Join Date: Sep 2004
Cowon D3 Plenue Review
Engadget published a full review of the D3 today. It gets high praise for the durable build materials, excellent display quality, and Cowon's signature sound quality.
Unfortunately, that's where the good news ends. They were not satisfied with its performance and limitations given the high price ($350+). Their main complaint is that the D3 is slow in how it responds to touch input, or when launching apps, or changing orientation, general tasks, etc. Seemingly due to an underpowered CPU. Usable, but not up to modern standards like the 1ghz Snapdragon or A4.
They weren't too enthusiastic about the custom GUI, saying that it looks pretty and all but the way it functions is somewhat unintuitive. The music app didn't score very well either due to the poor layout of the Now Playing screen, confusing controls, and stuttery graphics when browsing through albums. Ugh. Compare that to the top Android music player, PowerAmp.
The reviewer made note that the D3 does not have GPS capability, nor any of the usual Google apps including Gmail. It also does not ship with access to Android Market or any alternative. Such is the price for using Android without putting a device through Google certification. Of course the whole point of using Android as the underlying OS is so that users can run Android apps. And you can, but getting them onto the D3 is tricky and probably takes more effort that most folks want to deal with.
You can side-load apps by hunting down APKs on the web, or hack access into the Market. Obviously not ideal. Maybe in the future Cowon could include Amazon's Appworld in place of the official Market.
So, overall, Engadget gives the D3 a 5/10. Disappointing. Hopefully Cowon will address some of the design and performance issues through software updates. It's not unusual for them to put hardware on sale with Alpha-quality software, as iAudiophiles should know by now. We also know they are good about delivering on updates. Usually. Eventually.
I will add one more complaint: the D3 is stuck with a proprietary USB connector. I don't want to deal with custom cables anymore. Aside from Apple iProducts, portable gadgets should be using standardized ports these days - microUSB, microHDMI. Simple, convenient.
Read the review at Engadget.
D3 Reviews at pocketables & CNET come to a similar conclusion.
Last edited by austinv; 03-29-2011 at 23:39..
Join Date: Nov 2008
I find this section of the forum almost entirely pointless as every year, I read the exact same things over & over again. Suffering through the countless repetition, I found myself unable to refrain from posting this.
Cowon continuously releases unpolished products. It's no wonder they have stagnated as a company for the past few years. Their OS'es are either bloated, buggy, unintuitive, or typically a combination of all of these elements. The company repeatedly falls back comfortably on its audio reproduction quality as a longtime crutch and I fail to see any innovation nor focused direction at Cowon.
It's more of the same with a simple facelift every year. Instead of focusing so much attention on the ability to customize the UI, or retarded features like displaying lyrics of songs, why not steal from Apple & mimic what made them successful ; easy usability and constant refining of the product? From the first iPod to the latest one, I can't say there have been earth-shattering innovations. Rather, Apple polished and refined their product. The end result of which is that a monkey with Down Syndrome can use it *&* the player's OS is rock-stable and versatile.
What does Cowon do? Invent a new UI from scratch and/or create or adopt an entirely new OS for every single product. That alone resets months of already invested time & effort into polishing a product only to dump it in favor of another unpolished turd-smelling bugfest.
The X7 is a fiasco that symbolizes what is wrong with this company ; no uniform OS strategy, no across-the-board bugfixes, premature release dates, bad early decisions (such as limiting file sizes or the amount of files the player can contain), and lack of foresight & innovation. Apart from its now typical great sound quality, the X7 has nothing going for it, whatsoever. The iPod is 10x the player it can only dream of being... and that's coming from somebody who *hates* Apple!
Bottom line ; until there's a shakeup in the company and they decide to try new things and be more adventurous instead of nonchalant, nothing will ever change and more of these reviews will be populating the Internet with every new model Cowon releases.
Join Date: Jun 2011
I bought one of these this week and i'm now planning to send it back. Poor research on my part, i found these forums after i purchased the D3.
Pros (for me)
Record functions line in and Radio
Expandable capacity MicroSD slot
Supports Multiple Music - MP3 plus lossless formats
HDMI output (not tested)
Cons (for me)
Android OS - cannot access market place with default FW, not really worth having android if you cant actually use all the android apps
Hold function - this does nothing to stop the use of the external buttons, when walking the tracks have been skipping or music is paused, if you put a hold feature on the player it should really disable all buttons
Slow response - a sluggish performance in general even with only one or two apps open
Volume - The max volume is still fairly quiet
Radio - when using radio you cannot switch to home screen to view docs or comics etc. Doesn't seem to multitask
For these reasons i'm going back to my iAudio X5. I think my next purchase will be more of a Music based device. not really something that is trying to be too much and failing spectacularly
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Feel free to call me 'Kizu' ;)
However, Cowon does use standardized ports. They are standard in Korea which is their main market.
me @ Google+ | Twitter | Flickr | deviantART
audio setup: Cowon J3 32gb | Cowon Z2 16gb | Audio Technica ATH-M50
other: Galaxy Nexus | Nexus 7
Last edited by Kizune; 07-31-2011 at 07:38..