Review: Samsung P2 (YP-P2)

Samsung’s newest digital media player, the YP-P2, was recently awarded the sixth spot in TIME Magazine’s list of the top 10 gadgets of 2007.


Samsung The Freestyle

Its touch-based interface, large widescreen display, and Bluetooth support certainly make it worthy of the honor on paper, but what about in practice? Read on to find out.

This review is based on the P2 running US firmware version 1.11. 

System Specifications

4GB, 8GB
Supported audio:
MP3, WMA, WMA-DRM, AAC (via firmware update)
Supported video:
SVI (MPEG4/MP3, 480 x 272)
WMV9 (WMV9/WMA9, 320 x 240 or 480 x 272)
Bluetooth, photo viewer, FM radio, datacasts,
alarm, calendar, world clock, text viewer
Display: 3″ touchscreen (480 x 272, 262K colors)
Dimensions: 3.94″ x 2.05″ x 0.39″
Weight: 3.03 ounces
Black, white, burgundy

Check out my P2 unboxing for a look at the player’s packaging and included accessories. Update 1.2.08: Read the Noreve Samsung P2 leather case review.


With its elongated PMMA and metal body, large touchscreen, and buttonless face, it’s no wonder that “sleek” and “sexy” are two of the most common adjectives used to describe the player.


Unmistakable resemblance to the iPod touch aside, the Samsung P2’s streamlined design is a definite head-turner. Its rounded back make it comfortable to hold, and it feels smooth and strong in the hand. Even though the device is quite thin (0.39 inches), it doesn’t feel fragile or like it’s going to snap in half if not handled with care.


At just shy of 4 inches long, the P2 is right on the cusp of what I consider to be too big for a flash player.




It is still extremely portable and easy to carry but displayed alongside the new iPod nano and iriver clix 2, it’s quite big.



Shown above is the P2 with the first-generation Microsoft Zune, Samsung K3, original iPod nano, and Toshiba gigabeat T400. It isn’t that much bigger than the K3, but it also isn’t that much smaller than the Zune. In other words, the P2 is treading dangerously close to hard-drive-player size. Given that the unit maxes out at just 8GB, an argument could be made that for the amount of pocket space it requires (i.e., based on size alone), you’d be better off with a HDD-based Zune 80 (80GB) or iPod classic (160GB).



The most obvious benefit of the P2’s size is that it can accommodate a 3-inch OLED display.


The screen is bright and colorful, crisp and clear. Samsung is behind the gorgeous AMOLED display used on the clix 2, though, so it’s hard not be a little disappointed that a bigger version of the same screen wasn’t used in the company’s own device.


Navigation on the P2 is almost exclusively handled by the touchscreen, which is pretty well executed though not quite as responsive or fun to use as on the iPhone or iPod touch. Swiping, flicking, and tapping with the finger all come into play, as does an intuitive circular turn gesture.

I’ll go into more detail on how the touchscreen is used in the “User interface” section below. First, let’s take a tour around the device to see what kinds of hardware buttons and ports it has to offer.


Beneath the display is what looks like a home button but is actually just a power LED. It flashes blue when playing music with the screen off, blinks red when the player is turned on/off, glows red when the battery is charging, and turns green when fully charged.


On the bottom of the P2 is a microphone (for use when the player can be used to answer calls made to Bluetooth-enabled cell phones; this feature will be made available through a future firmware upgrade), proprietary USB connection port, and headphone jack.


The easy holder hook (see “Contents” section of P2 unboxing), which can also be used to attach a lanyard or wrist strap, is at the top.


On the right side are a hold switch and a button that turns the player on/off (press and hold) and controls the play/pause media function (quick press).


Dedicated volume buttons are on the left. The volume can also be controlled by sliding your finger or thumb up/down the touchscreen, starting from the middle right side, but I find its responsiveness to be a bit sketchy. It’s faster and more accurate for me to use the hardware controls.

