A Visual Creature
By Seow Tein Hee
Portable media players have been all the rage over the past few years, and as we see slimmer and smaller devices packing more features within, it also means more choices for the consumers. Ranging from Apple's iPod offerings to Creative's affordable choices, Samsung is also in the thick of the action too, and this time, the action is seen on one of their slimmer devices, the Samsung YP-S3.
Slim and Stuffed
Much like the earlier Samsung YP-K3 that hit the markets more than a year ago, the S3 has the exact same form factor as its earlier iteration. Sharing a similar touch-sensitive navigation pad, the S3's exterior hue is laid out with minimal fuss, showcasing a smooth and glossy surface. Upon a single touch, the underlying LED lights up and presents the standard five-way navigation pad, with a Back and Menu button on the top left and right respectively. The Power/Hold button is back in its old spot, either locking the device with an upward push, or powering up/down by pushing and holding the button downwards.
Though there is no definitive size increase in its display, the S3 gets a switch to a TFT LCD screen as opposed to the K3's earlier OLED display. With QCIF resolutions of up to 176 x 210, the S3 also comes with a more stylish interface for you to scroll through.
Listen and Squint
In our earlier review, the K3 scored a few brownie points from us with its audio capabilities. Thus, it was of no surprise that the S3 managed to replicate the experience once more. Bass levels were exceptionally well delivered on the S3's bundled earpiece, and with our in-house headphones, the lows were booming loud and hard with no discernable cracking to the quality. Of course, if the EQ range delivery of certain tracks aren't up to par with your usual standards, EQ settings such as Bass Boost, Concert Hall, Rock and many others are available for you to tweak according to your preferences.
Bringing a notch further on its features, the S3 is also equipped for video playback. Supported formats on the S3 include MPEG4 and OGG files, but you'll be required to utilize the bundled Samsung Media Studio to convert and transfer your video files into the S3. In terms of its battery longevity, the S3 manages to keep a good mixture of music and the video playing for up to almost 10 hours.
Upgraded devices are definitely welcomed whole-heartedly for us, and with the Samsung YP-S3's updated color screen for video playback and some mini-gaming purposes, it definitely gave us more reasons than one to give the thumbs up to this new portable media player. In all honesty though, viewing videos on an 1.8-inch screen can be a painful affair, so when it comes to the crunch, there are better options for video viewing on-the-go such as the Archos 705 Wi-Fi Portable Media Player. Starting from S$129 for the 2GB version, those who seek higher storage capacities can consider the next step up to its 4GB version at S$189, which makes more money sense as you are essentially paying S$60 for an additional 2GB worth of storage space.