Samsung YP-Z5 1GB Audio/Photo Player

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Samsung YP-Z5 1GB Audio/Photo Player
Software, General Usage and Conclusion

Product: Samsung YP-Z5
Provided By: Samsung Canada
Price: ~$169.95 Online


Samsung has been in the media player business as long as most companies.  Along the way they've made some great products and some not so great products.  Today we are looking at the YP-Z5 Digital Media Player.  This unit has a color screen and can display pictures as well as play music.  Think of it as sort of a non-Apple iPod nano.  This unit comes in 1GB, 2GB and 4GB sizes so there is one for every budget.  Take a look and see if this player has what it takes to make the grade.

Package & Bundle:

The YP-Z5 ships in a nice cardboard box that features a window so you can take a good look at this unit before you spend your money.  However, when it's inside the box it really takes away from the overall fit and finish of this player.

YP-Z5 - Package Front
 YP-Z5 - Package Front

YP-Z5 - Package Back
 YP-Z5 - Package Back

YP-Z5 - Bundle
 YP-Z5 - Bundle

Although not pictured, the sides of the box display the corresponding side of the actual MP3 player.  This is a cool idea that allows you to see what the controls are like and what exactly is in the box.  The pictures on the sides are actually to scale so you have a better idea of the size of this unit.

The back of the box displays the specs of the YP-Z5 as well as system requirements.  We'll get to those in a minute.

The bundle included with the YP-Z5 is pretty decent.  You get the unit itself, a set of earphones, CD containing a manual and Windows Media Player 10, as well as a USB/charging cable.  It is too bad that this player can be charged from USB only because there may be times when you are not near a computer and the battery will need a charge.  It takes a few hours to fully charge the Z5, and when playing music the charge should last about 35 hours.  We have used this unit for a couple of weeks and haven't needed to charge it yet.  Nice.

Specs & Features:

For the traditional list of specs, features and more, we head on over and pull them from Samsung's website.

  • 1GB / 2GB / 4GB Memory Options Available
  • 1.8” CSTN Color LCD (65K color)
  • Screen Resolution: 160 x 128
  • Audio Formats: MP3, WMA, Secure WMA, Janus Upgradeable, Ogg & JPEG Playback
  • USB 2.0 file transfer
  • 35 Hour Battery life
  • Rechargeable Battery (Li-Poly)
  • File / Data Storage
  • Search By: Artist, Album, Genres, Composers, Playlist, Shuffle, All Songs
  • Play List Creation (On the Fly)
  • Shuffle Modes: Artist, Album, Genres, Composers, Playlist, All Songs
  • Repeat Mode : Off, One, All
  • JPEG Photo Viewing
  • Optimal Size: 128 x 160
  • Photo Zoom's: 2x 4 x 8x
  • Slide Show Modes: Time Interval, Variable Start time
  • Sound Enhancements: Normal, 3D-Club, 3D-Stage, 3D-Studio, Ballad, Classical, Jazz, Dance, House, R & B, Rock

System Requirements:

  • Pentium 200MHz or Higher
  • Windows XP Service Pack 1or Higher
  • 100Mb free hard disc space
  • 2x CD Rom drive
  • USB 2.0 Port

Although the system requirements state that you must use Windows XP SP1 or higher on a Pentium 200MHz computer, I really recommend running a faster processor with XP.  You should be able to use the YP-Z5 with any operating system that can detect USB storage devices.  Windows ME, 2000, and all Windows XP variants should work to drag and drop files onto the player, but in order for the CD to autoplay properly, you will need XP SP1 or better.  It won't even play under Windows XP x64.  That's really not that big of a deal though as the CD primarily is used for installing Windows Media Player 10.  We'll get to that on the next page.

First Look:

When we opened the package and took out the brand-new YP-Z5 player, we were impressed from the start.  This unit is built of metal instead of cheap plastic and feels like a quality product.  Many MP3 players a built of plastic and feel cheap, but the Z5 feels solid and rugged.

YP-Z5 - Front View
 YP-Z5 - Front View

YP-Z5 - Top
 YP-Z5 - Top

YP-Z5 - Bottom
 YP-Z5 - Bottom

The YP-Z5 comes with a protective sticker on the display that also showcases what the unit can do.  As you can see in the picture on the left, most of the controls are located on the front of the Z5.  These controls are pretty slick and seem to work well.  The outside area is raised and is used to rewind, fast forward, skip, play, pause, return to the previous menu and power the unit on and off.  This inside area is touch sensitive and is used to scroll through menus and select items.  This two-tier control takes a little while to get used to, but it works well.

The top of the unit is quite plain and has only the headphone jack and the hold switch.  Once the hold switch is engaged the button become as uses less as toilet paper on the ocean floor.  The USB cable plugs into the bottom of the Z5.  Samsung has integrated a door on this slot that opens as you plug the cable in, but stays closed when it's in your pocket to keep dirt, lint and pieces of candy out.  This metal door is a much better idea than a rubber plug that you end up losing and it's far better than having no plug at all.

The volume controls are well-placed on the right side and allow easy and fast volume adjustment.  If the hold switch is engaged, you will need to disengage it before you can adjust the volume.

On the next page we'll take a look at the software install and cover the general usage of the YP-Z5.