User Interface


The Samsung P2 is preinstalled with three different menu systems that require the use of the touchscreen. All three present the same set of icons (videos, music, pictures, FM radio, datacasts, prime pack, file browser, Bluetooth, and setting) in different ways.

  • Cosmos (left) is the most visually appealing because of its cosmic “swirling” action, which is activated by either moving your thumb/finger in a circular motion or sliding it up/down. Three icons are displayed in varying sizes at any given time, creating an illusion of distance.
  • Matrix (middle) is probably the most boring menu system, but it’s also the most accurate. Being able to view and select from all the options at the same time is much easier than having to cycle through sets of three.
  • My Skin (right) is the most customizable because the background can be changed to any image stored on the player. Three menu icons are displayed at the bottom and can be changed by swiping your thumb/finger across the screen.

Regardless of which menu style is used, the interface throughout the system is the same.


The P2 features a modified version of the kinetic scrolling everyone loves on the iPhone/iPod touch in that a finger flick scrolls through items only a page at a time. The scrollbar on the right provides much faster scrolling, but finding a particular song in a long list is still tricky because there are no alphabet cues to indicate where you are or to quickly jump to a desired letter.

The interface is well designed and easy enough for anyone to just pick up and use, but using the touchscreen can sometimes be a bit of a nuisance (and not just because it’s a magnet for fingerprints and smudges). Responsiveness is the biggest issue for me, as there is often a slight delay between a finger tap and the system’s action.

Another problem is that double-tapping is required where single-tapping should suffice. Each menu contains a list of items (Settings, for example, includes menu style, sound, display, language, time, and system), but tapping on any of them only highlights the item. A second tap is needed to actually select it. Just to find and play a single song, then, takes a total of five screen taps (one on the Music icon in the main menu, two on the “Songs” list within the music menu, and two on the individual song).

Transferring Content

The Samsung P2 is only compatible with modern Windows computers (XP Service Pack 2 or higher).


Content can be loaded onto the player via drag-and-drop with Windows Explorer (my preference) or through various music management software like Media Monkey, Windows Media Player, and Samsung’s own Media Studio (included).



It was with some hesitation that I plugged in my earphones because even though the P2 utilizes the same DNSe audio technology as the K3 and has additional sound enhancements like a 7-band user EQ and “street mode” and “clarity” settings, I don’t equate Samsung DAPs with great sound quality.

Fortunately, my ears and Sennheiser CX300S IEMs tell me that my fears were mostly unwarranted. I’m still not blown away by the P2’s sound quality, as its warmth and fullness are a bit lacking to me, but it’s definitely good.

Don’t forget that even with signal-to-noise ratio and other audio data in hand, sound quality is still largely subjective. Some consumers are perfectly happy with the way their music sounds through stock buds, while others demand nothing but lossless codecs, high bitrates, and high-end headphones. My personal standards are somewhere in between the two groups, though closer to the average user than to the audiophile (I only listen to 192kbps/256kbps MP3s with my CX300S).


There are a total of six music playback screens (clockwise from top left): Type 1, Type 2, Type 3, album art, album info (based on ID3 tag), and Type 4. The screen can be changed through the context menu or by tapping it while music is playing.


The on-screen controls are nicely optimized for the thumb/finger and the swiping gesture, which Samsung calls “horizontal stroke,” can be configured to perform various fast-forward and rewind functions (skip an entire track, go back 5 seconds, go forward 1 minute, and so on).



Five on-the-go playlists can be created directly on the P2 without the use of a computer. Each playlist can hold up to 200 songs, which can be deleted from the list both individually and all at once. Additionally, up to 400 playlists (each containing 400 songs) can be created and transferred using Samsung Media Studio and other programs.



Movies, television episodes, and music videos are a joy to watch on the P2’s large 3-inch display because playback is smooth, colorful, and easy on the eyes. All video content plays in landscape mode, bookmarking is supported, and screen size (actual, standard, full, zoom) and DNSe audio effects (normal, drama, action) can be set through the context menu.

