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Samsung unveils four- and five-inch Android PMPs

Mar 17, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Samsung announced two Android-2.2 based portable media players, destined for the U.S. this spring, while a teaser video suggests an enterprise focus for its 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab. The Samsung Galaxy Player 4″ and 5″ offer four- and five-inch touchscreens respectively, provide a 3.2-megapixel camera and front-facing VGA webcam, and support VoIP and video calls via 802.11b/g/n.

The Galaxy Player announcement was the highlight of a Mar. 16 Samsung media event in New York City that also featured a new line of business notebooks, a Series 9 slim laptop, numerous 3D HDTVs, and other devices, according to a report from Nicholas Kolakowski in our sister publication, eWEEK. Samsung made a bid for offering an interconnecting ecosystem of devices via Android, its various "Hub" offerings, and DLNA media sharing support, among other technologies.

The event is a prelude to a Mar. 22 tablet event at which the company is expected to reveal an 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab Android tablet. A teaser video suggests the tablet might have an enterprise focus (see farther below).

  Samsung Galaxy Player times two

Samsung demonstrated its first Galaxy Player PMP (portable media player) — the Galaxy Player 50 — in September, and then launched the PMP later that fall in Europe. The 3.2-inch device (pictured at right) featured Android 2.1, a two-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, DivX support, and Samsung's SoundAlive audio technology. 

At CES in early January, Samsung then showed off a four-inch version of the Galaxy Player rumored to be heading for the U.S. market. The four-inch Galaxy Player (pictured at left) appeared to be pretty much identical to Samsung's Android-based Galaxy S phones, offering the same 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor. However it lacked the phone's cellular connection and added a second speaker.

The four-inch model is now called the Galaxy Player 4", and is joined by an almost identical five-inch Galaxy Player 5", pictured below. Both are heading for the U.S. this spring with Android 2.2 and Android Market access, and there are plans to upgrade the devices to Android 2.3, says Samsung.


Samsung Galaxy Player 5"

(Click to enlarge)

Like the Apple iPod Touch and a variety of Android PMPs including the Archos 43, the Galaxy Players are designed for playing games, listening to music, watching videos, reading e-books, surfing the web, and engaging in social media, says Samsung.

Processor and RAM details were not listed, but it would appear that both models are equipped with the previously tipped 1GHz Hummingbird. Both PMPs offer 8GB of flash, and provide microSD slots for up to 32GB of storage. The PMPs offer WVGA (800 x 600) resolution, and the 4" device also provides so-called "Super Clear" screen technology.

There's no cellular connection, but the PMPs ship with Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, and 802.11b/g/n, with the Wi-Fi connection said to support voice and video calls. Both models ship with the Qik video-calling app, and the Galaxy Player 4" pre-installs Skype.

The Galaxy Players are equipped with a microphone, speakers, virtual 5.1 surround sound, and the aforementioned SoundAlive engine, says Samsung. The devices provide both a 3.2-megapixel rear-facing autofocus camera and a front-facing VGA webcam. The five-inch model offers flash with its 3.2-megapixel camera, says the company.

The 4" and 5" Galaxy Players weigh five and seven ounces respectively, says Samsung, which did not reveal battery life estimates. The devices also offer Adobe Flash 10.1, as well as AllShare DLNA support for sharing media over a home network.

The Galaxy Player 4" and 5" are said to support HD video playback, and support a variety of multimedia formats natively, "eliminating the need to transcode files." Video support includes DivX, Xvid, WMV, MPEG4 and H.264, while audio support includes MP3, WMA, AAC, Ogg, and Flac, says the company.

Pricing will be key to answering whether standalone PMPs like the Galaxy Players will survive in today's market. If nothing else, Samsung touts the players for letting users enjoy mobile multimedia "without incurring fees for a monthly data plan."

Video teaser tips enterprise focus for 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab

An eWEEK story from Michelle Maisto yesterday reports on a teaser video released by Samsung that flashes what appears to be a rumored 8.9-inch version of the Android-based Galaxy Tab tablet. The video (below) mentions the previously tipped Mar. 22 tablet event, but "reveals little, other than that the tablet is silver, and appears to have a rear-facing camera with a flash," writes Maisto.

The short video is notable, however, for using actors who appear to be forty-something "mature enterprise users," as Maisto puts it. With the business attire and age of the actors, Samsung seems to be suggesting the 8.9-inch Tab is aimed at business users, putting it in contention with the RIM PlayBook, suggests Maisto.

The tablet would find a middle ground between the existing seven-inch Galaxy Tab models and the upcoming, Xoom-like Galaxy Tab 10.1, which runs Android 3.0 on an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor.


Samsung tablet teaser on YouTube

Source: Samsung
(Click to play)

Availability

The Galaxy Player 4" and 5" are heading for the U.S. this spring at an undisclosed price, says Samsung. More information may be found in this Galaxy Player announcement.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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