based device – nothing against Apple; we gave our two boys each a iPod Touch, my wife has a 160gb classic & I have had an iPod since the original Mini, but I just havent warmed up to the limits of iTunes. I also didnt want a full size 10 inch tablet because it just was too big and not really portable IMHO. If I want something that big when I travel I’ll just bring a laptop, like the X220.

    So I started looking at 7 inch models like the HTC Flyer, Samsung 7, Lenovo, etc. Each had their good points but they still were more bulky than I wanted to deal with. I wanted something that had wifi and full access to the android market but with features like my favorite PMP that I own, a 30gb Cowon A2, which I can fairly easily drop in my pants pocket, has a decent sized screen, great battery life, and plays audio & video like nothing else.

    Enter the SGP 5, which I bought a little over a week ago, and I love it. It doesnt have the DVR recording ability of the A2 but makes up for it in many other ways.

    Having used a 4 inch screen with the A2 for the last 5+ years I knew I would prefer more than that for web browsing so the 4.0 was never a option for me, but I see my wife thinking about one. I think that the screen on my A2 is brighter, but, seriously, the SGP 5.0 still has a very nice screen. I have no complaints there at all. I think that the audio, though not equal to the A2 is better than any iPod I’ve owned and that just by adding Sygic, a $22.51 app, I have turned it into a really good 5 inch GPS that I dont need a data connection for is awesome.

    The fact that it is wifi only is also not a negative feature as more and more places offer free wifi in their establishments; I was in Home Depot the other day and used their wifi with the 5.0 to scan the bar code of an item that had no price sticker.

    A side note: that wifi is becoming more common may also be a bit of a threat to cell phone data plans. Compared to many other countries the cost for cellphone use in the US has been outrageous and I have spoken to more than a few folks in recent months who have asked me about pay as you go phones as they consider ways to trim their budgets; those who have seen my SGP are now even more convinced to make the switch, even if they have to take a penalty hit, because it would still be less than what it would cost them in per month charges with their current plans. I have suggested to those who got sucked into buying a full featured phone that they keep it if it has wifi for the multimedia & apps and get a pay as you go phone for when they need to make a call.

    The 4 inch SGP is a strong competitor for the Touch but the SGP 5.0 is in a class all its own; its more of a mini tablet than just a PMP. For people who want a tablet like experience but dont want to have to carry a bulky device with them the 5.0 hits a sweet spot; reading a ebook the other night I noted that it was almost like reading from a paperback novel. It might not be as purdy or fashionable as a Touch or the SGP 4.0, but I think that overall it is the better device.

  3. Mark Says:

    I get the impression that the author of this ‘review’ hasn’t spent any time with either device.

    The Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 is fantastic. If I had the average person the 4.0, the 5.0, and the new iPod, all of them will pick the 5.0 to carry.

  4. Roger Says:

    Kobo is right on so many points. I have an Android phone on pre-pay, but I just usually check the weather, email or Facebook/twitter which feature phones are doing more and more. I could easily switch to a feature phone, but my plan is dirt cheap, so I stick with it for now. Another thing I noticed not mentioned is that you can use Google Voice on these tablets and send/receive texts and make some voip calls all over wifi connection. Skype video chat also.

    I have a 10 inch tablet, and a 7 inch Nook Color. I agree that while a 7 inch is compact, to me, a 5 inch is completely ideal as a pack around tablet. Not to mention that the Samsung 5.0 use a micro usb connection. My 10 inch tablet has a different connection and the power cord also has a brick built in. The Nook Color also has a proprietary charger that can malfunction as many have. So for me to get a data plan-free, wi-fi, 5 inch Android tablet with all the regular market apps and things like Netflix, that also has better battery life than my 10 inch tablet does, and have a typical mini usb connection, is an ABSOLUTE GODSEND! And yes, mine is on its way in the mail; the anticipation is killing me! :-)

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