The MP3 player market has benefited greatly from the decline in flash-memory prices. One example among numerous beneficiaries is the Samsung YP-Q2, a plain-looking device that comes in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB versions, costing around £60, £65 and £90 respectively. The Q2 represents excellent value, thanks to good sound quality and a decent array of handy features. But we're not too taken with the player's design.
At first glance, the YP-Q2 appears pretty sleek, but, up close, the plastic design leaves something to be desired. The light-up touchpad controls on the face and chrome-like border wrapping around the edges add hints of style, but, overall, the unit has a rather generic look that doesn't seem particularly innovative at this stage in the game. Of course, it's a budget player, so we can't expect the YP-Q2 to have the slick, weighty feel of the YP-P3. It's certainly a reasonably compact player, measuring 99 by 48 by 10mm, and the 61mm (2.4-inch) display is relatively large.
The screen -- a QVGA number with a 320x240-pixel resolution -- offers excellent clarity and colour saturation. Also, the icon-driven interface is exceptionally easy to navigate, although we found ourselves drawn to touch the screen in an attempt to control the unit, which is not an option. Also, the touchpad may not appeal to some, and it makes blind navigation impossible -- especially since there isn't even a dedicated volume rocker. The only tactile buttons are on the right-hand side (a power/hold key and record button).
Although its construction strikes us as fairly cheap, the YP-Q2 packs in an impressive amount of features for the price. You can connect the player to either a Mac or Windows PC, and choose between jukebox or drag-and-drop transfer modes. To that end, the device also offers a folder-navigation option on-board, in case you prefer that style of browsing for content. Music (MP3, FLAC, OGG, WMA) is also organised into the artist, album, and playlist step-down structure.
In addition to that media, the YP-Q2 also supports MPEG4 and WMV video, as well as JPEG photos. If you get sick of your own content, you can flip on the FM tuner, which includes rudimentary RDS capability, autoscanning, preset modes and a recording function. There's even a built-in mic for making voice recordings, and the player accepts text files and datacasts. You can also create one on-the-fly playlist on the device itself.
The YP-Q2 is a solid performer across the board, although audio isn't as stellar as that offered by the YP-P3. But you do get a plethora of sound-enhancement options, as well as a five-band user EQ, so most listeners should be able to fine-tune things to their liking. In general, music sounds clear and warm, with reasonable, but not thumping, bass response. Although we could hear plenty of high-end detail, it wasn't as sparkling as that offered by the YP-Q2's touchscreen cousin.
Photos and videos look great on the bright display, with good viewing angles and no pixellation. Also, the FM radio reception is very good.
We have no problems with recommending the Samsung YP-Q2 as an excellent budget option, with plenty of features and decent overall performance making up for a slightly cheap-feeling design.
Additional editing by Charles Kloet