Samsung YP-S5JAB MP3 PlayerJun 25th, 2008 | By David
Samsung YP-S5JAB MP3 Player
: 06/25/08 – 03:57:16 PM
: MP3 Players
Page 1 : Index
Samsung is one of the world's leaders in terms of delivering high quality electronics. Founded in 1938, and are today one of the most trusted name brands when it comes to mobile phones, TVs, audio players, and household appliances. Today, Overclockers Online gets to look at a new audio player from Samsung, the S5.
About a year ago, Samsung introduced the first audio player equipped with speakers, the K5. The K5's review complimented Samsung's efforts as excellent in terms of quality. Even after returning the sample to Samsung, I purchased one myself because I've enjoyed it so much. The S5 will shed off some excess weight, making it slimmer and lighter. Again, the main selling point of the S5 is the built-in speakers. As speakers generally get smaller due to portability issues, sound quality is sacrificed; more specifically, the bass is almost completely eliminated. The K5's speakers did deliver some low frequency sounds which was surprising, but it was very faint. Hopefully, the S5 has improved upon it's predecessor's speaker units.
Page 2 : Package & Content
The S5 comes shipped in a hard plastic case, which protects its contents effectively.
The case art is very abstract and colourful, and displays the unit and headphones clearly.
The back of the case shows the specifications of the S5.
All of the contents are secured onto a black plastic fitting inside of the case.
Included are the player, earphones, manual, installation disc, USB cable and audio in cable.
Now before we dive into the S5, let's have a look at the specifications.
Page 3 : Specifications
Here are some of the features listed on the Samsung website:
The resolution of the screen is 176 x 220 with a size of 1.8 inches. Although the feature set does include the playback of videos, with a resolution and screen that small, it may not be an enjoyable experience. Another notable change from the K5 is the Bluetooth compatibility. This allows the connection of wireless headphones which are very convenient. Some other interesting features are voice recording with built-in microphone, and an audio-in function to play audio through the speakers from other devices. This will be demonstrated later on in the review.
The Lithium-Polymer battery is advertised to yield 24 hours of audio playback and 4 hours of video playback, a little less than the K5.
The specified dimensions of the S5 are much slimmer than the K5; 30mm thinner and 25 grams lighter. It is amazing how Samsung managed to stuff a circuit board, battery, speakers and OLED screen into such a small package.
Now on to the S5 itself.
Page 4 : Layout
The S5's layout is almost completely identical to the K5.
When turned off, the S5 looks very minimalistic without any buttons. The front face of the player is a glossy finish which is very prone to fingerprints and scratches.
The bottom of the player holds the USB connector and the 3.5mm audio jack.
The top of the player is where the power switch is. To turn on/off the player, you push the slider to the left for a few seconds. To lock the buttons, simply slide it to the right.
On the back of the player is the Samsung logo embossed in a full magnesium finish body. It feels very smooth and resistant to scratching and smudging. There is also a hole for lanyards on the bottom.
To use the speakers, simply slide the speakers forward, and they will automatically flip up at an angle. The speaker grill is a shiny chrome finish.
On the backside of the player, you will see the metal rails which slide the speakers as well as various markings. The microphone and reset switch are also located here.
As you can see, the S5 appears to have a smaller frame around the front face. Otherwise, the K5 and S5 look almost identical. On the back, you can see the screw covers on the K5, but they are non-existent on the S5. The K5 does not have a lanyard hole.
The speaker cover on the K5 are uniform holes, while the cover on the S5 is a little more stylish. Also note the power switch on the K5 is made of metal, while the S5 is in magnesium.
Although in this picture, it may not be apparent, the S5 feels a lot slimmer than the K5. When held in your hand, it is a lot nicer to maneuver than the K5.
The earphones are very similar in shape, but the newer version does not have a rubber lining and tube leading into the ear canal. Instead, it is just a hole, so this may reduce the noise canceling effect. The new design also looks more stylish, with more gloss tipped with a bit of chrome.
Now that the player has been fully inspected, let's have a look at the installation.
