Feb 17

The iPod Touch is one of the main players in the personal media player (PMP) market although audiophiles will attest to the superior sound quality of the Cowon PMPs. With the inevitable introduction of cameras and the excellent Retina display, the iPod Touch 4 seems set to continue dominating the PMP market. But there are other excellent PMPs out there running the Android OS.

I’ve had my trusty old Samsung mp3 player for some years now and came very close to buying an iPod Touch 4 last year. I don’t really need a smartphone yet. I can’t justify the monthly contract and will stick with my PAYG LG Cookie for a while yet. I was waiting for an iPod Touch with a camera but several things made me hesitate from rushing out to the store. I’d never owned an Apple product and although there are some benefits in terms of device security and control not to mention style, I just don’t like the Apple ‘walled-garden’ approach. I don’t want too much control over my PMP, I want to control what goes on it. And I don’t fancy jailbreaking either. This together with the major advance of the Android OS in 2010 prompted me to look at Android based PMPs. I was sure of this when I saw a friend’s smartphone with the HTC Sense UI, and running the fabulous Google Sky Map app for Android.

So what PMPs are available with Android OS? I’ve picked out a selection here and listed the main specs. Have a look on the manufacturer’s websites for full details.

Cowon D3 plenue

Cowon D3

3.7 inch AMOLED display but no camera. Android 2.1 but doesn’t have GPS and orientation sensors for Google Sky Map. But for audiophiles, this may be the one to go for. A little pricey though at £279 for the 32GB version.

Archos 32 and 43


3.2 and 4.3 inch resistive displays, 2MP camera. Android 2.2. No GPS. The Archos 32 (8GB) is currently £112 on Amazon while the Archos 43 (16GB) is £157.

Full review of the Archos 43 here.

Samsung Galaxy Player 50

Samsung Galaxy 50

3.2 inch screen, 2MP camera. Android 2.2. GPS, accelerometer sensor and digital compass. I’ve seen a few negative reviews though. The Samsung Galaxy Player 50 (16GB) is currently £157 on Amazon.

Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 4.0 and 5.0

The WiFi 4.0 has a 4 inch screen and the WiFi 5.0 has a 5 inch screen. 3.2MP camera. Android 2.2. These models have just been announced this week at Mobile World Congress and pricing isn’t available yet (I’ll update this when available).

Quick preview of the Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 4.0 here.

So in summary, the Cowon has no camera and the Cowon and Archos devices don’t have GPS, etc. so can’t run Google Sky Map. The Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 4.0 and 5.0 are now the frontrunners for me but won’t come to the UK market till late 2011. Can I wait that long and what will be released in the meantime? Once I make a decision, I’ll review the PMP I buy.

Which PMP do you have? Are you planning to buy one? Drop a comment below.

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