Monday, May 21, 2012

Take Your Pick - iPod Touch or Samsung Galaxy Player?

John Marine | 5/21/2012 07:59:00 PM | | |
(UPDATED: May 26, 2012)

The iPod Touch and Samsung Galaxy Player are the non-phone versions of (respectively) the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy. Both are touch screen portable media players to enjoy music, videos, apps, WiFi Internet browsing, and more. I want to get an iPod Touch. However, when I did some YouTube research, I learned of the Samsung Galaxy Player. So rather than have what little youth I have left trying to choose between one or the other, I decided to launch another "Take Your Pick" blog post and let you do the deciding. It's the iPod Touch from America's Apple vs. the Galaxy Player from the Korea Republic's Samsung in this "Take Your Pick."


MAY 26 2012 - added specifications for both products featured in this blog post


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--- Take Your Pick: iPod Touch or Samsung Galaxy Player? ---

Samsung Galaxy Player and iPod Touch
^ from: - These are the two challengers to this "Take Your Pick." The Samsung Galaxy Player (4.0 model in picture) is on the left, and the iPod Touch is on the right.

Why don't I fill you in on both devices to set up this post?

Why I Chose These Two Devices.

The key to all of this relates to having a device that doesn't bind you to a phone contract. Neither of these two devices have any phone features or phone contracts for you to use them. I am not a phone person at all. My own cellular phone ("cell phone," of course) is from the mid-2000s. Why would I need both a phone and a portable media player in one device? I still want to have my phone apart from my portable media. I am not part of the all-in-one crowd when it comes to having a phone and other portable media.

I am currently still using my SanDisk Sanza Fuze as my portable media player. I am using my Sansa Fuze while wanting to get something better. My next portable media player I'm considering is something more top-of-the-line. Not only do I want to enjoy my own media, I also want to be a bit tech-savvy and do some WiFi browsing of the Internet when out and about. So all along, I've wanted the iPod Touch as its price as I have been making my own money from blogging. However, the Samsung Galaxy Player came to mind when I learned of its capabilities. The Galaxy Player seems to do a lot of what the iPod Touch is capable of- only much more adaptable and with more file formats for audio and video. Also, there is a microSD slot for more memory for the Samsung Galaxy Player.

What you are looking at are two of the finest dedicated portable media players on the market today. They both represent two amazing devices for music and video as well as for various applications. Dealing with this also involves two different operating systems. Apple's offering is iOS. The Samsung Galaxy series (let alone the Galaxy Player) offers Android. I've learned about Android as being an open-source operating system. This means I could almost basically make anything I want if I had the programming skills. Either that, or I may even take certain so-called homebrew applications and install them on an Android-equipped device. My knowledge of both Android and mobile devices is very poor. So if I screwed up here, I must apologize.

Brief Look at Both Devices.

The iPod Touch is often thought of as an iPhone... only without the phone. You don't have to worry about data charges or being bound to some phone contract. Some features on the iPhone (such as Siri and GPS) are not included on the iPhone. And then, you have the Samsung Galaxy Player. It is very important I mention this is the Galaxy PLAYER we're talking about, because there are multiple devices bearing the Galaxy namesake from the Korean electronics provider. Like the iPod Touch, the Galaxy Player is often thought of as the non-phone version of the Samsung Galaxy phones.

Initial Thoughts.

Most everyone remotely educated about Apple know of the iPod series. Apple Inc. has done everything possible to rule the realm of portable media as well as music. Unless you are using an iPod for reasons other than playing certain media, the iPod Touch does just about everything you want it to do. Also, don't forget about being able to connect with iTunes for shopping and for putting stuff on your iPod. Compared to my Sansa Fuze, the iPod Touch's screen is about the same size as my Sansa Fuze. So I can imagine that the iPod Touch would fit well in my hands as well as in my pocket.

The Samsung Galaxy Player would have the adaptability advantage. Because the Galaxy Player is an Android device, it is possible to almost basically add whatever you want to the Samsung Galaxy Player. So you probably would not fear doing something like jailbreaking as you would with an iPod Touch or an iPhone. What I would fear is that this device may not be so easy to put into your pocket. It would be a huge deterrent to have such a large device with you for the purpose of enjoying media you've stored on it.

