* Prices may differ from that shown
This Mp3/video player was sold to me as one of the more affordable mp3/mp4 video players.
The screen is nice and big (about 3 inch by 2), and the touch interface is easy to use and customisable. I bought the 8GB model which was enough for some audiobooks and some videos. There is an SD card slot if you do need more memory. The X-Fi 2 is charged via USB, and lasted about 2 days. It had a slightly annoying characteristic where you don't get much warning when the battery is about to die.
You can personalise the appearance and use your own pictures as a background. The large screen sold it to me as it was the biggest screen I could find in my price range.
The casing for the player is shiny black and silver and in terms of pure design it looks great.
The first drawback I encountered was the narrow video format requirements. WMV formats are required to for video playback which means all of my AVI files required converting. This took ages but once done playback was acceptable and to a good quality.
The software created for the X-Fi was cumbersome and seemed more focused on getting me to submit to newsletters and watch flashy adverts rather than providing a good platform for file transfer. I gave up on it after a while.
Mp3 navigation is done through the usual folder view, sorted according to artist, genre etc. I had no difficulties transferring my files via USB. Sound quality is good and there is an equalizer you can mess about with to get the levels right.
Other features include a picture viewer, RSS feed viewer, 'X-fi' (which is supposed to clean up audio by replacing missing bits but just seemed to increase the volume of the higher frequencies). I didn't use the radio player much so I couldn't really comment on this feature.
Problems started when I started noticing dead pixels on the screen. I ended up with five of these, which was annoying seeing as I was now out of the warranty period.
My Zen X-Fi 2 died just after a year of almost daily use, it now just fails to turn on, or at best gives me a picture of a battery. I've had more reliable mp3 players for a lot cheaper. This leads me to doubt the quality of the components.
This annoyed me no end, I haven't found any solutions online so it seems it's broken forever.
I couldn't live without my music; I have to listen to it every day so having a good mp3 is really important to me. I am more attached to this then I am my phone and would be more upset if I lost it! I originally had the older model of the creative Zen MX, that had smaller screen and actual buttons and I loved it however after much abuse and a little help from my uncle it broke so he replaced it with the newer model at the time, this one is a touch scene but other than that honestly, I personally do not notice the difference in what they do.
The creative Zen is an mp3 that can play both music and videos. They have good quality sound obviously this also depends on the earphones you use, but also the picture quality is quite good. Personally I have never really used the video other than watching the sample videos to see what it was like, as the screen is so small I don't see the point but I guess it could be good if you are really into music videos and like watching as well as listening. The setup of creative Zen is really good, the menus are all pretty clearly laid out and when you turn it on you are greeting with the main menu which lists: Music, Videos, Photos, FM radio, Mic, RSS, Date, X-Fi, System, Contacts, Calendar, Tasks and Micro SD. Each one has a picture to represent it which makes it look that bit nicer. When you go into system you have the option to change the theme colour, you can have purple, blue or black or chose from a couple of patterns which again is a nice touch and just make it suitable to your own taste. You have all the usual date and time settings but you can also create tasks. It also has the capacity to use the FM radio but again I don't really use this as I like to be able to control what songs I am listening to and it never really seems to work well, so I don't think the radio is particularly good on it. The voice recorder on it is pretty good and it always handy to have, though the way it stores voice clips is a bit confusing and I still haven't worked out how you name them, I am not even sure if you can. It simple lists them in order of when they were recorded, so it can be difficult to find a particular voice clip.
When you tap on music it takes you to another menu displaying the options of: Now playing, Artists, Albums, All songs, DJ depending on how you want to search or play your music, decides what option to use. When searching for a song there is a list of the alphabet on the side of the screen so you can find what you are looking for quicker. I generally just go to all songs, pick one and leave it on shuffle. If you go to DJ you can mess around with the repeat and shuffle setting, while a song is playing you can keep track of how long it has be playing and you can rate the songs with stars for you own benefit. Also you can upload album art with the songs, which is displayed nicly along with the song name. You also have the option to look up the artist if you can't remember what else the sung it will take you to the albums you have. If you click on an album then it will only play songs in the album even on shuffle. You can create your own personal play lists so you always have the songs you want ready. I like the layout I think it is well designed and very easy to navigate, everything is logically placed and easy to use.
