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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
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 ...)
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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 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.)
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 …"
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)
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
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:
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 ...)
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!!!
The good news is programs like
ClrMAMEPro can convert your roms, or you can list the individual files and do
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.
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 FreeUSB 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.
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!!!
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).
free to ask any questions and I'll try to answer them!!! (Shrugs and dumb looks are still free!!!)
2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs
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.
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%.
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
That feature is kind of rare with most GPS devices. It could be added though in the future to Sygic.
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.
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!!!
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.
About Sygic still running.
BIG teddyAbout Sygic still running.
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.
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