HOME / PRINT
Samsung is a highly respected manufacturer of DAPS and PMPs globally, but in India the company seems to have a rather quirky working mechanism. This sentiment is a tribute to the fact that we have extensive coverage of Samsung's foreign launches, but when it comes to India such launches seem few and far between.
The YP-P2 is one such product. I've been waiting for Samsung to launch it here for a very long time. Of course, our gray market beings have more mettle than they get credit for, and have been selling it for quite some time now. However, my concern is that while the P2 is available here, it’s on a very limited scale.
For instance, they sell only the 8GB version here; the fate of the 4GB is still hanging in the air. It doesn’t make sense. I spoke to someone from Samsung, and all I got was, "We're yet to launch the 4GB." REALLY? And they want to compete with the iPod Touch? It’s ridiculous. Anyway, what we have today is the 4GB for review, and strange as it may sound, it’s been sent to us by none other than Samsung!
That aside, the player seems worth all the trouble, for it's well-appointed and feature-rich.
I like the fact that Samsung has given the player a minimalist look – and man, does it look like it wants to compete with the iPod Touch! The player is "totally touchscreen", except for the volume keys (on the right side), and the start/stop and hold slider (on the left).
The YP-P2 comes with a 3-inch LCD screen, capable of displaying 30 fps in 16:9 aspect ratio. The screen is highly reflective, so it's advisable to switch off all the lights while viewing. I found even office lights quite obtrusive while viewing.
The touchscreen interface is very much like that of the Touch. It’s fingertip sensitive and doesn’t respond to other objects at all. I like it that way, for the idea of using styluses sound very ancient and uncool, especially when it comes to PMPs.
What I didn’t like is that while the player is meant to be used only with your fingertips, it doesn’t always respond favorably. It especially exhibits these quirks and malfunctions when you're in a hurry. This was never a problem with the iPod Touch.
If you can look past these annoyances, the GUI makes up for the rest. If you are the type who likes things to go swooshing past while browsing, the P2 is quite good. While startup can take close to 5 seconds, everything else works as fast as a blink. Movie-loading can take time though, depending on the file size.
The keys are big enough, and if fat-fingered me can work the magic with this player, anyone can. The player takes you directly to the main screen – indeed, it pretty much takes you anywhere you want to go.
One of the coolest features is Bluetooth functionality. The player supports the A2DP profile, so you can connect it your Bluetooth headset. It works excellently. The player also supports pairing with mobile phones, so you can take calls – there's even a mic to talk into, even if it's not too responsive – without going to the hassle of removing your headset.
This works relentlessly with any Samsung phone. We tried it with the Samsung U900 Soul. If you have a Windows Mobile Phone, be wary because it failed to pair with all the following phones I tried: HTC Touch Diamond, HTC Touch Dual and Asus M930.
You can view images only in JPEG format. Large image files could take some time to load, which sucks.
This review won't be complete without a mention of the bad treatment Samsung metes out to buyers. The company offers something called Datacast through the Media Store – an online store to pick up content from, similar to iTunes. The problem is that the facility is not available to Indians yet! It works only in the UK, France, Germany and Korea.
When it comes to multimedia, the player can play MP3, WMA and OGG (UMS only) in music, and SVI and WMV in videos. The player offers plenty of music options, but I wish the volume keys could double as up/down navigation keys. While browsing a long list of songs, the quirks of the touchscreen become more apparent.
Also, having a touchscreen would ordinarily mean one can get to any part of the song or movie with a tap or two. Unfortunately, all you can do is press and hold down the fast forward touch key. The touchscreen tends to malfunction here as well, often doing what it pleases.
The sound quality is good; but the earphones are rubbish. The highs are way too overpowering for me to handle, and so I tested the player with my Sennheiser HD 415. You can totally control it with the DNSe 2.0 EQ and some sound effects. It also has FM, which is pretty decent.
Playlists can be easily added from the player itself, and there’s an option for displaying lyrics. You can enable some cool graphical interfaces if you don’t want the Album cover always staring at you.
Video capabilities are not very impressive, with only WMV and SVI formats supported. The bundled media software will convert anything you want it to, although it may take some time. All converted video content is saved as SVI.
The video quality is good; even dark areas looked clear of any compression. Banding is a problem, true, but this can be ignored with a little effort. If you transfer WMV files without conversion, make sure it's 30 fps or clipping will wreck things for you. I hate it when companies make things so inflexible.
The battery life is not bad. You can view about two medium-length movies and your player will make it. The battery life depends on how much of the screen you use. Since everything happens through the screen, rationing your screen usage helps conserve the battery.
As I said the 4GB is not available in India right now, but the 8GB is, and it costs Rs 10,900. For this kind of money I'd have liked to see a drag-and-drop feature. The feature set isn't bad, however – Bluetooth capabilities are astounding, for instance. I'd say the player just makes it to star status, but make sure you have a go at the touchscreen before you decide to buy it.