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Sandisk Sansa Fuze review

Kat Orphanides
25 Nov 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
69
inc VAT

Sandisk's latest update to the Fuze player sounds good but an awkward touch interface makes it a pale shadow of the previous model.

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We've always liked Sandisk's Sansa MP3 players, with their no-frills combination of a simple interface, low prices and great audio quality. With the Fuze+, Sandisk has revamped its popular Fuze MP3 player by adding touchpad controls. Unfortunately, the new control system is so poorly designed that it seriously detracts from what would otherwise be a good device.

Sandisk Sansa Fuze

The positioning of the touch-sensitive spots is indicated by silver icons printed on a panel below the 2.4in screen. Unfortunately, with neither texturing nor haptic feedback to distinguish the touch-sensitive areas, it's impossible to tell where you're pressing unless you're looking at the player. Even when we were, our fingers tended to slip across the glossy surface, making it far too easy to accidentally hit the wrong touch-key.

Sandisk Sansa Fuze Bottom

This is a great shame, because the player's audio quality is excellent, once you've replaced the uncomfortable and muddy-sounding earbuds, at least. The default audio settings provide a good balance of bass, treble and mid-range sound, although the player is rather quiet. That's fine if you have headphones with good sound isolation, but could be a problem when using earbuds in a loud environment. Video quality on the tiny screen was fine, but format support is highly-limited and some of our larger test files, only 170MB, made the player reset every time we tried to open the video menu. Because the player can't do video playlists and couldn't play our large extra-long test video, we were unable to accurately measure its video battery life.

Sandisk Sansa Fuze Right

It's possible to get used to the touchpad interface, but it's never going to be as simple or straightforward to use as either a full touchscreen or traditional buttons. With so many excellent MP3 players on the market, there's no reason to buy the Fuze+ over its better-designed competitors. If you’re looking for a low-cost MP3 player, then consider Sandisk’s own Sansa Clip+ (below // http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/mp3-players/274384/sandisk-sansa-clip-4gb)

Details

Price£69
Rating**
Headphone Rating**

Hardware

Capacity8.00GB
InterfaceUSB
Storage mediumflash memory
Battery and charge optionsLi-ion, USB
Size95x52x10mmm
Weight60g

Features

Device has screen?Yes
Viewable size2.4 in
Native resolution320x240
Memory card supportMicroSD
FM Radioyes
Audio record optionsmicrophone, radio
Video record optionsN/A
Supplied withheadphones, USB adapter

Test Results

Tested battery life (MP3 playback)20h 58m
500MB transfer time1m 11s
Audio MP3 playbackYes
Audio WMA playbackYes
Audio WMA-DRM playbackYes
Audio AAC playbackYes
Audio Protected AAC playbackNo
Audio OGG playbackYes
Audio WAV playbackYes
Audio Audible playbackYes
Image BMP supportYes
Image JPEG supportYes
Image TIFF supportNo
Video MPEG-4 AVI playbackNo
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playbackYes
Video WMV playbackYes
Video MPEG-1 playbackNo
Video MPEG-2 playbackNo
Video MPEG-2 VOB playbackNo
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD supportYes
Video H.264 supportYes
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio supportYes
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio supportYes
Download compatibilitynone

Buying Information

Price per MB0.8p
Warrantytwo years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.advancedmp3players.co.uk
Detailswww.sandisk.co.uk

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