Thursday, October 18, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 review

I wanted to dump my iPod Touch for a very long time. My main use for this player was reading books and listening to the NPR podcasts. I hate iTunes with passion and wanted to rid myself of Apple and iTunes.

I went ahead and bought Galaxy 4.2  after some research. After using it for about 2 weeks all I can say that it is infinitely better than the iPod at least from my point of view. It is better in all of the tasks for which I used my iPod.
The FBreader (ebook reader) is much better than Megareader I used on iPod. There is just no comparing the two. The screen of the Galaxy is larger, and has better viewing angles. The battery life is comparable and it probably can go for a week or so on one charge if reading for about an hour a day. Over all very good experience.
The music player is just as good the the Galaxy and the sound quality is better to my ears. There is also FM radio which works very well.
Included applications are very good and you can just use the device out of the box without any installing many additional applications. The simple task manager is included together with a few very popular games and synchronization apps. Also included chat, IM and navigation software. I have not even tried all of the apps that came with this device.
Galaxy handles various video formats but I only tried Divx and mp4 files so far. It also can decode high resolution videos which my iPod could not. It saves some transcoding time.
The device comes with the wall charger and uses micro-usb connector for charging and my cellphone charger does work. This saves me the trouble of having an extra charger when traveling.
I purchased a TPU case from eBay and a screen protector from Amazon and would highly recommend for anyone to do the same. The player body is plastic and would probably suffer if dropped on a hard surface. I would prefer a softer silicon case as I had for my iPod but unfortunately the selection of cases for this player is very limited. The screen protector is OK but somehow not as good as the one I had on iPod. It was a wet install and it came out a bit wrinkly at the end but this is in no way Galaxy's fault. So far the only issue I found with this device is that the third party accessories are not as numerous as for iPod.
The battery in this device is user replaceable so there is no frustration of replacing the battery like with iPod, also storage is expandable via MicroSD card. If you are watching movies or using a lot of large games this would definitely help. So far I have not tried this feature since I am mostly reading books on the Galaxy.
Some online reviews complained about device performance. I compared it to the Galaxy Nexus phone and there is a slight difference but it is not large. I have not noticed any problems or slowdowns. The user interface is smooth and applications start fast. The video and audio playback is perfect. The browser is very usable, just as good as on the Nexus and way better than on the iPhone 4S. It is just more usable because of the larger screen. Because of the slower single core CPU battery life is better on the Player than on the Galaxy Nexus phone. I am definitely willing to compromise performance for better battery life but other people may have a different opinion.
If you want to replace your iPod and like me do not want to get an Android phone that you have to charge every day, the Galaxy Player is an excellent device. I only had to install 2 applications to make it completely perfect for me - GrooVe IP and FBreader.

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