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TigerHeli's Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0 Review

Portables A/V

Portables A/V
Discussions about smartphones, tables, MP3 players, and digital music

TigerHeli's Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0 Review

  • Updates to the Sygic Section in Red

    This is my review of the Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0.  For BIGTeddy's review of the SGP 5.0 (and some of my preliminary comments), see this thread.

     Okay - I've only briefly played around with this, but I did have a chance to figure some things out (and frankly some things I could use some help on, but I'll probably figure them out myself later ...  (I also haven't really taken the time to RTFM, but ...)

    Overall Impressions

    Might be obvious to others, but I disagree with Samsung's marketing.  This is essentially a smart phone without the cellular phone technology - not an MP3 Player with capabilities to do most of what a smart phone can do.

    Nothing really wrong with that (and it's main competitor is going to be the iPod Touch), and nothing really to fault it for, but ...

    I still have a lot to test and try out on the device, but so far, it is good but not great - maybe I expected too much, or maybe I just need to get used to it a bit more.  Bottom line is that it does a LOT of things "pretty well", but so far I don't know that it's a replacement for a Garmin Portable Navigator, a Nintendo DS, a dedicated MP3 player, or a DVD Player.  It does most all of those things probably 80% as well as a dedicated device would - and that's probably okay for me.  (Then again, I haven't tested a LOT of the things I wanted it for like BT headphone support.)

    I did manage to accidentally turn the SGP on once in my pocket.  The Creative Zen Mosaic has a slide on‑off switch that makes that unlikely ‑ not much you can do about it with a pushbutton on‑off switch, although a closed case for it would probably help.

    (And like a lot of products, I can see myself having more fun setting it up than actually using it ...)

    Size is going to be a preference thing.  Personally, I think the 4.0 is a great compromise of portability and useability, but I could see others thinking the 3.6 was perfect and others thinking the 5.0 was.  It's similar to whether a 10‑inch or a 13.2 or a 15.4 or a 17‑inch laptop is best.

    Sound Quality

    I only tested with the internal speakers, but pretty big disappointment here.  I haven't A/B compared it with my Zen Mosaic and I only tried it briefly  (I only loaded one album b/c I knew I'd need an micro SDHC card for music).  Overall volume seems to be less than the Zen Mosaic, and also I noticed many of the sound options (and even the custom EQ curves) don't let you send more bass to the internal speakers (this speaker type doesn't support that function).

    Oddly, the SGP still plays music through the speakers even if you have sound turned off on the unit.

    For a device that is marketed as an MP3 player, I thought the music player was pretty basic as well.  Initially, I didn't think it had a Random Mode, but it does - but you have to select an track to play and then you can enable that feature.  The Creative Zen Mosaic had a feature I liked called "Album of the Day", where it would randomly play an entire album, but you could approximate that by picking a song randomly and then playing the album it is from.

    Supposedly, an app called PowerAmp works better and I will probably try that out, but I haven't yet.

    Interface

    Yes - I need major help here.  Basically, I am used to Windows PC's and I understand how they work!!!  In Windows, I have a desktop which is really a subfolder, and I have a navigation tree from the start menu.

    There is a LOT to learn here.

    I'm not even sure if the SGP is capable of multi-tasking (running more than one app at a time) and if so, how you switch between them.

    I figured out that when I turn it on, I am on what Samsung calls the home screen.  I have 10 apps shown:  Gmail, Maps, Play Store, Samsung Apps, Talk, YouTube, FM Radio, Camera, Navigation, and All Share.  There are about 8 pages of screens available.  All Share shows up on pages 2 and 3 of the Home Screen b/c I somehow dragged it there accidentally, and screens 4 through 8 are blank.  I figured out that I can click a blank page on the screen and a menu comes up to add new folders or shortcuts or change the wallpaper, but I haven't found a way to remove shortcuts.  (Okay, figured it out - if you click and drag a shortcut from the home screen a trash can comes up and you are prompted to delete it.  If you drag a shortcut from the Applications screen, you can drop it on the home screens.

    Usually, I click Applications in the bottom right to launch a program - there are two full screens here, but I haven't really figured out how to organize them into subfolders yet or even sort them - if you can.