A $10 credit to CinemaNow is included with the player to make getting content onto the P2 hassle-free. I redeemed the credit, downloaded five episodes of 30 Days (Morgan Spurlock’s documentary-esque series), and transferred them using Samsung Media Studio in under 15 minutes.


The P2 is light enough to comfortably hold in one hand in just about any position, but the included easy holder will take care of anyone who prefers hands-free viewing.


When you tire of listening to music and watching videos, the Samsung P2 has all kinds of extra features to keep you entertained.


At the time of this writing, the P2’s Bluetooth capabilities have not yet reached their potential.


According to the official microsite, a future firmware upgrade (supposedly due out this month) will add wireless file transfer capabilities between various Bluetooth-enabled devices and cell phone integration to the player. At the moment, the P2 (US firmware version 1.11) can only connect to Bluetooth stereo headsets. This alone is great for any DAP to have, but knowing all the features that are on the way makes it difficult to appreciate what it can already do. Update 12.30.07: Bluewave firmware version 2.08 now available!

Photo viewer

The P2’s photo viewer is pretty standard fare.


Images (baseline JPG only) can be viewed in a three-speed slideshow, zoomed in by dragging your finger on the photo (no iPhone/iPod touch pinching or spreading), set as wallpaper, and displayed in either landscape or portrait mode.


As with watching videos, viewing pictures on the P2’s 3-inch display is a treat.

FM radio

Connected headphones act as the antenna for the player’s built-in FM tuner, so Bluetooth headsets cannot be used when listening to the radio. Any other set of wired earphones will do the trick.


I don’t know about other parts of the world, but in Hawaii, the P2’s “Auto Preset” mode picked up nothing but garbage stations when “FM Sensitivity” was set to high. Even though this is actually a good indication of how strong the signal is, I set mine on low to pick up actual stations, not in-between static.

Reception will vary by location, but it’s pretty good in Honolulu.



RSS feeds, which Samsung calls datacasts, can be transferred to the P2 as text files through the use of Samsung Media Studio.




Content doesn’t automatically update when the player is connected to a computer and each item has to be transferred manually, so anyone thinking that the P2 would make a great replacement for Google Reader would be mistaken.

Prime Pack

Rather than list extras like a calendar and world clock separately, Samsung groups them together under the Prime Pack icon on the main menu.


Additional features could probably be added in a firmware upgrade, but right now the Prime Pack includes an alarm, read-only calendar, world clock, and text viewer (TXT files only).


The text viewer can be accessed while listening to music and supports bookmarking, different font sizes, and various color schemes.

Player in Action

Battery Life

The P2’s non-removable battery is rated at up to 35 hours for music (128kbps MP3 format) and 5 hours for video, depending on screen brightness and other settings.


The Samsung P2 is a slim and stylish digital media player with good sound quality, a large 3-inch widescreen display, a fun touchscreen interface, and an impressive assortment of sought-after extras like Bluetooth and a text viewer. But it’s not for everyone, particularly those who put it next to its main rival: the iPod touch.

The list price of the 8GB P2 ($279) is only slightly less than the MSRP of the similar-looking 8GB touch ($299), so comparisons are inevitable and warranted. But with its questionably responsive and smaller touchscreen (3 inches vs. 3.5 inches), limited storage capacity (8GB vs. 16GB), and not-yet-fleshed-out Bluetooth capability, the P2 doesn’t make a very good showing.

Update 12.30.07: Bluewave firmware version 2.08 available
Update 02.01.08: Bluewave 2 firmware version 3.07 available

The Samsung YP-P2 comes in black, white, and burgundy and is available now for between $200 (4GB) and $240 (8GB).</p >

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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32 thoughts on “Review: Samsung P2 (YP-P2)

  • December 19, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    A very well written and fair review…and I do believe that the Dnse technology in the P2 is 2.0 and not the first generation used on the K3, which would explain your pleasant response to the sound quality.

