The Samsung YP-R1 media player sees Sammy’s mid-range PMP line making the jump to touchscreen for the first time. But without the video cameras, net connectivity and OLED screens of its rivals, has it made the jump to this generation as everyone else has moved onto the next? Read on and find out in our full Samsung YP-R1 review.
Build wise, the Samsung YP-R1 clearly aims to challenge the iPod nano on the catwalk. It’s not as thin, but the brushed metal case is gorgeous, and the 2.7-inch screen outshines the little Apple player’s non-touch panel. Samsung’s also gone and thrown almost every PMP feature you could think of in the Samsung R1 shy of Wi-Fi and a web browser. On the plus side there’s TV out for big screen playback (tick), Bluetooth (tick), and support for BBC iPlayer downloads (big tick and a gold star). On the downside though that also means terrible tricks like a memopad with “handwriting recognition” that just doesn’t work.
What, about the Samsung R1′s quirkiest add-on though? Ah, Beat DJ. Samsung’s touchscreen scratching software for music mashup was a gimmick the first time round in a phone, and it’s not got any better. If anything, it’s actually worse on the Samsung R1 as there aren’t even any preloaded samples to mix, it’s strictly bring your own.
The Samsung R1′s real selling point though is its audio and video quality. The bundled cans are decent, music is crisp and there are a ton of equalizer and sound profile settings you can dig in to and tweak, while video support (DivX, Xvid, MP4, WMV, H.264) is wide. That’s a real step-up from last year’s fussy Samsung YP-Q1, and makes the Samsung YP-R1 as versatile as the Archos 3, with a screen just as pretty.
A surprise fave feature on the Samsung YP-R1 was actually the FM radio, which uses a clever touchscreen rotating dial to let you spin through stations quickly, and record too. It doesn’t tunetag like the new iPod nano 5G does, but if you’ve been burned by a Cupertino tune chucker in the past it’s the next best thing.
The bottom line: the Samsung YP-R1 is still just a media player, unlike Apple’s iPod line these days. If you can look past the bells and whistles Samsung has glued on though, it’s one of the best for pure and simple playback available right now.