Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 & 4.0 hit stores October 16

Samsung's Galaxy Players are essentially Gingerbread-running iPod touches with larger displays that can play everything from FLAC to DivX files, but will consumers notice?

Samsung's Galaxy Player 5.0 (left) and 4.0 (right) may look and feel like smartphones but are anything but. They are basically Gingerbread running, iPod touch-like media players for those who prefer the Android ecosystem and Samsung's aesthetics.

Available with either a 5-inch or 4-inch touchscreen, the Galaxy Player 5.0 and 4.0 basically share the same guts as smartphones but minus the cellular radio. In fact, if you have awful cellular reception but a strong Wi-Fi signal wherever you are, the Galaxy Player could double as a smartphone. As long as you have access to the wireless Internet, you will be able to download the latest Angry Bird from Android Market, continue reading your e-Book on your Kindle app, and update your Facebook wall on these media players.

Aside from the difference in screen size, the Galaxy Player 5.0 and 4.0 are powered by different batteries so they also differ in price. The 5-incher makes use of the more powerful 2,500mAh battery so it will retail for $269, while the 4-inch Player uses the 1,200mAh one and is priced at $229. Otherwise, both they share the same specs:

  • Display: WVGA TFT LCD (800x480)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0; WiFi 802.11b/g/n
  • Internal Storage: 8GB (expandable via microSD card up to 32 GB)
  • Cameras: 3.2-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and LED Flash; VGA front camera; camcorder can shoot and play 720p HD videos
  • Video File Format: MPEG4/H263/H264, Divx/Xvid
  • Audio File Format: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, OGG, WMA, FLAC, WAV
  • Jacks/Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, mini-USB, microSD slot
  • Voice recorder, FM Radio and Stereo Speaker
  • Weight:
    • Galaxy Player 4.0 - 4.27 ounces
    • Galaxy Player 5.0 - 6.42 ounces

  • Dimensions:
    • Galaxy Player 4.0 - 2.53 x 4.87 x 0.39 inches
    • Galaxy Player 5.0 - 3.07 x 5.56 x 0.46 inches

Considering the 8 GB iPod touch with a higher resolution retina display also costs $229 (albeit with only a 3.5-inch screen), I think the Galaxy Player 4.0 will have a hard time snatching customers away from the Apple device because it doesn't beat the touch on price or specs. The Galaxy Player's strengths are that it caters to Android fans (but so can every other Android phone maker), has a larger screen, and can natively play common media file formats like WMA, FLAC and Divx/Xvid. At least the Samsung devices will give those who like the concept of the iPod touch but hate iTunes an alternative this holiday season. Who knows, maybe the Galaxy Players will get other manufacturers to try their hand at an iPod touch competitor too. After all, consumers could never have too much choice!

Pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 and 4.0 start today on Samsung's website even though the media players won't land in stores until October 16.

[Source: BusinessWire, Ubergizmo]

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