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Samsung's new YP-P2 follows the South Korean manufacturer's excellent YP-T9, which scored 8.3 in our gruelling tests. Like the T9, the P2 comes equipped with stereo Bluetooth, video capabilities and a stylish design. However, it enters the market with Apple's iPod touch and the innovative 3rd-generation iPod nano -- tough competitors on all levels.
The YP-P2 comes in 2GB, 4GB -- which we review here -- and 8GB capacities, costing £99, £109 and £129 respectively. With these aggressive prices, not to mention Bluetooth, has the P2 got the guts to take on the dominant iPods and win?
Admit it: the YP-P2 looks a lot like the iPod touch. The P2's large 76mm (3-inch) touchscreen takes up almost all of the player's face. Below, there's a small circular function LED light. Unlike the touch however, physical volume controls sit on the right hand side of the device while play/pause and hold controls sit on the left. A proprietary USB socket lives at the bottom next to a 3.5mm headphone socket.
For a small flash-based player it's surprisingly weighty at 85g, but the result is a very solid-feeling device. It's still notably lighter than the touch which, with its massive glass screen, weighs a chunky 120g. Still, the P2 is a lovely player to hold. The only downside to the large glossy touchscreen is its ability to retain mucky fingerprints, which stick like glue.
The small microphone underneath the player currently doesn't have a function. Samsung told us a firmware upgrade in the future will add functionality that lets you answer calls through the P2 when it's paired with a compatible mobile phone.
The YP-P2 plays just MP3 and WMA -- protected and unprotected. There's no AAC, no lossless WMA and not even WAV support. It's not surprising then that there's no love shown for FLAC, the lossless format that costs nothing to implement in a player. The lack of AAC support means DRM-free songs from the iTunes Plus music store aren't compatible and audiobooks from Audible are also not supported.
MPEG-4 and WMV video is supported, as well as JPEG photos. A zoom control lets you zoom into images and sweeping gestures let you navigate the enlarged image. You can also choose to view you photos with a slideshow and use them as backdrops to the player's menus.
A gesture-based navigation system makes browsing the P2 quite refreshing. The main menu, for example, requires you 'stroke' the screen up and down in order to navigate through the stylishly animated menu. Similarly, when browsing a list of artists, fast scrolling is possible by 'throwing' the list in the direction you want to travel. It's similar to the same feature in the iPhone and iPod touch, though the slightest delay makes the process less fluid on the P2.
Context menus give access to a bunch of useful options within the P2's various function screens. Although built-in stereo Bluetooth allows, say, joggers and gym fanatics to use wireless earphones, a jogger will have a hard time navigation menus blindly, thanks to the lack of physical navigational buttons.