    More or less figured out how this works - or how I plan to make it work.  Each home page is pretty much a folder - so I might have one page for favorite apps, one page for games, one page for tools and settings, etc.  I "think" you can add actual folders to the homepage for shortcuts, but I haven't tried that yet.

    I have lots of problems with the basic interface of the device, but I haven't had a cell phone before either.  You swipe the screen to unlock it, but a lot of times I don't start the swipe far enough over so it fails.  Pressing and holding the power button brings up the mode where you can turn Sound on or off, turn Airplane Mode on or off, or Power Down the SGP.  Pressing the power button briefly puts the device to sleep or wakes it up.  Often I put it to sleep when I want to access the Airplane mode menu.  (But I had similar problems with the Creative Zen Mosaic, so I can't fault the SGP for this!!!)

    Internet is fast, but program installation is similar to Adobe Flash Player or similar for the programs that I have installed so far (Sygic Trial and iFighters1945).  What I mean, is I am more used to traditional windows files where you download a 4M file and save it somewhere like the desktop (so you can back it up), and then double-click on it and it asks you what folder you want to install it to.  With both Sygic and iF1945, it said the app was installed (no mention of where it downloaded to or where it installed) and then when I went to open the file, it had to download another 50M-700M file before it would run.

    Personally, I very much like to have the option to download and save the .apk (installer files) for two reasons:

    • I'm really not familiar with Android.  There is no registry file, but there also is no desktop or applications folder.  So even if I backup and save the program folders, I don't know what puts the little icon on the desktop or the apps list.
    • I've had plenty of times with Windows where a freeware or payware app becomes unavailable and you can't get the installation files anymore - unless you have them backed up.

    Navigation Apps

    I was fairly undecided here, so if anyone has suggestions, I could use some advice.  Like someone said on one of the YouTube reviews that I watched, I really wish they would just come out with "Garmin for Android".  (What's worse - it looks like it is out for iPhone and WinPhones - http://www8.garmin.com/apps/).  (BTW, I'm assuming TomTom or Magellan would be similar to Garmin, but I haven't personally used those.)  (I haven't tried iGO or several other GPS apps, but if anyone has a favorite, I'd like to try it out.  I'd also be very interested in comments on Garmin StreetPilot as I would guess it will eventually be ported to Android.)

    • Google Navigation - This actually worked fine for me, unlike BIGTeddy.  It wouldn't be my app of choice anyway, b/c I don't like not having maps on the device, but it also has a pretty major flaw:  It is route-based rather than destination based.  In other words, I tested it and it picked a fast route that was not as direct as some of the backroads I am familiar with.  Nothing wrong yet, Garmin does that as well.  However, with Garmin, if I take my own path, it will say "re-calculating" and then decide how to get to the destination from where I am.  With Google, it tried to figure out how to get me back to the original route rather than the destination.  (To the point that at one point, the destination was a mile ahead after a right turn and it wanted me to turn left and go 1/2-mile to intersect the main road that it thought I should be taking).
    • Sygic v11.2.6 - I wrote a lot of this before I tested it fully.  I loaded it, played around a bit with it - ran a demo route.  It looks very good, but perhaps not as good as Garmin.  Some things I don't like about it (or maybe I just haven't figured it out yet):
      • I thought this might be a deal‑breaker, but it's just a minor annoyance.  I usually use the SGP in airplane mode as it should save battery life and I don't have a data plan.  In Airplane mode, on startup, Sygic displays the splash screen and then closes to desktop.  Out of airplane mode, with Wi‑Fi available it comes up to an account login screen which you can skip.  Out of airplane mode, without Wi‑Fi available, it comes directly up with a message to please connect to the Internet - but it still works.  Bottom line ‑ for the way I use it, I have to open Airplane mode, start Sygic, then exit Airplane mode ‑ annoying, but not terrible.  (I originally was afraid it wouldn't open without a Wi‑Fi connection, which WOULD be a deal‑breaker for me).
      • So far, I can't figure out how to exit Sygic.  I go to the home screen when I am done (center off-screen button), but I still see the Sygic icon at the top.  I can bring up the task manager (forget how), and force close it, but there is a warning not to do that.  Basically, I end up powering the SGP off with it running, but that's not a great solution. There is an exit button, but it's at the very bottom of options - you have to scroll pretty far down the screen to get to it.
      • I can't place why, but I feel like I was getting more info with the Garmin than with the Sygic.  All I can really come up with is I think Garmin shows you turn, distance to turn and next turn street name on the infobar at the top.  Sygic shows distance to turn at the bottom, but does not show turn street name until you get close to the turn location.
      • In Garmin, you can tap the info bar and get a list of turn-by-turn instructions (useful to see if the GPS is routing you on roads you want to avoid).  I don't see a way to do this on Sygic other than zooming in the 2D map display.  There is a way to do this - I saw it in the user guide, but I can't figure out how to get it to come up...
      • I can't see a way to save favorites to a category (Auto Repair, for instance).
      • POI Display - This is a pretty big negative - I can't see an easy way to display one.  You can show all POI's or you can search for Wendy's, put you can't click on Restaurants and find out Joe's Lobster House is 2 miles away while Wendy's is 15 miles away.  Correct it is there, but hard to find.  When you go to POI's, it shows the first couple of POI's with a keyboard below, you have to press the back button to hide the keyboard and then you can select Groups and Categories (Restaurants, Attractions, Hotels) at the bottom.
      • Minor point, but Garmin and CoPilot change the map display between day and night mode and Sygic does not  It actually does and does it automatically - it's under Settings and Map View, but it is set to Daytime by default rather than Automatic.
      • The maps (I think are similar to TomTom) look a bit amateurish and cartoonish compared to Garmin and Copilot - again - it's personal preference and I can't give a really good reason.

