You would think that with the enormous range of different products that Samsung makes that they’d be just middle class but somehow they manage to make it pretty close to the top with probably almost all their products. Maybe because they’re versed in so many areas now that it’s become easy to step into fields that have similar abilities. Consumer electronics all have similarities even if it’s only just circuit boards. MP3 players are already in so many other devices, that ultra compact MP3 players basically come down to who can get the best quality, user friendliness and most storage packed into the smallest space. The TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award winniing Samsung U5 is a great example of exactly that.
Like a lot of MP3 players now days, sometimes you get in the mood for something besides your playlist or perhaps you want to listen to some talk radio in the morning while you’re jogging. Radio adds an extra level of enjoyment and a ton of information that you can’t get with a regular “plain Jane” MP3 player. That is why it has become practiced to have some radio available. The Samsung U5 is no different. They added a FM tuner so that those benefits are options. On top of that they added a much less common feature that allows you to record radio broadcasts (128kbps stereo MP3). Now when you’re latest song addiction that you haven’t gotten around to downloading yet, comes on, you can easily record it and enjoy till you can buy the CD or download the official version. Along those same lines, there is a built in microphone for doing voice recordings at the same 128kbps but its mono MP3 rather than stereo.
Samsung’s U5 resembles a flash drive an awful lot. Actually, to be totally honest, Samsung probably took a flash drive and added the few things that make up the difference between the two products. Basically they added a port for earphones, an OLED screen, a program to browse through and play your songs and then a button pad to navigate it. That’s it really. There is even a cap on the top that comes off and reveals a USB that you can plug into your computer just like a flash drive. From the back it would look exactly like a USB flash drive if it wasn’t for the three small holes that make up the microphone and built in speaker. This design can actually be a big advantage since you never have to worry about keeping track of a cable. In any USB port you can plug it in to charge and/or to upload and download music. It’s basically good to go anytime with the convenient functionality of the design. Samsung claims 20 hours of battery life but count on it being more like 15 which is plenty of time to listen to your tunes throughout the day. If all else fails plug it into your laptop or a friends and let it charge back up. This works great for the office when you can’t have music on your computer but want to enjoy some. Just plug it into a USB port so you don’t use the battery and let the listening pleasure begin.
Samsung integrated album art and what they refer to as “pop cons” to the interface. They’re basically just mini characters that greet you when you start the U5 up. They also show up when listening to music and there isn’t any album art available, as well as in the fitness program, which we’ll get to next. It’s more of a cute thing but it can be a bit humorous at times. It just may not be a feature that you would want to brag about with your buddies while watching the game or on bowling and poker night.
A rather unique but useful feature of the U5 is the addition of a fitness program. This makes the player even more perfect for exercising. Not only can you workout to a great beat but you can also use this program to enter in your weight and fitness goals, and then track the progress you make with the workout timer. It may not be the most advanced pedometer based system but it will do what you want and do it well enough. The best part is that you don’t have to have a separate system, it’s all in one and it’s a whole lot cheaper than similar systems.
The Samsung U5 is just an all around good system. It has everything you need to enjoy a good day of tunes at the gym, work or at home, plus it won’t steal your paycheck. The user friendly side of this useful little tool makes it easy for anyone to get the most out of it. Combine all those qualities and you get exactly what you would expect and more from a simple MP3 player.