I think the iPod Touch would feel better in my hands and in my pocket than the Samsung Galaxy Player. The Galaxy Player 3.6 is a bit wider and higher than the iPod Touch. The 4.0 and 5.0 versions of the Samsung Galaxy Player are larger in size than the iPod Touch. So maybe the Galaxy Player is good both as a portable media player and as a portable computer. I am unsure that since the iPod Touch doesn't have Flash, some features may not load up very well for certain websites.

Do you now know how confounded I am about these two devices?

What I Would Want.

These are models I would want to buy (and why):

• iPod Touch 4G (8GB model, black)
The biggest reason for me on the 8GB model is price. I also don't have a whole lot of songs that I constantly listen to where I need more space than I really need to. A loyal "John's Blog Space" reader commented that I should get the higher-capacity iPod Touch models. However, I am realistic. I will likely use the iPod Touch for music, seeing some videos online, podcasts, using WiFi Internet, and of course- apps. I may even mix in some gaming as well. But really, I am realistic in what I actually do. I am also a bit interested in using iMovie for the iPod Touch to make videos on the go. iMovie has always impressed me with its features. The one fear, however, is if I may have to do short videos if I try to shoot in 720p. Could I exhaust a lot of memory on an 8GB iPod Touch if I attempt to do 720p video constantly with the iPod Touch? Regardless- I am all about mostly music and other media along with WiFi Internet. The other iPod models just don't appeal to me and my needs. The 8GB iPod Touch is more than enough for my needs. Also, if I need to buy stuff to use with my iPod Touch, I know there will be stuff available at various other stores so that I don't have to go to the Apple Store to find dedicated Apple products.

• Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6
Again- price is a huge factor for me, so I would fancy the Galaxy Player 3.6 model. Based on what I read from CNET's review of other Galaxy Player models, I feel more like the Galaxy Player 3.6 is not only the lowest end of the Galaxy Player range, but the best model period. My initial impressions of this device is that it can do much more than all the other media-focused features. Something like this can really come in handy while also still being able to use it casually for media and WiFi Internet. I have read that the Samsung Galaxy Player offers a better Internet browsing experience than the iPod Touch. To me (and I mean no disrespect), the Galaxy Player seems more like a handheld PC than a "portable media player." It is not to say that it fails at its media purpose, though. I would fear that a list of accessories and other items would be far and between since there isn't much for the Galaxy Player. I consider myself old-fashioned to begin with, but even I become drawn to being fancy sometimes. :) Also, since I use Google more than any other search engine, it is nice to know I can browse cleanly using Google. It can come in nicely using various Google services, including Blogger/Blogspot and Google Play.

So I would prefer an 8GB iPod Touch and the Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6 model. Now, let's take a closer look at WHY you should care about these devices.

--- Stats on iPod Touch and Samsung Galaxy Player ---

Here are the stats on each...

iPod Touch: Specifications.

(all specs relate to the iPod Touch 4G)

• Price: $199 US Dollars (8GB model), $299 US Dollars (32GB model), $399 US Dollars (64GB model)
• Height × Width × Depth: 4.4 in. × 2.32 in. × 0.28 in.
• Operating System: iOS 5 (especially newer models)
• Max Capacity: depends on model- 8GB, 32GB, or 64GB

• Audio Formats: AAC, Protected AAC, HE-AAC, MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
• Video Formats: H.264 video up to 720p at 30 frames per second, MPEG-4, M-JPEG

• 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
• Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR

• 3.5-inch widescreen multi-touch display
• 960 × 640 resolution

--- Included in iPod Touch Package ---
• iPod Touch
• Apple earbud headphones with volume control and microphone
• Dock connector to USB Cable
• Quick Start Guide

More Specifications: iPod Touch 4G specifications

This is what you get when you pick up that shiny iPod Touch and open it up.

Samsung Galaxy Player (3.6): Specifications.

