Samsung YP-Q1 Diamond review: Samsung YP-Q1 Diamond

The Good Design; screen quality; FLAC support; BBC iPlayer support.

The Bad No gapless playback; control pad too sensitive; no WAV or AAC support; no Bluetooth.

The Bottom Line This could be the best Samsung MP3 player to date. Not only is it remarkably affordable at £99 for 16GB, but support for lossless FLAC audio, BBC iPlayer, FM radio, drag and drop file management and a cracking little screen, means it's going on our list of Samsung successes

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8.3 Overall

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It was a year ago to the month that we reviewed the Samsung YP-P2, a great little touchscreen MP3 and video player from Samsung, which competed with the iPod touch. Following it up is Samsung's latest and greatest player, the new YP-Q1.

Yes, this is the second product from Samsung to be called the Q1, only this one almost certainly isn't rubbish. It comes in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacities and is on sale now. And perhaps most crucial is that you can pick up a 16GB model for under £100.

Gone is the P2's touch-sensitive display. In its place is a much smaller, but no less impressive, 61mm (2.4-inch) QVGA display. Below is a touch-sensitive four-way control pad, a la Samsung's YP-K3. It's extremely sensitive but, while intuitive in its layout, it takes a bit of getting used to since it's easy for your fingers to hit the wrong part of the pad. But hey, it glows blue.

Overall it's a lightweight player that's been designed well, with the typical Samsung black gloss coating a well-constructed chassis. But we must re-emphasise this screen quality: it's magnificently crisp, like a larger version of the smashing display we saw on the YP-T10.

There's a physical lock switch on the right-hand side and a built-in microphone for voice recording curiously set around the back. Our only major complaint is the high gloss black: it picks up fingerprints like it's going out of fashion, and fingerprints have never looked fashionable to anyone.

Inside is support for MP3, WMA, FLAC, OGG and protected WMA files. We had no problem playing both purchased and subscription songs from Napster. Sadly, while we applaud Samsung for supporting OGG and the lossless FLAC format, there's no support for AAC or basic WAV files.

Windows Media Video files are supported with 320x240-pixel resolutions, at a range of bit rates up to 768Kbps. It looks great too if encoded well. Windows Media Player can handle file conversion for you, but better conversion software exists if you're prepared to search. No other advanced video formats are supported, unfortunately.

Still, perhaps most useful for British Television License payers, the Q1 supports downloads from the BBC's iPlayer. You need to download the version of a given programme for portable players and then sync it up with Windows Media Player. We had it working instantly in our tests, letting us load hours and hours of BBC shows for the commute. It's a tremendous feature, and perhaps makes up for the Q1's lack of stereo Bluetooth.