    Real‑World Performance:  I expected to be pleasantly surprised here and I was not disappointed.  Sygic FTW.  I initially liked the appearance and feature set of CoPilot better, so I planned to test it yesterday and test Sygic today.  Since Copilot did so poorly (below), I ended up testing Sygic on the way home.  The route chosen was probably the most direct (it's one that I use when traffic is light, but not the route I routinely use) ‑ so it should be a good test, and so far it's a positive sign.  GPS acquisition was fast.  Navigation was pretty incredible.  It told me when to turn leaving the parking lot at work to get onto the main road!!!  I was AMAZED!!!  Navigation was great also, although it didn't tell me it was "recalculating when I missed a turn" and it NEVER had me turn away from the destination unless it thought a U-Turn was the quickest course (which when it suggested it, it was).  Every bit as good in usage as Garmin.  The only slight annoyance is it will fairly often say "Keep straight for 800 yards, then keep straight", but Garmin does that as well.
    Forgot to mention ‑ Sygic "beeps" at you fairly often.  I'm not positive what it is doing, but it seems like it beeps about 1/2‑mile before a turn after you have been on the main road a long time.  If so, nice feature that keeps you from having to divert attention to "2.1 miles to go, 1.9 miles to go, 1.8 miles to go …"

    • CoPilot Live - Before I tested this, I thought "This is more like it!!!".  (Most of the features I wanted in Sygic were here: Category search for POI's, Iteniery preview showing all roads, turn-by-turn preview, better looking maps...) Reviews on the web are VERY mixed - basically from "I threw away my Garmin after getting this!!!" to "Reminds my every time I use it why I hate payware applications - a year later and still regretting it".  Personally, I found it to work VERY well (in testing before I actually DROVE with it) - basically does anything the Garmin will do and maybe a little more.  The only things I somewhat REALLY dislike about it:
      • Real‑World Performance:  The device gets about a 3 out of 10 here.  I see why there is not a trial version of the software available.  The "eye‑candy" is great as you can see by the web screenshots.  For the test, I set the unit to drive from my house to my work.  The initial route took me on only 4‑lane routes and about a mile past my work before doubling back, regardless of setting (shortest, fastest, economical).  Not a great start, but I figured I could live with it.  GPS acquisition took a minute or two ‑ also not great.  Initially, the route had me taking a right turn and intersecting the 4‑lane sooner than if I kept straight (and making a left turn without a traffic light).  I kept straight and the software didn't say "Recalculating" to let me know the GPS thought I had messed up.  Gets annoying with Garmin, but at least you get feedback.  I got to the 4‑lane and the Copilot told me to turn right and make a U‑turn to go to ITS chosen entry point.  Not good.  I turned left and it eventually caught up with me.  The next time I deviated from the route, it told me to turn right at a T‑junction where I wanted to turn left and in-fact could only turn left.  Still not good.  Again, it eventually caught up with me.  The final straw was when I needed to turn onto the road to work, which was a 1/2‑mile ahead on the left and it told me to turn right.  If you are completely lost, it will "probably" get you to your destination around 30 minutes later than if you knew where you were going, but that is NOT the purpose of a GPS!!! 