(all specs relate to the 3.6 Galaxy Player)

• Price: $149 US Dollars (3.6 model)
• Height × Width × Depth: 4.52 in. × 2.45 in. × 0.38 in.
• Operating System: 2.3 Gingerbread
• Max Capacity: 8GB (upgradeable with a 32GB microSD card)
• USB 2.0 connectivity; USB Connection (MTP/UMS)
• Bluetooth 3.0
• 802.11 b/g/n
• Multi-Touch

• Audio Formats: MP3, WMA, Ogg, FLAC, AAC, WAV
• Video Formats: AVI, MP4, 3GP, WMV, ASF, MKV, FLV
• Image Formats: BMP, GIF, JPG/JPEG, PNG

• Other Features: Multi-Tasking, Alarm, FM Radio, GPS, Album Art, Clock, Embedded Microphone, Embedded Speaker

• Android Market enabled

• Included Applications: Alarm/Clock, AllShare, Calculator, Calendar, Camera, Email,FM Radio, Gallery, Gmail, Google Search, Latitude, Maps, Market, Memo, Mini Diary, My Files, Navigator, Qik, Samsung Apps, Task Manager, ThinkFree Office, Voice Recorder, YouTube, etc.

More specifications: Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6 Specifications

--- Included in Samsung Galaxy Player (3.6) Package ---
• Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6
• Earphones
• rechargable lithium-ion battery
• USB cable
• travel adapter
• owner's manual

And this is what you can expect to find when you open up your Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6 model.

--- Why the Apple iPod Touch? ---

Apple has far and large redefined the portable music player and what a portable media player should provide for those who own one. It further set itself apart as being a gaming device aside from its music and video capabilities. Someone who wants a portable media player while also wanting a little more has plenty of reason to be convinced about the iPod Touch. Unless that "a little more" involves a phone, then you're probably better off with the iPhone.

The one thing I really fear is the ability of trying to get files on my PC. Yes- I am a PC user, so I'd have to get used to the Apple interface to try to find any sort of method to put my material on my PC from my iPod Touch. How much of a fussbudget things can be when using the iPod Touch and trying to use PC media along with it. I also fear trying to keep the iPod Touch as clean as possible. It is a smudge magnet from various videos I've seen with people using their iPod Touch models. The fear I have is that I would have to pay much more to keep the iPod Touch clean and safe more than I would in trying to customize it or get docks for it or something. I also want to think long and hard about what case would work best for me to protect the iPod Touch while also keeping in my pockets safely. I'll have to learn to effectively clean the iPod Touch without feeling like I have to buy a new one.

I still want to get an iPod Touch (preferably a brand-new 4G model with iOS 5 pre-installed). It doesn't matter if I get one from a store or someone VERY generous buys one for me as some sort of gift. I hope to get one as I hopefully can earn enough money to get one. If I earned enough to buy my $300 USD PS3, then I hope I can do so to get an almost $200 USD 8GB iPod Touch.

So I don't forget, I also would prefer maybe buying one at a store rather than online (though its price is a fraction cheaper online). I may have to consider insuring it from whatever place I buy it from.

--- Why the Samsung Galaxy Player? ---

Samsung offers one of the most attractive offerings since the iPod Touch's launch. Two important elements make the Galaxy Player more attractive than the iPod Touch- price and expandable memory. The base model Galaxy Player 3.6 starts out at about $149 US dollars- about $50 US dollars less than the base iPod Touch, which starts at about $199 US dollars.

In practice, the Samsung Galaxy Player is a product that can be vastly customizable and vastly adaptable. There is also better compatibility between Windows and this device. I've learned that the Galaxy Player 3.6 uses a program called Kies for file and app management for this device. Kies to the Samsung Galaxy Player is like the iTunes program to Apple products. I have lots of uncertainty with a device I've never used from a company I've never bought anything from.

I have also heard of how much of a great it is for browsing compared to the iPod Touch. Some people actually have likened the Samsung Galaxy Player to being a small tablet PC. The Galaxy Player series seems to be great if I wanted to spend more time browsing by WiFi than enjoy my media. Web sites that load aren't necessarily mobile versions of sites.

What else adds to the Galaxy Player's appeal is its ability to handle multiple file formats including having FM radio. For most people, why listen to FM radio when you could listen to Internet radio instead? What if you're not in a WiFi-enabled area? If this is your issue, you'll have to listen to your own stored media or listen to FM radio.

My only real knocks on it is that it's a bit too large for me, and it doesn't look as attractive as the iPod Touch. To its credit is the fact that it is mostly a plastic-encased product rather than something glossy or shiny. So I may not have to clean it as much often.

