Wednesday January 3, 2007 11:32 pm
Samsung YP-K5 Review
We recently got our hands on the Samsung YP-K5 digital audio player, one of the few MP3 players that has a built-in speaker. The K5 also has an FM tuner, a 1.7-inch color OLED screen, touch-sensitive controls, and 2GB or 4GB of embedded flash memory. Tack on the promise of fantastic battery life, and this one should be a keeper, right? We have provided you with a Samsung K5 unboxing gallery, and also give you our thoughts in our full review, after the break.
The Samsung K5 comes with a proprietary USB cable, which is actually the exact same connection as that of the iRiver clix. Also included in the box are a set of unique earbuds, which fit right inside the ear canal, providing great bass along with sound isolation. This is normally something you don’t see on free headphone pack-ins, so it’s a nice touch here. The thing is, they aren’t made with long-term comfort in mind, so wearing them for too long does result in a bit of discomfort.
USING THE SAMSUNG YP-K5
The Samsung K5 supports MP3 and WMA files, up to a maximum bit rate of 320Kbit/sec and 192Kbit/sec respectively. A glaring omission here is the OGG Vorbis format, only because other Samsung players that we have used in the past have included OGG support.
When it comes to sound quality, listening through the headphones sounds great - but seriously, this thing is all about the built-in speaker. Let’s be up front - this speaker is not going to be better than anything you buy spearately. Don’t expect bass that is the hotness or anything like that. However, let’s talk about why the speaker is the best feature of this device. There is no need to buy an expensive accessory speaker to share your music with a room full of friends. The sound from the speaker is clear, and you can turn up the volume without experiencing too much distortion. Even better, the speaker works in conjunction with the K5’s alarm clock, playing music at a specified time through it’s integrated speaker.
Rounding things out are a built-in FM tuner, which performed better than expected, and is a nice value-added feature.
What would we have added? Well, if the screen was bigger, this would be a perfect portable video device. It sits up on it’s own when the speaker is out, the sound would be fantastic for movies on the go, and the screen is a nice OLED display. Make it bigger and wider, and this thing would be hot.
Battery life on the YP-K5 is simply fantastic. Samsung promises 30 hours, and we got about 32 listening at 50% volume. That is hard to beat in the portable audio space, especially for a device with a screen like this. If you listen through the integrated speaker, you can expect about 6 hours of playback time.
In a nutshell, the Samsung K5 is certainly innovative in a lot of ways, and most people would probably really enjoy the device. It’s about the size of a slider phone, and some may find that to be a bit too big for a portable audio device, what with the size of the iPod nano and shuffle for example, as well as SanDisk’s new Sansas. That said, the speaker has good quality sound, and that means you can bust this thing out at a get-together and have a jukebox at your disposal. That is nice. The tough-sensitive controls add to the cool factor, as it both looks great and is fun to use. The problem, though, is that we aren’t sure that the suggested retail price is low enough to warrant a purchase. Fortunately, you can find some great deals on the Samsung K5 by looking around. Still, it could stand to be just a bit cheaper if Samsung wants to compete with the big boys in the flash player space.