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Samsung Galaxy Player 50 review



Our Score


User Score

Review Price £137.66

Samsung can safely be described as a leader in the Android smartphone space, with its Galaxy-based line-up - the flagship of which is the Android 2.3-running Nexus S - going great guns. As such, the Galaxy Player 50 isn’t that surprising a release. It was only ever a matter of time before Samsung followed Apple’s lead in taking a smartphone OS and paring it down to fit on a media player. We’re mostly surprised it’s taken this long.

Worryingly for Samsung specifically, and those interested in Android media players in general, we think Samsung should have waited even longer to release the Galaxy Player 50. It’s not exactly a terrible product; it has the potential to be a half, if not very, decent portable media player. No, the problem is that the Galaxy Player 50 in its current state is nigh-unusable. Arguably we’d have been less frustrated if there wasn’t so much potential – at least it wouldn’t be failing to live up to it so badly.

The physical design of the Galaxy Player 50 is its first pitfall. Although pitched cheaper, at about £150 – close to £40 less than the 8GB iPod touch – its plastic construction feels much cheaper. A silver accent around the edge of both the player and the home button add a touch of classiness, but the overall look isn’t exciting, especially compared to the YP-R1 – Samsung’s last touchscreen player.

Similarly disappointing and on a less purely aesthetic level is the Galaxy Player 50’s display. At 3.2in diagonally, it’s not especially large and the resolution of 320 x 240 pixels is poor, rendering text and images with a complete lack of sharpness. It’s not much use being bright and offering vivid colours when the screen is this cramped.

Although capacitive, the touch-sensitive display proved touch-insensitive with frustrating frequency, fairing worse than many resistive screens. The problems seem to be software, not hardware, based, as the unresponsiveness only kicks in when using applications. Why isn’t really important though, it’s a massive problem for the Galaxy Player 50 to the extent that it becomes literally unusable at times. And that's only after the four minutes or so it takes to turn on!

Enjoying a small victory where possible, adding media on a MicroSD works, the Galaxy Player 50 scanning for files it can play and adding them to its media library. We'd have preferred the card slot to be accessible without needing to remove the case at the back of the player, but it's not a massive inconvenience. If you end up using Samsung's Kies utility, however, you'll learn how far from convenient an aspect of the Galaxy Player 50 can be.

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January 19, 2011, 12:31 pm

So have you told Gordon yet? His war on the iPod Touch off to a great start then.

2/10. Wow. Tech reviewers aren't entertainment critics and tend not to do number twos on anything no matter how bad, so this must be a catastro****. Hopefully the PMP department at Samsung is in an entirely different country from the television design team.


January 19, 2011, 2:18 pm

I guess the iPod Touch can rest easy on it's laurels once again.

Every once in a while Samsung has the habit of releasing something so awful it makes you wonder if it is really the top tier manufacturer that it wants to be.

Anyway, they still seem to use Google Translate for the localizations in Denmark, so I will keep clear of their products until they start walking the walk.


January 19, 2011, 2:30 pm

Tech tends not to be bad, the worst products we look at usually accomplish their intended goal, just not as well as the competition, hence the high average (mean and median) scores.

So yes, this is pretty poor.

I should add that it isn't an isolated fault with one device. I sent the first unit back thinking it might be; the second one was equally broken.


January 19, 2011, 2:50 pm

I want one... to prop up this wobbly table.

I presume this is completely different to the Samsung Galaxy Player YP-GB1 that TR previewed at CES?


January 19, 2011, 3:18 pm

Sorry for being a meanie but in places this review reads like a BabelFish translation.


January 19, 2011, 4:44 pm

2/10! Is that an actual TrustedReviews record?


January 19, 2011, 6:31 pm

I don't feel comfortable reading a review which is clearly not objective. Why didn't someone like Ed review this? He would've given it at least a 5.


January 19, 2011, 7:12 pm

How is it not objective?


