Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0

The Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 is a portable Android device with a 5 inch, 800 x 480 pixel display, a 1 GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. It includes Bluetooth, WiFi, and GPS wireless features, and basically does everything an Android smartphone can do — except make phone calls.

It even supports the Google Android Market.

The Galaxy Player is also a lot cheaper than an Android smartphone. It sells for about $270, which might seem like a lot — until you realize that there’s no monthly voice or data fee to pay. Most decent Android phones actually cost $500 or more if you buy them without a service contract.

For the last few years there hasn’t really been a strong Android alternative to the Apple iPod touch. Most of the low cost Android portable media players we’ve seen have suffered from lousy screens, slow processors, poor battery life, or lack of access to the Android Market.

At first glance, the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 doesn’t appear to have any of those problems. Samsung loaned me a unit for review purposes and after playing around with it for a few hours I can say that it feels reasonably fast, has a decent display with good viewing angles.

I’ve run a few benchmarks, and while the portable media player isn’t exactly state of the art, it holds its own against older smartphones like the Google Nexus One or recent budget tablets such as the $200 Velocity Cruz Micro T408.

For $270, the Galaxy Player 5.0 is about $70 more expensive than an entry-level iPod touch. And while it has a larger display, it’s not a sharper display. The latest portable media players from Apple have 960 x 640 pixel screens.

But the iPod touch doesn’t have GPS, a microSD card slot, or a camera flash or auto-focus capabilities. The Galaxy Player has all of those things.

I haven’t decided yet what I think about the five inch display. On the one hand, it could make reading or viewing photos of videos more comfortable for some users. But the device doesn’t have any more pixels than your average smartphone to go with that big display, so it’s really just less sharp than a typical phone with a 4 inch screen.

The 5 inch screen also makes the Galaxy Player a bit more difficult to hold in one hand or slide into a pocket than a smaller device such as the iPod touch. I’ve also found I have a little difficulty reaching from one end of the screen to the other with my thumb when holding the device in one hand. This can make entering text or playing games a little tricky.

Samsung also makes a 4 inch Galaxy Player. It’s available from Best Buy for $230.

Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the Galaxy Player 5.0 right now, but I’ll be testing the battery life, overall performance, and general usability of the device over the coming days. Stay tuned for a more detailed review.

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23 replies on “Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0: First look (video)”

  1. I soooo want this Samsung Player to be really great. The thought of buying another Apple product is like recommitting yourself to someone you BADLY want to divorce.

  2. I am seriously thinking about buying one to use as a portable MP3 player that I can whip out and play Angry Birds on while waiting or bored… How is it in terms of being an MP3 player? Is there a Genius-like thing? Can you easily create playlists, etc?

    I have an iPod classic, and I want something like an iPod Touch 4g but my experience with my iPod has given me a knee-jerk reaction to run in the opposite direction whenever I think about buying any Apple product ever again. However, there are a few things that I like – such as the Genius feature, and organizing music has been relatively easy, even though I still hate a lot about iTunes.

    Battery life is important to me, especially my phone’s battery life. That’s why I prefer my mp3 player to be a different device than my phone. I can play without worrying that I might find myself in an emergency with a dead phone.

    The thought of buying another Apple product is galling, so I just want to know if this is a better mp3 player than the iPod Touch 4g, especially in terms of usability when playing music. There are things I like about the iTouch and there are things I hate, and it’s just tearing me apart! Kidding. Not! I just wish they’d come up with a perfect competitor to the iPod so I can get this over with, LOL. I have been waiting so long…

    Sometimes I think I should just buy an iTouch to end this misery, but I just can’t make myself do it. Here’s what I like about the iPod – it’s light, small, thin, won’t take up too much space in my bag, is much more responsive vs. most Androids I’ve seen, has better resolution, has Genius. Here’s what I don’t like – being in a walled garden, stuck with iTunes forever, no expandable memory, also, camera is much worse than Galaxy Player’s. I’ve had an Android phone and love the freedom.

    I know I can always jailbreak the damn thing, but I’d still be stuck in the Apple universe and there is no expandable memory! I just want something that works as well as the iPod Touch 4g without the Apple baggage, and my music collection grows quickly so an expandable memory will come in handy. Does the Galaxy Player live up to that, or should I wait until they come out with something better next year?

  3. It’s interesting to me how a 5″ Android device that can’t make phone calls costs $270, but a 4″ Android device that can make phone calls costs $500 to $700. That must be a really expensive antenna.

    1. actually it can make phone calls just not on any network… Just skyped and tangoed with my friends with it like i would a regular phone.

  4. Best Buy sells the Galaxy Player 4.0 in USA today. $229, ships in one business day, according to the web page.  The 4.0 model is exactly the same as the 5.0, save the smaller screen and cheaper price.

    1. NOT exactly the same! 4.0 battery is weaker but can be replaced, and the 5.0 screen is about 50% larger in square inches.

  5. Thanks for the first look.  I’m looking forward to more information about the battery life, build quality and performance.

    1. I use this as my primary phone Battery life is really really good all I have is my modem card 30 dollars a month plan I have internet phone gps and everything that I won’t in this someone like tablet I cannot believe how long the battery last wow

  6. i bought is , but returned because the resolution prevented a few programs i wanted not able to be installed.  other than that i found it very usefull as a media device.  much smaller and compact for music, movies and photos.. it has 2 speakers on the back, not one.  the street view was incredible on the maps. i guess you tether it to your phone in order to use the navigation map feature.   i kind of didn;t see the sense of keeping it after the nexus was announced, it is just a tiny bit larger and i think the nexus will be good enough for ebooks.

    1. Hello what kind of programs needs a psecific resolution ? That’s not like a PC where it would be less beautiful to watch but will work anyway ?

  7. So you bought one huh? I take it is one with 2.3 already on it instead of one of those Woot specials that has 2.2

    Offline GPS works which is something Lenovo was bragging about.

        1. Yup. The article says that too. 🙂

          I’ve only spent a few hours with the Player so far, but it’s already probably the best iPod touch alternative I’ve tried so far.

          There’s absolutely no reason to buy one if you already have an Android Smartphone — but there’s no reason to buy an iPod touch if you already have an iPhone. Still, there are plenty of iPod touch owners out there.

          As a budget tablet, it’s a bit small… and as a pocketable device it’s a bit large. But it’s cheaper than most high quality tablets and the lack of phone capabilities makes it a pretty good option for anyone that wants a PDA, not a smartphone. 

          1. I was on a plane and a guy pulled out a Macbook Air and then an iPad to do some quick stuff. All while he was listening to his iPod Touch and messing with some apps on his iPhone.

          2. Knowing how bad some people’s brand loyalty can get, I can believe it too.

          3. I really shouldn’t comment before before reading and watching everything, but since I have owned it for a month I was getting ahead of myself. :}

            I am on the Woot site just about everyday discussing the device with other people.  Since we were starting with version 2.2 and then upgrading to 2.3 using a custom firmware, along with rooting it, we have had a lot to talk about.

            Regarding Maps which I haven’t looked into further, I did notice the street view wasn’t working on my device, for what it is worth.

            Some people were complaining about the fact the homescreen stop rotating to horizontal after upgrading to Gingerbread. Guess they want to use it as a GPS in their car.

            As for it not being a phone, I agree, but on wifi via Skype or GrooveIP it sure seems like one.

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