--- Which Would I Take? ---

Even some other reviewers (both casual and professional) are somewhat torn between these two. I look for things based on my own needs and what I would prefer. That's why (for example) I still love using my Sony Bloggie MHS-PM5 as opposed to any other video camera in its price range. Choosing the iPod Touch or Galaxy Player (3.6) is no different in picking which is best for my needs. So what is my decision?

I am compelled by both devices, but I want to own an Apple product and perhaps get into the Apple culture. I have wanted an iPod Touch for the longest. If I want to get stuff for the iPod Touch or have it serviced, I know I won't have to be relegated to any really dedicated electronics retailers (like Best Buy, not to knock Best Buy- I love them). However, the Samsung Galaxy Player really appeals to me for its functionality outside of having to use some dedicated program to transfer files. The Galaxy Player 3.6 has rather disappointing dimensions for movies and videos. However, I still fancy the iPod Touch in videos. I would be more likely to find an iPod Touch in stock at a store than I would the Galaxy Player.

If you're talking apps, you'll have your share of competitors. You are talking about FaceTime vs. Qik as an example. As much as I wouldn't mind gaming on the go, I don't consider myself a mobile gamer. So any gaming I would do would be limited. I care more about music, podcasts, and WiFi Internet. Any games I WOULD play would probably be played in my house or somehow hooked up to some charging device.

You might as well say that I don't know what I want after reading the next sentence. I want and prefer the iPod Touch, but the Samsung Galaxy 3.6's features and specifications really makes me want to get and use both devices if I could. This blog post was not created without any real confidence in me wanting either or both devices. If so, this would have been a review of both devices rather than a post comparing both devices.

Some people have both an iPod Touch and a Samsung Galaxy Player, and some who have both have preferred the Samsung Galaxy Player over the iPod Touch. Some others who have both an iPod Touch and any Galaxy Player would fancy the iPod Touch more than the Galaxy Player. The two devices seem very evenly matched. Whichever one is best for you will mostly depend on your own needs and personal preferences. It is also pretty safe to say both devices are pretty evenly matched, give or take a few elements that one has over the other. Good for business and competition when you have two great products to choose from instead of one outright giant.

--- Other Reviews (IN CASE YOU'RE INTERESTED) ---

You think it's easy picking between these two? No way! Other reviewers have offered their own opinions. And really, these other reviews only befuddle me even more. Everyone has an opinion. I've certainly expressed mine. If you want more insight on these two products, feel free to check out these other reviews I've found for you. Please note I mentioned the Galaxy Player 3.6 model for the most part. These other reviews other models in the Galaxy Player series. They range from online reviews to video reviews. Find one (or more) that interest you and make the decision for yourself... IF you are interested:

"Samsung Galaxy Player, Better Than iPod Touch?" -
"Ipod Touch vs Samsung Galaxy 4.0 or other Wifi enabled mp3 plr?" - Customer Discussion
"Ipod Touch vs Samsung Galaxy Player?" - Yahoo! Answers
"Galaxy Player 3.6 vs. the iPod Touch - Which is the Best MP3 Player?" - YouTube
"Battle Vid: Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0 vs. iPod Touch" - YouTube
"iPod Touch 4g vs. Samsung Galaxy Player 50" - YouTube

I may add some more based on traffic and interest to this post. To learn more about both products, please visit these links. Both are the American or North American sites (as if I know any others in any other languages):

Apple iPod Touch
Samsung Galaxy Player Series


As of the date of this initial post (May 21, 2012), there is a version of the Samsung Galaxy Player that is ONLY for the Korean market and may never reach the United States. It is called the Samsung Galaxy Player 70. It has a dual-core processor and an antenna. The antenna is seemingly to watch live TV on it and even record live TV. Unfortunately, I think it is only for Korean television programming. If you want a look at what may NEVER reach the United States in its current form, you are invited to check out these links:

Samsung Galaxy Player 70 Dual Core hands-on (video) - Engadget
Samsung Galaxy Player 70 Official Commercial - YouTube « only in Korean
"Samsung Galaxy Player 70 Hands-On: PMP with TV and Radio" - YouTube

You know you want one of these outside of the Korea Republic. Huh, Samsung fans? ;)

This is a "Take Your Pick" post, so you are invited to post your own opinions. That's the point of these posts- making your own conclusion about things based on what you've read. So comment away. Thank you for reading, now go comment or get social with me!

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