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  #1  
Old 03-31-2007, 08:07 PM
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yuki yuki is offline
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Default Samsung YP-K3 User Review

Yuki's take on the k3 (review) 2GB

To start off with the review I am a Korean music player junkie and have been very please with Samsung and their previous offerings. My favorite no frills player from Samsung had to be the Z5 which has been discontinued I take it. Being saddened that the Z5 is no longer in production i was waiting for Samsung to bring us a replacement. Here it is, the K3, a small ultra thin music player with a innovative design. The K3 has been in my possession for about a week so I have gotten to know the K3 quite well. So how do I like it ? Is it for you ? read and find out.

The first thing you will notice is the packaging, which is one of the most pleasing box designs and packaging for a digital audio player available at the standard electronics retailer. The only complaint is is to ditch the blister package and shrink wrap the card board. The box contains some documentation, a CD with thew Samsung software, a USB cable (proprietary), a pair of visually pleasing ear buds, and the player.

Packaging: 8.5 out of 10 (having a blister pack around the box dropped the score)

The player was stunning out of the box, thin, sleek, and well built. The player controls are stunning, very original and refreshing from the norm. The player is made from a combination of very high quality plastic polymer (very scratch resistant) and stainless steel. The player feels very solid and not like plastic. The player does show finger prints on the touch pad but wipes clean easily with the sue of micro fiber, actually the entire player is pretty easy to clean with a dry micro fiber cloth.

Build quality and design: 10 out of 10

Turning the player on, the user is confronted my a touch controller directional pad that actually lights up. The controls are invisible until the touch area has input making for a really slick interface. Samsung has done a good job at making an original and logical interface that is easy to use. The buttons are very responsive and the lack of tactical feedback is not a problem.

Controls: 10 out of 10

Samsung chose to use an OLED display rather than an LCD which has the advantage of low power consumption, extremely good viewing angle, and excellent black levels. Three major disadvantages are color fidelity is pushed to the blue / green side, the display is fully transmissive (bad for sun light viewing), and low resolution. But this audio player is just that, an audio player and the display does not need to display video. The refresh rate of the display generates a little bit of a flicker but is not distracting.

Display: 7 out of 10

One of the most important aspects of a digital audio player, other than sound quality, is the user interface. To start out the K3 ui is stunning, the ui animations and menu system are brilliant. Navigation to the song you want is easy and logical. During playback the user has the option to view visualizations which if nothing else has a cool coolness factor. Settings and other menus are easy to enter. The audio enhancements can be accesses at the now playing screen which makes it convenient. The ui is very responsive, with response being instant in most menus. Now for some bad, no way to make on the go play lists in the current firmware. Also no dedicated volume control exists, but for the most part the volume can be set in most menus rather than just in the now playing menu. Also the picture viewer is more of a novelty than anything else, it would be nice if the unit had album art display as well.

User Interface: 9 out of 10 (needs OTG play listing)

Computer connectivity is handled by usb as is charging via a proprietary usb cable that comes with the player. The player charges from the host computer while connected to usb. The player uses MTP only as of now for file transfers in the current firmware. Windows xp can handle the player as a drive of sorts allow the user just to drag files to it via MTP, which is alright, but in future firmware i would rather seem an option for UMS. The file transfer speed seems to be average, but it isn't overly slow. In all the ease of use from the computer side is good if the user has windows XP or vista.

Computer connectivity: 8 out of 10 (no ums mode selection)

Now on to the audio quality, one of the most important parts of a digital audio player. Samsung has had a fair share of digital audio players with excellent audio quality and the k3 does not break away form this. The audio quality in general is superb, id did ditch the ear buds for testing in favor of Sennheiser Eh-150' s. Not very many setting to audio are given though, the unit needs more customizations for audio and a custom equalizer. Most settings other than normal sound over processed as expected, though the bass boost is a surprise. In most cases the bass boost does a wonderful job at extending the lows of audio. A few pieces of music did fail with bass boost on, sounding overly processed. For the most part the unit performs well in normal mode with a good range of response. Artifacts are non existent on music that i have listened to at 256 kbps or higher. No distortion was exhibited from the player even at high volume levels. I have not tested ogg support as of yet because I am unsure if the US firmware allows for ogg playback.

Sound 9 out of 10 (the z5 beats it, but not by much, though k3 needs more audio options for the user as well as a custom equalizer)

Battery life of the K3 is amazing considering the size of the player, I am getting about 20 hours and still have battery life left. The rated life is an impressive 25 hours, and it seems that the player does fully turn off rather than going into a low power mode so it wont drain power while not in use.

