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The latest MP3 player from Samsung looks great, comes with a lot of features, and can play audio, video, picture, and text files without any problems. But if you have issues with touch-sensitive keys, then this player may not be your cup of tea.


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The Samsung YP-Q1 is a candy-bar player that is 10.9mm thin. It has a 2.4-inch, 320×240-pixel display and seven touch sensitive keys (back, menu, up volume, down volume, left/right file browser buttons) up front, while the unit’s power/hold switch is located on the right spine.

A proprietary port for USB connection, a headphone jack, and a lanyard loop are located at the unit’s bottom.

The main screen consists of nine sub-menus: Music, Videos, Pictures, Texts, FM Radio, Datacasts (Transfers RSS to the unit), Prime Pack, File Browser, and Settings. The unit can play MP3, WMA WMV, SVI (MPEG4) JPG, BMP, PNG, GIF, TXT, and Ogg files, which can all be transferred using Windows Media Player or the included Emodio software.

The Emodio software is easy to use: all compatible files are displayed and are sub-divided into audio, video, photos, and recording. Users can arrange songs by Title, Artist, Track, Genre, Time, and Theme, which can then be transferred to the player with a click of the transfer button. Users can also see which files are already stored on the Q1 by clicking on the player icon and delete files instantly.

 


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The music menu can display music by artists, albums, songs, genres, playlists, recorded files, and can also display every music file stored. The highlight of the Q1 is its ability to upscale audio files and filter out some street noise. There are two options to choose from the Sound Effect section: A ‘Street Mode’ that ‘allows a user to hear the music outdoors by filtering out some of the street noise,’ and an ‘Audio Upscaler’ that ‘reconstructs the sound source lost by WMA/MP3 encoding close to the original.

Audio files sounded fantastic, with our music sounding rich and vibrant. Turning on the ‘Audio Upscaler’ function won’t make a difference for well-encoded audio files, but definitely has an effect on low quality audio. The DNSe function enhances audio files by allowing users to change the sound settings.

Videos and videos looked sharp, with the player automatically changing orientation (from portrait to landscape) for a better view. Stored photos can be zoomed in and rotated, with the player being able to play music or the radio while viewing the slideshow.

The unit also comes with a Prime Pack that comes with a Voice Recorder function, Games (although there wasn’t any pre-installed game), and a Subway software that displays various subway lines from different countries.

 


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Featured subway lines include: Canada (Vancouver and Toronto), United States (New York and Chicago), Mexico (Mexico), UK (London), France (Paris), Italy (Rome and Milan), Germany (Berlin and Munchen), Greece (Athens), Russia (Moscow and St. Petersburg), Spain (Barcelona), South Korea (Seoul), Japan (Tokyo), China (Beijing and Shanghai), Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan ROC (Taipei), and Australia (Sydney).

The maps were last updated in March 2008, so we can assume that the maps are recent (the Sydney train lines were up-to-date). The Maps come with various ‘landmarks’ that display information on tourist attractions. While handy, the interface is clunky and can just show one ‘small’ section at a time. For example, while trying to take a look at the East Hills line, the word Glenfield was cut. Scrolling up or right did not solve the problem, forcing us to zoom out on the main map and feel our way around it.

An FM Tuner function is also available, which is a great alternative should you get tired of listening to your music. An auto-preset function saves the hassle of scanning stations manually, but can still be over-ridden by reverting it to manual mode.

The keys were too sensitive for our taste: if it was not pressed in the right place, it would register differently. Sure it may take a while to get used to, but it gets annoying at times, especially when all one wants to do is to increase/decrease the volume. The unit lasted for almost 30 hours (in audio mode) and fully charges in 2.5 hours.

Despite its flaws, the YP-Q1is still a great player. It comes with a lot of customisable options, built-in FM radio, and built-in Subway mode to help you get around when riding major train lines. And with its audio upscaling and DNSe function, you are sure to have a great listening experience every single time.

See page over for product specifications and final rating.

 

Samsung YP-Q1 Specifications:

Memory Capacity: 8GB or 16GB
Display Type: 2.4-inch TFT LCD (QVGA 320×240)
File Formats Supported: MP3, WMA WMV, SVI (MPEG4) JPG, BMP, PNG, GIF, TXT, Ogg
Included Accessories: Earphone, Software CD, USB Cable

Features: FM Radio, View Picture, View Text, Voice Recording, View Video, Game, Datacasting

Sound Effect:
User EQ: Yes
Preset EQ: Yes
Sound Feedback: Yes
Others: DNSe 3.0

Battery Type: Li-Polymer

Playback Time:
Audio: 30 hours
Video: 4 hours
Recording Time: 10 hours
Charging Time: 2.5 hours

Dimensions: 49.9 x 97.8 x 10.9mm
Weight: 61g

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Samsung YP-Q1 | $289 (16GB) |  | www.samsung.com/au

For: Audio upscaling function; Good audio output; Built-in FM Tuner; Subway Maps; Easy to use Emodio software
Against: Overly-sensitive touch keys; Slow interface
Conclusion: The Q1 breathes new life to Samsung’s MP3 range.

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