An oddity in a market dominated by smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 is a pure "portable media player," designed for music and movies on the go. With a suggested retail price of $269, Samsung's answer to the iPod Touch packs a big screen, bigger battery, and a very complete set of features.
The Galaxy Player comes in two flavors: The $230 Galaxy Player 4.0 features a 4-inch screen and a 1200 mAh battery, while the $270 Galaxy Player 5.0 features a 5-inch display at the same resolution, a massive 2500 mAh battery, and larger size and weight. Otherwise, their specs are the same, right down to the included 8 GB of memory.
BUILD & DESIGN
The first impression on taking the Galaxy Player out of it's box is, it's big. You might think you're used to large devices if you've used one of the recent large screen smartphones. But there's a huge difference--no pun intended--between those gadgets with 4.3 and even 4.5 inch screens, and this 5.0 inch critter... which is also heavier than your average smartphone, weighing in around 6.5 ounces. In contrast, that's about two ounces heavier than Samsung's own Galaxy S II flagship smartphone. It definitely takes some adjustment to handling it. I did get used to it eventually, but I must warn that even with large hands, the 5" version isn't one-hand friendly. If that's a priority, you should probably consider the 4" version, which has a more phone-like size and weight.
A large part of the 5.0's bulk is thanks to the battery. You won't see it, since it's non-removeable. However, at a whopping 2,500 mAh, it's a lot larger than any smartphone's battery, and promises a lot more kick, a promise it delivers on -- see the battery life section later in this review.
Otherwise, there's not much remarkable about the GP's design. Fully plastic, but it feels pretty solid. The MicroSD card slot is on top, with the rest of the connections on the bottom.
At 5-inches and 800 x 480 (WVGA) resolution, the screen is the biggest draw for a video player, so it's good news that its display is excellent both in terms of clarity and color quality, making it great for pictures and video.
I'm a little surprised Samsung didn't use one of the Super AMOLED Plus displays they've been using on their smartphones, which offer better contrast than regular LCDs while also being thinner and lighter, which could have alleviated some of the Player's bulk problems. Still, in terms of pure quality, the Galaxy Player is high up there for regular LCDs, and will definitely please the eye.
There's no physical keyboard on this model, but thanks to the large display the on-screen one is easy to type on. I generally prefer physical keyboards, but the size of this virtual one makes up for a lot.
Other Buttons & Controls
Just below the touchscreen are three buttons: Home Menu, and Back. These are part of the touchpanel (though not the screen).
On the right side of the Galaxy Player are a power button and a Volume Up/Down rocker. A micro-USB port for charging, as well as the headset port, are located on the bottom.
I'm happy to say that on the 5-inch version of this device the microSD memory card slot is easily accessible from the top of the unit. On the smaller one this slot is in the battery compartment.
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