Battery life / power management 10 out of 10 (given the size of the player it is very impressive)

Overall this player is one of the best i have yet to own in almost every aspect, epically in the looks department. I would recommend this player to anyone that needs a low feature high quality digital audio player with very good sound quality. This player is in my opinion the answer to the nano.

Overall rating 9 out of 10

Pros:
+Excellent build quality
+Unique styling and control system
+Stunning UI
+Easy to use
+Very good sound quality
+Excellent battery life
+OLED has excellent viewing angles

Cons:
-No OTG play listing
-No custom EQ
-OLED has some issues with bright lighting and has marginal color rendering
-No album art

Unsure:

*ogg support ?

Video Review

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Last edited by yuki; 04-02-2007 at 12:08 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2007, 02:42 PM
lohiaprateek lohiaprateek is offline
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huh..ur k3 supports ..this is new for me..we all thought that the the k3 had only UMS..also the custom EQ can be added from a firmware update..
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  #3  
Old 04-01-2007, 02:46 PM
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yuki yuki is offline
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the us firmware seems only to allow MTP on windows xp with media player installed

looks like after some research that all regions except japan do not list ogg support and all regions say MTP mode

Update: in fact the K3 does not support ogg in the current us firmware -_-
common Samsung !!! add the features you did to the Z5 now


Last edited by yuki; 04-01-2007 at 05:52 PM.
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  #4  
Old 04-06-2007, 01:12 PM
$ahil $ahil is offline
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Default K3 Sound Quality.. How is it?

I read Yuki's review on the k3, I was wandering what other ppl thought about the sound quality of K3? Can anyone compare it to iPod, K5, Creative Mp3 players. I'm really interested in buying this .. but now I'm having second thoughts after reading cnet's review on it, and how it only has "above average sound quality" compared to K5 "Excellent sound quality". Sound quality is one the main features I really care about.


thanks
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  #5  
Old 04-25-2007, 11:53 PM
dmack_ca dmack_ca is offline
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Hey, I've got a YP-Z5 right now and I'm thinking of upgrading. Could you clear up some questions I've got about changing over?
  1. does it support UMS mode if you hold a button when you plug it in? I know holding the back button did this on the z5. (or has UMS been added in a firmware update since your post?) There is no way I'm buying a player that doesn't support ums.
  2. do you think the nav buttons have the potential to stick or fail like the z5's touch pad? It's hard to tell how it works from the pictures?
  3. is it the same proprietary transfer cable as the z5?
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2007, 12:40 AM
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The Beef The Beef is offline
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Sweeet! Post some more pics!
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Players I've owned
Samsung YP-T9 2 GB
Creative Zen Vision:M 30 GB
Creative Zen Micro 5 GB
iPod Video 30 GB
Sandisk Sansa M250 512 MB
Sandisk SDMX 256 MB
Centon 128 MB
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2007, 01:26 AM
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yuki yuki is offline
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ok allot of my cons have been solved with Korean firmware 4.03

in this version it supports UMS only ^^ and their is a equalizer and ogg support

as for the touch pad, it has no tactical feel, it is all touch sensor (it seems like it is more robust than the z5)

and to $ahil

sorry for the late response, the audio quality of the k3 is miles above the current nano and with the Korean firmware (which has English language options) you get a user EQ and above all the battery life is amazing on the K3. as for creative players, their audio quality is usually excellent as well

Last edited by yuki; 04-26-2007 at 01:48 AM.
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  #8  
Old 05-02-2007, 05:28 PM
dmack_ca dmack_ca is offline
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Thanks a lot, Yuki. I'm seriously considering this as a replacement for my aging yp-z5
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  #9  
Old 05-10-2007, 06:14 AM
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Hypnorino Hypnorino is offline
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Does it support album art?
I'd love me some album art
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  #10  
Old 05-10-2007, 06:34 AM
Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander's Avatar
Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander is offline
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Unfortunately there is no album art support, even with new firmware, on the K3 or K5.
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  #11  
Old 05-10-2007, 08:51 AM
Stack Stack is offline
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Thanks Yuki - your review made up my mind for me.

Now the proud owner of a K3, and well impressed.
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  #12  
Old 05-15-2007, 05:40 PM
Katalyst Katalyst is offline
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one of the things that K3 should of gotten was an digital clock as well, makes it much easier and have it above or somewhere on the screen, but then again.. it isn't an i pod
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