Samsung YP-P2 8GB MP3 Player Review

Industrial Design

I said it in the preview and I’ll say it again – Apple may get all the props for industrial design, but Samsung has really stepped up to the plate to show that they can produce designs that are every bit as pleasing. Samsung has gone with a solid black casing, which, in my opinion, looks more mature and professional than the iPod Touch.

Samsung P2

The device’s chassis is mainly made up of two large components, a plastic covering over the front of the device and a solid metal backing. Fit and finish is excellent with absolutely no creaks or flexing of the player. Despite being a NAND flash-based player, it does have some heft to it, weighing in around 85g. For comparison’s sake, the Samsung T10, which is slightly thinner and 1cm narrower weighs only 40-odd grams.

The front of the Samsung P2 is dominated by the 3″ 480×272 pixel resolution widescreen touchscreen. It does not support ‘multi-touch’ functionality seen on the iPhone or iPod Touch, but does support some swiping gestures, which Samsung calls ‘Emoture’ finger-gesture control.

As a result of the rather large display, the device is fair-sized, not nearly as small as something like the iPod Nano. On the other hand, it has a smaller footprint than the iPod Touch and even the Sandisk Sansa View, which has a much smaller 2.4″ 320×240 display. Needless to say, it’s quite a bit smaller than the 5G iPod that it’s replacing.

Samsung P2 size comparison

While numerous people that I’ve shown the player to have automatically attempted to use the status LED as a button, it serves no purpose aside from indicating, well, the status. When charging, it will glow red, until fully charged, at which point it turns a solid green. When the backlight turns off during usage, it will periodically flash blue to indicate that the device is on.

There are four physical buttons on the device, two along each spine. The left side holds the power button (which doubles as a play/pause button) and a hold switch. On the right side, there are buttons for increasing and decreasing volume. Hardware volume keys are appreciated – there’s no need to navigate to the Now Playing screen in order to change the volume.

Samsung P2 left

Samsung P2 right

At the bottom of the device is the headphone jack, the dock port, and a mic. Currently the mic serves no purpose as Samsung has not enabled the voice recording feature in the firmware the device was shipped with.

Samsung P2

Although far from conclusive, the Samsung P2 seems far less prone to scratches than my 5G iPod. So far, there has been no scratches to the front or back of the device. Granted, I don’t throw my gadgets around, but this is a marked improvement over the scratch-magnets that were several generations of iPods.

Touchscreen Usability

I’ve used an iPhone and was amazed by the utter smoothness of the touchscreen user interface. So, when I watched hands-on videos on the Samsung P2, I was slightly wary. More than a few noted a ‘lack of sensitivity’. This was the main fear I had about the device before purchasing one. I’m glad to be able to say the problems are no where near as bad as I initially feared.

The main issue the hands-on videos had was the user was treating the device as an iPod Touch or iPhone. Instead of the single tap, it takes a double-tap or a press-and-hold finger action to select a menu item. The first touch activates the indicated item, and the second touch actually initiates the action. Of course, Samsung could release a new firmware that would overcome most of the ‘issues’ faced by some users. Once you realize that’s it’s a double-tap to perform actions, there are minimal problems.

As stated earlier, the touchscreen does not support anything like ‘multi-touch’ but does support some finger gestures. In particular, scrolling through menus can be accomplished by swiping the finger up and down in lists. Unlike the iPod Touch, this scrolls across a single screen of items, and thus the number of items scrolled through is not related to the speed at which you perform the gesture. Additionally, the up/down gesture can be used in the music player to increase or decrease the volume. Swiping left and right in photos, videos, or the music interface will skip to the next or previous item. It may seems a little counterintuitive at first (swipe from right to left to advance a track) but just think of it as how you would read a book – to advance, you turn the page from right to left.

Although many people hate touch-based devices, I have no problems with it, assuming the functionality is well-implemented. For me, nothing can quite match the ability to just simply point at something. While the comparisons to the iPod Touch are inevitable – a comparison it doesn’t do terribly well in – the Samsung P2’s touchscreen nonetheless works very well. Plus, with Samsung’s promise to unlock new touch features and improve the touch usability, I think we can look forward to some interesting functionality.

COMMENTS

25 Replies to “Samsung YP-P2 8GB MP3 Player Review”

  1. Great review, as always. I’m thinking of picking up a new MP3 player when I’m visiting Rushan for his ordination later this year, and I’ll definitely check this out (possibly the 4GB as I don’t watch videos and I always have trouble filling more than 2GB).

