GG Martinsen MP4 Player (4th generation model) Review

GG Martinsen MP4 Player (4th generation model) Review

Buy it at Amazon: GG Martinsen MP4 Player (4th generation model) [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Awkward controls, short battery life, and limited file compatibility.

This MP4 player tries hard but is a sad mimicry of the Apple iPod Mini. Even with the significantly lowered expectations of a knockoff product, it was still disappointingly executed. The body is made of aluminum with a brushed finish so at least it looks nice. The headphones that the unit comes with are very cheap, like the ones you'd get for free on an airplane; the sound on them is thin and boxy.

The instructions are confusing and aren't well written, so there's a learning curve; the buttons change functions depending on what feature you're in and it's not intuitive. The click wheel has 4 buttons with a 5th button in the center but is not touch sensitive for scrolling. There is a sleep timer and the unit will shutoff after 90 seconds of inactivity in order to save on battery life (which is very short).

This player has 16GB of internal storage space so at the very least it can be used as a thumb drive with decent capacity. It is capable of playing MP3 music files, AMV/AVI video files, record and playback voice recordings, receive radio broadcasts, view photos, read ebooks and there are several preloaded games. On the surface, it appears to be feature-packed.

I'll start off by saying that the audio capabilities of this player work fine and perform as expected. The audio is rendered clear for music, voice recordings and the radio. The voice recorder is decent if you hold the unit close to your mouth as the omni mic is located on the bottom between the charging and headphone ports. Using the radio function, I was able to listen to a bunch of local stations with occasional static. Just note that you'll need to have the headphones plugged in since they act as the antenna for the radio signal and your signal quality will be limited by reception in your area and the headphones you're using.

For video playback, I loaded a bunch of files in various formats and compressions; I was only able to get the player to recognize AMV and AVI video files. Ironically, this MP4 player couldn't actually play any of the MP4s I loaded to it (that recorded on my cell phone). AMV files aren't all that common, so it may be difficult to find any videos that you'll be able to play on this unit. Photos loaded fine but the colors were blown out and the screen is way too small with low resolution to see any detail.

The e-book reader is also a joke and appears to only be able to read text files (no ePUB or PDF). Even then, the text is so large on the tiny screen that you can only see about 20 words at a time. Imagine reading a 1000 page novel this way. There are five pre-loaded games, a few which are self explanatory, though none of them have instructions. While playable, the controls were awkward to the point where the game wasn't fun to play.

And finally, my biggest issue with this player is the battery life. Using it on multiple occasions, it barely lasted 30 minutes each time before shutting off due to low battery. That's with using a variety of features like music, video and radio playback at a volume level between 50-75% max. Charging the unit overnight inexplicably never seems to fill the battery meter. So either the charging mechanism takes longer than 12 hours or the battery simply can't hold a charge well.

The only thing I'll end up using this unit for will probably be as a portable harddrive, maybe as a portable radio, or backup for music/audiobooks in the car. The screen is so small that viewing photos, video and e-books on it are just impractical. If you're using this for just its audio capabilities it'll do just fine, but this is marketed as an MP4 player and on that front, it does not pass muster.

Buy it at Amazon: GG Martinsen MP4 Player (4th generation model) [Affiliate Link]

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