Best Android alternatives to iPod Touch

In spite of the boom in smartphone sales, there still seems to be a market for dedicated portable media players. Apple's iPod Touch is the leader, but what about some alternatives for the Android fans? CNET surveys the options.

Photo of the Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0 next to an Apple iPod Touch.
The iPod wars still quietly rage. Josh Miller/CNET

Smartphones and tablets grab all the attention these days. It's easy to lose sight of the fact that Apple's iPod sales still rake in millions year after year.

Portable media players like the iPod Touch will eventually die out, but there's still plenty of interest in the category, and money to be made by chasing after consumers who don't feel the iPod fits their needs.

As so it is that a product category we wrote off as a casualty of our national obsession with smartphones rises once more. The following list contains four Android-based portable media players that take aim directly at the Apple iPod Touch. Many promise bigger screens, GPS, and all of the geeky conveniences that Android is known for.


Photo of the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0.
The Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 towers over the iPod Touch with its 5-inch screen. Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0
You know what's better than a 3.5-inch screen? How about a 5-inch screen?

Samsung's Galaxy Player 5.0 ($269) goes big with its screen, and includes extras such as microSD memory expansion, GPS, and a rear camera with a flash.

Along with a broad range of video format support (including DivX and Xvid), this is a great choice for Android fans who want their media and games as big as possible, without venturing into tablet territory.

Read the full review of the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0.


Photo of the Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0.
The Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0. Seriously, it's not a phone. Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0
No, we're not repeating ourselves. This is the Galaxy Player 4.0, the smaller, more phonelike sibling of the Galaxy Player 5.0. It offers most of the same features, comes in a more pocket-friendly size, and still boasts a screen larger than the iPod Touch's.

Priced at $229, it's still not going to sway potential buyers on the basis of price. On the upside, though, the Player 5.0 offers memory expansion, GPS, and great format support.

Read the full review of the Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0.


Photo of the Sony Walkman Z
The Sony Walkman Z delivers a premium audio experience. Josh Miller/CNET

Sony Walkman Z
Sony's Walkman Z deals a double punch to the iPod Touch. Like the Galaxy Players, it features a larger screen (4.3 inches). Sony sweetens the deal, though, by including an impressive suite of audio enhancement settings, matched with a great pair of in-ear headphones.

Unfortunately, this $249 media player is missing many of the features we've come to associate with Android devices, including microSD memory expansion, front and rear cameras, and Micro-USB charging.

Read the full review of the Sony Walkman Z.


The Philips GoGear Connect 3. James Martin/CNET

Philips GoGear Connect 3
This little guy is tough to recommend, but at least the $179 price comes in under the iPod Touch's.

Yes, the screen is small, dim, and plagued with a horrible viewing angle, but let's look on the bright side. The sound quality holds up well, audio and video format support is surprisingly broad, and the small size is very convenient.

Read the full review of the Philips GoGear Connect 3.


So that's the lay of the land when it comes to the emerging market of Android-based media players (compare these products head-to-head). If you're looking for an alternative to the iPod Touch and a device like the $199 Amazon Kindle Fire just seems too big for your needs, then keep your eye on these guys. With some luck, and some drastic price cuts, these may just be worth picking up for those moments when you want to play some games without taxing your smartphone's battery.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
Nissan gives new Murano bold style (pictures)
Top great space moments in 2014 (pictures)
This is it: The Audiophiliac's top in-ear headphones of 2014 (pictures)
ZTE's wallet-friendly Grand X (pictures)
Lenovo reprises clever design for the Yoga Tablet 2 (Pictures)
Top-rated reviews of the week (pictures)