The Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 is an interesting device designed for those that want to try out Google’s operating system but without having to buy a smartphone. This has a large 5.0-inch touchscreen display and runs on Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread. It is powered by a 1.0 single core processor and comes with 8GB of built-in memory which can be expanded up to 32GB via a microSD card.
Those of you with small hands will have a little bit of trouble holding the Galaxy Player 5.0 with just one hand as the device measures 5.6 x 3.1 x 0.5 inches. It weighs a hefty 6.4 ounces and it’s bulkier than last year’s Samsung Galaxy S II flagship smartphone from the Korean company. At the back of this media player there’s a 3.2 megapixel camera that has an LED flash. Also at the back there are two small speaker grilles as well as the “Galaxy Player 5.0” moniker which is scribed in gray on that white backside made from hard plastic. Although it does pick fingerprints, you won’t notice these unless you have a closer look at the device.
Even though it doesn’t provide that premium feel that you get from the iPod Touch, it’s still an appealing media player thanks to its rounded and smooth edges, along with the glossy finish. On top of it sits the microSD card slot, while on the bottom you will have access to the microUSB port as well as the 3.5mm jack. On the left spine is the volume rocker which is sitting next to the power button.
Samsung has fitted this media player with a generous 5.0-inch touchscreen display that has a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels (WVGA) which is a lot bigger than the iPod Touch’s 3.5-inch screen, but the latter has a higher resolution (960 x 640 pixels) so it has a better pixel density (326 ppi). As you can imagine, the Retina Display of the iPod Touch is way better than the screen on the Galaxy Player 5.0, plus this huge size might be a turnoff for some people who prefer a more compact device.
This display manages to be quite bright but it is inferior when compared to the superb Super AMOLED Plus screen that the aforementioned Samsung Galaxy S II has. In addition, the Super Clear LCD screen that the smaller Galaxy Player 4.0 has provides far more vivid colors. Even so, it’s not that bad to watch a movie or a video on YouTube but we certainly have seen better screens from Samsung, not to mention other companies.
When it comes down to the music player, this is capable of producing a very loud sound without any signs of distortions. In addition, the speakers of the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 are able to provide a decent amount of bass, while the audio is at all times bright and clear. Overall, the quality of the sound is great and according to the Korean company you can listen to an MP3 at 128 Kbps on default settings, with normal sound, volume set at 15 and with the display turned off for no less than 60 hours.
This media player also comes with a built-in FM radio which you can launch by performing a tap on an icon found in the homescreen of the music player. The user interface of the radio is pretty much straightforward as you have to tap on the upper-left corner in order to power it on, while browsing through the radio stations is done by using the left & right directional arrows. The user also has the possibility of rotating the silver digital scroll wheel when he wants to manually pick a radio station.
As far as the bundled in-ear headset that you get in the retail package of the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0, this has just about the same quality as the ones that come with various Galaxy smartphones so it won’t impress you. We do appreciate that it has a play/pause key as well as an in-line mic, plus it’s capable of accurately reproducing the sound from the FM station. As you would expect from a proper media player, this device can handle various types of multimedia formats, including MP3, AAC, FLAC, OGG, WMA, along with DivX, Xvid, H.264, AVI, WMV and MPEG-4 files.
As we were saying earlier, it runs on Android Gingerbread 2.3.5 and on top of that is Samsung’s own TouchWiz 3.0 UI that comes with a custom notification bar for application alerts. You can access this by simply swiping from the top a pull-down menu. This is where you’ll be able to manage Auto Rotation, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Vibration and GPS.
Getting back to that 3.2 megapixel camera found at the back of this media player, it manages to provide a decent photo quality with nice color reproduction but there are visible light leaks on most of the photos taken in a dark environment. It might not be the camera to have when at an important event, but even so it does a pretty good job and will be enough for the casual photographer. With the camcorder you can take 480p clips, unlike the iPod Touch which is capable of doing 720p HD video recording. Let’s not forget that the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 also has a front-facing VGA camera which is good enough for your Skype necessities and we appreciate that the audio is in sync with the video.
Samsung has fitted this media player with a large 2,500 mAh lithium-polymer battery that is capable of providing enough juice for up to eight hours of video playback. In LAPTOP Battery Test it lasts for approximately ten and a half hours which is a lot more than most of today’s small tablets are capable of. It also lasts more than the smaller Galaxy Player 4.0 which can run the test for only seven hours or so.
All things considered, the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 is a more than decent media player but taking into account that it costs about $50 more than the Apple iPod Touch, not many people are willing to pay extra without getting some important upgrades, especially since the iPod Touch comes with that superb Retina Display.