Samsung YP-P3 MP3 PlayerMay 4th, 2009 | By David
Samsung YP-P3 MP3 Player
: 05/4/09 – 04:28:24 AM
: MP3 Players
Page 1 : Introduction
Today, Samsung is one of the world's leaders in the field of electronics. Founded in 1938, they have built quite a reputation and earned the trust of its followers, especially in the realms of mobile phones, displays, audio players and house hold appliances. We have taken a look at quite a number of Samsung products in the past, including a whole slew of MP3 players, and today we are going to take a look at another, Samsung's new P3.
A little over a year ago, I reviewed the Samsung P2; Samsung's entry into the touch screen media player market. It was a great product, with intuitive interface and jam packed with features such as video playback, Bluetooth, and mobile phone support. Samsung also followed up on user-feedback by providing firmware updates that fixed bugs and added new features. This attention to customers has given Samsung electronics a very good image. The P2 still had its disadvantages due to its touch screen being buggy and erratic when going through large temperature changes or being used with sweaty fingers. Also, the P2 did not have the level of customization that the iPod Touch had.
The Samsung P3 is released in direct competition with the Cowon S9, another Korean designed media player that uses a touch screen interface. Will the P3 be able to effectively build upon the P2 and shine on the market? Read on to find out!
Note: This review is based on the 1.28 US (Touch 6.C) firmware, released on 16 March 2009.
Page 2 : Package and Contents
The P3 is packaged in a cardboard box, but don't worry, it's not the ugly corrugated type.
The back of the box gives more details on the specifications and features of the P3.
The package includes the player, manual, USB cable, and earphones.
Before we take a closer look at the P3, let's go over the specifications of the player.
Page 3 : Specifications and Features
Here are some of the features listed on the Samsung website:
The P3's shell is constructed from metal, and has a brushed aluminum finish to it. This is a step up from the magnesium alloy material used on the P2, which was very prone to scratches and dents. Samsung's DNSe sound engine has an even further upgrading. The P2 had the DNSe 2.0, and the P3 is outfitted with the DNSe 3.0, which allows for more sound quality customization as well as an audio upscaler. The haptic touch is a concept of pressing the touch screen, and having it feel like you pressed a tactile and mechanical button. The player just vibrates whenever a touch on the screen is registered.
The P3 also features a fully customizable main menu, which you can outfit with calendars, clocks, and other ‘widgets’. Also built into the player is a mono speaker, so you can listen to music without earphones. The resolution of the P3 is 480 x 272, the same resolution that the Playstation PSP features. The ratio of the screen is also a widescreen 16:9 format, which is the ratio most movies use. By using a Lithium Polymer battery, the P3 seems to have very impressive battery life, with 30 hours of audio playback time, and 5 hours of video. Another thing to note about the P3 is Bluetooth compatibility. This allows for the use of two wireless Bluetooth headsets, as well as connectivity to a mobile phone.
Now that we have had a taste of the P3 on paper, let's take a look at the real thing.
Page 4 : Design and Layout
The design of the P3 is very similar to the P2.
In terms of styling, the P3 is sleek, minimal in design and is drop- dead gorgeous. The P3 adds an expansion of the touch surface to a panel just below the screen, as well as a chrome detail that wraps around the whole player.
The chrome plate on the bottom of the player houses the 3.5mm audio jack, USB connector, and the microphone/reset switch.
The top of the player houses all of the buttons; the volume up and down buttons, and the power and hold switch have been combined into one. Also featured is the mono speaker. What looks like a button in between the power switch and the volume controls is not a button; it is only there to fool you.
As you can see, the P3 adds an additional touch surface below the screen, but the display is still the exact same size. The indicator LED on the bottom of the P2 is also removed.
The bottom of the players are laid out exactly the same, but are made from different materials. Also note that the P2 had a power switch and hold switch on the left side, and the volume controls on the right. The P3 however, removed the mechanical hold switch and puts all the buttons on the top.
From the picture on the left, you can see the different screen materials used for the players. The P2 uses a sort of plastic that is flexible, and when touched, you can feel the screen being depressed. The P3 however, uses a glass screen which is much stronger and feels a lot better. The P3 uses an aluminum housing, while the P2 uses a magnesium alloy body. The aluminum body feels a lot stronger and has a more solid feel to it compared to the magnesium alloy, but this is really a personal preference.
Now that the P3 has been thoroughly examined, let's move onto the installation.
Page 5 : Installation
The P3 can be used with MTP or UMS USB connections.
The P3 does not come with an installation disc. The installation file however, is located within its internal storage upon connecting with your computer.
The installation is a straight forward process run by InstallShield Wizard.
The EmoDio software replaced the Samsung Media Studio software last year, and adds many improvements such as customized sound quality and text-to-speech. Similar to Apple's iTunes program, from here you can make playlists, play music, and manage the files on the P3. Also, EmoDio checks for firmware updates every time you connect a Samsung media player.
