Sharp End: Galaxy Player 50 review and T-Mobile’s direct offers


Dealer Jez Harris looks at the pros and cons of the Samsung Galaxy Player 50 and discusses recent offers made by T-Mobile directly to customers

Galaxy Player 50 review
Thanks to my local Samsung trainer (again), I have been able to play with Samsung’s new Galaxy Player 50 portable media player for a few days. The Galaxy Player is Samsung’s answer to the Apple iPod Touch but sports Android as the operating system. It is basically a Samsung Galaxy S without the phone and a little smaller.

The unit is pretty small at 105 x 54 x 11mm and features a 3.2 inch capacitive touchscreen. Screen size and opinion of it is a very personal thing. Some would argue that for a media player such as this the screen should be larger for easier viewing; others would say that compactness is the key to a successful media player for easier portability.

In my opinion, until we start to see roll-out screens on these types of devices, as I have been forecasting for the last 10 years, then there will always be compromise with screens.

The unit I used had a built-in memory capacity of 8GB but also had the capability for that memory to be expanded by a further 64GB via a MicroSD card slot. This is one area Apple iPods are lacking in that they have no means of further memory expansion. There is a standard 3mm audio socket for headphones and the supplied ear buds are of decent quality.

The Galaxy Player 50 has Android 2.1 operating system and as such the user can download a myriad of applications from the Android Market via the built-in Wi-Fi connection.

The software Samsung recommends for getting all your media onto the device is Samsung’s own Kies software. Personally I would tell people to use the free DoubleTwist software for a cleaner install and eventual removal from your PC. The Samsung Kies software leaves nearly 3,000 entries in a PC’s registry even after it has been uninstalled.

As a music player the device does what you would expect with good quality audio even from the supplied Samsung ear buds. Video playback is a bit hit and miss. On the plus side the Galaxy Player can play pretty much any video format you can throw at it but with nowhere near the resolution of the iPod Touch. Having said that, the Galaxy Player comes in at around £50 cheaper than the equivalent iPod Touch so who can really complain?

Crazy T-Mobile direct
I’ve had personal experience of crazy offers again from T-Mobile lately, and after mentioning my experiences with other dealers it would seem they too are experiencing an unusual number of silly offers direct by the network.

T-Mobile had been, for quite a long time, fairly neutral with its direct offerings, but last week a customer of mine contacted T-Mobile to obtain a PAC code for three numbers he wanted to port over. He explained to T-Mobile the coverage was not brilliant and he blagged the operator to a certain degree by stating he could get 250 cross-network minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited internet for only £10 per month per handset elsewhere.

T-Mobile came back stating it would match the deal without any hesitation whatsoever. My customer responded that T-Mobile’s internet service was not truly unlimited, as he could find it elsewhere. T-Mobile immediately responded it, too, would make the internet truly unlimited for him.

My customer, now feeling quite proud of himself for all the ground T-Mobile had ceded to him, proceeded to explain to T-Mobile that he was interested into O2 MVNO Giffgaff, which was offering free 0800 calls, compared with the premium rate T-Mobile was charging. This prompted the T-Mobile operator to put the customer on hold for a short while, before returning to restate the offer: unlimited texts, uncapped internet usage, 350 cross network minutes, plus an 0800 bundle giving him 60 minutes of free calls. All for £7.50 per month.

Other dealers I have told of this have said their customers have been taken from them with similarly value-mad offers.

T-Mobile-Orange ports
Now that T-Mobile and Orange are now one company in the form of Everything Everywhere, why are we not seeing any moves to integrate the upgrade and general commission structure a little more?

It seems crazy we can quote a T-Mobile customer for an upgrade which has very poor commissions, or we can quote the same customer to port to Orange and earn considerably more because the connections are treated as new. Plus we would also receive ongoing commission after porting a T-Mobile customer to Orange – we wouldn’t if we retained them on T-Mobile.

I would expect Everything Everywhere will shortly bring in changes in procedure to disallow inter-company ports and suchlike. Really, it is doing itself no favours as things are.