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Old 01-02-2009, 07:30 PM
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CaptainCanuck CaptainCanuck is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Canada
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Default Samsung YP-Q1 "Diamond" Review

Opening the Box
The packaging itself is very sleek. It is very easy to get into, and is about as small as it could be. In the box is the Q1, ear buds, a proprietary USB cable, some quick-start instructions, and a CD with EmoDio (Samsung’s transfer program) and the manual.

The Q1 looks very cool; my first impression was that it looked almost like a cell phone. It is very slim and sleek, and it is smooth with no tactile buttons. When turned on, there is a blue backlight behind the directional buttons. When one of the buttons is pressed, the light dims in that corner to give it the appearance that you pressed an actual button (it is really something you need to see for yourself, but it looks very cool). The buttons make sense and it is very easy to realize which buttons do what, there is no learning time for the buttons’ functions. However, for me anyway, (I have always used tactile buttons) the touch buttons definitely took some getting used to. It takes an accurate tap to operate the buttons and I would always bump the wrong button as the buttons are incredibly sensitive. After using it for a few days, this problem went away and I am very comfortable with using them, but I still bump the wrong one every once in a while.

The back of the device is a very smooth plastic. Overall, the Q1 feels sturdy and nice to hold in the hand, but it is a fingerprint magnet. Your Q1 will be covered in fingerprints, there is no way around that. The 2.4” screen is also very nice to look at, and automatically changes to landscape mode when viewing pictures or videos. When this happens, the buttons also change their functions to correspond with the new angle. One final note, blind control of this device is essentially impossible. There are not even dedicated volume buttons so you really need to take this thing out of your pocket to operate it. Thankfully, there is a hold switch on the side as it would be very easy to bump the highly sensitive touch buttons.

User Interface
The user interface is fairly simple and I found it quite easy to navigate the second I turned it on. With a newer firmware (I have 1.23), the icons on the menu screen are in colour, which makes it look much better. The menu can be in either matrix style or “my skin”. I personally think the matrix is much easier to navigate, but the “my skin” (more of a list) allows your background to shine through. This can be handy because you can set any picture you want as the background picture (just make sure it is a narrow picture because wide ones just have black bars above and below them to fill the portrait screen).

The battery has a claimed life of 30 hours for audio and 4 hours for video. These figures seem about right for the time I have gotten out of it, but watching any decent length videos really drains the battery quickly. When used mainly for audio though, the battery lasts more than long enough for my needs.

The Q1 includes Samsung’s DNSe 3.0. This is said to improve sound quality and Samsung even claims it can recover lost sound quality in lossy formats (such as MP3). I am no audiophile. The music sounds very good to be but that is by my low standards. I cannot personally distinguish if DNSe 3.0 does either of the above however I can tell you that it has twelve good equalizer presets (and the ability to make your own custom presets both on the device and through EmoDio) including an “Auto” preset which changes the equalizer depending on the song. I love this feature as I have a variety of music and I find that this works very well for me (for example my hard rock songs are given the “rock” boost while more balanced songs are simply given “normal” or flat). The Q1 supports MP3, FLAC, OGG, and WMA (including protected WMA).

Videos look incredible on the Q1 considering its small screen. In video mode, the device’s screen automatically switches to landscape. They are truly a pleasure to watch and are not choppy like you see on other players. Watching thirty minute shows is no problem on the 2.4” screen, but I would hesitate to try to watch a full movie. It is possible, but I do not want my eyes to look at a small screen like this one for that long. The Q1 supports WMV and SVI (easily converted to using EmoDio).

Pictures look very good on the Q1 and you can even listen to music or the radio when browsing them or watching a slideshow. In picture mode, the device’s screen automatically switches to landscape. Any picture you have on the Q1 can be set as the player’s background for the menu and audio screens. The Q1 supports JPG, PNG, and GIF photos.

Other Features
Datacasts – a dedicated section for all your podcasts. This is so well done; I have started listening to podcasts because it is so easy to do with this device (I had not listened to any before I got this device).
FM Radio – simple to use and done well, though reception tends to be limited.
Games – good time wasters and fairly simple, a very nice addition.
Audio Recorder - able to record directly from the FM radio or your voice to 128Kbps MP3s.
Subway Maps – maps of some of the world’s larger cities’ subways. Essentially useless for me, but still a cool touch. Even includes short descriptions of tourist destinations.
Date and Time – the time is displayed largely on the main menu, and in the corner of every other screen.
Personalizer – you can have your name display at every start up and enter your birthday to receive a birthday wish and fireworks display when it arrives.
File Browser – where you go if you want to delete something or make an on the go playlist.
Texts – a text viewer if you want to do some reading (apparently EmoDio can even use Text to speech (TTS) and have the device read it to you but as of now, I have not managed to get this working)

After I got used to the touch buttons I came to love the Q1. It has everything I need in a player and at the sub $100 price tag (here in Canada) it was well worth the money.

Thumbs Up
• 2.4” vibrant screen (great for videos and pictures)
• Separate menu for podcasts
• 30 hour battery life for audio
• Sleek, slim, and cool design
• Simple interface

Thumbs Down
• Touch buttons took some getting used to
• Short battery life for video
• Limited support for video formats
• Fingerprint magnet!

Just my opinions on this device, thanks for reading!
"Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart." - Confucius
Current Player - Samsung YP-Q1
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