Hmm, possibly a J3 replacement

A Review On: Cowon Z2-32BL 3.7-Inch AMOLED 800 x 480 Capacitive Touchscreen MP3 Player

Cowon Z2-32BL 3.7-Inch AMOLED 800 x 480 Capacitive Touchscreen MP3 Player

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Recent Pricing:
Review Details:
Audio Quality
Battery Life
Design
User Interface
Value
hmohammed43
Posted · 1065 Views · 6 Comments

Pros: Android, quite light, HDMI out, kickstand

Cons: Battery life could be a bit better, no line-in, "floating design" takes getting used to

Cowon've ventured into android before, and with the D3 plenue, it was thought that they'd hang up and stick to their own OS, but they've brought out the Z2, and it does android right!

 

The first thing is the fact that, because of Android, the Z2 not only has a much easier to use (and learn) interface, it means that you have the opportunity to switch around nearly everything. From the music player, to the home screen, and everything inbetween. The only down side is that, because Cowon aren't Google Certified, you don't have the Play store, but that it something that can be remedied if you were to root the device. By doing so, you do unlock the potential of the phone a bit more.

 

It also feels a lot nippier than even the J3, from the responsiveness of the touchscreen, to how fast it actually does things on the screen. Unlike the D3, the Z2 is actually kinda fast. Sure, it's not exactly a powerhouse like android smartphones out there with their dual and quad-core processors, but it'll still handle most of what you can throw at it. The only thing about it running Android is that you sometimes get a slow moment here and there, but it's nothing that being patient for an extra 3 seconds won't fix.

 

The great thing about the Z2 is it's connectivity. It has Bluetooth and Wifi, meaning you can use it as an iPod-touch-a-like with apps, the internet and such, with the obvious penalty to battery. Bluetooth handles not only audio, but file transfers as well, so you might be able to get all your music on by bluetooth if you're short on time and have your phone with you as well. It also has a micro-HDMI out, meaning if you wanted to listen to your music on the big screen, you could do it in a little bit of a sharper way, instead of having to use what's becoming a slightly dated composite output. It doesn't have a line-in, however, so if you wanted to record from a line level signal you'd probably need to wait to see if something in the future does it.

 

The design of the player is a little bit of a "love it or hate it" thing. It's got a simplistic design to it, quite rectangular with a part that comes out at the back to give it that "floating design." I don't really mind whether it looks like it floats or not, but it does make it a little bit easier for me to hold. A lot of people do say that it makes it a little bit harder to hold, but it's probably one of those things you'd get used to. The door for the Micro HDMI, SD and USB actually becomes a kickstand for the device, so you can keep it propped up for when you're watching a video. Something quite useful.

 

The only way to describe the SQ is that it's classic to the Cowon line of players, in that you have the same, if not slightly more freedom in the effects you can get in JetEffect 5, and that pretty much makes it a good pick for a new PMP.

 

The biggest gripe I have is the battery life, in that it pretty much lasts a day or so of use (pretty much comes close to it's 22 hour battery tag when you have it at brightness level 1) compared to the J3's 60+ hours of music use, and even the iPod touch's quoted 36 hours. I do think, however, that if you're using it as your portable player while you're in the city, on the way to and from work, you'd barely notice a change, except that you'd most probably need to charge it every night or two instead of every 4 days or something.

 

In general, if you're looking at Cowon players, and you're looking for something new, the Z2 is pretty much the choice to make, it's quite a light player, that can give you a great sound for whatever it is that you need to drive. Is it a complete J3 replacement? No, but it does come close enough

6 Comments:

Nice review! Though Cowon might as well make a phone since they've come this far.
I was looking at some promotional pictures of the Z2 "floating" on a glass table and my initial reaction was: WHAT VILE SORCERY IS THIS? Cowon's description of the whole floating design thing is very vague.
I still dunno why cowon don't make a phone + player in one... heh
( in the: 'well, this player is enormous, why not' sense)
Cowon + android = R.I.P battery life
this review is ********. i bought 2 cowon Z2 32gb, first one got a broken screen, that's why i bought a second one.
the only great thing with cowon is the audio quality, the great design, but THAT'S IT!
the UI is SO BUGGY (with both of my cowon Z2 this was the case), sometimes it's slow, sometimes you can't slide to unlock, you have to close the screen, put it on again and then it works, same problem when you want to use the touchscreen sometimes.
there are a lot of other bugs: sd card problems (asks you to format the card, so you have to remove it, put it back in, then it works or you just have to try again, till it works), sometimes you can't use the side buttons, the screen doesn't want to go on (you have to push the sleep button for 10 seconds to shut the player off then put it back on again),
files get corrupted (even in internal memory) when you want to play a certain song, it doesn't want to and just goes to the next song that is not corrupted
some times when i hit the music player i get an "internal error" and the music player shuts down, in this case even retrying doesn't work, i have to shut down the cowon and start it up again, everytime you shut the cowon off and put it on again, it has to rescan your library completely, sometimes it takes long, sometimes not...
and +1 for the battery life: it sucks: even if you do not play music, the battery life goes down very fast, if you don't want that: you have to shut the player off, (that means that when you put it on again, it has to make that rescan of your library :) ) i have to recharge it almost every single day.
so this review from hmohammed43 ---> i really think it's ********: perfect score for UI: WTF?! near perfect for battery life: WTF?!
really i got to hate this player now!
oohhhhh and i didn't even talk about the support on their website yet(that's the ONLY form to contact them btw): they are arrogant, they delete messages if you write something they do not want to be seen by the public, they give 0 support (i've been explaining all my problems in details, they just said: thank you for your answer we will tell our technical service.) it's been over 2 weeks now, i asked for some answer they replied:
Much appreciated for your precious advice.

This will be reported to our R&D team.

Regards

COWON
yeah, as you can see, they can't even speak english.
when i asked about my broekn screen, they said i have to send it back for a repair. i asked ok but how much will that cost: they can't say, you have to send it to them and then they will give a price (so you kind of HAVE to pay for it, no matter how much it will cost...)
so **** COWON!! really!!! DO NOT BUY!!! i'm really unhappy about them and their product, they have good audio quality, the jeteffects are great, BBE, ... it's all great! but it's NOT worth all the bugs, and the ****ED UP support that you get with it! again... DO NOT BUY