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Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 review

A capable media player saddled by aging Android software that may have trouble justifying its price

Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2
Samsung's Galaxy Player 4.2 makes sense as a cellular-free alternative

Our Verdict

While there's nothing inherently wrong with the Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 and the concept of a cellular (and contract) free Android device is admirable, it's doomed to be a niche product aimed at entertaining kids whose parents are already fans of Google's mobile ecosystem.


  • Front stereo speakers
  • Kies Air app
  • Larger display than iPod touch
  • Contract-free Android device


  • Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread
  • Price matches Nexus 7 tablet
  • Poor camera quality
  • No Hulu Plus or Chrome support

With Apple dominating nearly 70 percent of the MP3 player market, there would seem to be little incentive for competitors to jump into the fray. But Samsung isn't likely to shrink from a challenge from Apple or anyone else, leaving no stone unturned as it tries to chip away at Cupertino's market share.

That's where the latest Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 comes in. Essentially a Galaxy-class Android smartphone without the cellular radios (and monthly data plan that comes with it), the Korean consumer electronics manufacturer may need to rethink its pricing strategy in the wake of Google's own low-cost tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2

The Google Nexus 7 tablet may not be directly poised as competition for Samsung's media player, but considering the $199 (£160) tablet features a larger screen, comparable storage, a far better, faster processor and the latest version of Google's mobile OS - Android 4.1: Jelly Bean - potential Galaxy Player buyers may begin to wonder exactly what they're getting for the same cash.

Let's dive in and discover if the Galaxy Player 4.2 offers any compelling options other than relative pocketability.


Samsung isn't exactly a slouch when it comes to hardware, and the Galaxy Player 4.2 is no exception. It's just the right size for all but the most diminutive hands, although the slick plastic back requires a firmer grip than we'd like.

At 2.6 inches wide, 4.89 inches tall and 0.35 inches thick, this isn't exactly a direct rival for the smaller, thinner iPod touch. Apple's media player is also significantly lighter at 3.56 ounces compared to the Galaxy Player at 4.0 ounces.

Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2

The front of the Galaxy Player 4.2 is almost all display, with thin speaker grills above and below. These provide stereo sound, and though it may be a bit tinny, the separation does make a difference while listening to music or watching a movie in landscape mode.

An elongated hardware home button sits at bottom center, with capacitive Menu and Back buttons to the left and right. A power/lock button and volume rocker sit on the right edge, with a 3.5mm headphone jack and micro-USB port at bottom.

Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2

The top and left sides are free of buttons, but placing a fingernail into the small notch at top left edge pops off the flimsy plastic back Samsung is often notorious for. (Good luck getting that cover snapped back on, too.) Once inside, users can add micro-SD storage or swap out the battery.

A speedy 1GHz processor keeps things moving quite nicely, while built-in GPS and gyroscope make the most of your favorite apps. Samsung retails the Galaxy Player 4.2 for $199.99 (£160) with 8GB of built-in storage, making it an attractive alternative to the entry-level iPod touch.