Samsung's YP-Q2 surprised me when I saw it hanging from the pegboard at my local Target store. At $99.99 for an 8gb player it's a good value and a smart looking player.
Package: The Q2 comes with what appears to be Samsung's standard but proprietary USB cable and earbuds. There is also a Quick Guide and the typical warnings and registration reminders.
Looks: Strong on style, with a refined chrome edge surrounding the flat glass face, the Q2 is impressive to look at and comfortable in the hand.User Interface: The bottom half of the front is a touch-sensitive backlit surface you'll use to maneuver from icon to icon, up and down lists, and to control volume and track selection.
External. To it's disadvantage the Q2 is short on external hard buttons. All you'll find is this power/hold/custom (∙∙∙) button on the right edge. Press the Hold end for a few seconds to turn it ON or OFF. A quick tap activates HOLD so the touchpad is deactivated. What the custom button does depends on the app you are in.
You'll find the headphone jack and data port along the bottom edge. The cable used is the same one included with Samsung's P2, P3, and T10. Any headphones with a 3.5mm plug will work, and I recommend upgrading from the included buds.
Apps. The Q2 is a versatile media player. You can play music, watch videos, enjoy your photos, listen to the radio, read text files. There's also a voice recorder and three games.
For Music you can play MP3, WMA, FLAC and OGG files. Audio quality is excellent. The Music application also gives you direct control over what is displayed on the screen and how the music is altered. You can speed up or slow down audio files without changing their pitch. You'll discover Samsung's 3.0 version of DNSe, it's custom sound processing filters, and you have four possible User defines equalizer settings. You can sort music by Artist, Albums, Songs, Genres, Playlists, Recently Added, and Most played. when in Album sort mode you can list by album names or album art. You have the required play modes including Normal, Repeat, Repeat One, and Shuffle. You can flag an A-B section for repeat. There is also Samsung's Audio Upscaler for those low bitrate files you may have. It is supposed to add back the missing bits to restore the song to it's uncompressed quality level. I haven't tried it so you'll have to take Samsung's word for now. The only negative aspects I can find is that there are no external volume or track buttons. You have to wake up the touch pad with an extra tap before you can use any of the controls. Otherwise Music play gets an A.
The Video app will play MPEG4 and WMV files. Video looks great on the 2.4" 4:3 ratio screen. Specific support includes SVI(Video : MPEG4, Audio : MP3(44.1kHz, 128kbps)), WMV, WMV9 Simple Profile, Max bitrate : 860kbps, WMA Audio Spec), Resolution : 320X240, Frame Rate : 30fps. You can't play higher resolution videos, although they can be converted by Emodio on your PC. You get brightness control from within the video app. There are also a couple of EQ presets to choose from. Videos play in landscape mode, and the touch pad controls rotate to work as expected in that orientation. Larger screens are more satisfying for movie watching, but the Q2 does a decent job with video. I wouldn't buy it for videos alone, but I'll give Video play on the Q2 a B. It would be better if it supported larger resolution files and a few more formats.
Photo support includes JPEG(Baseline) under 5MB in size. Other formats can be converted using the Emodio desktop application before installing on the Q2. At 320 x 240 Photos look good, although you won't see fine details. You can zoom and rotate images, although not as easily as you can using most touchscreen players. You get the option to turn on or off music or the FM radio from within the photo app. There is a decent slide show option. You have several transitions to choose from, and can control the delay between images. It's not the best photo app I've seen on a player, but the 2.4" screen is in the second tier. Photo display gets a B+.
The FM radio app on the Q2 is worth having and very thorough. You can auto-search for stations. Stations that support it will display RDS data when tuned to. You can flip between preset and manual tuning mode. The Q2 will record anything you can tune, and you can change the quality of recording up to 128Kbps MP3. The custom button will delete or save your current channel depending on it's current state. A nice way to build and edit your presets list. Quality of reception depends on your headphone cable as antenna. It's length and position both can effect how well stations come in. I'm impressed with the FM app on the Q2. It gets an A.
Voice Recording is handy, and the Q2 makes it easy. You get three quality levels to choose from. The highest is 128Kbps MP3. The microphone is on the back near the headphone jack. I'm impressed with the quality. I haven't tested it in a lecture, so can't speculate on it's range, but it should be great for voice memos. You get a chance to play your recording right after saving it, and can delete it from the recorder app.
Text files can be viewed on the Q2, and the text app does a decent job of displaying them. You can change the font size (custom button), rotate the text, change the background and text color, and bookmark your spot. The small screen limits how much you can see at a time, but paging through is easy. I doubt anyone will want to read a novel on their pocket player, but lists and notes are perfect excuses for a text viewer. You also get the option to play music or the FM radio from within the text app. The Q2's text app is better than most and only limited by the screen size. I'll give it an A-.
Games are included, and although they didn't interest me you might find them a decent distraction if stuck in an airport or without electricity some day. You get Bubble Smile, Bomb Bomb, and Chicken Runaway. You can find short descriptions in the owner's manual linked HERE.
Summary: The Q2 suffers only from it's limited external buttons. All the media apps are well thought out and thorough. Playback quality and options are entertaining, and not hard to figure out. If they had included Bluetooth I'd give the Q2 a "Must Have". As it is it's a good buy. Far better than the Ipod Nano of the same capacity, and $50 cheaper. You won't be disappointed owning one.