Portable media players review and compare

We test the latest MP3, MP4 and video players to tell you the best buys.
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  • Updated:12 Nov 2008



Test results of 13 portable media players, priced from $129 to $679

CHOICE tested 13 new players, and three Next G phones (see the Next G test), all capable of playing both music and video. Of the media players featured in this test there is only one hard drive player, the Cowon – the others are all flash memory devices and come in a variety of capacities.

See our latest report on portable media players here.

Please note: this information was current as of November 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market.

In testing the video capabilities of the media players, we’ve had to change our method a little. We’ve added a video assessment and ease of use component for encoding some in-house video.

Our in-house video uses a common format that all the media players had to convert using either their own supplied software, or in the case of the Apple models a third-party piece of software. We have scored both sound and video equally in importance due to the growing popularity of media players.

Our experts testers assessed the players on the following:

  • How easy they were to use.
  • Which of the players had the best sound quality.
  • Which of the players had the best video quality.
  • How long their battery life lasted.

Where is the new Apple iPod Nano?

The Apple iPod nano was released too late to be included. We’ll publish full test results as soon as they are available.

Media players tested 

  • Apple iPod Touch
  • Cowon iAudio A3
  • Creative Zen X-Fi (8GB)
  • Creative Zen X-Fi (16GB)
  • Creative Zen
  • Lenoxx MP37100
  • # Philips SA5245BT
  • Samsung YP-S3A
  • SanDisk Sansa Fuze
  • SanDisk Sansa View
  • Sony NWZA728B
  • # Sony NWZA729B
  • Sony NWZA826KB

Next G phones tested

  • Apple iPhone
  • HTC Touch Diamond
  • Nokia N95


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