Page 5 : Installation
The installation process is very straightforward, and identical throughout all Samsung audio players.
This is the auto-play that pops out when putting in the installation CD.
Then click install, and the setup is very simple.
Then opening the Samsung Media Studio program (which resembles the iTunes layout), you can add music files from your PC to the player.
The program can also be used to setup a playlist to play music on your computer.
And transferring files is a one click action.
Now that the K5 is set up and ready to go, let's give it a rigorous evaluation!
Page 6 : User Interface
Since the interface of audio players is complex, here's a video walkthrough.
Now that the S5 has been fully examined, let's put it through a rigorous field test.
Page 7 : Field Testing and Ergonomics
The firmware used throughout the review is 1.07 US.
I have been using the K5 for a little over a year now as my main audio player while walking around town and working out, so getting used to the S5 was very easy. The slimmer design was very noticeable, and my colleagues have stopped mistaking the player as a cellphone. The OLED screen is nice and bright, and the buttons are clearly defined. Some problems encountered with the buttons is that when it is in your pocket, you have no way of telling where the buttons are, so using the S5 requires visual contact with the touch screen. The shuffle mode feature seems to be very bugged, as it places all your songs on a fixed random playlist, but are never randomized again even if the player is restarted. Also, another big problem with the S5 is the apparent lag between pressing a key and responding. There is about a 0.5 second delay when pressing a button to the player actually responding. This is very annoying when browsing your playlist for songs, even adjusting the volume is delayed. This problem was non-existent in the K5. Charging the unit takes about 4 hours to complete, and can last a very long time when using only the earphones. The Samsung website advertises the expected battery life as 24 hours, but my personal experience shows only around 18-20 hours of playback. Using the speakers is another story, and the battery life can vary depending on the volume that you use it at on a regular basis. It would be roughly 5 hours when using it at a volume of 75%.
As you could see in the video, the startup time was very long compared to other audio players, which can get annoying at times. The voice recording worked very well, although not the highest quality microphone was included; it is well suited for tasks like remembering where the car was parked. The audio-in function is also a very neat, making the S5 a portable set of speakers, not just an audio player with speakers. The video playback was very good, with a high frame-rate, making any video a pleasure to watch (if you don't mind the small screen).
The sound quality that comes out of the player is up to par with onboard sound cards. The new DNSe 2.0 sounds better than the K5's audio processor, and has many different equalizer settings, and also has a user customizable equalizer. The included earphones were a little uncomfortable to put on at first as the full shell is made of plastic. The K5's included earphones had a rubber sleeve, which feels nice in the ear. The hard plastic of the new earphones are a little harder to get used to. The sound of the earphones packs a little less punch in terms of clarity and bass compared to the previous model due to the design changes, but are still of a very high caliber. The bass is strong, and the trebles are crisp and clear. The mid-tones are average compared to higher class earphones, but are still very acceptable considering these are included earphones. The speakers appear to be exactly the same as the K5's; poor in sound quality. Although it does outperform many of the other small-sized speakers, it does not compare at all with full-sized speakers. The bass can barely be heard, and the treble is high pitched, and can screech if too loud. The speakers can be very loud, and will be able to project the higher pitches clearly and without distortion, but the bass will still be very faint.
Page 8 : Conclusion
The Samsung S5 is a good product with great sound quality, slim outfit, and speakers that are very portable. It is jammed packed with many useful features like Bluetooth and video playback, which makes the S5 a very classy addition to anyone's pocket. The main drawback of the player is the input delay, it gets very annoying quickly.
The S5 replaces the K5 with the addition of many features such as video playback, Bluetooth, and audio-in. Being in a smaller package makes the S5 even more attractive as many ventured away from the K5 due to the large size. Anyone who can see past the problem of input lag will be very happy with their purchase of the S5.
- Excellent earphones
- Video playback
- Slim and stylish
- Long startup time
- Input delay (~0.5 seconds)
- Very faint bass on the speakers
- Requires visual contact in order to operate the touch screen
- Shuffle mode buggy
Overclockers Online would like to thank Samsung for making this review possible.