MP3 PlayersReviews

Mistakes Samsung made with the Q1 (YP-Q1) digital media player


The Samsung Q1 (YP-Q1) digital media player is so boring and frustrating that I don't want to spend any time giving it my full review treatment. Instead, I'd like to share some of the photos I originally took for the review and talk about what I think Samsung did wrong when designing the flash-based player.



Full specifications of the YP-Q1 can be found in the product database.

It's not all bad


Now before I'm accused of being a Samsung hater or a fangirl of another DAP brand, let me say that I own five other Samsung players (clockwise from top left: S5, S3, K3, Q1, P2, P3) and that the S5 and P3 are among my all-time favorites.

Let me also quickly list a few of the YP-Q1's highlights:

Sound quality. Samsung's DNSe 3.0 audio enhancement technology and the three custom myDNSe modes–which allow users to customize a 7-band equalizer, 3D surround sound and bass boost levels, soundstage, and clarity–provide the Q1 with sound quality that would please just about everyone. I use a pair of Ultimate Ears 10 Pro canalphones and though my ears may not be as discerning as a hardcore audiophile's, myDNSe makes a notable difference. Without any enhancements, sound quality is just okay with the, though better than average with less expensive headphones.



User interface
. The Q1's UI features the same colorful icons and a lot of the same functionality as you'll find on the Samsung P3. It doesn't support Flash, UCIs, or touchscreen gestures, of course, but it's still aesthetically pleasing, straightforward, responsive, and easy to use. There are three menu styles to choose from, but the vivid matrix (above) is the one I like best.


Build quality. The design may not appeal to everyone, but build quality is undeniably good. Even though the player is made entirely of hard, glossy plastic, it feels incredibly durable. The casing doesn't creak or flex when squeezed, and it just feels really solid.

It's just mostly bad

All right, so sound quality, the user interface, and build quality–three of the most important elements of a DAP/PMP–are three things that the YP-Q1 does well.

So what's wrong with the player? A number of things.

Model name. The most minor issue I have with the device is its name. Samsung already makes a line of Q1 UMPCs, including the original Q1, the Q1P, the Q1 Ultra, and the new Q1EX. Even though the company uses the NP and YP prefixes to differentiate between its UMPC and DAP/PMP products, it's still ridiculous that "Q1" is being reused. You don't see Sony coming out with Bravia PMPs, Apple releasing PC-iPod computers, or SanDisk announcing Sansa cameras.


Touch controls. Infinitely more critical than a bad name are bad navigational controls. Without a usable set, a good user interface goes to waste. This is sadly the case with the YP-Q1, whose touch controls are unintuitive and misleading.

Because although the diamond-shaped area looks like a touchpad that functions like an optical mouse, it's actually just the same old touch buttons Samsung has been using since at least 2006:


Sure, the arrangement of the icons is different and the touch buttons are "hidden," but the controls are exactly the same.


So rather than being able to run your thumb across the entire diamond pad to scroll or move around, all you can do with the pad area is use it like a big OK key. The corners of the pad (the parts that light up) are just the directional arrows. That's why the newly unveiled Samsung YP-Q2 looks the way it does. If you ask me, Samsung should have skipped the Q1 altogether and just gone straight to the Q2.

No volume buttons. The YP-Q1 isn't the only DAP/PMP to not have dedicated hardware buttons, but there's no reason for the omission.


It's not like the player is too thin to accommodate a volume rocker or doesn't have enough space on its sides. On the contrary, the entire left side and top of the YP-Q1 are completely "blank."




All it has is a power/hold switch on the right side, proprietary connector and headphone jack on the bottom, and reset and mic holes on the back.

No touchscreen. All DAPs and PMPs don't have to have touchscreens, of course, but the Q1's 2.4-inch colorful display and finger-friendly UI kind of beg to be touched.



Since the Q1 basically uses the same interface as Samsung's two touchscreen players, the P2 and P3, and the controls are so shoddy, I constantly find myself tapping the screen. Being able to touch an icon would be so much faster than having to tap-tap-tap the "directional arrows" disguised as a touchpad.

