Aside from core media playback, the R1 comes with all the goodies we have come to expect from Samsung including an RDS FM radio, voice recorder, Flash player, Bluetooth and a TV-out so you can connect it to your telly. Cables for the latter, however, are not supplied.
Beat DJ: entertainment for small people
You also get the slightly silly Beat DJ software, which lets you 're-mix' music, a memo-pad with handwriting recognition that has a mind of its own and a selection of cutesy decorative widgets that may amuse Korean under-12s but left us both cold and irritated in equal measure. Of course, you can simply remove the widgets for these from the 'Desktop' and forget they exist.
Battery life is not the R1's strong point. Samsung reckons a full charge will get you 25 hours of audio or five of video. But that first figure assumes you are playing 128kbps MP3 files, have the DNSe system switched off and the volume at half-mast. We weren't doing any of those things and so only got 18 hours. On the video front, the best we managed was 3 hours 45. Battery capacity has clearly been a victim of Samsung's efforts to keep the R1 dinky.
Shop around and you can find a 16GB R1 for around £120, that's around £15 less than you can find a 16GB iPod Nano for and the R1 sounds much better, comes with a far superior set of earphones, has much more comprehensive format support and a larger screen. OK, the new Nano has a camera, but who today has a mobile phone without one of those?
There is a lot to like about the R1. Video playback is, by some margin, the best we have come across on a device with a screen smaller than 3in, while the sound quality is up to Samsung's usual very high standards. While there are 8GB and 32GB models also available, it’s a shame the R1 has no memory expansion slot and uses a proprietary USB port, as it would be damn near perfect. ®
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Is it me or is there something a little perverse about Gingerbread Man with a sign saying "Touch Me" over his... I think you get the idea.
Why is there a kinky gingerbread man on the home screen anyway?
... I'd say it's just you.
That is why my Rio Karma still rocks... it is unbelievable that an old player like that still have unique features.
hi-robb - sad to say the R1 doesn't support gapless playback. Its a feature I really wish the likes of Samung, Sony, Sansa etc would try to rig up for their players as I listen to a lot of opera on the go.
Good review, but does it support gapless playback?
The masses need to know!