Samsung YP-R1 MP3 player review

Has Samsung finally nailed the small music player?

Samsung YP-R1
The Samsung YP-R1 is a touchscreen MP3 player running the Touch Wiz user interface

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It's fairly obvious that Samsung has taken a few cues from the iPod Nano with the YP-R1.

It's virtually the same size, and has a similarly tough brushed metal shell. Unlike Apple's bestseller, the YP-R1 includes a 2.7" display, as opposed to the Nano's meagre 2".

Our biggest concern with the tiny display was its ability to function as a touchscreen, but the YP-R1 manages to stay functional without the iPod Touch's volumous interface.


It's a resistive rather than capacitive screen (when will they learn?), which means it's not as responsive as Apple's offerings. And the titchy nature of the icons means its easy to miss vital controls sometimes.

But once you get used to the screen, it does work. Samsung has done a good job with the interface, and has made it as easy to use as any Apple offering without feeling too derivative. It's orientated in a landscape fashion, and everything's clearly laid out on three scrollable screens.


The YP-R1 is very intuitive, too, with a tap of a light bulb icon to adjust the brightness, and a sweep of the finger to change tracks or fastforward. Samsung has added some fun applications, such as a few touchscreen games and widgets, including SleepCat, which will turn your player off after a set interval.

Gadgets aside, the Samsung is actually a remarkable media player, and certainly the best we've seen at this price point.


Music sounded incredible thanks to what Samsung terms the DNSe sound engine, with James Holden's intricate "Lump" sounding rich and fleshed-out.

There's also the Beat DJ, which, with its time- and pitch- shifting abilities would be great for virtual DJs. But, alas, it can't support more than one track, so you'd have to buy two before hitting the decks at Gatecrasher.


However, where the YP-R1 really excels - and we weren't expecting this - is as a video player.

Drag and drop pretty much any video onto it and it'll play it with no fiddly conversion. The screen really excels here too, the smoothness is astounding for such a small player. Hold it close to your face, turn the volume up and it's like you're actually in a cinema.