With Samsung’s Galaxy Player 50 not available until January, the YP-R1 remains the South Korean company’s best sub-£150 choice for Christmas. Thanks to its snazzy 2.6in, 400 x 220 touchscreen and formidable format support, it’s a good choice too. The YP-R1 immediately impresses with a compact size that won’t bulk out pockets, but is heavy enough to instil confidence in its build quality.
Its responsive UI and logical layout is a joy to use, sweeping you through a varied feature list that includes a Flash player, games, recordable FM radio and a quirky but useless remix app, Beat DJ. Sound is fantastically rounded and powerful, prompting instant head bobs and wowism. Video looks great at and if that’s too much of a squint, it can be connected to TVs with an additional cable. The proprietary USB port is the biggest disappointment along with a shorter-than-average battery life but the YP-R1 remains a slick device and a top choice for Christmas. Hunt online and you can find very cheap deals.
Reg Rating 90%
Price £70 (8GB) £120 (16GB)
Audio Support MP3, WMA, Ogg, Flac, Wav, AAC, SWF
Video Support SWF, WMV, H.264, DivX, XviD, MPEG4
More Info Samsung
SanDisk Sansa Fuze+
After it took top honours in Reg Hardware's budget MP3 player round-up, I couldn’t wait to see how SanDisk's higher-price model fared. Unfortunately, it failed to impress quite as much as the cheaper one does.
The wholesome sound quality is uncompromised and the super-loud output a welcomed option. Fortunately, it comes with a visual warning to help you avoid potentially damaging levels. As a music player, then, the Fuze+ is fabulous, but apart from the display that shows crisp album art and brings an option of video, it delivers little improvement on the Clip+. Is video on a 2.4in screen worth the mark-up?
The touch-sensitive control pad is often laggy, and it's easy to select the wrong option by mistake. The swipe controlled movement malarkey feels unnatural anyway. Despite this, I’d be lying if I said the Fuse+ was bad value for money. Considering it's half the price, I would definitely prefer it to an iPod Nano.
Reg Rating 80%
Price £65 (4GB) £74 (8GB) £98 (16GB)
Format Support MP3, WMA, AAC, Ogg, Flac, Audible, Podcasts
Format Support MPEG4, H.264, WMV, Flip Video
More Info SanDisk
Next page: Sony Walkman NWZ-A845
"However, without the distraction of ringtones and txt msgs, they have space to focus on getting the rest right and your phone doesn't suffer from a low battery life."
But now you have twice as many things to carry around and clutter up the house with chargers for. Also, the reason I've not had a PMP or MP3 player since I got a phone which could play music (I still have a Neuros III in the basement somewhere, my last one) - if you're using a separate player, when your phone rings, you have to get player out of pocket, pause player, remove earphones, get phone out of pocket, answer phone, finish conversation, hang up phone, put phone in pocket, put earphones back in ears, unpause player, return player to pocket.
If you use a phone with a headset, your music pauses, you press a button on the headset, finish your call, and your music unpauses.
I'm really not dealing with that bloody faffing about.
Someone once very briefly made a range of PMPs with bluetooth support so you could pair them with your phone and get the convenience you get if you just use your phone to listen to music. But then you lose battery life on both phone and player by having Bluetooth turned on all the time.
Really, it's a lot less hassle to just use a phone with good music/video (if you care about video) capabilities.
Re: "There is no such NDA."
Second clause of the Apple NDA: "Always deny the existence of the NDA".
Agreed - I was thinking of upgrading my excellent and cheap Fuze at some point and the Sony looked good, but lack of FLAC support kills it for me.
The old version of the Fuze is better than the new one - that's why I was conidering jumping ship - that crappy 'touch' interface bandwagon is one I want no part of: with my Fuze's mechanical wheel, I leave it in my pocket and can navigate next and previous tracks, pause/play and adjust the volume with a single thumb. None of the touch-screen/touch button interfaces allow this.
Sometimes older and crappier is much better!