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
 

03.Product profiles

Product profiles - what to buy  

Media players with flash drive

Sony NWZA728B

Price: $199
Capacity: 8GB

Good points:

  • Very good sound quality.
  • Excellent video playback quality.
  • Excellent battery life.
  • Earbuds fit into ear canal.
  • Easily fits in pocket.

Bad points:

  • Had to pay to upgrade Sony software.

Sony NWZA826KB

Price: $229
Capacity: 4GB

Good points:

  • Very good sound quality.
  • Excellent video playback quality.
  • Longest battery life in this test.
  • Earbuds fit into ear canal.
  • Easily fits in pocket.
  • Bluetooth support (headphones included).

Bad points:

  • Only OK sound quality when using the Bluetooth headset.
  • Had to pay to upgrade Sony software.

# Sony NWZA729B

Price: $279
Capacity: 16GB

Good points:

  • Very good sound quality.
  • Excellent video playback quality.
  • Excellent battery life.
  • Earbuds fit into ear canal.
  • Easily fits in pocket.

Bad points:

  • Had to pay to upgrade Sony software.

SanDisk Sansa Fuze

Price: $129
Capacity: 4GB

Good points:

  • Very good sound quality.
  • Compact unit.
  • Least expensive on test.
  • Very good battery life.
  • Easily fits in pocket.
  • Can expand memory.

Bad points:

  • Small screen for video.
  • Necessary video conversion software must be downloaded.

Apple iPod Touch

Price: $549
Capacity: 32GB

Good points:

  • Very good sound quality.
  • Excellent video playback quality.
  • Large screen size.
  • Excellent battery life.
  • Second highest storage capacity.
  • Wi-Fi support (802.11 b/g).

Bad points:

  • Inferior transfer of mpeg-2 video.
  • Relatively expensive.
  • Comparatively large unit.
  • Had to download 3rd party video conversion tool.

Creative Zen X-Fi

Price: $330
Capacity: 16GB

Good points:

  • Rated equal first in sound quality.
  • Excellent video playback quality.
  • Easy transfer of mpeg-2 video.
  • Earbuds fit into ear canal.
  • Comparatively small unit.
  • Wi-Fi support (802.11 b/g).
  • Easily fits in pocket.
  • Can expand memory.

Bad points:

  • Supplied software would not rip properly without upgrade.

Creative Zen X-Fi

Price: $250
Capacity: 8GB

Good points:

  • Rated equal first in sound quality.
  • Excellent video playback quality.
  • Easy transfer of mpeg-2 video.
  • Earbuds fit into ear canal.
  • Comparatively small unit.
  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Easily fits in pocket.
  • Can expand memory.

Bad points:

  • Supplied software would not rip properly without upgrade.

Media players with hard disk

Cowon iAudio A3

Price: $679
Capacity: 80GB

Good points:

  • Excellent video playback quality.
  • Large screen size.
  • Largest storage capacity.

Bad points:

  • Comparatively expensive.
  • Comparatively large and heavy unit.

Next G phones

Apple iPhone

Price: $Telco dependent
Capacity: 16GB

Good points:

  • Rated equal first in the listening test.
  • Excellent video playback quality.
  • Large screen size.
  • Next G mobile phone with digital camera.
  • Wi-Fi support (802.11 b/g).
  • Bluetooth support.

Bad points:

  • Inferior transfer of mpeg-2 video.
  • Comparatively large unit.
  • Had to download 3rd party video conversion tool.

Product profiles - the rest

Creative Zen

Price: $180
Capacity: 8 GB

Good points

  • Excellent video playback quality.
  • Easy transfer of mpeg-2 video.
  • Comparatively small unit.
  • Comparatively inexpensive.
  • Easily fits in pocket.
  • Can expand memory.

Bad points

  • Nothing to mention.

SanDisk Sansa View

Price: $199
Capacity: 8GB

Good points

  • Easily fits in pocket.
    Can expand memory.

Bad points

  • Had to download SanDisk video conversion software.

# Philips SA5245BT

Price: $180
Capacity: 4GB

Good points

  • Easy transfer of mpeg-2 video.
  • Highest ease of use.
  • Earbuds fit into ear canal.
  • Comparatively inexpensive.
  • Bluetooth support.

Bad points

  • Only scored 50% on video playback.
  • Small screen for video.

Samsung YP-S3A

Price: $149
Capacity: 4GB

Good points

  • Compact unit.
  • Cheapest unit in test.
  • Easily fits in pocket.

Bad points

  • Small screen for video.
  • Inferior transfer of mpeg-2 video.

Lenoxx MP37100

Price: $150
Capacity: 4GB

Good points

  • Comparatively inexpensive.
  • Easily fits in pocket.
  • Comparatively small unit.
  • Can expand memory.

Bad points

  • Lowest rated player in the listening test.
  • Poor video playback quality.
  • Inferior transfer of mpeg-2 video.
  • Lowest score in ease of use.

Next G Profiles

Nokia N95

Price: $1059
Capacity: 8GB

Good points

  • Next G mobile phone with digital camera.
  • Wi-Fi support (802.11 b/g).
  • Bluetooth support.
  • Can expand memory.

Bad points

  • Only OK sound quality.
  • Inferior transfer of mpeg-2 video.
  • Comparatively expensive, but has both camera and phone.
  • A little bulky in the pocket.
  • Only 54% for battery score.
  • Only 50% for video playback quality.

HTC Touch Diamond

Price: $999
Capacity: 4GB

Good points

  • Next G mobile phone with digital camera.
  • Easily fits in pocket.
  • Wi-Fi support (802.11 b/g).
  • Bluetooth support.

Bad points

  • Only OK sound quality.
  • Poor video playback quality.
  • Inferior transfer of mpeg-2 video.
  • Comparatively expensive, but has both camera and phone.

#Discontinued but may still be available in some stores

 

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