Apple struck gold with the idea of the iPod Touch—it’s an iPhone, but without the phone, making it accessible to those without $180+ a month to spare on data/voice plans but who are still interested in the apps and other multimedia features made possible through iOS. The Android camp has since followed suit with its Samsung Galaxy Player—a personal multimedia player that runs Google’s mobile operating system, Android 2.1.
Like the iPod Touch, the Samsung Galaxy Player is a smartphone without the phone. While it’s not released in the U.S. yet, the Samsung Galaxy Player price was revealed over at Amazon.co.uk, where it sells for ВЈ161.63 for a Samsung Galaxy Player 50 16 GB. That converts to about $260 USD.
So, now that these two devices are out in the wild, it’s high time that someone compared, contrasted and reviewed them. Let’s get to it.
Okay, so the least expensive iPod Touch is cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy Player 5 16 GB edition. The 8GB iPod Touch sells for $229, while the aforementioned Galaxy Player is about $260 USD. But Samsung is planning to roll out a 4-inch version (i.e. the Samsung Galaxy Player 4) in the U.S. which will undoubtedly undercut both players in price.
Note: The U.S. versions of the Samsung Galaxy Player 4 and Samsung Galaxy Player 5 will vary in form factor compared to the U.K. Samsung Galaxy Player 50, but the software and other features discussed below are likely to be the same.
There’s a lot to be said for both operating systems. Apple’s iOS is more mature than Google’s Android. The former is on its fourth major version while the version of Android that comes on the Galaxy Player is just on its second.
That being said, maturity isn’t everything. Android is a more open platform, meaning it’s a bigger tent in terms of app development. You’ll have more independently developed apps to choose from in the Android Marketplace and the ability to load up homebrew or independently distributed apps as well. Fat chance of that ever happening over on the Apple side.
The iPod Touch and Galaxy Player both have front and rear facing cameras designed for shooting HD video and enabling real time video chat. Neither set of cameras will disappoint.
Apple is steadfastly refusing to step into the world of Adobe Flash, which is a consistent criticism of the leading smartphone. But the U.K. version of the Samsung Galaxy Player 50 already supports Adobe Flash Lite, and the U.S. versions of the Samsung Galaxy Player 4 and Samsung Galaxy Player 5 will have support for Adobe Flash Lite 3.1
You can get your iPod Touch or Samsung Galaxy Player in a number of different sizes. But one distinguishing factor is that the Samsung Galaxy Player accepts SD cards. That means you can expand your player with removable memory up to 32 GB. The Apple iPod Touch does not support SD cards.
The Samsung Galaxy Player also breaks from the iPod Touch by offering a user-replaceable battery. Although we are long beyond the days of batteries developing a “memory,” the longevity of any given mobile battery is still finite. Apple charges over a hundred dollars to replace a depleted battery—but with a Samsung Galaxy Player, you are free to replace it yourself for much cheaper. Not only that, you could even carry a backup battery for long trips.
iTunes is love or hate in some circles, but in general, it’s intuitive, comprehensive and well-supported across both Windows and Mac operating systems. The Samsung Galaxy Player comes with a piece of proprietary software pushed by Samsung, as there is no official music library software for Google Android. DoubleTwist is an excellent third-party alternative, but in terms of making sure everything is compatible and running smoothly, iTunes takes the cake.
Should you buy a Samsung Galaxy Player? It depends. In terms of what it can and can’t do, you’re not going to notice a huge difference between these two players. They are both top of the line and will both satisfy all but the most discerning gadget geeks. But if you have a preference between Android and iOS, the choice is clear.