Samsung Galaxy Player 5

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by r0k, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    First, I'll start off with a little background...

    I'm a long time Palm user. I started with a Sharp organizer then Palm. I was in love with Palm for the longest time. Then I got the Palm TX. Wow what a dud PalmOS was on "modern" "nvfs" devices. I had another couple of Palm phones. I loved my Treo. For a while. Then I got the 755p for about a week and that experience (mostly due to Verizon messing with the phone) chased me to Blackberry. Once again I was happy. For a while. I got my son a Macbook Pro when he went off to college. I got a "free" iPod Touch. It was anything but free. My experience with the 'touch led to iPad, then iPhone then 3 more iPhones for the rest of the family. I love my iThings.

    Fast forward to about 6 months ago when my company started supporting BYOD. I let them put their stinking exchange profile on my iPhone and while it wasn't quite as bad as going all the way back to Treo, it was almost Blackberry-like. So I knew I needed a "spare" device I could let them screw up that wouldn't ruin my iPhone. I have some iPod Touches lying around that have been replaced with iPhones but the BYOD software for iOS is nowhere near as nice as it is for Android.

    I saw a GP5 in Best Buy for $190. The GP 4.2 right next to it was ten dollars more. More money for a smaller (albeit newer) device. I went for the GP5.

    What I like:

    As I mentioned before, I like the way my work email comes through on the device.

    I like the way the built in photos "Gallery" app works with picasa albums. In fact, I'd have to say this is like Photostream on steroids. Sure Photostream can get all my photos to all my devices, but the Android gallery replicates the desktop and browser experience in terms of the way I've grouped photos in Picasa web albums. Still Photostream wins (narrowly) because it gets stuff off my Phone and onto my Mac so seamlessly.

    I like the way google docs works. I'd like to see Apple do something like this with Pages and Numbers on the web, even if they are slightly watered down. I mean seriously have you tried the spreadsheet in google docs? It's very good.

    Wifi Analyzer. Why oh why does Apple still have this useful utility sitting in the leper colony called Cydia? This needs to be standard on iOS just like a wifi scanner is now included in Mountain Lion. Get with it, Apple!

    Go Launcher EX. A fine replacement for the default launcher on the GP5.

    Google Play. No passwords when updating apps. No passwords for free apps. Browse apps on web and send to device. Most apps can be set to auto update. Very nice.

    Micro usb charger, for availability. $5 in any drug store when I'm on the road and forgot it in the hotel. Shame on Apple for sticking with a string of proprietary chargers that requires them to give away a micro usb to dock connector adapter in EU. Why not just figure out how to make micro usb work on an iThing?

    What I don't like:

    I don't like the way Apple tells you NO when you try to go to using the browser on an Android device. I happen to own both. Why punish me for it?
    I really don't like having nested home screens. I dislike it so much I went and got a replacement launcher that lets me put more stuff on the "top level" or perhaps I should say "widget level" home screen.

    I really don't like the screen. I thought I'd like it because it's bigger. Then I pulled up the same page on my iPhone 4 side by side with the GP5 and the GP5 screen, while bigger, is actually harder to read. I guess there's something to that whole Retina thing after all.

    I don't like the way the GP5 handles SD cards. It's like they were an afterthought. Sure I'm grateful to have them but shouldn't an end user experience be seamless? Internal memory shows up as SD card and I'm often confused what is SD card and what is internal memory. It's just silly for google/Android or Samsung or whoever to do it that way.

    I don't like the button locations. The home button belongs where Apple put it, hence the GP 4.2 and GS3 now have it in the same spot. (Copycats, I suppose).

    I don't like the "true multitasking" memory management. Part of my launcher includes a "sweeper" app to clear junk out of memory. I hardly ever think of this on iOS. In fact, there are times my iPhone freezes when taking a photo and I find I have 150 apps open. I close the bulk of them and I'm good to go again. The GP5 seems to "fill up" with only half a dozen apps open.

    Buzzing. My GP5 randomly buzzes for no apparent reason. It's not a phone so it's not getting any text messages or anything. It simply buzzes, often in the middle of the night, for no apparent reason. Very bad form. Very bad.

    Thinkfree office. This is a complete joke. If it manages to open a word, excel or pdf file, it looks a lot like the desktop. However, all too often I get "out of memory" messages when opening pdf files. I've never had such a thing happen on iOS.

    No ICS?!? No jellybean?!? When I buy an iOS device, I don't even have to think about OS versions. They get the latest OS OTA with no problem. Meanwhile, my GP5, which I bought less than 6 months ago is running gingerbread. Gingerbread? The only orphaned Apple products are iPhone 1 and iPhone 3G. Anything you can still buy get's TODAY's OS. Not an OS from a century ago (in gadget time).

    The camera app. Did the picture take? Well did it? No? Darn. I guess I'll have to snap it again. No. Wait. Now I have two?

