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."