I really like the design of the X-Fi2 they are slick and professional looking in a way and a good size. They are a nice size with a good screen that is easy to ready and is black on silver so it looks very smart. However this model only came in black and silver so you can't choose any other colour, personally I think the design only really would work in these colours anyway. The on/off button is a little flat button on top and there is one square button next to the screen that, when pressed will always take you back to the main menu. It also has a built in speaker so you don't always have to use earphones and considering it is only small it plays music quite loud. It is lightweight, and thin so easy to slip in a pocket or bag. The only real issue with this one is the touch screen isn't as responsive as it could be and sometimes it really times out and can be very frustrating. I don't think the touch screen is a match for apple yet, which is a shame because in most ways I prefer these to iPods. Price wise they are quite expensive on the creative Zen website they have been reduced to £79.99 for the 8 GB but they were originally £99.99. The 16, 32 and 64 GB have been reduced on the website too.
I have to say that this is a very durable mp3, I have dropped it like I do most things very, very many times and other then a few scratches it has come to no real harm. The screen it self is not scratched and seems to deal with being handle roughly quite well.
This particular model has X-Fi technology which is meant to enhance the quality of your music; you can turn it off and on with a button that is displayed at the top right of the screen. Though I though it sounded like just another selling gimmick on some songs you can really notice a difference and you get a lot neater sound. On the creative Zen website this is how they describe it: 'Apart from normal audio files, you can now experience the prowess of X-Fi technology with your stored movies and FM Radio1. The adjustable X-Fi Crystallizer allows you to experience the very essence of music perfection as it intelligently restores detail lost during file compression with just one touch. Take in also the most acoustically natural sound staging in headphone audio available from a media player with the X-Fi Expand technology.'
Now for the technical stuff, this is the specification that they give on the creative Zen website, http://uk.store.creative.com/entertainment-devices-mp3-players
8GB / 16GB / 32GB / 64GB Size: 102mm x 57mm x 11.6mm Weight: 75g LCD: 3.0" TFT Touch Screen LCD, 262k colours 400 x 240 pixels resolution
Up to 25hrs2 of audio playback
Up to 5hrs2 of video playback
X-FiTM Audio Enhancement:
Adjustable Crystalizer / Expand effects
Video / Audio Out: PAL / NTSC (via A/V cable sold separately)
Expansion Slot: microSD memory card support RSS: Displays RSS content feeds offline (Sync via PC/Laptop connected to the internet)
Power Charging: Via PC-USB or ZEN USB Power Adapter (sold separately)
Video Playback Formats: WMV9, MPEG4-SP3, DivX3 4/5 and XviD3
Up to 640 x 480 video size
Audio Playback Formats: MP3, WMA (DRM9), WAV (IMA-ADPCM) Audible4, AAC4, FLAC4.
Photo Formats Supported: JPEG, BMP (TIFF, GIF, PNG to be converted with bundled software)5
Battery: Built-in Li-ion Battery
FM Radio: Built-in FM Radio with 32 pre-set stations
Organizer: Clock, Alarm, Calendar, Task, Contacts
Built-in speaker: Yes Album Art: Only for MP3 and WMA files
Voice Recording format: IMA-ADPCM (*.wav) (Built in MIC)
Connectivity: USB 2.0 recommended
Overall I am very happy with this mp3, it does all I want it to and it does it well, though maybe expensive for what it is, it is a brand I trust and still prefer to apple even though I am not keen on the touch screen I would still recommend it.
This review is also on ciao.
For the amount of features on this product it was at a very good price, currently under £80. Therefore, it became a christmas present to me. To be honest though I was a little disappointed in it.
The good points are the quality of the music output with some decent headphones, not the ones which are packaged with it the sound is really good. The software on it has never crashed or frozen up and runs pretty fast.
