Samsung YP-P2 8GB MP3 Player Review

Screen Quality

Although only 0.5″ larger than the 5G iPod’s display, the widescreen form factor makes it much more natural to watch videos on. The 480×272 pixel resolution makes for a very clear image – it’s the same resolution as the 4.3″ display of the Sony PSP. Colors are vivid and pictures look great on the screen. By default, the display is set to half brightness, which is not all that bright. Even when set to max, it may present some viewability problems outdoors in the sun.

Samsung P2

While the form factor may lend itself to videos quite well, the display’s response time is quite poor. There are traces of streaking and ghosting even in menu and screen transitions. The problem is visible in certain cases when a video shows people talking. The motion of their mouths can causing blurring, which is truly sad. It’s tolerable, but hardly something expected for a device that’s advertised as a “compact movie-theatre” by Samsung. Viewing angles are also relatively poor, which means if two people are watching a video, you may have to sacrifice a bit of quality.

Don’t get me wrong, short of some videos, the refresh rate and viewing angles are a non-issue. It’s just that the 3″ display begs to have videos played on it, and when you do, you may be a bit disappointed.

Other Functions

As is common with many full-sized MP3 players today, music, video and photos aren’t the only functions built in. The Samsung P2 has a few other features, of which I’ll touch on the FM radio, Samsung’s Prime Pack, and something called ‘Datacasts’.

The most useful of the secondary features is probably the FM tuner. When you’re bored of the music on your player (or god forbid you run out of things to listen to in 8GB of memory) you can hop over onto the FM channels. The player uses the headphone wire as an antenna and sensitivity was quite good. In my area, the full 30 presets were auto-filled at around the 103MHz frequency. A few of the presets were full of static, but 20-25 were of very good to excellent quality. Unfortunately, as of the 1.16 firmware, there is no FM record function. A newer 2.08 firmware is available, but more on that in the next section.

Samsung P2 FM radio

Samsung’s Prime Pack includes features such as a text viewer, a calendar, world clock and alarm. In the text viewer, pressing and holding anywhere on the text will switch to full screen view, where swiping left and right is just like turning a page in a ‘book’. There’s even a page-turn animation to accompany it. Text is rendered very well and there’s no problem with reading even lengthier works. The only supported format is *.txt. The included calendar is quite basic – there’s no support for events or appointments. It’s literally just a graphical calendar for seeing what date the next Wednesday falls on and so forth. The alarm can be set to play a preset sound or you can add songs to the list of available tunes to awake to. The world clock is pretty self explanatory.

Samsung P2 text viewer

Finally, there are ‘Datacasts’, which are essentially RSS feeds, synchronized through Samsung Media Studio. I’m not convinced of the useful of the feature. You have to manually synchronize it using a cable. If it worked through Bluetooth, it may be more useful to have it automatically synchronize every morning at a specific time.

Blue Wave Firmware Updates

Samsung has promised extensive firmware support for the P2, by providing both fixes as well as feature additions through at least 3 sets of firmware updates, named ‘Blue Wave’. The updates are supposed to bring improvements in the touch screen interface as well as unlock features that were announced, but were not included at launch, such as the ability to answer calls on the device, by pairing with a Bluetooth enabled cell phone.

The first in the set of Blue Wave updates was launched in late December of last year with firmware version 2.08, but I have not had a chance to test it. However, I will update you all when I do have a chance to test it thoroughly.

Major Issues

Unfortunately, this review was actually written using my second Samsung P2. The first player was extremely problematic and was exchanged with a new unit at Future Shop. The first sign of trouble was when the device turned on to a corrupted display image. I couldn’t see anything properly, the screen was filled with random patterns of color. I cycled the power and when it restarted, everything seemed okay. However, a couple days later, the player’s user interface froze completely. The music was still playing, but it was non-responsive to any kind of input. I tried shutting the player down, but even the hardware buttons did nothing. Only using reset button on the back of the device solved the problem. These issues were noted with the latest firmware at the time, 1.20.

Thus far, the new device hasn’t acted strange in any way. Hopefully the trouble I had with the first device was an isolated occurrence.

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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