January 19, 2011, 7:45 pm

Haha - I appreciate extreme reviews. What I want to hear is an honest opinion, from someone with character to their personality. Middle of the road, generic reviews are so boring and so obviously politically motivated that they irritate. If being 'objective' means having to appease, then I'll get my info elsewhere. Keep tellin' it how it is.

Andy Vandervell

January 19, 2011, 7:51 pm

Just had a play with one of these. It really is as bad as the review makes out - it's utter rubbish in its current state. Moreover, even if it were working 'properly', it's way too expensive compared to the iPod touch. This is a sub-£100 quality device imo.


January 19, 2011, 8:31 pm

This thing sounds bad.

Amazing how Samsung can screw up a platform that is ostensibly a stripped down 'S' Glad I bought a good second hand iPod 32Gb for LESS than this thing costs. I'm no Apple fanboy but the iPod does what it says on the tin for me!


January 19, 2011, 9:11 pm

Another thing- The Orange SanFrancisco is £50 less on PAYG and about the same price for a Sim Free version, with a higher resolution screen and by all accounts a much better user experience. The only difference is the inbuilt storage, but then it looks like you can't actually use the 8GB in the samsung anyway. I assume android phones will run without a SIM card in?


January 19, 2011, 9:57 pm

Techradar UK is almost as unforgiving, giving this pos, 1 1/2 star out of 5, becoming their lowest rated gadget so far.

It's that unusable, and the tendency to forget your settings once you reboot is infuriating. Definitely, a contender for the worst gadget of 2011.

Hans Gruber

January 19, 2011, 11:59 pm

@GoldenGuy - a no.2 indeed. Hehe.

@Orinj - lolz.

@lifethroughalens - like your style. Yeah, agreed completely. Tell it how it is, Hugo.

There haven't really been many pure MP3/PMP gadgets reviewed over the last 2 years here at TR. The Register did a recent round up of the best available but the recommendations were looking distinctly dated.

Due to Archos' appaling customer support reputation, I wouldn't go anywhere near them. It's a shame there are so many horror stories about their product lifecycle support else the typical hardware spec sheet would have me sold.

I've just been using whichever mobile phone/android device I have at the time for the last few years and with my current HTC Legend and the EU's apparent decision to limit the device's max volume output, I am really struggling to gain any advantage from using the pair of Shure earphones I recently purchased. They sound great with other AV equipment but complete pants through my Legend phone. Time for a dedicated device maybe? Just something with super high music quality and screw the rest. Why does nobody keep it simple anymore? Makes me wanna go get a portable cassette player if I can find one on sale... almost!


January 20, 2011, 12:49 am

The Galaxy moniker just made me assume it would be an S without the phone which it clearly is nothing like. Why would they consciously cheapen a brand they've invested so much in with this sort of trash?


January 20, 2011, 6:33 am


I trust your judgement :). It's just with Hugo, whenever he compares anything to Apple (or is reviewing Apple), I don't feel that comfortable reading it. Nevermind, if it has your seal of approval (or disgust), I shall accept.


January 20, 2011, 6:39 am

@GoldenGuy - haha, yes but this isn't the device I was talking up, it is a relatively old model that has long had bad reviews. The new Galaxy Player is an altogether different animal: http://gizmodo.com/5718681/sam...


January 20, 2011, 10:04 am

Everyone was expecting Galaxy player similar to Galaxy S, but without mobile phone module, but this G50 is just a very simple variation of Galaxy S. It’s nice, it has Wi-fi, so I can upload many applications from Android market for free! But they don’t have much games I heard…May be it is better to use it like mp3 player, to be more happy) I hope either of two Galaxy Player and g50 woll be in the market soon!)


January 20, 2011, 2:46 pm

This is exactly why MS should have made the zune worldwide and should have allowed winpho7 apps to work on the device. It would have been a big hit and a nice introduction to the new OS they just brought. I wish i could talk to the people who make this decision.