What I do not like though is how un-user friendly the software is. There is so many menu's and sub folders to look in which all takes time. This does not appeal to me I want to have minimal inputs to get at my music. Something which the ipod does very well.
I bought online having never seen one in person. The pictures make the product look really good and high quality. The impression is the opposite when you hold one though it feels cheap and plasticy. The buttons look like something on a bottom range unit and dont have a positive feel when pressed. The unit is very light but this does not felt on the feel of quality as it feels almost fragile. This was backed up soon after when it got crushed in my pocket and the screen cracked.
Additionally, there is no download feature or networking features so I cannot mark the product on these aspects
Welcome to the Creative Zen X-FI2
Released - Sept 2009 - X-FI2 - UK
Storage - 8GB -
RRP - 99.99 GBP
It's been barely one year since the debut of the X-FI and the X-FI2 is fully loaded and equipped for you the techie masses. A month is a long-time in the world of an abundant MP3 market-place. The most contested area in the digital media world. Creative may have sent the potato-head into production into recent years; but is it a ploy for something else to emerge that will at least compete with the iPod. - Creative certainly has the backing of many major businesses within the technologies available. So I might as well stick my head out of the window and broadcast a stance that 2010 could be very much a 'Creative' year; and it started in the last three months of 2009. - Instead of keeping the ever so squared edged portable media player that still emulates the creative product recognition identity. Creative have been listening to critics who like me would like a more navigation friendly interface with better aesthetic product awareness.
A Creative Finger Job
The X-FI could of really been overlooked from a consumer point of view, now the X-FI2 has made an entrance that has embarked on Creatives first ever touch-screen portable media player, so Creative has done away with their dreadful button display at last; which will inevitably improve ratings. They've kept the home menu button and have incorporated touch-screen interactivity for every other part of the user navigation. It will take time for me to swing through the trees, as I perfect my swift finger motion, skimping through the screen set-up. - I've cajoled with many portable media players, but this one is honestly different.
Nothing like what I have related to how a Creative product is, it doesn't really feel like one either. Simplicity, it is, beautiful, it is, graphics are ok, and the interface is sublime as you flick through the available applications, reminds me of a small portable version of Windows Vista. I am still waiting for the screen crashes which I'm sure there will be many. These have become apparent with Vista so don't expect any different from having it on your portable media player, especially the new X-FI2.
Compared to the year old predecessor the X-FI it is a sexier re-brand as the back declines into a curvy smooth finish, which catches the light and winks at me. - There is hope for Creative. Perhaps it is because it's new and my extra sensory techno glands are asleep and all I view is the glassy delicious complexion that looks like my beloved iPhone; will I know the difference in the dark.
Cleverly thought-out design that notably looks like an iPod crossed with an iPhone laced with the Vista interface. It is apparent that Creative has gone via the route that three rights don't make a wrong. They already have the techno team to come-up with the up to date technology all they required in my opinion was a major brain-storm to what works visually in the market-place. Creative may have come up with obvious answers to questions that have been lodged around the labs for three years or so, but at least they've succumbed to the masses who love finger licking technology in it being touch-screen.
The X-FI was always in-place for a bigger stage performance; the X-FI I can see was the supporting band last year; now we can see what 2010 will hold as the wonderment of apps and notable design beauty that is in abundance with the X-FI2. They've answered their critics.
Before wafting through the Creative UK online store and giving away by other pre-historic portable media players with buttons, I did try and gain access to some X-FI2 information via gadgetry web-blogs that I've grown accustom to; and I found unlike the Nokia N95 poor app glitches that Creative had done all their home-work before off-loading to the public at the beginning of September; maybe they'll all to come, and I'm yet to find them out, but usually I'm up with the portable media market news; as a critic of Creative I am notoriously tough with them, so if any praise is due, it is worth reading.
- The forums so far have had about 18 posts, so I'm one of the first people to make an online impression. Two weeks is a long time in this fast moving digital age.
