Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 review: Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 6.0

Average User Rating

4.5 stars 2 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 offers most of the capabilities of Samsung's popular Android smartphones, minus the phone and monthly fees.

The Bad Both the software and the processor are relatively old by smartphone standards. Parents should know there are no safeguards included to restrict access to age-inappropriate content.

The Bottom Line When it comes to competing with Apple's iPod Touch media player, the Galaxy Player 4.2 is Samsung's best effort yet, but it's still playing catch-up.

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Editors' note: The majority of this review is repurposed from CNET's review of the Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0 , which offers a slightly smaller, 4-inch screen and many of the same features as the Galaxy Player 4.2.

The logic behind Samsung's Galaxy Player 4.2 seems fairly straightforward. You take Samsung's tailored version of the Android 2.3 smartphone software and put it on a pocket-size device with a 4-inch screen, and you should have an appealing alternative to Apple's popular iPod Touch.

Now, we've already seen Samsung ruin this recipe a few times, in its overpriced, underperforming Galaxy Player 4.0 and Galaxy Player 5.0. Where the Galaxy Player 4.2 has an advantage is its $199 retail price, which matches the iPod Touch's.

Does Samsung offer some killer feature or an eye-catching design to help the Galaxy Player 4.2 stand out from the growing crowd of sub-$300 Android devices? After having reviewed the three other Galaxy Player products Samsung has pumped out over the past six months, I can say that Samsung finally got the design right. The fact that the company didn't spoil this one with a low-resolution screen also helps.

Samsung Galaxy Player bottom edge
The Galaxy Player 4.2 is the thinnest and best-designed media player we've seen from Samsung. Josh Miller

Design
This is by far the prettiest Galaxy Player device I've seen yet. I know I said the same thing about the Galaxy Player 3.6 , but the 4.2 is newer, prettier, and thinner. The lightweight, black (or white if you have that model) plastic casing feels good in your hand, though it does smudge easily.

It measures a slender 0.35 inch thick, again putting it in the ballpark of the 0.28-inch iPod Touch. When you account for the fact that the Player's removable back plate conceals a replaceable battery and a microSD memory card slot, the extra girth seems excusable.

You get a standard volume rocker and power button on the right edge of the Player 4.2, along with a headphone jack and Micro-USB port on the bottom. Samsung throws in a pair of decent in-ear headphones (with in-line mic), a USB cable, and a power outlet adapter.

Features
The Galaxy Player offers most of the features you'd expect in a modern smartphone, minus the phone or cellular data connection. You'll find front and rear cameras (maxing out at 2 megapixels), GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, and support for Google's suite of official mobile applications, including Gmail, Google Talk, and the Android Market (now Google Play ). If you're someone who's already invested heavily in Android Market apps, it makes sense that you'd want a device that can run them.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 (black)

Part Number: GALAXYPLAYER4.2
MSRP: $199.99 Low Price: $207.95 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Built-in Display LCD
  • Battery Player battery - rechargeable - lithium ion
  • Tuner Bands FM
  • Capacity 8 GB
  • Color black
  • Weight 4.2 oz
  • Supported Digital Audio Standards MPEG 2.5 Audio
  • Installed Size 8 GB
  • Diagonal Size 4.2" m
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Type Digital player / radio