    What other ones were you considering?

  2. I wrote about a bunch of different MP3 players and what I (quickly) thought of them when I was deciding. You can read it here.

    I’d take a hard look at the Samsung T10 if I were you.

  3. I’m going to say that iPod sales growth is slowing (but not down year-to-year) mainly because everyone already seems to own one. It’s almost like a disease now that everyone has.

  4. Then why aren’t we (as good capitalist consumers) buying second, third, fourth or twentieth ipods? You’re not saying that people can have enough stuff….are you Rene?

  5. Because unless it breaks most people don’t go around buying a new iPod every week for kicks. Being capitalist consumers doesn’t always equate to frivolous spending. If you already own one, and its not broken, then why get another? It’s like anything, TVs, cars, steroes. If the newest technology isn’t miles better than what you have, why spend the money?

  6. Rene, I agree with you. The same thought actually hit me when I looked around my study period, and everyone listening to music was listening to it on an Ipod. And there were a lot of people listening to music. With the prices on the simpler models so low, I think most people who would ever buy them have already done so. And I think Nick was joking. Or being sarcastically cynical.

    The T10 actually seems like the right player for me. Let’s hope my problems with Samsung (see YP-Z5) won’t continue with this. Forgive my ignorance, but what does bluetooth in an MP3 player do?

  7. Ah, but Rene, I think you’d be surprised at just how many people have multiple iPods – they have a 4th gen, but hey, that iPod touch is awfully cool. I’m sure my comment will be accused of being stereotypical, and it is, but Apple fans can get especially caught up in the hype. A broken iPod is hardly the most common reason for upgrading. Just for the sake of it and keeping ‘with the trend/times’ are often just as good reasons in their minds (and sometimes, shamefully, in my mind as well).

    Will – Samsung’s players have progressed a hell of a long way since then. I remember fiddling around with that Z5 and it sure was frustrating. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a Sammy nowadays.

    As for Bluetooth, the most common use is probably Bluetooth headphones (ah, the wonders of wireless) but a cool feature of some of the new Samsungs is the cellphone pairing capabilities. I’m actually writing something about it, but in short, you pair it with your Bluetooth-enabled cellphone and you can make and take calls with your MP3 player. You’ll be listening to music and it’ll fade out and indicate an incoming call. No need to take off the headphones and swap devices.

    I don’t foresee myself using it much, but it could be useful if you have earbuds stuffed in your head all day…

  8. Excellent review, particularly the information regarding video formats and the Badak converting freeware. If you have details of the settings used in Badak to convert to a working format it would help.

  9. I have a problem connecting my samsung p2 with the computer,I have windows xp sp.2 but when i connect it,nothing shows on,even there is no like a new hard drive??

  10. Veljko – Check the player when you connect it to your computer. Does it show that it’s connected or does it not recognize that fact at all? Windows XP should have automatically installed the mass transfer drivers for you.

  11. I can’t understand all the hype about IPOD. I’ve got Sansa Clip mp3 player and it beats IPOD shuffle in terms of cost and quality. I think there’s a lot of alternatives available like this samsung player you’ve got reviewed. Great review anyway!

  12. i got one and i loved it
    its the best thing i have ever bought i think
    then one day i go to use it and i have no screen
    its just black but i still got music playing
    is there anything i can do about it?
    i have tried reseting it a number of times and still wont work?
    does anyone no what to do?

  13. yeah pretty nice gadget..pushes the competition..sad that samsung sort of doesn’t make it clear that the bluetooth feature wont work with the FM radio..the earbud wire is needed for an antenna..That info would not of stopped my from buying the one I bought,,that said, I think its a bit of a call for buyer to beware..still..nice gizmo though..all the same..I suppose

  14. Right now in Canada, the mp3 is selling for $99.00CA – should I get it, or save my money for other new technology? Because it sounds great and everything, but it does have some bugs I may not be able to be patient about (I have the T10, and sometimes its so sensitive i end up restarting the song than going to the next one).
    Please answer back!

  15. Hey uh I have a problem. Mine doesn’t seem to be charging at all. Whenever I connect it to try to charge it it only takes about 7 minutes for it to show the green light; but whenever I disconnect it, the bars are not full D: plus when I’m listening to music it turns off by itself and says “turns off due to low battery life” in red letters

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