The X-FI2 does have a decent 3 inch LCD monitor that is a fair size larger than the X-FI version. Creative really have seen this epic PMP as a revolutionary tide towards visual film interactivity in 'widescreen' compared to earlier models; before the technology was available in sound and within the interface scripts but never as a full package.
The X-FI2 is the full package, you can see the evolution process now through Creatives thinking; even though it was a blur for me for so long, hence my critical earlier reviews stance.
- The liquid crystal display monitor's colours are boundless 262,000 in all and the iconic graphics are good but not overly inventive too be honest I can see why they're more clear than the dull blurred edges of previous offerings though. The only feeling that swamps my thoughts is why have not Creative provided me with a screen wipe, just like the ones you get thrown in when purchasing glasses. The reason being is for me to keep the monitor clean as a whistle as I'm a little bit prone to wanting to constantly clean anything glistening and new.
- Monitor facility is the strongest notable point; and this PMP has all the hallmarks for being the ultimate affordable movie media and TV player in Creatives 2010 catalogue. All is required is a cable to your TV and movie bonanza is available to this device.
- The only downside is that the 8GB is on the low-side for extreme media usage especially downloads from TV Planners. The 16GB and 32GB are in the pipeline so check-out the Creative UK website for updates.
For those of you who've got the X-FI already this last year the trade price has dropped a little if you looking to update to the touch-screen X-FI2. The great matter is the high fidelity sound facility is exactly the same as the X-FI. - Sadly no Blue-Tooth availability is logged so picking eternal information along the Blue-Tooth net-waves via transferring media files via one device to another won't be happening.
Understandable in this age of where music copyright becomes murky to whom is able to view videos and listen to music on protected digital data. - More deals are required by Creative to embed this right directly.
- However, it doesn't mean it isn't possible through apps online, so worth a bit of research.
General headings on the interface available
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* FM Radio
* Organizer with in-built calendar
* Speaker internal microphone
The Creative Zen X-FI2 just like the previous X-FI, carries mandatory tunes so they're available with the PMP purchase. The digital data formats administer to MP3, WMA, Audible, locked or otherwise, AAC, and FLAC; for video Windows Media Video 9 caters for the excellent quality (WMV9, Mobile Media formats can also be read via MPEG4 , and the raw media via the internet, DivX4/5 is broad-cast and compatible also.
Sliding through to the Photo options in the gallery, the mandatory web-ready images in JPEG and BMP formats, that is (Bit MaP); one of the eldest image conversion formats, that is pre- internet. Again, these libraries are great for image storage as a device for viewing media and as a portable device via workstations. - The fact the PMP can be yet another digital camera storage facility is a plus; I'm still am unsure whether the device can ultimately swap workstation compatibility from other computer systems such as Linus or is Mac suitable.
Refreshingly enough there is an audio-book reader available that will enable eBooks to be read on the go, which will be out in 2010 available on the X-FI2. This could be another review in the waiting as Amazon has already started in producing these electronic books on portable devices, While checking out the new navigation interface a thought did enter my mind; the touch-screen technology reminded me of turning pages of a book, you even have to drag your finger slightly to make the interface change to related options.
-The reassuring fact is, it is impossible to be confused within the initial maze of options. You can always opt back to the menu at anytime which is adjacent to the widescreen three inch monitor.
Sadly the downside looks at present no wireless features are present hence why no Bluetooth has sent exciting shivers down my spine. I must keep reminding myself that this delicious piece of equipment is still only a portable media player. - Though, I know for a fact that soon an even broader meatier WiFi experience is coming to our shores in the shape of a PMP; sometime nearer to the festive season from Creative; fun days ahead.
Overall statistics for the Zen X-FI2 Portable Media Player
Sound and Graphics - 18.95 out of 20.00
Storage - 17.79 out of 20.00
Features - 17.22 out of 20.00
Design and Navigation - 19.22 out of 20.00
Originality - 16.44 out of 20.00
OVERALL SCORE - 89.62 out of 100
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I hope all the information provided has helped.
© 1st2thebar - 10 - 2009