    Micro USB charger for everyday use. It's often difficult to see which side is supposed to be up. I often have to plug it in twice. I never have this problem with the Apple dock connector.
  2. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Set the user agent in a browser to 'desktop' to use iCloud.


    How are you using the SD card? I have mine loaded with movies and music and it's very seamless. Video player and music find the data no problem.

    No ICS, don't hold your breath for that one. At the same time did you really not know that when buying it?
  3. Ubuntu macrumors 68000


    Jul 3, 2005

    Nice tip, thank you. That's been annoying me for a while.
  4. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008
    One of the advantages of Android is the option to get a custom launcher that matches your tastes, and it looks like you got it sorted now?

    Nothing to do with Retina (that's just a marketing term for a certain number of ppi), just that your 5" screen has a resolution more suited for a 3" display.

    Here's hoping the next 5.x" GP takes the Note's far better 1280x800/720 HD display.

    Renaming them in Windows Explorer or the Finder should stick, and makes it easier to identify which is which.

    Gallery and other media applications should find and display stuff it finds in both int/ext-SD cards as if they are in one card so actually using the files you put on should be relatively seamless.

    I generally don't recommend task managers but one might help here- they can run in the background and auto kill apps that you haven't used in a while for you.

    Buzzing doesn't necessarily mean a text message. Could it be a notification from one of your installed applications? Email maybe?

    That's a particularly crap app. Plenty of alternatives in Market/Play. I personally use ezPDF Reader for my PDFs (got it for a penny during the Christmas sale) and find that it loads and scrolls through complex PDFs much faster than Adobe Reader.

    I don't read doc/xls/pdf files on my phone so I can't recommend anything for viewing that, but I'm sure there's something out there that works better. QuickOffice maybe? I used that a lot on my Symbian phones and they worked fairly well there.

    If you're willing to go modding, there are several ICS custom ROMs available on XDA- notably CM9.

    Camera isn't working though, but it doesn't sound like you're that pleased with it so that might not be a major issue depending on what you use it for :)

    A few more ROMs are available, just take a look at the list here under 5.0.

    Just grab an alternative from the Market/Play Store. I have Camera Zoom FX and found it to be fairly quick on my older Android devices (certainly faster than the stock app anyways).

    That was a minor niggle for me too. Put a little black/white dot on the connector using a Sharpie or white-out, right-side-up, so you know which way to plug it in at a glance.
  5. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Note though. When Apple says its not optimized for the wrong browser they aren't lying. Performance is 'meh' at best, however it does work...
  6. r0k, Sep 9, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012

    r0k thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Of course I knew. I'm still allowed to be disappointed aren't I?

    I didn't find a user agent setting for the GP5 browser. I'll look again. I could care less about performance. If I need something "on the road" I need it. Like the ability to manage iCloud using its web interface. Apple has dumbed down the iOS browser end. And the only browser I had handy was chrome for iOS which blatantly omits the user agent setting as well. Then I found out my IT knuckleheads recently blocked iCloud on the desktop. This left me trying to access iCloud using the GP5 and I got that silly message.

    EDIT: I've looked again on a rather long page of settings and didn't notice the setting. You are talking about the stock browser or did you download a replacement browser?

    As for seamless use of SD card? If all I needed it for was music and movies I suppose I could say it was seamless.

    Sorry, I'm not interested in modding. At least not yet.

    I'll check the Play store for replacements for the lame camera and thinkfree office. While the camera on iPhone 4 is a disappointment, it's nowhere near as bad as the camera on the GP5.

    Buzzing: Not a text message, email or anything else I can find on the home screen. It just does it from time to time. Not often but it bugs me nonetheless.
  7. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Changing the user agent in the stock browser is a pain and temporary. You need to type something into the URL line I can't remember what although it might be different vs vanilla android that I'm running. I highly recommend a different browser regardless. Dolphin was always my gingerbread favorite. It is possible with the stock browser though....

    As far as the SD card. Depending on files you are working with I'd recommend Astro file manager from the play store. This is a tough one, as it could be more seamless I guess but there is nothing to compare with....iOS devices don't have SD cards or file managers so even if the experience is a real pita its better then being non existent. If that's the case you could just not use it....
  8. r0k thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I got Dolphin browser. User agent switch was right at the top. Nice. Then I went to iCloud. The login was off to the bottom right and I couldn't scroll down to it. What a mess. I don't know if that's a Dolphin limitation or if it's related to the way Apple designed the iCloud login, just far enough down and to the right and modal so you can't scroll over to it from the "wrong" browser on a less than retina device. Sheesh.

    All my pre-Apple devices had SD cards but the internal memory was a sad joke. My Treos, my BB 8830 both had too little internal memory. So the next time I get my hands on a device that supports SD card it's a GP5 with a whopping 4 Gig of internal memory. If you're not gonna make SD seamless, then for goodness sake throw a crapload of memory at me. My iThings all have 16 Gig or more. So while I wish Apple would let us have SD cards without that wonky camera connection kit, I'm glad that at least we have enough memory to start with.

Share This Page