Unlike Apple, Samsung promotes the use of their media players as a plug and play device. You can freely transfer files and music into the P3 without having to install the software if you choose, something that makes life much simpler.
Now that the P3 is setup, let's take a look at the interface.
Page 6 : Interface
Since the interface of the Samsung P3 is very detailed, a video walk-through was prepared to fully explain the P3's interface.
Here is a video provided by Samsung that details the various features of the P3.
And here is a video walk-through of the player.
Now that the P3 has been fully examined, let's give it an evaluation.
Page 7 : Field Testing and Ergonomics
As a proud owner of the Samsung P2 for a little over a year now, I am well aware of the few bugs and inconveniences of the player. My main gripe about the P2 is the buggy touch screen and more few customization options. I was very excited to review the P3 to see if it improves upon the P2.
Being an avid music listener, I never leave the house without a media player and headphones. The P3 did a great job as being my main MP3 player, being able to listen to music, watch videos, and play some fun games. The LCD is very nice and bright, and reproduces good colors. The touch screen is drastically improved upon the P2 because it is made of glass, so even if you push down on it hard, the LCD screen underneath is never disturbed. The touch sensitivity is great, and is not a guessing game like it was with the P2. The added touch screen surface below the LCD was a great addition, as it can be easily located within a pocket and operated without having to take it out. However, the P3 shuffle feature is still the same as the P2; skipping to the next song will play a random song and skipping to a previous song will also play a random song instead of playing the previous song that was listened to.
The Bluetooth connectivity works great, and has a range of about 5 meters. The ability to use wireless headphones and being able to transfer files wirelessly is a great feature.
Charging the unit takes about 4 hours to complete, and can last a very long time when only listening to audio. The Samsung website advertises the expected battery life as 35 hours, and the actual life would probably be higher. Watching videos is another story, as it takes more processor power in order to play a video. The battery life sharply diminishes to about 5 hours. Also, the VibeWoofer feature which vibrates the player in sync with the low tones of a song also takes away from the battery life.
The size of the P3 is very thin, compact, and light-weight which is great for portability. The sleek brushed metal and chrome finish is very attractive, and when pulled out in a crowd, it's bound to attract attention away from the iPods that scour the population. The interface that Samsung has implemented into the P3 is very fun and customizable. Navigating through songs on the P2 was a little annoying because all songs were organized into set pages, but on the P3, they are more fluid and free to sort just like the Touch. The haptics on the P3 also make the player more intuitive, because it vibrates whenever the touch screen is used. This helps especially when the P3 is in your pocket, and you are just ‘feeling’ for the controls.
The sound quality that comes out of the player is up to par with onboard sound cards. Listening to music is very enjoyable with no static or distortions. The included earphones however are average. The treble is very crisp and clear, but the bass output is definitely lacking. Those looking for a great sound experience should invest in a pair of better headphones. I ran a comparative test between the P2 and the P3 using Audio-Technica ATH-ES7 headphones. On the P3, I set the DNSe preset to ‘Normal’, and turned on the Audio Upscaler (which is supposed to restore lost quality due to file processing) and on the P2, I set the DNSe preset to ‘Normal’. The differences between the two players are very minimal, and with the Audio Upscaler on the P3, the midrange sounded a little crisper, but that's about it.
The DNSe 3.0 adds more sound customization options than the P2, with more presets and being able to control ‘Concert Hall’ and ‘Clarity’ options on the user made preset. Personally, I only adjust the equalizer to make my music sound more accurate depending on the headphones I use.
The FM radio function on the P3 is very clear and can handle a number of pre-set stations. FM radio recording is also available, and the playback is very clear and accurate. And lastly, the new flash player allows for user-created applications to be used with the P3, offering limitless possibilities for homebrew applications and games.
Page 8 : Conclusion
The Samsung P3 is a very good player, and makes a great addition for any avid music listener. The design is very stylish, and the improved interface is very intuitive and works like a charm. The haptic feedback adds a lot of value to the player, and the glass touch screen is very accurate. The ability to just drag and drop your music into the player is also a plus, and the Bluetooth connectivity with headsets and mobile phones makes room for a lot of options.
The P3 is a very high class product, and is a solid replacement for last year's P2. Almost every aspect of the P3 is improved upon from the P2, and makes it a solid competitor against the Cowon S9 or the iPod Touch. Those looking in the market for an MP3 player should take a very serious look at the P3, and those who already own the P2, the upgrade is well worth it.
- Video playback
- Resistant to scratching, aluminum body and glass screen
- Long battery life
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Plug and Play
- Intuitive interface
- Very customizable sound experience (DNSe)
- Flash player
- Average earphones
- Skipping to previous song in shuffle will play a random song
Overclockers Online would like to thank Samsung for making this review possible.