Cowon Z2 Plenue - Hardware Features


Gear: Cowon Z2 Plenue, Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0, 4.2

The Cowon Z2 is an expensive Android player, and you should expect to get well though of features.


Screen
This is a 3.7 inch AMOLED screen. the resolution is 800 x 480 pixels, and it's color range is 16 million colors. The viewing angles are pretty decent.

The screen supports 2 touch points.  I have noticed that the responsiveness is not as good when doing a touch and drag gesture (maybe it's software or maybe it's hardware).

If you compare the Z2's screen quality to the Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6" then this one wins by a lot.

Body
The design is very minimalistic, and yes it is plastic.  This is both a good thing and a bad thing.

It is a bad thing because it makes the system feel "cheap", and we know the prices are quite high.

The white surface is not bad because you won't notice finger prints as easily. The plastic body also means that this is a very light device.

One of the problems with the design is the creases, which make the system look nice, but they will collect dust.

Speaker
This is a tiny speaker that gets moderately loud, although it could be louder.  The loudness is higher than the Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6.

I don't think the speaker is loud enough for the Z2 to function as a proper alarm clock.  It is not going to wake you up (if you are very tired).

Don't expect deep bass out of the tiny speaker.

Android Buttons
The 3 classic Android buttons are present, which are: List, Home, and Back/Return. The buttons give you a haptic feedback every time you press them. 

One negative is that they are not backlit keys, which may make them hard to find in dark environments.

Mic
There is a tiny microphone on the side.  If you want to use the Z2 as a Voice Over IP (VOIP) phone then you can do it with an app.

3.5mm Stereo Jack
The stereo jack outputs audio and works as an antenna for the FM radio (well the earphones work as the antenna).

The Z2 does not support earphones with mic+remote, which is a big disapointment because many modern media players do support these special earphones.

Bottom Side Plastic Cover
There is plastic cover that safeguards a micro USB, micro SD Card slot, and HDMI ports. This plastic cover can also be used as a "stand" (marketing gimmick).

The problem with the cover is that the tethering rubber will eventually wear out, and the cover will not be secured.  I have only owned this unit for a few days and I already have a tear.

Micro USB
This port is used to charge the Z2's battery and transfer files from your computer. Personally I don't like where the port is positioned, because you have to open/close the plastic cover all the time.

Micro SD Card Slot
If 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities are not enough for your needs you can add a Micro SD Card. This slot is something that makes a lot of sense when you consider that some people download a lot of content like apps and media.

HDMI
You can connect your Z2 to a computer monitor, projector, or television. Of course, Cowon decided NOT TO include a cable so you will have to spend more money getting the cable.

Volume Down And Up Buttons
These buttons are positioned correctly, your fingers can easily identify them without looking at the system.

Previous, Play/Pause, Next Buttons
The Play/Pause button is not easy to find with your fingers. Because it's hard to identify you may have to look at your device before even pausing/resuming a song, which is not brilliant.  The Play/Pause button could use a physical aspect that makes it easy to identify.

Previous and Next are easier to identify.  With a single press you will make them do their main functions, but they also have secondary functions.  If you press and hold the buttons you can do Rewind and Forward.

Top Button
The button at the top has many functions and you will use it a lot.

  • Wake - While the Z2 is asleep do a single press to wake it up.
  • Sleep - While the system is active double press it.
  • Lock/Unlock - While the system is active single press to lock the screen (this prevents the screen from accepting finger presses).  If you wait a few seconds and single press it again then it unlocks the screen.
  • Turn Off - Press and hold the button for a few seconds and the system will turn off.
  • Turn On - While the system is off press the top button once to turn on.

Internal Features
  • CPU/GPU- 1GHZ ARM CORTEX-A8 CPU + 800 MHz 1080p Full HD VPU + 320MHz Mali 3D GPU
  • RAM - 512MB
  • G-Sensor (rotates the screen)
  • Wifi - Wireless LAN IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth - 2.1 + EDR, A2DP/AVRCP/OPP
  • FM Radio (uses the earphones as an antenna, and you cannot have Bluetooth running when using the radio features)

NOT IN Z2
Cameras, ambient light sensor, and GPS.

And I think that is it for hardware features. Some things are my opinions so feel free to like/dislike and hopefully you got something out of this video. On the next post I might start going into software.

BTW I do have a Samsung Galaxy Player 4" at home, so I may begin comparing the two devices. :)

(236m) That video took a while to produce, because I'm "out of shape" in making these kinds of videos.

Published: Jun 15, 2012

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Hi. My name is Jesse, and I'm a technology enthusiast. I play with technology and share what I find on this blog. If you have any questions then please use the contact form below. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.


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