Saturday, September 20, 2008

Samsung P2+ 8gb Touchscreen Now at BestBuy!

Samsung seems to be a little stingy with it's top-of-the-line media player in the USA. You used to be only able to find this great touchscreen player in a 4gb version at Best Buy stores, and to get your money's worth out of it had to update the firmware. Now you can buy the 8gb P2+ at Best Buy stores, although you may have to have a clerk look in a locked cabinet below the display to find one. Don't be fooled by that immature 4gb model they have on display. The 8gb P2+ has version 5.09 (BestBuy) firmware on it, and is ready to take on the world. At $179, the 8gb model is a little more expensive than the 8gb iPod Nano and Zune, but it's touchscreen and bluetooth capabilities make it easily worth the difference. The P2+ throws FM radio with recording, voice recording, cell phone syncing, and much more into the mix. Included in the box you'll find earbud style headphones, a charging/sync cable, a small stand, the P2, an installation CD, a screen protector, earbud covers, and an array of paperwork that includes a quick start guide.

The P2's main menu includes icons for Videos, Music, Pictures, FM Radio, Datacasts (Podcasts), Prime Pack (extras), Rhapsody Channels, Bluetooth, and Settings. Within Settings there is a Menu Style option that lets you
change the system Font, reset your skin (background photo), and delve further into menu design. Selecting Menu Design lets you choose from 13 different menus in 3 different styles. The styles include:

a Matrix array of icons, a Cosmos 3D spinning menu style, and a My Skin option with icons in a sliding row at the bottom so you can show off your background image (skin). There are hundreds of other very creative Matrix style menus (UCIs) you can download for free from once you've installed the included software.

- Video can be WMV or Mpeg4.
- Music can be MP3, WMA, OGG, or AAC.
- Photos must be JPGs.
- FM radio includes 30 presets or manual tuning, recording radio into MP3 files, reception sensitivity changing, and region setting (Korea/US, Japan, Other).
- Within the Prime Pack there is an excellent Text reader that supports TXT files. The included software can also turn text files into audible MP3 files you can then put onto the P2 so you can "listen" to text when you're too distracted (driving, maybe?) to read it. Prime Pack also includes a file browser, 5 games, an alarm, calendar, address book, world clock, calculator, Voice Recorder, and subway route maps.

Bluetooth is what sets the P2 apart and above every other pocket media player out there. The P2's Bluetooth options include:
- Pairing with up to two bluetooth headsets.
- Pairing with a mobile (cell) phone.
- File transfer between other bluetooth enabled devices.
- You can also rename your device's P2's bluetooth identification.
- One to one wireless gameplay between P2s.

I'll stress the value of these features. By pairing with two headsets or bluetooth receivers of any type, TWO people can share the music wirelessly off the P2 at the same time. A third can listen with wired headphones. Own a cell phone? Once you've paired it with the P2 you can leave it in a purse or backpack while listening to your P2. When your phone receives a call the P2's music will pause and then allow you to answer the call FROM THE P2. You can also initiate calls from the P2 via your bluetooth cell phone, without touching that cell phone. I've also been able to use the mobile phone mode to pair with my PC and iMac and use the P2 as a wireless headset for Skype (Voice Over IP).

The P2 is slightly larger than the Zune or iPod Nano, yet still easily pocketable. Full specifications are HERE. You can see the cable connection and headphone jack on the bottom edge. The left edge has a Hold slider and a Power/Play/Pause button. The right edge has volume + and - buttons. The top edge has a slot through which a lanyard or wrist strap (not included) can be connected.

The P2 and P2+ win points with how well thought out the User Interface (UI) is. A simple tap on any icon will select it. A second tap will move you one step down into the menu structure. Yet a slightly longer touch will move you straight to the last played media for that icon. There is a back button at the bottom left. One tap moves you one step back in the menu structure. A touch will take you all the way back to the Home screen. I've got an iPod Touch, and find the P2's UI more efficient. Settings for each player are available within each player. Each player (music/video/photo/text) has far more settings you can adjust than any iPod player app does. Additionally, the external buttons mean you can control play and volume without looking at or touching the screen.

I can (and have) gone on and on about how great the Samsung P2 is. It is now $50 less expensive than when it first came out, and with the latest firmware has three times the features. There are plenty of accessories available for it. A few accessory sites of interest are:,,

In addition the bluetooth in the P2 means all bluetooth headphone/headsets will work. You can buy bluetooth receivers for ipod docks to make any iPod dock work wirelessly with your P2. You can also find bluetooth transceivers to make your home stereo play the music off your P2 wirelessly.

Audio quality is superb. Of course you don't want to trust the included headphones for accurate music reproduction. With a good set of over-ear headphones or through your stereo your music will sound full and rich with no static or noise.

The 3" screen makes watching videos a joy. A great way to pass the time waiting for a plane or ON the plane. The P2 comes with three sample videos so you won't have to wait to appreciate how much better the P2 is at playing videos than any smaller screen device is. You've got direct control of screen brightness and video playback speed. You can bookmark locations in a video to return to. Lastly videos can be expanded, stretched or cropped to fill the screen.

Should you buy a Samsung P2 or P2 Plus? Absolutely! Get one for each family member since using bluetooth a few of the games can be played wirelessly against other P2s. You can also transfer files from one to the other.



  1. what's the difference between p2 plus and just p2?

  2. As far as I can tell, every P2 sold before the P2+ was available came with version 1.1 of the the firmware. It meant you had to update to gain access to the P2's most unique features. The P2+ comes packaged with the latest firmware that enables voice and FM recording, Cell phone pairing, Bluetooth gameplay between devices, and custom interface graphics.

  3. I don't understand. You said the P2+ supports WMA and MPEG4. I thought the P2 supported only WMA and SVI. Does this mean that the + version dropped support for SVI, or that it now supports WMA and SVI, along with MPEG4?