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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:57 pm
Posts: 104
Final update

Ok,
I got my galaxy S Wifi 5.0 5 inch tablet/media player 8GB for £135.

I got it to replace my sony 7inch portable DVD player that has a 6 hour battery using a USB key, but it weighed over a kilo. I diddn't want a phone, as too expensive (for the screen size, galaxy note is a similar size and £600) and it would not have good battery life.

My criteria was very specific:
5 inch screen, no smaller (as had Archos 5IT before)
avi playback - as all my videos are avi format
plug in memory card
click and drag operation. no software, or conversion software needed
fit in a shirt pocket
replaceable battery (but conceeded to that one)

Initial impressions
build quality is great, it's solid and weighty, but a bit slippery in the hand. it looks like a galaxy note. I've got a galaxy apollo gti5800 phone, and it's screen is 3.2 inches, that is just over the WIDTH of the galaxy players! The screen is huge, but it fits into a shirt pocket with no trouble at all (I got a gel case for it, and it still fits). I've also made a stand using a compact flash card case and some velcro, so I don't have to hold it.

The screen is great, resolution is 800x480. An i pod touch screen is sharper and smoother on video playback, but it's far too small for me. It's bright and clear from any angle, plus you can brighten the screen on video playback. It's pretty good in bright sunlight (but highly reflective). The capacitive screen is very responsive to use, and has multi touch, and feels solid (I think it's glass). Typing on it is so easy to do in landscape format as it is a good size.

As a photo player the screen is really good. I got rid of my digital photo frame as a result. I have about 2Gb of photos on it, and and I have my own folders set up on the memory card for easy filing, videos, music and photos.

App space is huge ( I think 1.88GB) and it comes with about 30 apps pre installed, that can't be removed.
Supplied apps are: contacts, samsung apps, alarm clock, calendar, camera, gallery, fm radio ,play store, maps, talk, gmail, calculator, email, youtube, allshare, voice recorder, memo, mini diary, thinkfree office, latitude, navigation, task manager, google search, google voice search, qik video, social hub.

FM radio is great, as it actually has a tuner built in, not a wifi app like an i pod touch, but it does need headphones to work as an ariel, however you can still switch to the external speakers with headphones attached. Also the tuner is manual so it wont skip a station if the signal is weak.

The battery is 2500mah, which is impressive. However, it's non removeable. And my first test results are:

It's lasted 9 1/2 hours of standard def video before the battery warning came on! (showed 15%) with the screen set to 50% brightness and volume to 50% as well. EDIT: just tested it again in November, and it lasts as long as when I got it.

It lasted 7 hours of 720p HD mp4 video before the battery warning came on. Strangely it played the file with no problem, but my friend's gen 8 Archos 101 needed the cinema pluggin to play it. considering the website quotes only 5 hours for video playback, I'm stunned.

The best thing is, it plays all my avi files without problems, my Archos 5it needed the £15 cinema pluggin to watch the same files. Downloads and DVD rips, that was my biggest concern. MP4's don't work in my DVD players, so I don't use that format. EDIT: I'm now using mx player from the google playstore. It's main adavantage is volume and screen brightness can be controlled by on screen sliders up and down on the left and right of the screen, plus volume is louder. It also allows you to file your videos for quick searching, the stock video app shows everything in a looong list!

Charging time with the mains adapter (micro USB connector - same as a phone, yay) is only 3 1/4 hours from 15% capacity when switched off, and it takes about 6 hours to charge via USB. Mains and USB cables come in the box.

The stereo speakers are loud and pretty clear, but quiet recordings could be a problem due to the EU volume limiter. The headphones have good sound quality, but the jack is in the bottom of the device, so would need to go in a pocket upside down. There is no noise reduction facility with them, so surrounding noise can be distracting. It does have a mute/pause button on the chord, which is handy. The power button on the unit also acts as a device lock on video playback, that stops all controls working, except volume, which I love.

wifi signal is really strong (I think reported problems are more to do with users routers, or conflicting router channels), much better than my phone's when upstairs, away from my router. I've had no problems linking it to a wifi hotspot or to another router (it also remembers router's and their passwords). EDIT: I've managed video chat on skype using wifi outside my flat to 60feet away with no signal breakup.

