Customer Review

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Samsung Galaxy S Wifi 3.6 - Volume bug, 12 May 2012
This review is from: Samsung 8GB Galaxy S Wifi 3.6 MP3 Player - Black (Electronics)
This little media player seems to have a firmware/software issue that seriously limits its usefulness.

I bought one of these units as I had recently "lost" my ipod touch 4th generation in a coffee-shop (don't ever leave your shoulder bag hanging from your chair's back as you chat with your friends...) To help me recover from my intense grief and despair I decided to give the Android system a shot trying this entry-level model as they had it at Currys for a measly 99.99 pounds if you ordered it online.

The problem is that, as another reviewer indicated, the volume won't go up beyond level 17 or so, within an interval ranging from 0 to 30, as shown on the screen's volume bar.

When trying to raise the volume up, the bar does actually go up, but the volume itself stays the same from level 17 upwards. This may sometimes be enough if you use it primarily at home, and listen to loud music like rock or dance where the recorded baseline volume is rather high anyway. But as soon as you take the player to the street, or you plug powerful headphones to it, or try to listen to music with some wider dynamic range and lower baseline volume than the typical loud pop hit, then you will not hear the music properly. Not nearly loud enough.

Beware before purchasing, as this seems to affect many -if not all- of the units. After encountering the problem I visited two retailers that had this model on display, and when I plugged my headphones in and tried the player out, they both exhibited the very same problem.

I called Samsung's customer support line 4 times, and none of the agents I spoke to could help with the issue. I checked for firmware upgrades but the player had the latest version installed. I finally decided to get a full refund from the store where I bought it from (Curry's PcWorld).

This is such a pity, since I was really happy with the device in every other respect.

The screen's resolution is comparatively low, but still rather usable for occasional web browsing, emailing, news and weather apps and all of the goodies that the Android system provides. Aside from as a music player, I had planned to use it as a personal digital assistant, and I was quite well impressed at how usable this thing was.

The screen felt really responsive and accurate, and the player performance was really snappy, thanks probably to the fact that the processor only had to cope with that low-res screen. I was also impressed at how easy typing felt on it. I'd say it compared favorably against my old ipod for typing and day-to-day productivity apps such as note-taking, to-do lists, emailing, etc.

Web browsing was more difficult and slow than on the ipod though. And I wouldn't use this to read extensively through apps such as Kindle, although I wouldn't use the ipod for that task either, as high as its resolution may be. These screens are too small for that anyway.

On the other hand, all of the Android apps that I downloaded and tried worked like a breeze, as did adding widgets to the screen, or customizing the desktop, adding folders and tweaking the device to my heart's content.

The device's size was perfect for my needs, as a take-everywhere music player and personal digital assistant, that is inconspicuous and easy to handle.

The best of all was how easy it was to manage you music files. You just drag and drop files from your computer to the unit and the job is done. Dispensing with itunes was a dream come true. And, of course, you can add microSD cards (up to 32GB cards according to Samsung, but many have reported that even 64GB cards seem to work fine on all galaxy wifi units).

The in-built radio was really handy too.

It is worth mentioning that my backed-up music library that I had built using itunes I could move very easily to the player (drag and drop with the computer's explorer) and not only did the Galaxy player get every single tag, and the albums organisation right, but it also displayed all the album artworks that I had painstakingly been adding to the every CD I ripped by using itunes. It was a joyful discovery to see that I had not been wasting my time for the last couple of years.

The sound quality was significantly better than that of my lost ipod, thanks in no small part to the installation of a third-party app called PowerAmp.

Even the battery life was impressive bettering that of my lost ipod hands down.

On a final note, considering that this player can be found for as little as 100.00 pounds and a 32GB microSD card for less than 15.00 pounds, this model could be a real bargain.

I so loved this little player that before venturing to buy the 4.0 or 5.0 versions, I'm going to wait and see if someone reports finding a solution for the volume issue, or any official or unofficial firmware revision comes up. Besides, the bigger brothers of the 3.6 may be too large for me, and their performance in day-to-day tasks may not be as snappy due to their high-res screens requiring more processing power.

Please Samsung, fix the volume issue. This device is potentially the best music player I have ever used, by a large margin.

Thanks for reading.

Cheers.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Jun 2012 21:20:31 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jun 2012 21:23:41 BDT
nightcrawler says:
Your volume issue may not be a bug, but an EU regulation governing how loud it can go. I know an MP3 player I had in the past was limited. Although, if the volume bar shows that 17 is not the highest and it won't go above it then it could be a bug or some form of volume limit tht has been enabled in the settings

EDIT: Reading it again where you say it affects most of the units, I'm almost certain it's a software limitation because of EU regs. What I said above still stands though

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jun 2012 20:01:25 BDT
Good point.

However, why is it that this problem doesn't affect the 4.0 or 5.0? Why would Samsung apply the regulation only to the 3.6?

Also, changing the location to any part of the world, such as USA, China, Russia, or even "rest of the world" does not result in different volume limits.

And, even if this was done on purpose, it is still a bug that results in far more hazardous volume levels.

I'll explain myself: if, for instance, you are listening to a song in the street and crank the volume up as high as you can, you are most likely going to hold the volume rocker till the volume bar is a its max (the volume will stay at level 17 or so). Then you catch a bus, or enter a shop, or pause the player for any other reason. When you want to continue your listening you resume playback and then, bang! volume will be at the effective maximum (30), which might be a lot louder than you actually wanted to enjoy, thereby exposing you to riskier volume levels for a few seconds.

And this is just an example. When using 3rd party apps for music playback such as Poweramp, then the volume behaves in an even more inconsistent way sometimes muting the player altogether. None of these issues affect the 4.0 or 5.0 versions and many audiophile users that have these players run that kind of app as it betters the sound quality significantly.

Whether out of a deliberate decision or not, Samsung screwed up this player.
I'll be receiving the newer 4.2 soon. I'll keep you posted...

Cheers

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Aug 2012 18:19:51 BDT
hello, i writ another review regarding the volume issue. if i read your review correctly you state that the volume doesnt go past 17? yes it does, all the way to max 30. the only way around this is to (providing the volume isnt at 30 already) adjust volume to 30 and press pause and then play again. the volume will be at max and you can adjust it. again this is a frustrating problem and dont blame you for taking it back.
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