On the initial launch of the Samsung P2, the company noted that the player had several updates slated for the following months. The firmware, which was rolled out in sections, was dubbed Blue Wave. Samsung released four waves in all, and once the last one became available, we updated our P2 to test out the changes. Here's what we discovered.
The first improvement to roll out over Blue Wave was the enhancement of the Bluetooth features and the addition of AAC format support. Samsung added the ability to connect the P2 to a cell phone, which allows the user to make and receive calls through the MP3 player using an attached pair of headphones and the P2's built-in mic. The new functionality works surprisingly well, and allows you to leave your cell phone in a bag while keeping your MP3 player more accessible. Samsung also added Bluetooth file transfer capability, though we had some issues getting this feature to work properly in testing.
Next out the gate was improved touch screen sensitivity (this is debatable--our P2 does not seem improved in this area), as well as the addition of FM recording. The change is indicated by the addition of a record "soft key" (the red circle on screen) in the lower right-hand corner. FM recordings are automatically saved as MP3s.
The fourth Blue Wave update offered what we consider some of the coolest additions, which is why we waited for it before updating. Namely, it introduced Samsung's new EmoDio software to replace Media Studio--the new app makes updating a lot easier. Version four also included the much-awaited subway maps, although there are surprisingly few for North America: Vancouver, Toronto, New York, Chicago, and Mexico City. The maps include a zoom function that lets you either view the entire system map or the individual stations.
Samsung also added two new games in second Blue Wave release. The total list of games includes: Bubble smile, World Car Puzzle, PowWow, Alggagi (new), and Omok2 (new). Here, we show two screens from World Car Puzzle (one of the original games), where you can select a car, then set your puzzle settings based on a variety of parameters. Then, use your finger to drag the pieces to their appropriate places.
We're surprised that voice recording was also one of the last updates added, what with the fact that the P2 has had a built-in mic from the beginning. It seems like this should have been a standard feature to begin with--better late than never, though. Samsung also added customizable DSNe settings, which allows you to associate different settings with each playlist.
Along with the new interface options and calculator, the P2 now has the ability to display "full screen" album art. It looks more like half-screen art to us (Samsung considers the textual information part of the full screen mode). In any case, it's nice to see the ample screen real estate being put to good use.
The Samsung P2's third wave of firmware was considered by some to be underwhelming. It added a calculator (shown here) as well as a variety of different themes as options for the interface, including Sammy. The new GUIs are basically variation on the Cosmos, Matrix, and My Skin themes that were originally available. There are a total of 12 to choose from.