Feeds
65%

Samsung YP-Z5 MP3 player

Can it size up to Apple's iPod Nano?

High performance access to file storage

A final press of the Back button slides the main menu off the bottom of the screen, leaving a simple status readout of the date, battery-charge level and the name of the song currently being played. Pressing Back - counterintuitively - brings the menu back. Pressing select causes even the status display to vanish until you press the Back button.

samsung yp-z5 mp3 player

Hiding the menu presents the screen's wallpaper graphic in all its glory. Fine, but since you can't change it, what's the benefit? It's a doubly-odd omission when the pre-loaded pics come in a folder called Wallpaper...

Still, photos look good on the screen, and repeated pressings of the centre of the touchpad zoom in, up to 4x. Touching the touchpad and dragging your thumb around moves the image, but again I found the results erratic and slow. The Z5's screen size makes picture viewing a more enjoyable experience than it is on the Nano, but who're either company kidding? Apart from a handful of shots of kids/partners/pr0n, what's the point of having photo albums on screens this small, especially when there's no TV-out port?

Fortunately, the Z5 provides a great music playback experience. The sound's beefy, with a solid bass, though I found the treble a little weak for my taste. Adjustments can be made using the eight EQ pre-sets or the three DNSe settings, which are supposed to render a more '3D' sound for a club feel. If you want your music to sound like you're listening from the bogs, fine, but I don't.

The Z5 operates with Windows Media Player 10 and its DRM system, so it's ready to play songs bought from Plays for Sure music services like Napster, HMV and Virgin Digital. It'll play MP3 tracks too, and while the box suggests the player's a Windows-only gadget, it mounted on a Mac as a USB Mass Storage device, and I could drag and drop tracks into its Music folder without difficulty. The player scans the folder whenever you browse for music, and listed all the songs I copied over.

The 2GB version I tested has no voice record facility or FM radio, though these are part of the Z5 specs in some countries.

I performed Reg Hardware's customary battery life test: copy across a heap of 128Kbps MP3 songs, set the player to continuous playback, and press the play button. At the time of writing, the Z5's been running for almost 22 hours and the battery indicator's at around 75 per cent. On that basis, I've no doubt it'll run for the remaining 13 hours of the 35-hour duration Samsung claims - and probably more.

Verdict

Samsung's YP-Z5 is a decent MP3 player that's let down by the need the company feels to match Apple's formula as closely as possible. The Z5 has a good-looking screen and a stylish UI. It plays music well. The battery life is very impressive. The Z5's design is inoffensive but its attempt to offer a worthy alternative to the iPod's clickwheel was a deal-breaker for me: it's slow, fiddly, and too often counter-intuitive and confusing.

The Samsung YP-Z5 was kindly supplied by Advanced MP3 Players.

High performance access to file storage

65%

Samsung YP-Z5 MP3 player

It could have been a Nano contender, but the Z5's big screen and cute UI are let down by a poor control system...
Price: £139 inc. VAT (2GB); £170 inc. VAT (4GB) RRP

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.