Review: Samsung YP-Q3 8GB MP3 Player

The quest for a new MP3 player isn’t what it used to be. Just a few short years ago, MP3 players were hot. Little boxes of music from iRiver, Creative, Sansa, Samsung, Archos, and yes, Apple littered the shelves at your local electronics store. The digital music revolution created a frenzy similar to that of the 80′s when the Walkman started gaining momentum. And now in 2011, some would argue that MP3 players have lived out their rather short lives at the top. For now all that seems to dominate consumer electronics news consists of various smartphones and “do-it-all” tablets. In an environment and age of multi-taskers, is a simple MP3 player still something to cherish?

The Samsung YP-Q3 may not have a leg to stand on when compared to media players on even mid-range smartphones, it is nonetheless a formidable foe which aims to do one thing and do it well — play music. With that said, hop inside to see how it fairs…
 

Specs

  • Storage: 8GB
  • Audio Playback: 45 hours
  • Video Playback: 6 hours
  • Screen Size: 2.2″ QVGA (320×240) Display
  • Output Power: 20mW @ 16Ohm
  • Supported File Types: MP3/WMA/Ogg/FLAC/WMV/SVI(MPEG4)/JPG/TXT
  • FM Radio Playback

Build Quality & Construction

The first thing you’ll notice about our review unit is that it’s…pink…very pink. Hey, it was sent for review at no cost to me so I can’t complain. Feminine colors aside, the unit itself is lightweight and solid in feel. It appears that the sides are aluminum while the back and front casing is white plastic. A nice combination if you ask us. And yes, we even found the subtle two-tone pink/white coloring pleasing to the eye.

Buttons on the Samsung YQ-P3 are limited in placement, with the bottom of the device holding pretty much everything needed for interacting with the player. On the very bottom, you have your microUSB and headphone port. On the front bottom, the navigation controls, volume, lock/unlock, and menu button all make themselves at home. The inner square of buttons are the simple previous/next and volume up/down while the outer pink-colored rim holds your menu, lock/unlock, back, and *** button. While we like everything close as to not clutter up the design of the player, we constantly found ourselves hitting the lock/unlock button instead of the volume buttons quite often. Perhaps we’ve grown too accustomed to touchscreens. But to us, the placement and combination wasn’t ideal. Maybe a different style of navigation controls along the bottom would have helped. But it is what it is.

Sound Quality

We can write about design and controls all day, but through it all the only thing that really matters is sound quality. Why else buy a device dedicated solely to just that? On that note, how does the Yp-Q3 sound? With the included earbuds (which are admittedly of higher quality than your typical bundled earbuds), sound wasn’t much better than your typical iPod/stock white earbuds. However, swaping in a pair of your own, better headphones lets the YP-Q3 shines a bit more. We used a pair of Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pros and instantly noticed a dramatic improvement in audio quality. Surprisingly, the YP-Q3 didn’t have too much trouble driving these bigger cans to a “loud” level. Granted, few people will have the type of cans that we use sitting around. Taking that into account, we still would give the YP-Q3 props for decent audio quality. Granted, there is a 5-band EQ available for those who feel the need to tweak the sound of the YP-Q3 if need be.

Features

Being first and foremost an MP3 player doesn’t leave much room for extra features, namely photo or video playback. However, it is worth noting that said features are in fact available. But in our experience, video playback was merely adequate in regards to quality and ability to view it, as were photos. The problem therein lies with the YP-Q3′s extremely poor viewing angle. Considering most people aren’t going to hold the player a couple inches from their face for extended periods means you’re constantly going to be shifting around in order to get comfortable and actually be able to see the content on screen.

Audio features include FM Radio support — not much to say here. We’ve all seen and used an FM radio in an MP3 player. One other audio-based feature is an included 5-band EQ. Nothing fancy to write home about, though the option is nice to have.

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

Can we recommend the Samsung YP-Q3 as a suitable MP3 player in 2011? It’s a little more complicated than a straight yes and no. For example, do you think of yourself as a “Top 40″ type of person or do you thrive on variety and discovering new music? If you’re the latter, you no doubt have way more than 8GB of music on your hard drive and couldn’t bare the thought of carrying “only” 8GB. Speaking of capacity, 8GB is enough to carry ~1,200-1,600 higher quality (>256Kbps) songs. Also, would you consider yourself an audiophile or at the very least, audio quality-minded? If that’s the case, you’re best bet is to look at other players by Creative, iRiver, and Cowon. But if the aforementioned examples don’t fit you, the YP-Q3 is a good little player that will last several years, provide the musical soundtrack of your life, and look fashionable doing it at the same time.

Gallery

**A special thank you to Samsung for providing the review unit.**

   
  • Hifisoda

    Ugh…Ever hear of something called PROOFREADING??? It sure doesn’t look like a SONY.

    • Mike

      That was a pretty big, glaring oversight. Thanks for the thoughtful and considerate tip…