    I really wish Samsung would come out with a 16 gig version of this nice player, as most all the competition is stepping it up to the 16 gig realm. I personally find this device more enjoyable (even if it is more difficult to use at first) than the Ipod Touch, having a nicer sound quality/battery life and bluetooth features, but this player is by far not for everyone. Tactile buttons still have their place in the DAP world, and different people prefer/expect different things out of their DAP.

    I was more focused on the music and video aspect of this DAP over the Ipod Touch, even though I do love browsing the web on the Touch! To sum up the comparison, find out what you want or care more out of the Mp3 players, and which features you favor over others.

    Thanks again for the great review Jen!

  • December 19, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    Hi Tony. Thanks for your comments.

    Ah, DNSe 2.0 makes a lot of sense. I had to listen to the K3 again and reread my review to make sure I wasn’t dreaming that the K3’s sound quality was unimpressive.

    The P2 will definitely be a much stronger competitor when more Bluetooth features are added and when/if a 16GB version becomes available. I like that anti-iPod people can get in on all the touch action, even though the experience isn’t quite as smooth and the P2 isn’t the first touchscreen DAP.

    I don’t think the P2 needs Internet access, but I think the web browser and the experience of browsing on the iPod touch may be what pushes many undecided consumers over to the Apple camp (assuming they have regular wi-fi access).

  • December 19, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    In Europe, there is a 2GB model too.
    But the ipod touch is the opponent of the 8GB P2.
    The 2/4GB model is a different class (because of the price) and in that class the P2 is the winner.

  • December 20, 2007 at 11:00 am

    I didn’t know about the 2GB model. Thanks, Csapi007! Hmm. I think you may be right that the P2 is at the top of its low-capacity category, mostly because of the Bluetooth and large display. For ease of use, codec support, and sound quality, though, I think the ZEN may have it beat. It’s a tough call, and in the end, it all comes down to personal choice and individual needs.

  • December 24, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    How does the Bluetooth works? Can I transfer files from my mobilephone/P2 to the P2/mobilephone? And some new software, so I can surf on internet (wi-fi), see videos on YouTube and check my Email (and maybe use MSN Messenger/Windows Live Messenger?)
    I hope the P2 will be portable and usefull as the Apple Ipod Touch. Because I’d like to have a different MP3-player, not the standard and booring Ipod.

  • December 26, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    Hi Jenn,

    I’m a bit late to your review of the P2.. and I’d just like to say that once again, you’ve done a very nice job here.

    Just though I’d add a bit that you may or may not be aware of. Since the release of the first bluewave firmware update for the P2 (there are two more updates now planned over the next couple of months).

    Current improvements include..P2 to P2 un-restricted file transfer (via bluetooth), mobile phone (cell) to P2 file transfer and vice-versa, for supported handsets. This is something that neither the Zune nor the iPod Touch has. Address book feature (again transferable via bluetooth) from mobile phone to P2 transfer, the ability to call/receive/answer your mobile phone using the P2’s built-in mic without even taking you mobile phone out of your pocket/bag, an upgrade to the touch sensitivity and accuracy, modified GUI to include bigger album art, slightly changed buttons and more polished and larger icons (Now Playing mode), bluetooth “Discoverable” mode and a dictionary/wordbook/quiz (Korean/English only) when upgrading to the 2.08 Korean firmware. The KR firmware btw is UMS and cross-platform.. and can replace the firmware of any current MTP P2 player via a simple modification to a config.dat file during the update process. So Windows/ Mac/Linux users all.. can now use the P2, not just Windows users (previously MTP only in the US). Being UMS (via firmware update) the P2 can now be used as a general data storage drive ala USB.

    Though there have been many comparisons made between the Samsung P2 and the iPod Touch, I believe they are apples and oranges, with their own strengths and weaknesses and a few similarities. Let’s face it, other than the touchscreen aspect similarity between the two, being flash based and having slightly wider than average view screens… almost all DMP’s do the same things, albeit better or worse than each other depending on your needs/wants. I see the Touch as more of a convergence device and the P2 as an advanced media player.


