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Samsung YEPP Sport YP-60 V review: Samsung YEPP Sport YP-60 V

The Good Light, compact MP3 player; rugged design; easy to use; capable of FM and line-in recording (no PC needed).

The Bad Heart-rate monitor and calorie counter can't be taken seriously; bundled headphones are very uncomfortable.

The Bottom Line This sporty player includes a heart-rate monitor that's too unsophisticated and unreliable, so we have to say nope to the otherwise fine Yepp.

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5.5 Overall

The Samsung Yepp Sport YP-60V is a flash-based, 256MB MP3 player that aims to appeal to the jock in you by offering all the gadgets you might use during a workout. It's a diminutive, well-designed, easy-to-use MP3 player, FM radio, and stopwatch, which together would have made a perfectly acceptable exercise companion.

Instead, the YP-60V also tries to be a heart monitor and a calorie counter. But for these functions, it's like weekend jogger trying to compete in the Boston Marathon--an amateur among serious athletes. The YP-60V costs roughly $45 more than the average 256MB player, presumably because you are paying extra for these two unreliable and unsophisticated features. The top-rated Rio Cali--another 256MB flash player for athletes--is available for significantly less. For this reason, our bottom line for the Yepp Sport YP line comes down to one word: Nope.

Samsung's designers whipped the YP-60V into just the right shape for a workout. At 1.6 ounces and sized a little larger than a pack of gum, it comes in a rugged, slip-resistant, black-matte case that is comfortable to grip, even with sweaty hands. Even better, its centralized, four-way rocker control and Play/Pause key are easy to use and provide quick access to a well-organized interface. To make it even more accommodating to rough-and-tumble exercise, the YP-60 comes packaged with two notable accessories that clip onto the device:

  • an arm band, which keeps it out of the way while still being readily accessible; and
  • a finger clip, which keeps it anchored securely in your palm.
Probably because the YP-60V has an eye-catching, easy-to-read amber display, its basic black case is accented with an odd burnt-orange color, which might give some pause to fashion-conscious users. Typical of sports-designed units, the YP-60V includes matching wraparound headphones to keep wires out of the way. But beware: a number of us tried them on and we all agreed that this is one of most painfully uncomfortable headsets we've ever encountered.

Although the YP-60V isn't a device with removable storage--something we've come to expect from flash players--it isn't lacking for other features, including:
  • an MP3 player capable of supporting MP3, WMA, and Ogg Vorbis files;
  • an FM radio;
  • an onboard encoder, which allows you to encode directly from your old portable CD player, or to capture your favorite radio broadcast for on-demand listening; and
  • a stopwatch.
Like other Samsung Yepp models, the YP-60V also supports 2xMP3, a Samsung-trademarked format (sometimes also referred to as Super MP3) that lets you adjust the bit rate of MP3 files in one-kilobit increments, ranging anywhere from 32Kbps to 320Kbps. Essentially, it's a compression technology that lets you squeeze more music onto the player.

Samsung sets the YP-60V apart from other MP3 players by equipping it with several other sports functions, including:
  • a heart rate monitor (via a sensor located on the top edge of the player);
  • a calorie counter (dependent on the heart rate monitor's data); and
  • a PC-based fitness software program.
Unfortunately, as the latter two features both depend on the heart rate data, all of these features are rendered effectively useless by the unreliable performance of the sensor. Unlike dedicated heart rate monitors that constantly record your pulse, the YP-60V lets you check your ticker only periodically, which is inadequate for anyone who's really serious about training for cardiovascular fitness. Even worse, during several tests, the device failed to record my heart rate anywhere close to accurately once it hit more than 160 beats per minute (BPMs), where the elliptical trainer and the Polar heart-rate monitor I was using both displayed accurate numbers at high BPMs.

The calorie counter is also questionable--it presumes to calculate how many calories you burn during a workout by recording your heart rate at the outset and again at the conclusion, and measuring the elapsed time in between. But because it fails to account for variations in your heart rate during your workout--say you're running hills--it can seriously underestimate your burn rate.

As an MP3 player and FM radio, the YP-60V works well enough. With a signal-to-noise ratio of 80dB, it sounds decent, although the ill-fitting headphones tend to let in an undue amount of extraneous gym noise. In our CNET Labs tests, we were able to get 14.9 hours of continuous play from the YP-60V's rechargeable lithium-ion battery. While this was just a tad under the 15 hours promised by the specifications, it's still good compared to other rechargeable, flash-based MP3 players. Transfer rates, however, were relatively slow at 0.30MB per second.

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