      • Sygic has more voices that speak road names and the voices sound less computerized.
      • Not intuitively obvious, but Garmin's are horizontal by nature.  Sygic does a great job of working equally well in a horizontal or vertical orientation.  Copilot loses the ETA and distance remaining if shifted vertically.
      • Sygic has little blue gas stations and (I think?) orange restaurant icons as you are driving.  I don't see this option in Copilot.  EDIT:  They are there ‑ along with little red hospital icons everywhere there is a doctor's or dentist's office.  I'd like to turn the latter off and there probably is a setting to do so, but I didn't bother looking for one.
      • Business model - There isn't really a trial version of this software - I understand the piracy arguments against that (not that they are usually successful), but in almost all cases I prefer freeware/trialware/beerware which doesn't make me spend money for something that doesn't work.
      • Pricing - Not the same thing as above.  Whether I like it or not, I can understand charging for software.  What I don't like with CoPilot is there seems to be a $10 version (which is basic US without spoken street names, I think  - and is often on sale for $4), a $20 US version which is often on sale for $10, and a $29 North America version (includes Canada and Mexico - which is often on sale for $24).  Makes it VERY hard for the customer to know what to get and what's a good deal.
      • Most reviews state this will NOT work on Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0 (3.0?), or even with Cryogen's hacked firmware for the SGP.  Not a HUGE deal for SGP usage, but I would expect a payware app to be tested and come out with a version that works on all Android OS's.  Freeware I can forgive a bit.
      • It's hard to read a review of CoPilot that doesn't mention having to do a FC (Force Close) and restart at some point.  I haven't run into it (yet), but I'll let you know (errm, no, I probably won't after the real world test).
      • Perhaps not fair, but I get the impression that Sygic regularly adds new features whereas Copilot changes the version numbers without really updating the application.  Then again, overall, I preferred Copilot before I drove with it.

    Conclusions ‑ As I somewhat feared, it looks like I haven't found an all‑purpose GPS app.  Sygic has the best performance and Copilot has the best UI.  I do not really want two GPS apps on the SGP, but if it comes to it, I can keep both and use Copilot to find POI's and then use Sygic to navigate to them.  (And perhaps the settings are in Sygic and I just haven't found them yet …)

    Again - I've only gone on one drive with these but that was likely enough.  One thing that was clear is I "will" probably need to get that Scosche mount for this as having the SGP in the console or on my lap doesn't work and battery drain is an issue.

    Also - Sygic needs about 3.5 GB for the USA maps and Copilot needs about 2.5 GB (including application).  So you can store ONE of these on the internal storage, but definitely not both (with full maps) (and even one might not be a great idea).  I know you can go to settings and Applications and there is an option to move the application to the SD card, but I'm not sure how this is handled.  (IOW, if I had my music files and GPS on one SD card and videos on another, Windows would tend to freak out if it couldn't find the GPS application.  But I wouldn't really want to put the GPS on ALL the SD cards if I had multiple ones).