January 20, 2011, 4:09 pm


Agree re Hugo - compare and contrast the rather spiffing 8 out of 10 he awarded to the (at least equally) useless new ipod nano.


January 20, 2011, 10:47 pm

I'm almost sure you're not serious, but a comparison between this and an iPod is literally insane. For all the faults you could accuse iPods of having, fundamentally failing to function is not one of them.


January 21, 2011, 2:06 pm


Disappointingly, I am being serious. I paused momentarily to consider replacing my Sansa Clip with the new Nano - I mean why wouldn't one - i's very alluring to look at.

I'll start off by saying that I cannot compare the two, as I have not seen the Samsung, and I take on board all your comments regarding it's failings. However, in my opinion and experience (and we know I'm not alone), the Nano also is not fit for purpose. I have not accused iPods generally; these comments are directed at the Nano.

For starters, it has a clip on the back and is advertised being worn on clothing. However, it cannot be operated in that position, because there are no physical controls, save for volume. To change tracks, pause, rewind, etc you need to look at the screen and perform swipe gestures, which requires you to remove it from your clothes and look at the screen. The touch screen interface, and the requirement to remove it from your clothes, also means that you need to use two hands to operate it, and reauires a certain degree of stillness and steadiness of hand. This makes the device useless for anyone doing any other activity concurrently - which makes it inconvenient and unsuitable for use whilst doing anything physical. But this, of course, all assumes that the user has small enough hands and fingers to operateds the screen, which I haven't! I could go on about the inability to maintain the media library on computers that don't have specific software installed which, for me, is another huge limitation, as my company desktop and laptop are both locked down, but arguments like that have been done to death. Suffice to say its another feature that makes the Nano utterly useless to me.

So, whilst I'm sure it won't randomly crash and reboot like the Sammy, and it probably doesn't "fundamentally fail to function" in your hands, in my opinion it is entirely unfit for purpose. The u-turn on the Shuffle shows that Apple recognises the benefit of physical controls on this sort of tiny device; they clearly recognised that the previous version, without physical controls, was not fit for pupose. Let's see if something similar happens with the next Nano.

So yes, the contrast between your reviews of this Samsung and the Nano is bewildering to me and yes, I do agree with Encara's comments.


January 21, 2011, 2:33 pm

I explained in the iPod nano review why I liked it and why others might not. Just because you fall into the 'not' category doesn't make me wrong or 'biased.' I *can* use the iPod nano one-handed, and I don't have any problems with iTunes (neither on OS X nor Windows) - yes I've had to learn to work with its limitations, but the same is true of a lot of software.

It's an expensive toy, no doubt, but it does what it can very well in my experience.


January 21, 2011, 10:16 pm


It's not about liking; as I said, I find the nano very alluring and would have loved for it to work for me. However, in my hands (and my hands are not especially unusual specimens!) it's little more than a pretty trinket.

The issue is that I am comfortable in accusing the nano of fundamentally failing to function for me in the ways that might be expected, and therefore being unfit for purpose. I understand that I'm not alone. You say that you have had to "learn to work with its limitations", which, to me, says a lot. For me, the limitations are so manifest that they amount to a fitness for purpose issue. I'm sure that one could equally learn to live with the Samsung's limitations, but it sounds like that could equally be tarred with the same fitness for purpose brush. The nano is excused its foibles; the Samsung is not. Perhaps that IS fair, because the nano looks so much nicer and is undeniably cooler. I don't know.

That's just how I see it.


January 22, 2011, 1:15 am

I think there is a difference between compromised usability because of size (I'm not a fan of the current Nano either), and what looks to be a dreadful buggy hashjob. The Nano works great for some people, but I'm struggling to see how the samsung player would work very well for anyone, without a price cut and a complete software overhaul. It's more like one of the myriad Chinese MP4 players sold on ebay, but without the seemingly low price.

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