It uses micro Sd cards up to 32GB, and goes in the top of the device under a flap, with easy access. EDIT: You can also use micro SDXC cards (64GB), all you have to do is format it in the player and it will work fine. I had to turn it on and off twice to get it to work correctly, but it's fine now. I've got over 200 videos on my 64GB card, and still have 10GB free.

Skype works really well with great sound, much better than on my phone. It has a built in mic on the bottom, next to the headphone socket. However, the people I talk to report echoing, as the speaker is so close to the mic. Using the headphones fixes it though, and the chord also has a built in mic. EDIT: Also the camera rotation is a bit odd, you need the camera on the left side (landscape rotation) for it to be the correct rotation for the other person, but your view of the other person is then upside down!

BBC i player (EDIT: but can't watch live TV, get sound, but no picture), itv player and ch5 player all work, as does Netflix (with great volume control). No issues with buffering on these services. TV catchup works with all live TV stations on freeview, but the audio is slightly out of sync with the picture, and picture quality from the site isn't great.

It has the full google marketplace (play) as standard, plus it plays flash video with flashplayer 11. It plays flawlesly using youtube or the web, HD videos look really good. I've just used the google navigation software, and it was flawless in getting me to my destination. EDIT: the only problem with google maps and navigation is it can't always pick up your location to get you home! I'm now using navfree, as it works ofline by saving the maps to the device (400MB to the SD card, not internal memory). It works much better. As the screen is so big, you can see all the info on the screen. I use it in the car to play music via the car stereo, when directions come up, it pauses the music to give directions.

downloaded a few games and the graphics are really smooth, the touch screen is responsive as is rotating the player. RAM is about 377MB, and about 150-200mb is useable in general use. I use advanced task killer to keep it running smoothly and max out the battery life.

Web browsing is a nice experience, but full web pages can be a bit slow to load (might be my internet though). It is very RAM intensive with internet as well. One thing I have noticed is when viewing text on web pages, holding it very close; the text can look a little pixelated. Only a little, but you can see it. Not a big problem, but it could annoy some people.

I've used FB reader, and reading books on the screen is no problem at all. running your finger up and down the left of the screen changes screen brightness, and it has night mode for white text on black page. Can only get it to read epub and pdf files though.

It also has an office suite, so it can open microsoft office files.

The samsung Kies software isn't much good, it's slow to connect and transfer items. Using the memory card fixes that though.

EDIT Nov: I've just got a samsung 40inch TV and have just used the allshare app. I can now stream any picture, music or video to my TV from the player via my home router (thats plugged into the TV), it plays HD video with no lag and is really easy to use, fantastic feature!

Overall, I'm very glad I took the plunge, and I don't regret it one bit (especially at the price I got it for). This is a very underrated device, and samsung should try promoting it properly. It just got a best buy in which magazine for mp3 players, but this device is SO much more than that! EDIT: my mum has ditched her i pod 3rd gen for one now...

One problem for some might be that it has reached the end of it's life with regard to upgrading the OS (it runs Android 2.2 in UK and 2.3 in the US), so new apps may not be compatible. Doesn't bother me as all the apps I've got are free and work fine - I don't change devices for the sake of it. Also the lack of RAM for regular heavy web browing could be an issue for some people.

Lastly, and perfect for carying the device, it has a loop for a lanyard strap, so you can't drop it.

marcel


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:03 pm 
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Archos User
Archos User

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:57 pm
Posts: 104
Samsung 5 inch player is now £100 at pc world!

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/samsung-g ... 4-pdt.html

I'm getting me a spare one!

marcel


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