    Emulators - Games

    I installed two GameBoyColor Emulators (GBC A.D. v2.6 by bslapps, and John GBC Lite v1.38 by John Emulators), two MAME's (MAME4droid v1.5.2 and MAME4droid Reloaded Version 1.2), and one arcade style game (iFighter 1945 v1.15) on the SGP.  (And the Pinball Arcade v1.0.6 by Farside Studios)  Comments below:

    The SGP does a very good job with gameboy playback, probably b/c it's screen is a bit larger than the original Gameboy was designed with.  The only game I really tried out was Tetris DX, though.  Reviews of both programs:

    • GBC A.D. - It's not nice to fault a freeware (as in beer) program, but this is just simply not as polished as John GBC Lite.  The program has three semi-major annoyances:
      • The game will not find your ROMS for you.  You have to navigate to the folder with the ROMS and click on the one you want to play.
      • The icon for the D-pad is large and dark and overlaps the game screen - especially bad in Tetris where you are dropping pieces behind the D-pad.
      • The D-pad is FAR two responsive (might be adjustable through .ini files, although I didn't see any main settings options in the game), and of course, there is no tactile feedback.
    • John GBC Lite - Basically, this program got it right.  The game automatically scans for available roms and lists them for you.  The interface is VERY well done.  (The overlays for the buttons and D-pad really look like stickers on the screen).  Controls are responsive and predictable.
      • The "non-Lite" version of the program costs $3.  The Lite version scrolls ads for the Google Play apps across the top of the screen.  However, if you use the SGP in airplane mode (somewhat recommended anyway), the ads aren't displayed.  Other than a reward for the developer, I can't see a reason to buy the full version.

    For MAME, I loaded about 15 Roms (I use MAME 0.112 from a couple of years ago at home) for testing.  As I said from the screenshots, a LOT of great work went into porting this over for Android.  However, the interface didn't get as much work as I originally thought - but I'll cover that more below.  Both versions will scan your Roms and create a gamelist of only the games that have ROMS available.  Predictably, gameplay itself suffers, but this isn't something to try to beat your your tournament high-score on, it's something to kill time when you get bored.  It excels at that.  More details in the reviews:

    • MAME4droid Reloaded Version 1.2 - Oddly, out of some 15-20 or so Roms, Gyruss was the only game that worked.  It seems odd that there would be THAT many Rom changes to older established games like 1942, Time Pilot, etc., but then again - that's part of the reason I quit following the latest releases and just run MAME 0.112 on the PC.  Gyruss was playable, but sluggish and not really enjoyable.  Basically, the SGP is too slow for this release of MAME.  The program also seemed a bit less polished than vanilla MAME4Droid (no doubt b/c the developer had to devote his time to managing the source code changes rather than the porting options.  While it doesn't hurt to have BOTH versions on the SGP, I can't think of a great reason to use MAME4droid Reloaded.  Semi-Modern games like Star Wars Trilogy or even Cruisin' USA are NOT going to play well on the SGP.  Older classics like Gyruss and Pac-Man will look and play better in vanilla MAME4Droid.  So really, you are only looking at the handful of older games (say the Strikers 19xx series) which work well in the current MAME, lack complex 3D graphics, and were unplayable in MAME 0.37b5.
    • MAME4droid v1.5.2 - Things got a LOT better here, although I focused on Gyruss for comparison.  The startup screen even has a logo with a generic X-Arcade style controller on it.  Gameplay was fluid and enjoyable.  Oddly, the screen tends to work either orientation.  Gyruss is a vertical game, but M4D has the controls shown beneath the screen.  Horizontally, the controls are beside the game, so you end up with the same amount of screen real-estate either way.  I did run into one glitch where the MAME UI was flashing on and off during playback, but I think it was b/c I rotated the SGP from vertical to horizontal during gameplay.  I suspect M4D doesn't like that a whole lot.  Now about the interface.  I was SLIGHTLY wrong about that.  From the screenshots, I thought it showed only the controls needed to play the game.  It does not work that way.  Gyruss is a joystick and one button game, but there were 4 buttons shown and only one worked.  I tried BattleZone and expected there to be two-joysticks and there was only one, but the game (thankfully) did use the single horizontal joystick hack so it was very playable.  I'm not sure how the game handles 6-button games - if there is a different overlay, or if they just really aren't playable.  (From a google search for front‑ends, it looks like you can access the game options and set the number of buttons to display.  It would be nice if this was included in the setup, but with thousands of games it would be a daunting task).

    iFighter 1945 v1.15 - I didn't really play this enough to give it a fair review yet.  I downloaded it mainly out of curiosity for how the fire button worked in it.  Initially, I was bummed b/c the game said it was installed and then it had to download an additional 50M when I tried to play it.  Also, I found out that the plane just shoots continuously, which takes away the timing and strategy in games like this.  The game is polished, though, and a LOT of work went into the game.  The graphics are excellent and the game has elements of Strikers 1945, 1942, Flying Shark, and many other classic vertical shooters, without directly copying any of them.  Control is by tilt or finger drag, which is also a nice feature.