  • December 27, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    I totally agree with the post before mine and with the critical but very fair review of the p2. But I actually don’t understand how come I don’t have any of the video size settings (actual, standard, full, zoom) although I do have the 2.08 firmware as you do. Is it possible that there are differences from one country to another (I’m from Belgium)? If you know the answer, maybe you could post it, that would help me al lot.
    I would also like to say that for me one of the greatest advantages about the p2 is the large choice you have for the file transfers (which is the exact opposite with the iPods in general).

  • December 28, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    Thanks for the update, Utew. The new firmware came out a few days after I posted the review, so the P2 was already being neglected in a drawer. I haven’t had a chance to upgrade yet, but I’ll do it as soon as I can. The new features are too good to pass up. Who knew firmware upgrades could add so much? :-)

    I always appreciate hearing your take on things, and I like your “iPod touch as convergence device and P2 as advanced media player” conclusion. Very succinct and spot-on. Having said that, though, I still think that most average consumers, the ones who get most of their gadget news from TV ads, will probably see the P2 in a store, compare it to the touch, and then walk out with the touch. Then again, most average consumers thought the ZVM was an iPod rip-off. Such is life.

    It’s great to see Samsung following through with its promised new features, but it’s too bad that the player didn’t ship with them originally. Samsung also needs much better mainstream advertising.

  • December 30, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Yes, I agree samsung needs to put this baby on heavy MTV commercial rotation. I see tons of itouch ads and verizon’s voyager commercials and nothing of this beautiful device. Its a shame. Hey Manuel, I recently upgraded to the new firmware and didnt notice the video size settings either, that is, until I added a few of my own videos to my p2. They were considerably smaller than the screen and thats when the options appeared. Nice little feature there.

  • January 18, 2008 at 7:46 am

    i hope you can tell us how much does the 2GB model cost.. thank you very much and more power!

  • January 23, 2008 at 12:15 am


    i just got this samsung yp-p2

    and its 2GB…

    It’s awesome!…i really like it!…

  • February 29, 2008 at 7:22 am

    New firmware for YP-P2 has been released.
    This is version 3.07 and you may find variety of fuction changes. The main changes are 3D icon, changable screen size, FM radio recording and so on.
    For more information, see the this link ;

    For get new firmware, go blow link;


  • April 5, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    i think that diz mp3 is the best one i have ever seen and im going 2 get it asap.

  • May 2, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    I was just wondering, when you select a song can you play it out loud without the headphones so others may hear it?

  • May 7, 2008 at 6:05 am

    There’s another update available, taking firmware to 4.13, but I have no idea what it’s got other than some new wallpaper/themes on it. Can’t seem to find release notes

  • May 8, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Great Review, but I was just wondering that since you can transfer files between the p2 & a phone, you can do it between computers that have bluetooth and the p2. I have an iMac and this looks like a great player, & it would be great to BT music without having to plug it in. thanks!

    P.S.I saw a screenshot up there, but when you’re browsing by albums, does it display the art next to it?

  • June 4, 2008 at 9:44 am

    I recently bought my P2 and immediately upgraded to the latest firmware, including the brand spanking new v5.05 US. Although I agree with all the posters above about it’s mediocre sound quality (I’m still using the default packaged headphones), the firmware upgrades definitely make up for it. Firstly, there is now an international subway map! Of interest, there is New York, Toronto, Beijing, and many many more! Another major upgrade would be the improved touchscreen. I have used the touchscreen both before and after the firmware upgrade and the touchscreen is MUCH MUCH more accurate after the upgrade. There is also a games and GUI upgrade too (separate from the firmware upgrade). The games upgrade allows you to upload games (created for the P2) via USB and the GUI contains programming to allow for customized GUIs called User Created Interfaces (UCIs). Although only a few are included with the upgrade, it appears that the Korean site already contains a download for their next software upgrade! The new software will allow the user to create their own UCIs and share it with other P2 users via bluetooth.

