So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
- Small size, good sound quality, rocker switch
- Controls not raised enough, no hold button, you can't listen and charge simultaneously, poor battery life
The YP-F1Z is a great option for those looking for a stylish and compact MP3 player with very good sound quality. But it is let down by poor controls and some annoying downfalls.
Price$ 269.00 (AUD)
The Samsung YP-F1Z is a compact MP3 player that looks outstanding and features great sound quality. Don't be fooled by its size; inside the beetle-shaped unit is a player packed full of outstanding features including an FM radio and voice recording.
As a fashion accessory, the YP-F1Z is sure to please crowds. It would fit inconspicuously into just about any pocket, and it has a belt or shirt clip moulded into its design.
Samsung has clearly aimed this model at the fashion-conscious consumer--we only had to look at the snap-on replaceable colour covers that are supplied in the package to realise this. Three faceplates are supplied with the unit (black, blue and red) and they are easy to replace: simply lift the current one off and snap on the new one.
The YP-F1Z's screen is small, but still manages to show basic tag information such as track number, current equaliser preset, battery gauge, track name and playback time elapsed. Samsung has made use of branching directory navigation for this model, and we feel that this doesn't suit the device particularly well, considering only two track names can be displayed at any one time. This is particularly frustrating when scrolling through a song which is at the bottom end of your track list. However, the rocker switch on the side of the unit works well and scrolling through the menu options is hassle free.
The sound quality was excellent, and the supplied headphones worked well. The YP-F1Z includes equaliser settings such as SRS WOW and TruBass in addition to the normal preset equalisers, so sound enthusiasts are well served by a host of options. Depending on what style of music you are listening to, it is well worth testing all the preset sound equalisers in order to hear the best quality sound. We found the WOW preset setting the best option during testing.
The YP-F1Z also includes a range of other features, such as FM radio and voice recording. The radio includes five presets and the reception was good, even on stations with weaker signals. Voice recording was clear, concise and very simple to operate. Another excellent feature is the YP-F1Z's ability to create a playlist directly on the unit, without having to resort to PC software.
The layout and structure of many of the controls is disappointing. The skip track, the play/pause and the record/A-B buttons are not raised enough and therefore require a hard press to activate. Furthermore, when the unit is clipped to your shirt or belt, the keys are very hard to access, making the device difficult to control. The unit also lacks a hold button, and we accidentally bumped the rocker switch quite a few times during testing.
The unit is charged by connecting to a PC via its USB cable. As the USB connection on the device is through the audio jack instead of a separate USB port, you can't charge and listen to the player simultaneously.
The F1Z is also let down by average battery life. The battery lasted about 8 hours during testing.
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