- Good value
- Solid feature set
- Weak camera
- Casing is cheap and prone to smudging
A strong media player that doubles as a decent device for many other things, even if it's not the prettiest thing in the world.
With a 4.2 inch screen, 1GHz processor, and a $200 suggested retail price, the Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 is the latest version of Android’s answer to the Apple iPod Touch. Brighthand investigates how well it fares.
For more on this device be sure to check out the full review.
That $200 price tag might cause some users to balk right away, noting that they could buy a much higher-end smartphone from a carrier for the same price. But the real price of a smartphone isn’t up front, it’s in installments basically made when paying for your data plan and two-year contract. At $30 a month, that turns out to be $720 over the course of the phone’s life, while the Galaxy Player never has to cost you more than you spent when you walked out of the store.
That lack of a data plan and the associated costs are also what makes the Galaxy Player a good choices for people who want a gadget, but don’t need a smartphone: kids, casual users, or that one friend/relative who’s constantly “borrowing” other people’s devices to play Angry Birds or Words With Friends.
Build and Design
The Galaxy Player 4.2 doesn’t stray very far from the design basics; in essence, it’s a flat black plastic rectangle. It’s not bad looking, but it’s pretty much completely lacking anything eye catching.
Unfortunately, Samsung chose a fairly bad plastic for the casing. It looks generic at best; at the worst, it’s a fingerprint magnet. Unless you don’t mind your device being covered with smudges (and I do mean covered) you should probably plan on a case.
It’s a shame, because the rest of the physical design of the GP4.2 is pretty good. It’s surprisingly thin and light, coming in at around a third of an inch thick, and a little over 4 ounces. That makes it competitive with or beating most of the available smartphones out there. It’s the sort of design that you could easily drop in a pocket without even thinking about it, even a shirt pocket, and is light enough that you’re not going to object to carrying it whether you’re jogging or at the office.
And despite the bad finish on the plastic, the overall quality of the device I think is decent. It’s not going to take a drop-kicking down a flight of metal stairs, but it’s not going to fall apart under normal use, either.
At 4.2 inches like the name implies, the Galaxy Player’s screen is pretty good. While it’s only a regular LCD, not an AMOLED screen like on most of Samsung’s smartphones, it’s got good crispness and a nice vividness of color. It’s also right at that line where typing on a touchscreen starts to be at least close to comfortable even if you have big thumbs, which make text entry greatly improved.
And with an 800 x 480 resolution, it sports a very comfortable and readable 220 DPI pixel density. Not as sharp as the high end HD screens above 300, but about the best you can get in an inexpensive device. Or even a slightly expensive one.
Other Buttons and Ports
The rest of the design remains simple, with the power button and volume controls along the side. A simple pry-off battery cover reveals the battery itself, as well as the device’s microSD card slot.
The only place it’s at all unusual is when it comes to the “home” button, which in this case, is an actual button instead of just a spot on the touchscreen. This actually throws you off a little after you’ve been working with capacitive “buttons” for so long, but I imagine you’ll get used to it. Along the bottom is where we find both the micro-USB port and the 3.5mm headphone jack.