Samsung P3 8GB / 16GB / 32GB Review


07.06.2009

With a design you are most likely to enjoy, a great touch screen and an interface that you will grow into after the accommodation period, the Samsung P3 makes a great first impression. This first impression is complemented the list of features such as Bluetooth support, widgets an FM radio while the great audio quality will only give you more reason to buy it.

Although this is not the best device you can buy in its market (due to the lack of Wi-Fi connectivity and poor implemented podcast support), it is probably the best device you can buy in its price range. The 8 GB model costs about $150, the 16GB model costs $200 while the 32GB model is priced around $300. This places the Samsung P3 in the same price range as the iPod Nano.

The Design

The Samsung P3 has pretty much the same design lines at its predecessor, the Samsung P2. But there are some changes: the device is now a little thinner (the P3 is 4 inches by 2 inches by 0.3 inch), no clear coat and a few lines that make this device look better (at least for some people).

The front of the device is basically the WQVGA screen with a 480 x 272 resolution that measure 3 inches in diagonal. The screen is probably the best thing about this device, as the quality is remarkable (more about that later). Although you will use the screen for 90% of your navigation, there are some buttons on the top of the device: a power/hold button and volume controls. Also on the top of the device you can find a small speaker that you can use to listen to music without the headphones.

The touch feature of the touch screen is one of the best you can find. Tap, double-tap, swipe, and drag to navigate through the menus, enter submenus, etc. The main menu is icon based while by sweeping left or right you can enter the two sided widget menu. Scrolling through long menus or lists by dragging or tapping the screen is done very easily compared to the difficult navigation you will encounter in most devices. Given a proper accommodation time, you will find that navigating is a piece of cake with the P3.

The Features

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the Samsung P3 has an impressive list of features for its price.
First of all, let’s talk about the file formats that can work. These are MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, and FLAC audio; WMV9, MPEG4 (.AVI, .SVI), and H.264 (.MP4) video (some conversion required); JPEG, BMP, and PNG photo; and text files. Decent at least.

If you feel the need to enter some text, you can use the virtual keyboard with good results. The txt files can then be extracted from the player to be used in any other way you want. The FM radio is a feature you will encounter in most players, but the quality is something rare. The interface is simple and you will enjoy the autoscan feature and the 30 presets. You can also record FM transmissions (and voice for that, too).
One feature that you will also like is the ability to customize the sound by using the seven band EQ and the DNSe 3.0 sound enhancement technology.

But the list of feature does not stop here, with the A2DP Bluetooth support being a star attraction. Use this to listen to music using Bluetooth headphones or pair the player with you cell phone. This is something new and definitely fun and interesting. In addition, the fairly large number of widgets makes the Samsung P3 a fun device.

The Performance

As far as the customization options go, you can change the fonts, the themes and set any image you want as your wallpaper. In addition, the player is updatable by firmware updates, a domain where Samsung is highly responsive.

And now we get to the sound quality. And we should spend no more time before stating: it is great. Each band is clearly rendered with masterful precision and given the FLAC support, the Samsung P3 is probably the best MP3 player in this domain. The mids are just enough to avoid the “barrel sound” but high enough to give warmth to a track while the bass is powerful without distorting. It makes you want to buy expensive headphones only to take full advantage of the sound quality. In fact, it is so good and it can get loud enough to tempt you into using the P3 with your home sound system.

Because the screen is very good, it is only natural that the video and photo quality are just the same. You will find no problems with the viewing angles and the brightness of the display, making video playback a joy. And the battery can keep going for 6 hours of video playback or 40 hours of audio playback. It is not the best battery, but it is more than decent.

Performance-wise, the only problem the P3 has is that it can become sluggish at some times, but nothing too severe.

It has a great screen. It has a lot of features. It offers superb audio quality. It is not expensive. But you have to be aware that there are some features that you will not find. Wi-Fi connectivity is one of them, and there are a lot of people who like that. Web surfing is quite the standard these days. Overall, the iPod Touch has more features and some of them are better implemented. This does not mean the P3 is not great, since it is a $100 cheaper than the touch.

If you don’t need the Wi-Fi and/or you are interested in a device that has great audio quality, the P3 is definitely the right choice. And if you have the money for the iPod Touch but want even better audio quality, you can spend the $100 you will save on a top-notch headphone set.

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