Product Review: MP3 player


1 Apr 2008

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You know the score: you’re listening to a great song on your MP3 player, tapping your feet and bopping your head. Then, your friend or partner asks if they can listen in too, resulting in one pair of earphones stretched between two people and in literal head-banging.

The Samsung S5 is the answer to your over-stretched earphones and bruised noggin. This sleek, black touchscreen music player slides out to reveal a 1.5 watt stereo output, which is great considering how tiny and lightweight the device is.

This is the sort of MP3 player I would have if I wanted to show off new musical purchases to friends or maybe shut the office door and blast out a bit of relaxing classical music to wind down after a long day.

I must admit, I was reluctant at first to give this device a go because I had gotten used to a certain touchscreen, wireless, internet-enabled, widescreen device with web browsing and YouTube functionality ,but there is more to the S5 than meets the eye.

The touchscreen function is a bit confusing at first and unlike the iPod Touch, it is not overlaid on the screen: it rests below and has a play button, along with directional arrows, a back button and a sub-menu button.

The built-in FM radio is a nice addition with easy tuning abilities and there is an audio recording function, so it’s a bit like having a Dictaphone as well: great for all those ‘memos to self’.

What really appealed to me, however, was the Bluetooth functionality. It is surprising how under-rated this technology is but it really is fantastic for easily connecting devices and transferring data.

Pretty much all mobile phones have Bluetooth functionality these days, so I was able to pair up the S5 and my phone and transfer over some pictures, then progressing on to my MacBook notebook, which also has Bluetooth.

I was able to send over some MP3s, video clips and even eBooks. The only drawback here is that this model has only 2GB of storage, so don’t expect to store much content. However, there are 4GB and 8GB models also available from Samsung.

Having said that, the screen is so small that I don’t know if I would bother watching any video on the device.

I was pretty satisfied with all of this, and then I stumbled upon the ability to pair the S5 with your mobile and turn the MP3 player into a speaker phone.

These are the little touches that can make up the mind of a customer confused with the huge array of MP3 players on the market.

The S5 also has a few simple but fun Flash games included and the ability to add some more, a feature that could help while away the minutes spent waiting on the train or Luas.

I can see the S5 appealing to the professional person aged 35 plus because while this little device has modern touchscreen abilities, it also appeals to a slightly older demographic with the voice recorder and FM radio.

Besides, it makes good use of Bluetooth, a wireless technology that most people, tech-savvy or no, are comfortable with thanks to its presence on mobile phones. So there is no need for cables or connecting to your PC if you don’t want the hassle.

Pros: Great sound
Cons: Tiny screen
Price: €149

By Marie Boran