One of the Q1’s biggest assets was its bright 2.4in 320 x 240 screen – one of the largest displays of any PMP in this class. The same holds true of the YP-Q2, and whether you’re watching TV, movie or photo content, you’ll get a clear, vibrant image with plenty of punch that’s visible in most lighting conditions. This should, theoretically, make the Q2 a great player for video content, but unfortunately not all is quite as it should be. For one thing, file format support is now a bit behind the curve, with only WMA and Samsung’s own SVI format handled. Interestingly, the specs claim MPEG-4 support, but it turns out that this only works if you convert the file using Samsung’s Emodio media management software first, and even then I saw some nasty, choppy frame rates when attempting to play converted movie files back.
More seriously, while the Q2 claims to have full iPlayer support, I’ve had poor results so far. Freshly downloaded files which will play happily on my Q1 refuse to play on its successor, coming back with a File Not Supported error message. I’ve tried copying using straight folder to folder drag and drop and syncing using both Windows Media Player and Emodio, and nothing seems to work. As Samsung is sticking ‘Works with BBC iPlayer’ stickers on the packaging and all sites selling the Q2 are making the same claims, I’m going to charitably assume that either a) there’s a problem with my particular Q2 or b) this is a known issue that’s being ironed out as we speak. I’d be lying if I said that this didn’t concern me, though.
Otherwise, the Q2 matches its predecessor feature for feature. The FM radio is one of the more sensible efforts on a PMP, offering decent reception, good audio quality and the ability to automatically set preset channels from within the radio mode itself. The voice recorder is perfectly adequate for most needs, we get decent text and photo viewers, complete with slideshow, and the Q2 even fits in a trio of mildly entertaining puzzle games.
Still, above all else the Q2 is an excellent audio player, and easily the best I’ve listened to since Sony’s awesome sounding NWZ-X1060 X-Series Walkman. Like the YP-Q1 before it, the Q2 features Samsung’s DSNe 3.0 audio enhancement technology, combining a range of EQ settings with some understated 3D audio effects and an ‘Audio Upscaler’ feature designed to compensate for the effects of MP3 compression. It seems to work as I’d say that the new player sounds slightly better than the old one. Bass is deep and rich but also articulate, the mid-range is punchy and at the top end there’s no shortage of detail or ‘sparkle.’