As expected, Samsung has announced an expansion of the Galaxy Family of portable devices with the addition of the Galaxy Player. The device is the first in a new category of Android-based mobile devices that strip out the 3G and calling functionality of a Galaxy S phone. There are two models, one with a 4" Super Clear WVGA LCD screen and one with a 5" LCD WVGA screen, and both allow the user to enjoy games, music, videos, social media, and e-books.

The 4" and 5" screen models of the Galaxy Player weigh just 5 and 7 ounces, respectively. Both devices boast Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) connectivity, front and rear cameras (including flash on the 5" model) for videoconferencing or photography, a microphone for VoIP calls over a WiFi via Qik, stereo speakers with Virtual 5.1 surround sound and Samsung's SoundAlive post-processing technology, and support for Adobe Flash 10.1. Both devices run Android 2.2 (codenamed Froyo) and will be upgradeable to Android 2.3 (codenamed Gingerbread). Here's a brief comparison chart for the two:

Both Galaxy Players support numerous multimedia formats natively, eliminating the need to transcode files: audio (MP3, WMA, AAC, Ogg, and Flac) as well as video (DivX, Xvid, WMV, MPEG4, and H.264). Drag 'N Play support means files can be simply dragged from a PC right onto the player; installing special software of any kind on the PC is not required. A MicroSD slot allows 32 GB of extra storage, supplementing the 8GB on-board storage.

Galaxy Players are DLNA Certified and support AllShare, meaning content can be streamed to and from a PC or television without wires. Last but not least, they have Google certification, so they can access the 100,000+ Android apps in the Android Market.

"Our Galaxy Family including Galaxy S mobile phones and Galaxy Tab has been a success because we give people what they truly wish for access to thousands of Android Apps coupled with Samsung's sleek design," Tim Baxter, President of the Consumer Business Division at Samsung Electronics America, said in a statement. "Our new Galaxy Players deliver that same experience in two terrific, ultra-portable form factors without incurring fees for a monthly data plan."