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If you can't keep your music to yourself, and you must share it with everyone around you, then having just earphones and an MP3 player probably won't do it for you. You'd need to have a set of speakers on you, in addition to the visually attractive Samsung's new K5, to do the trick!
The Samsung K-5 player comes with its own set of tiny built-in speakers. Simply slide them out from behind the screen. The player itself is fairly compact, sleek and lightweight. But considering the "hidden" stereo speakers, it does make it a bit thick. No thicker than your average mobile phone though.
The cool blue touch screen surface has a 5-way navigation pad and 2 additional pads for the various other settings. The keys are a bit too sensitive however, as the buttons are too closely spaced. The problem here is that you’ll almost always end up pressing the wrong button.
The menu animation on the OLED screen is something you must see to believe. The OLED screen has a resolution of 128x160 pixels which is just right for viewing your photos on the 1.7-inch screen.
Now, I’ve seen some weird earphones in my time but these take the cake. Though, I wasn’t entirely sure how to get them into my ears at first, I have to say, they are awesome. These ergonomically, or rather, "odd shaped ear pieces", are perfect for drowning out any unwanted sounds from the outside world. They fit perfectly into your ear.
This light weight, "Social" mp3 player also has an FM radio function, but doesn’t really pick up the signals too well. It does pick up signals from your cordless phone though. So watch what you say and who you say it to, someone could be tuned in to your station!
You can also wake up to your favorite music with the built-in alarm function by selecting the mp3 of your choice and setting it as your wake up call.
You can be connected to your PC using the USB 2.0 cable and use the player as a portable drive as well. That’s right. You can simply drag and drop files into their respective folders. The 'Media Studio' software provided isn’t necessary, but it does come in handy to convert your non-MP3 music into acceptable formats.
The only complaint here is that the player itself doesn't have a standard mini-USB port. The cable plugs into a proprietory connector at the base of the player.
The inbuilt speakers did not impress me too much. In fact, the output is rather low. There are plenty of mobile phones out there that sound louder and clearer. My Nokia 3250 does a better job with its loudspeaker. As cool as the player may look with its speakers, the output compared to that with the earphones is bad with a capitol "B".
Sound quality really is quite good using the earphones however. With the help of the presets like – Vocals, Bass Boost, Concert Hall or 3D sound, it only enhances your overall experience of the player. In your crowded Mumbai streets (or anywhere else in the city) it’s a real blessing to have ear phones that block out the yelling, shouting or car horns blaring. You can slink back into your own private world and enjoy your favorite beats.
And thank goodness for the standard 3.5mm headphones jack. Instead of having to listen to music on the tiny speakers, I can easily hook it up to my amp and let the 3D DNSe (which stands for Digital Natural Sound engine by the way) sound engulf me. It sounds great on the earphones and even better when plugged into my amp.
What I like most about this player is the graphics when the music is playing. For all you psychedelic people out there – When the player is in Stand-By mode as well, a screen saver is activated, that’s colorful and jazzy enough to look something like an iTunes visualization. Or you can simply leave the graphic EQ on for the Winamp style Spectrum Analyzer to play. The player looks extremely funky when in speaker mode as the display changes to horizontal viewing. Although, it doesn’t stand on its flat base, which is the speaker portion, but rather on the screen part which places it at an angel with the speakers facing you.
Your photos can be viewed as thumbnails or in a slideshow fashion. Although we’re not talking about high resolution viewing here, it’s still clear enough.
The Li-Po rechargeable battery runs for up to 30 hours of uninterrupted playback using the headphones but only 3-5 hours with the speakers. So that's another minus point for the speakers.
Recharging is simple enough. Just plug it in to your PC’s USB port and it’ll charge up within a few hours. (even the charging menu has quite an attractive display.
Prices are at Rs. 11,500 for 1GB of space and Rs. 12, 000 for 2GB. The K5 is available with 1, 2, and 4GB capacities, although the 4GB version is not yet available. That’s not too much space considering the high cost. In my opinion, with this player, although you’ll end up with a snazzy looking device with some great graphics, it only sounds good with the earphones.
The bottom line - it’s too expensive to pay for a portable "Boom Box" (as they’ve termed it) that doesn’t pack too much of a Boom and comes with so little memory. I’d settle for an iPod. But with the K-5 earphones of course.
|Physical||98 x 47 x 18 mm, 106g|
|Speakers||2 x 750 mW, 8 ohms|
|Media||MP3, WMA, ASF|
|Input/Output||3.5mm earphone jack|
|Battery||30 hours (earphones), 5 hours (speakers), USB charging|
|Street Price ||Rs. 18,250|