    The Pinball Arcade v1.0.6 - Having played a LOT of Visual Pinball/Visual PinMame and some Future Pinball on the PC, I "really" appreciate the work that went into this.  VP is a bit sluggish and has some graphic issues on fairly high-end PC's.  Cirqus Voltaire is one of my favorite and one of the more complicated tables and it is free this month and gameplay is excellent.  The game does have some glitches - but the game play does not.  The other tables and the tables in work seem to be excellent also.  Now the bad news (which isn't really that bad) - The download is a bit glitchy.  A few times it stopped downloading and said "Transaction Restored."  A few times I had a black screen and then a window came up asking if I wanted to close the app or try again.  I tried to play in airplane mode and load Theatre of Magic, and there was an option to buy or play for free, but nothing happened.  Turns out you have to have wi-fi b/c to play the first time for free you have to download the table.  After it is downloaded, the demo plays fine in airplane mode.  Again, though, if you let the screen go to sleep during downloading, the download will fail.  The demos are about perfectly timed - about 3 balls or the first multiball for me - just long enough to give you a feel for if you want to purchase the table or not, but not long enough to satisfy you with just playing the demo versions.  I probably won't do it immediately, but I have a feeling they'll be getting a fair amount of my money.

    MAME4Droid - Advanced Technical Issues

    This section is not about the SGP, but about MAME in general and some workarounds (one works, one might) ...  Skip ahead if you are just interested in the phone.

    There are three flaws with MAME4Droid (not the program itself, but ...)

    • Most people who use MAME use a front-end.  AtomicFE, MAMEWah, EmuLoader, and really even MAME32 being good examples.  There are 4 functions that a good front-end provides:
      • Ability to view screenshots and other info for the game to make selection of a game easier.
      • Ability to hide certain (say, non-working games) and show only one version of a game.
      • Ability to launch a game with custom options.  (Or to launch some games in MAME4Droid and some games in Reloaded from a single list.)
      • Ability to create a list(s) of favorite games.
      • I would REALLY like to see a touchscreen frontend with a list of games on the left that you could scroll, a list of filters at the top, and a perhaps multiple screenshots on the right that you could scroll through horizontally.

    Unfortunately, as far as I know, none exists for MAME4Droid.  I can easily see how one could be made, but I don't know the coding to do it, and I know one of the front-end authors, but I doubt that they understand Android.  I'm not even sure whom to ask.  I guess I might ask the author of MAME4Droid (which I have done) and see if he might be willing to look at porting one of the open-source FE's to Android. 

    UPDATE:  Dave Seleuco (MAME4Droid developer and I exchanged several E‑mails).  iMAME ‑ the iOS port of MAME - now has filters and favorite games support.  He wants to add it to MAME4Droid ‑ maybe by the end of this year (I'm not committing him to that).  My knowledge is very sketchy here, but he implied MAME4Droid was not like PC MAME (not command‑line based), and not easily called from another app, so porting an existing MAME front end to Android would not help.  He said he would be glad to work with anyone who wants to improve the MAME4Droid interface, and I suggested he might want to consider using the MAME32 / MAMEUI source code and making a MAME4DroidUI version.  He said he's more interested in working on a port of Final Burn Alpha, though ‑ which would be cool to me!!!  That's about as far as I can take it at this point, though!!!

