Last year, we reviewed Samsung's Galaxy Player 5.0, one of the first Android devices to forgoe the phone and go head to head with the iPod Touch. It worked well and was probably the best option for an Android user looking for a PMP at the time, but performance left quite a bit to be desired.
Samsung has just announced the Player 5.0's apparent successor in Korea, fixing the performance problem but not changing much else. Dubbed the Galaxy Player 70 Plus, the new device both looks like the 5.0 and retains the cumbersome naming scheme, but should at least be a bit thinner than the hefty 5.0.
In the hardware department, the 70 Plus has a dual-core 1GHz processor, 5MP rear and VGA front cameras, 16 or 32GB of memory, and a large 2,500mAh battery. The display is of the same 5-inch variety as the previous Galaxy Player, but whether or not they share the same 800 x 480 resolution is unknown. I would certainly hope not, but I also wouldn't expect much more than qHD if Samsung was trying to keep the price of the Player down.
Software is another disappointment, as the Galaxy Player 70 Plus will ship with a Touchwiz customized Android 2.3 with no promise of an update. It is possible that Samsung will have an update ready by the device's international release, but for now old software is a big downfall of the media player.
For now, the Galaxy Player 70 Plus is only being released in Korea, but if Samsung follows the same plan as with their other Player-branded devices, it should show up in the US and elsewhere sometime later this year. On paper, the Player seems to stack up against the iPod Touch pretty well, but would have been much better if the 70 Plus was a high-performance Android media player with a quad-core processor and 720p display. For now, though, it looks like those who want an Android device without the contract will still have to settle for last year's specs or pay the price for an off contract smartphone.