    Overall, I am very impressed with the P2 and as a poster mentioned, comparing the iTouch and P2 cannot be done. Since the iTouch is the iPhone sans phone, therefore, it is geared to have most features on a phone (which are becoming more and more like mobile PCs, and no, I’m not talking about Blackberries)such as web browsing. However, the P2 is more of a media device focusing on music, pictures, and video.



    P.S. Great review, very critical but very accurate as well. I hope you update the review using the latest firmware on the P2 as I’m sure it will change the review dramatically.

  • June 4, 2008 at 9:47 am

    P.P.S. Sorry, I forgot to mention, but a 16GB model IS available now.

  • June 5, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Well, i just bought a p2 and i am quite impressed. The bluetooth works great and audio/video quality is exceptional. I just want to know how to get access to firmware updates and how to set up my datacasts. Also, how is the mobile phone integration achieved. Besides that
    ,i think your reviews are on point and factual.

  • July 6, 2008 at 2:26 am

    I’m pretty impressed with the player, but just as the poster before me, I’m anxious to use the bluetooth mobile phone setting and get it set up. As far as data casts go, is it possible to add facebook as a datacast?
    Your comments and reviews are greatly appreciated,

  • August 3, 2008 at 11:32 am

    has the cell phone bluetooth been added to the p2 yet?

  • August 3, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Yes, as stated in the review, the update to enable cell phone connectivity was added in December 2007. More here.

  • August 27, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Hi, Jenn! Awesome review! Way better than than those other P2 reviews! I had one question about the P2. Is the screen like a Nintendo DS touchscreen (with a piece of film-esque material over it), or is it more similar to that of the iPhone or iPod touch? Thanks!

  • August 28, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Hi techie. The P2 display is plastic, so it isn’t as good as the iPhone/iPod touch’s glass screen. It’s better than a DS touchscreen, though, because it doesn’t have that “film” on it. The touchscreen technology seems more primitive on the DS but more advanced on the iPhone, so I guess you could say the P2 falls somewhere in the middle.

  • September 11, 2008 at 4:22 am

    Im thinking about getting the P2 and have one question about the bluetooth technology. Having the bluetooth turned on and having regular music headphones in, can you speak through the built in microphone and listen through the music headphones?? Or do you need a bluetooth headset.
    Thanks in advance for the response.

  • September 21, 2008 at 6:00 am

    ive got the p2 and i think its great ive niver had the ipod the thing about the p2 now is i can answer my phone on the p2 and talk u have to set it up though the blue tooth mode the only down fall is that u have to answer the call on the p2 then on the head phones i hope thay bring the head phones out to do that other wise i like it i hope thay bring more up dates for it

  • September 24, 2008 at 9:30 am

    does the p2 have on-the-go play-listing?

  • October 27, 2008 at 6:57 am

    hi i have one of these and i think there better than the latest ipod, as there cheaper, nicer and easy to use-ive had it for almost a year now and has been the best mp3 player i have ever had, well done samsung for your amazing mp3 player.

  • July 30, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    hey i have a 4gb yp-p2 model number yp-p2jab/xsa and my linux eeepc 701 wont read it and i desperately want to upgrade my p2 says it is connected to the computer but nothing comes up in my computer screen my firmware is … us1.20

  • October 23, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    I purchased the Y2-P2 because of its recording facility so I can record rehearsal sessions and classroom presentations for conversion into MP3 format. I can’t find any instructions for downloading those recorded files on to my PC to circulate amongst class members.I am stuck with a one-way transfer from the Media Studio to portable device only. Can any body advise or at least point me to a set of instructions on how to transfer from the PC device to Pc?

  • March 14, 2011 at 6:52 am

    I love this mp3 player so much but sadly it broke! It lasts about a good 2 years. Everytime I would listen to a song I would always put it on the hold button. So one day 2 years passed and all of a sudden it was loose. And the hold button on the side broke the music was still playing but I would touch the screen and it kept on thinking it was on hold.
    Advice:Get a warranty


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