Samsung isn’t a big name in portable entertainment devices – so devices like the YP-Q3 MP3 player are designed to pack in as much functionality as they can, but keep the pricing keen. It’s available in capacities of 4GB and 8GB, in two different colours: red or black.
The YP-Q3 plays back music and video, and also has a built-in FM radio, too. There’s a voice recorder, photo browsing options, and a Sound Alive function, which adds a richness to the audio output. It also avoids the regular pitfall of being a low-cost iPod alternative by offering quality construction. This player doesn’t feel like just a piece of plastic, or something that’ll easily fall apart in your hands.
The YP-Q3′s credentials as a music player are strong, with most major codecs supported – MP3, WMA, open-source OGG and lossless FLAC. Video playback is inevitably constrained by the device’s 2.2in LCD display screen, though. Also, we uploaded a couple of test AVI files, which managed, somehow, to crash the Q3. The only way we could bring it back to life was via the pinhole reset button at the back of the unit.
We also found the touchpad control system a little sluggish. The menus themselves are logical, and follow a familiar way of working. But the control pad itself isn’t that intuitive, and the unit also has a habit of locking itself, which is frustrating if you want to simply skip a track.
It’s a collection of mild irritations, marring an otherwise quite impressive unit. Certainly, the quality of the audio output alone makes it worth considering. And while this is far from the cheapest of iPod alternatives, it’s one of the better ones. Samsung could still using making a few useful tweaks to it, though, as it’s silly things that are letting it down.
- Excellent sound quality; support for a range of codecs.
- Sluggish controls and occasional crashes.
The Samsung YP-Q3 is really not a bad portable audio/video player, with some real strengths that lift it above the herd of budget iPod alternatives - but a few glitches threaten to drag it back down.