    • Rom Management - Without getting overly involved, let's consider the game Tiger-Heli.  In MAME 0.37b5, the parent tigerh is broken, however the bootleg clone tigerhb1 works perfectly.  If you have both roms, you will undoubtedly see both games and select the bad one initially.  There is a solution, though - MAME has three rom management modes (See Easy Emu):  Merged, Non-Merged, and Split.  Split is the most common, and Non-Merged is the least comment, but is what we want.
      • With split roms, you would have both tigerhb1 and tigerh roms and both games would be visible.  This is preferable for the PC as it takes the least storage and you don't even have to have clone roms if you don't want to.
      • With Merged roms, you would have a single tigerh rom, but both games would be visible.  For a full rom set, this takes the same amount of storage, but you can't really have a partial set.
      • With Non-Merge roms, you would have a single tigerhb1 rom and only the bootleg game would show up in the games list.  This is USUALLY not preferred b/c it takes 2 to 3 times the storage of the other methods.

    The good news is programs like ClrMAMEPro can convert your roms, or you can list the individual files and do it manually.

    • Favorites List - I know a workaround for this for the PC, but not for android.  For the PC, you might have a C:\MAME directory and another copy of MAME in C:\MAME_Favorites.  If you don't want to store roms in both directories, just make a \Roms and a \Roms_Favorites folder and have rom path settings to point to both for the MAME file and only the second path for the MAME_Favorites file.  Create shortcuts to both and you are all done.  This would work on Android also, in theory, but I don't know how to get the shortcut on the home page.  I don't think installing the program twice would work nor installing a separate (older) version as it would just over-write the existing one.  Using MAME4Droid Reloaded for non-favorites and MAME4Droid for favorites would work if there weren't any favorites that only Reloaded supported.

    Video Playback

    Again, I didn't have time to do much with this.  I loaded one movie in the SGP and watched a few seconds of it on the default player.  Personally, I thought the video quality was excellent.

    There are options for "Stretch To Screen" and "Preserve Aspect Ratio".  Preserve Aspect should usually be used, IMHO.

    On the PC, I often need to adjust the brightness to have the video look good, but I didn't see an adjustment for that on the SGP, but it didn't seem to need one either.

    Camera

    The camera is fair.  It's not bad when you realize it is a decent webcam with no flash.  Shouldn't have been too hard to add a flash to it.  (It would probably kill the battery, but personally, I'd be good with an option to turn the flash off, and knowing that if I took 3 or 4 pictures with flash, I'd have to recharge the SGP.)  I'll upload some samples later, but I wanted to get some pictures of the Ultragauge and the radio in my car.  The Ultragauge is above the dash and actually came out pretty well.  The radio shots were disappointing.

    Storage - Transfer Rate

    I'm still not very clear on the storage.  I have Sygic with 4 or 5 states loaded, a 500M movie, a 40M album, Copilot with one state, 3 games, and the default files.  The system shows:

    System Storage - 223M Used, 1.7 GB Free
    USB Storage - 2.1 GB Used, 3.4 GB Free

    Anything I install seems to go to USB storage, so if I am interpreting that correctly, there is 1.7GB of storage that will always be wasted on the device (???)

    Download speed seems to be very fast, if I am near the router, I've hit 1MB/sec (briefly).

    Transfer speed seems to be mixed ‑ I tried copying a movie to it (500‑ish MB) it said it would take 17 minutes one time, and 17 seconds the second time I tried.  I'm pretty sure the first time was a glitch though.

    Battery Life

    Way too early to tell, but probably less than advertised.  I seem to get maybe 3‑4 hours with screen on, processor intensive and GPS and non‑airplane mode.  Maybe a bit more in airplane mode.  Bottom line, I can't probably watch more than two movies on it back to back, but I should be able to watch a movie, play an hour of games, and listen to 2‑3 (or more) hours of music.  That works for me!!!

    Conclusion

    Overall, it does what I expected and I'm pretty happy with it.  I haven't bought a lot of accessories for it as I wanted to be sure I was keeping it.  (Bit of a Catch-22 there - you can't tell how it does with BT headphones until you buy the phones for it, but once you do, you probably can't easily return them, so you're out the money for them).

    Feel free to ask any questions and I'll try to answer them!!!   (Shrugs and dumb looks are still free!!!)



    [edited by: TigerHeli at 1:37 PM (GMT -5) on Tue, May 15 2012]

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs

  • TigerHeli
    Minor point, but Garmin and CoPilot change the map display between day and night mode and Sygic does not.

