Samsung has dubbed the YP-F2 ''the pendant'', and its design certainly lives up to its nickname. The successor to Samsung's YP-F1, the F2 is smaller and lighter at 28.1mm by 52.5mm by 15.5mm and weighs 20.5g. This micro MP3 player comes with a necklace-like headphone cord, giving you a clear indication of where Samsung thinks you should be wearing it. We're personally not big fans of the whole wear-around-the-neck headphones style, so we quickly changed the headphones to another set. The YP-F2 also comes with a clear plastic belt clip which can be detached from the main unit when not in use.
The YP-F2's controls are all arrayed along its silver edges -- there's a hold toggle and two-way navigation button on one side, and a menu, play/pause and volume controls on the other. The proprietary PC connector (via a supplied USB cable) is located behind a plastic flap at the bottom of the unit. The buttons themselves are relatively big and well spaced out for a unit this small -- only the fattest fingers should have trouble manipulating the buttons on the YP-F2. The front and the back of the unit is encased in a clear plastic enamel -- the model we tested was pearl white, and generally looked decent if a little plain. In the middle of the YP-F2's front face is a sliver of a screen. The mono LCD can only display three lines of text at a time, and is meant to be used in landscape mode.
The overall look of the YP-F2 left us strangely nonplussed -- styled to look more like jewellery than a traditional MP3 player, its target market obviously isn't CNET.com.au tech geeks like ourselves, but rather fashion-conscious buyers. The YP-F2 features clean lines and a compact design -- we'll leave it up to your personal taste to decide whether it's stylish or not.
The YP-F2 is small in size and relatively small in features -- at least compared to the leaders at this end of the MP3 player market. The flash-based player comes in 512MB or 1GB sizes in Australia, retailing for AU$159 and AU$209 respectively. The little player can handle MP3, WMA, ASF and Ogg music files, and also comes with a built-in FM radio. The YP-F2 comes with a Li-Polymer rechargeable (via USB) battery, and is rated at 12 hours playtime per full charge. And as with all other players, this mini-Samsung can also be used as a portable hard drive.
Compared to other flash MP3 players we've reviewed recently (such as the Creative Zen Nano Plus and the SanDisk Sansa c150), the YP-F2 is feature-light. Music playback and FM radio are about the limit of its capabilities -- there's no photo display abilities, voice recording or line-in recording.
The YP-F2 uses Samsung's Media Studio software as its main link with a PC, although it can also take files via a simple drag and drop process using Windows folders. Media Studio is a fairly pain-free application to use. On initial installation, it can automatically find all of the music, photo and videos stored on your computer. It's a pretty nifty option which allows you to narrow down exactly what type of file you want it to search for (such as MP3 or JPEGs) and where to search for it.
The YP-F2 delivers decent sound -- music playback is generally rich and nuanced, although the bass was a little low for our liking at the default settings. The player does feature some preset equaliser settings as well as the ability for a user to adjust it manually. The FM radio didn't fare as well during our tests, however. The YP-F2 wasn't able to pick up stations as clearly as other MP3 players we've played with, and the sound tended to be rather hollow.
Using the player itself takes a little getting used to. The YP-F2 needs to be held longways, with the small display showing its information in a landscape format. The menu button brings up the main menu, with the volume controls used to navigate left and right/up and down. It's not exactly an intuitive system to use, so expect to make some selection flubs in the first few days of use. The screen itself, while bright, can only display three lines of text at once, which means selecting a particular song from the hundreds you may have stored on the player could become a frustrating and time-consuming experience. Another quirk we found annoying was that Media Studio, when used with the YP-F2, transfers music as individual files to the player. This means that you can't search by albums or artists on the YP-F2 -- it seems you have to group music into folders first and then transfer them to the player if you want your music grouped in a specific way.
The Samsung YP-F2 is sure to win fans on design alone -- it's an appealing looking player that's compact and unobtrusive. Its price, however, puts it close to players like the Creative Zen Nano Plus and the SanDisk Sansa c150, both of which offer more features for around the same price (cheaper in the Creative's case).