A Worthy Successor
By Seow Tein Hee
Is the portable media industry shrinking? It is, but only in the physical sense. Portable media players (PMPs) are still immensely popular amongst consumers for one important reason: convenience. Commuting from point A to B can be mind-numbingly boring, so it's no surprise that people are still dependent on such mobile entertainment. Samsung's latest portable media player and successor to its YP-P2 series, the YP-P3 aims to be your roadtrip companion.
The Slim Treatment
The YP-P3 comes with loads of hardware and feature updates. Most significantly, the device now sports a cool, aluminum chassis. At just under 10mm for its profile, the device is considerably slim for a PMP. We also loved the 3-inch display, which incidentally is a capacitive touch screen. It's evident that Samsung thinks that less is better, as the only buttons on the YP-P3 are the Power and Volume buttons, which are now tucked neatly, concealed at the crown of the device.
The black slider underneath the 3-inch display felt like a waste of screen real estate, given that it serves only to bring up the Menu or your current playlist whilst within the Home screen. This could have been better achieved with a simple gesture to bring up the necessary functions within the device.
Enhanced Hearing and Sight
What we found intriguing about the YP-P3, are the features within. The user interface gets a hefty makeover from what we've previously seen on the YP-P2. We can't avoid making this comparison, but the multiple pages on the YP-P3 for its icons and widgets gives us that familiar Apple feel. But the inclusion of a variety of widgets within the interface does up the ante slightly in Samsung's favor, though the selection varies from mindless ones such as a butterfly flying across the screen, to more practical ones such as a world clock.
Next, how does the YP-P3 fare when it comes to media playback? Thanks to the updated version 3.0 DNSe sound enhancement technology on the YP-P3, audio clips were much to our liking. The only flaw was the bass level, which felt rather flat and in need of a stronger punch for drum and bass tracks. Fortunately, mids and highs had sufficient delivery, with vocals and lead guitars being brought to the forefront easily with the DNSe enhancement.
As mentioned, the YP-P3 comes with a 3-inch display screen and to top it off, it comes with 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. Like its predecessor, getting videos to work on it will be a bit of a chore. Though the YP-P3 supports MP4 and WMV file formats, it requires the included EmoDio application to convert the file for proper playback. Nonetheless, once we got that little obstacle out of the way, crisp colors were presented to us on the screen. The YP-P3 was able to last for nearly a day playing back a mix of music and videos, which is not too shabby for a device that slim.
Succeeding the Formula
On the whole, we can say the Samsung YP-P3 is definitely a worth successor to its earlier model. Building upon the features that made the Samsung YP-P2 a popular choice, the YP-P3 follows in its footsteps with an introductory price of S$299 for its 4GB version. If 4GB of storage can't satisfy you, the S$399 8GB version should keep you well-entertained on the road.