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When I reviewed the Samsung YP-K5, although the product was innovative it didn’t really impress me with regard to its features. So I've been waiting to see what Samsung would come up with next in the same range of devices... and voila, here comes the YP-S5.
The YP-S5 looks the same as its predecessor except that its white. It still has a touch-sensitive keypad under the display with 5-way navigation, a key for selecting various menu options, and return keys as well. The 3.5mm earphone socket and the proprietary USB charging / data transfer / audio-in port is located at the bottom, and the power-cum-hold slider is located at the top.
Like the K5, the S5 has a set of slide-out stereo speakers. The mechanism, thankfully, is still as smooth as ever so it’s easy to slide them out and back. I'm impressed by the fact that Samsung has managed to pare the player down to just 14.95mm – around 3.1mm thinner than the K5. Even though the screen size has remained the same at 1.8 inches, the resolution has been upped to 176 x 220 pixels.
Features and Performance
From the audio perspective the earphones are comfortable to use, though I rather missed the older design that came with the K5. The output of the player through the integrated slide-out speakers leaves a bit to be desired. It has a relatively pleasant decibel level when you’re in a quiet place, but then again, so are plenty of mobile phones with integrated stereo speakers.
The S5 supports MPEG4, JPEG, MP3, AAC, and WMA, and although the screen is a bit too small to watch a full-length video without a visit to the optometrist later, it’s okay for viewing short clips. Images may take a while to load (at full size), but they don't look too bad.
There's been a definite improvement in the FM radio, but a problem persists with reception indoors. Once outside, however, the pick-up is more than decent. The radio lets you record music on to the drive and also use the FM as an alarm. Other features include a text reader, a voice recorder, and a world clock. Samsung has also included five games with the device in case you get bored with music.
I've always wanted to test a PMP with Bluetooth, and the S5 is equipped for just such a task. I had no issues accessing my mobile phones to copy information to the player, nor did I have any issues with connecting to a stereo Bluetooth headset. But I did face a problem when I tried connecting to a mobile to use the S5 as a speakerphone – I couldn’t get it to work. Oddly, while I could copy files to the player from other devices, I saw no option to copy files from the device.
The touch sensitivity of the keypad may be a bit of an irritation at first as it's still way too sensitive. The trick is not to tap the the arrows directly, but a little to the side of the actual key.
If you're going to use the S5 as an entertainment device for a small gathering, I wouldn't recommend it as it's going to take a toll on the battery. Nevertheless it will still give you at least a few hours of usage easily. Don't be fooled by a single bar in the battery meter, you'll have nothing to worry about as it gave me (without exaggerating) a good 30 plus minutes of usage with not a single bar in the battery meter. On the whole, with earphones, thsi baby will easily give you at least 20 plus hours of usage, even though officially it should give you 24 hours of audio playback.
I like the S5 – it’s a sleek little player to carry around. The external speaker may not be deafening, but it’s quite clear even at full volume. There’s no sound distortion, and the bass levels are decent. Teh battery life is superb and considering it costs Rs 8,900 and it comes with 2GB and Bluetooth with A2DP capability, it’s worth it. There are only a few players that don't require you to change earphones, and the S5 is one of them.