No Bluetooth. Again, not all DAPs need Bluetooth to be taken seriously. But when a company like Samsung, who was among the first to add Bluetooth support to a media player and who also doesn't reserve the functionality for its flagship devices (even some of its lower end devices have it), the lack of Bluetooth on the Q1 is an oversight.

Ordinary features. In the oversaturated DAP market, it takes more than just a glowing touchpad, a few games, an FM radio, and some subway maps to stand out. The YP-Q1 brings nothing new or even interesting to the industry.


There's no compelling reason for anyone to choose it over something else.

Samsung has something of a track record for releasing new products simply for the sake of releasing them, though, so maybe the YP-Q1 is just further proof of the company's MO.


The 8GB Samsung YP-Q1 can be purchased in black or white for $127 from Warehouse123. A 16GB model is also available.

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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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10 thoughts on “Mistakes Samsung made with the Q1 (YP-Q1) digital media player

  • Agree. Lacking hardware volume buttons is the No.1 issue, that is the problem for most ipod models except touch 2gen. No.2 issue I have is touch pad, one of the worst control interfaces.

  • Avatar of Antichrist

    Wish I had seen this before I bought mine…well, I didn’t pay much for it, since the previous owner was obviously in a hurry to dump it. Although now that I’ve had it for a while, I feel I still overpaid for it.

    The worse part about the touchpad is…it just doesn’t work. It’s the most frustrating device I’ve ever come across. Impossible to get into the menus, change settings, etc. Any time I try I end up wanting to throw the thing at a wall. The rest of the time, I just leave it on random play (which is how I listen to music anyway).

    There are plenty other annoying ‘features’ to this box — Emodio blows chunks (and the latest version is makes it impossible to transfer files to the Q1).

    Well, it could be worse. I might have bought an Mpman like my kid.

  • How do you reset it so its like when you started off.

  • omy god…i have one…nuthing is bad with it…dont disagree i have one…the yp q1 is great and works fine…its just all you adults with massive fingers

  • They are right though. The controls are an absolute nightmare. I am a bit more used to it, but I still struggle occasionally. Volume control is a shame, but I have lived with it to become accustomed.

    Even with the big problem of the controls, and the minor overlookings like Bluetooth (which I never considered anyway), this is still my favourite DAP out of all that I’ve owned mainly because of its great looks. Even if I’ve wanted to break it, I never can. it looks too cool. :)

    And Emodio? I only use it for videos and it works for me, so not bothered about the rest. Windows Explorer can do the rest alongside me.

  • Avatar of Cherie

    hi I want to turn off the shut down tune my Samsung Q1 MP3 player makes when it turns off. As when Im trying to listen to it when Im going to sleep- it wakes me up when it turns itself off. not very relaxing!
    Please help?

  • you can try listening to your music as loud (or a bit louder) as the shut off tune. So you’ll be used to the loudness of the music so when that tune plays and you’re sleeping, it might not bother you? And i wrecked like 20 pairs of head phones accidentally keeping it on while i fell asleep. lol!! I wake up with it choking me!

    I like the Yp-Q1 though! Few down sides: when you play games with sound, it lags. The touch pad of course. I have nearly 1000 songs, so when i scroll down from a to suppose the letter p, it takes ages! Also it’s hard to find good games and themes and fonts, etc!

  • Avatar of Nicolas

    I love my samsung yp-q1 it is so small and the battery is excellent, it is also one of the ONLY mp3 players that can play stuff from BBCi player (in live in England)…

    Top Gear on the train? result!

  • this thing was a mistake purchase, but I though I’d save money and still enjoy something other than a CD walkman. the recording feature for both voice & FM radio (I wish that AM had been included) made edits in my recordings, meaning that if I made one that was 15 seconds long, it would only be 14 seconds when I played it back. I sent it in to Samsung while under the 1 year warranty (I didn’t purchase an extended warranty), and it was sent back to me as if nobody had touched it. just recently the battery started to act up. when it’s fully charged I’m lucky if I can use the player for 60 minutes before it shuts off.

  • my only problem with it is the always says file format not supported though it is SVI….


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