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Samsung YP-Q1 Diamond review



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Samsung YP-Q1 Diamond
  • Samsung YP-Q1 Diamond
  • Samsung YP-Q1 Diamond
  • Samsung YP-Q1 Diamond
  • Samsung YP-Q1 Diamond


Our Score:


Up until now Samsung's success in the TV, mobile phone, monitor and laptop markets hasn't really been matched by its portable audio division. True, we've seen some glamorous and innovative players, and Samsung is nothing if not a prolific manufacturer, but we've yet to see a Samsung player that could really capture and hold our attention - until now. As you might have noticed earlier this week, our own Gordon Kelly was rather taken by the YP-Q1 Diamond. He's not alone. This isn't a perfect PMP by any means, but it's strong competition for the excellent Sony Walkman NWZ-639F and iPod Nano.

It is, of course, a bigger unit than either, nearly a centimetre taller than the Sony, a good 5mm wider and approximately 2mm thicker too. Size-wise, it's actually quite similar to the old iPod Mini, though the all plastic construction keeps the weight down to a reasonable 61g. The unit doesn't feel as bullet/bomb/impending nuclear apocalypse proof as the Sony, but it still feels very robust and has survived a few days in a crowded pocket scratch-free. The design, meanwhile, is gorgeous and elegant, with the touch-sensitive controls keeping clutter to a minimum. The only things to break up the harmony of case and screen are a power slider on the right-hand side and the headphone socket and annoyingly proprietary USB connector on the bottom.

The key benefit of the larger size is the larger 2.4in screen, and - make no mistake - this one is a beauty. It's really bright. The colours are fantastic. The 320 x 240 resolution is almost perfectly matched to the display size. Viewing angles aren't ideal with dark colours losing contrast almost as soon as you tilt the player in any direction, but given that this is a personal media player I'm not sure that's a huge issue. WMV video playback is flawlessly smooth, and the Q1 also supports MPEG-4 files once they're converted to Samsung's (again) annoyingly proprietary SVI format. And with the Q1 being compatible with BBC iPlayer, you can - and I have - watch a whole episode of Top Gear on the thing with something approaching comfort. There aren't many other PMPs this small I can say that about.

Now, Samsung has taken pains to complement the screen and the physical design with an equally attractive interface. It's a little like a slightly more glamorous version of Sony's current Walkman UI, but it comes with a handful of very interesting extras. A picture browser, podcast support and FM radio, all very functional, are becoming standard features these days, but the Q1 also includes a text reader, Subway maps for major American, European and Asian cities and three games, including an excellent Columns-style block puzzle title.

On top of this, you can customize the UI using Samsung's EmoDio software, as well as convert video and audio files to supported formats and - somewhat bizarrely - transform text files into spoken word MP3. Browsing for music is a little dull for anyone used to Apple's CoverFlow, but with the ability to browse via ID tag or folder you certainly won't struggle to find tracks, and you can create custom playlists from within the Q1's interface - one of the few remaining niggles in the current Sony line-up. It's also worth noting the visualisations - probably the most attractive and hypnotic I've seen on a PMP in ages.


November 16, 2008, 6:00 am

Thanks for a good review Stuart.

Another decent player from Samsung, but the Sony NWZ-S539F has it clearly beat.

On Build Quality, Sound, Earphones.

Okay i dont care about the video. I barely watch a music video or two on the go.

I'll stick with the Sony. ;)


November 16, 2008, 11:33 pm

Do Sony do a 32GB version of this player? I couldn't turn anything up on Google.


November 17, 2008, 1:19 am

How come there is no sound quality category? Kind of important for a Mp3 player review...


November 17, 2008, 4:17 am

If I were to guess it's because sound quality is very subjective. Sound quality is never the same for two people due to a variety of factors, ear size, foam size etc. all make a big difference. And if you get that sorted, some people think a sound is good from a pair of ipod earphones. Plus sound quality is a combination of player and earphone. Put good earphones into a bad source and you have a different sound to a bad player with


November 17, 2008, 4:43 am

darkspark88, not to be rude, but what the heck are you talking about?

The Sony player this is being compared to has a sound quality category. So do the latest Apple Mp3 players. So does the Archos 5 that was just reviewed. So does the latest iRiver player (Spinn).

Take a look, click on Mp3 and try to find one that doesn't have a sound category!


November 17, 2008, 4:58 am

@GherkinG - nope

@Ohmz - it's a layout error, should say 'Sound Quality', darkspark88 was talking in the broader sense if you somehow didn't spot that - which made perfect sense.

Will fix now.


November 19, 2008, 1:31 am

Well I took the plunge and bought my first mp3 player and it was the Samsung and I am very pleased with it. To be honest I didnt buy the Sony as my daughter has a Sony and I didnt want to devalue hers by buying a newer model. We all have our reasons! I am no expert and read reviews and have used my daughters.I admit at first the controls are a bit sensitive but like all things when you get the hang they work well. Sometimes I think reviewers come with their own preferences. You just have to read the instructions and tap them and not try to brush them or hold them on. The sound quality is excellent and

the interface also. Another review said the suppplied earphones were good. Its all a matter of preference. It always makes me laugh when these reviews talk about it being 5mm

longer and 2mm thicker. Who cares! As long as it fits my pocket thats all that matters.Its not a size competition. I have seen video reviews on here where they spend half the review lining up different mp3 players and comparing the mm. How sad is that!They can be too small. The Nano is too small for me.

For 䀏 its great buy at 16GB, as is the Sony and the Creative XFi 8GB whch is the other I looked at but the looks were cool and its a really nice bit of kit.

I am not saying its better than the Sony but I think it is as good. You pays your money as they say.


November 27, 2008, 10:32 pm

Slightly off topic but do you guys at TR have any word on the Cowon S9? Because I've been lusting after any info since they announced it, after trying the iPod Touch and finding the sound quality a bit mediocre (and that was in the Apple store on Bose earphones - funny they don't have standard iPod earbuds on their demo models!)....


November 28, 2008, 3:11 pm

Thanks for the review, Q1 look good for me, just 2 questions:

- any customs EQ ?

- Battery removable by the user?

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