    It does but not automatically. You have to go into settings and change it manually. I was reading on the Sygic forums that they may add in an auto mode in the next update. I asked them if they could add custom brightness display settings so I don't have to exit the app to change it from the settings menu on the SGP but I haven't gotten a response.

    TigerHeli
    (Most of the features I wanted in Sygic were here: Category search for POI's, Iteniery preview showing all roads, turn-by-turn preview, better looking maps...)

    Sygic has a category search. When you go to POI's on the bottom right hand side of the screen it says categories. Click that and tada there it is. Took me a while to find it myself.

    TigerHeli
    In Garmin, you can tap the info bar and get a list of turn-by-turn instructions (useful to see if the GPS is routing you on roads you want to avoid).  I don't see a way to do this on Sygic other than zooming in the 2D map display.

    You can just go to route options I believe. Or when you first put in the address you can view directions as well I believe. I think I have gotten to it once before but I can't remember lol. I'll play with it and make sure 100%.

    TigerHeli
    I can't place why, but I feel like I was getting more info with the Garmin than with the Sygic.  All I can really come up with is I think Garmin shows you turn, distance to turn and next turn street name on the infobar at the top.  Sygic shows distance to turn at the bottom, but does not show turn street name until you get close to the turn location.

    That feature is kind of rare with most GPS devices. It could be added though in the future to Sygic.

    TigerHeli
    So far, I can't figure out how to exit Sygic.  I go to the home screen when I am done (center off-screen button), but I still see the Sygic icon at the top.  I can bring up the task manager (forget how), and force close it, but there is a warning not to do that.  Basically, I end up powering the SGP off with it running, but that's not a great solution.

    Just go to exit in Sygic. That problem I believe is with the SGP itself. It's actually not running and if you click the notification thing it will start the whole start up process again. Just hit clear on the menu and it will go away.

    TigerHeli
    I thought this might be a deal‑breaker, but it's just a minor annoyance.  I usually use the SGP in airplane mode as it should save battery life and I don't have a data plan.  In Airplane mode, on startup, Sygic displays the splash screen and then closes to desktop.  Out of airplane mode, with Wi‑Fi available it comes up to an account login screen which you can skip.  Out of airplane mode, without Wi‑Fi available, it comes directly up with a message to please connect to the Internet - but it still works.  Bottom line ‑ for the way I use it, I have to open Airplane mode, start Sygic, then exit Airplane mode ‑ annoying, but not terrible.  (I originally was afraid it wouldn't open without a Wi‑Fi connection, which WOULD be a deal‑breaker for me).

    I don't seem to have that problem. The only thing I have ever ran into is that if the GPS is off it will prompt me to turn it on and take me to the SGP's menu to turn on GPS.

     

     

    GMC Sonoma, JVC KD-A95BT, 2 Pioneer TS-D601P in doors, 2 Pioneer TS-G4644R in dash, 2 JL W3v2-D2 10 inch subs, Lightning Audio B4.250.2, Soundstream TX1.1300D

  • Thanks BIGTeddy - I actually figured most of it out myself while you were typing the reply.  Will go back and update the main section!!!

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs

  • Good glad you figured it out. I'm thinking about doing a video review along with my other review so I can explain apps better and show how they work completely. I figured it would help with people who are somewhat confused on how some of the apps work.

    GMC Sonoma, JVC KD-A95BT, 2 Pioneer TS-D601P in doors, 2 Pioneer TS-G4644R in dash, 2 JL W3v2-D2 10 inch subs, Lightning Audio B4.250.2, Soundstream TX1.1300D

  • About Sygic still running.

    GMC Sonoma, JVC KD-A95BT, 2 Pioneer TS-D601P in doors, 2 Pioneer TS-G4644R in dash, 2 JL W3v2-D2 10 inch subs, Lightning Audio B4.250.2, Soundstream TX1.1300D

  • BIG teddy

    That wasn't my issue.  My problem was I just didn't scroll down settings enough to see that there was an exit button there.  Actually, CoPilot does a better job of having an exit button right at the bottom of the screen, but the app itself doesn't work nearly as well.

     

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs