The first thing you must think when glancing over the specifications for this MP3 player is, 'surely it can't be that good, for a price that low'. It's not a top-end player, it wasn't made to be; but it's great value.
Having been a user of the Sandisk Sansa E280 MP3 Player, I knew Sandisk were a reliable make to go with, with no problems of note in the two years of its use. I upgraded to the View simply for the storage capabilities.
With a hefty 16GB internal flash memory, and Micro SD support available for easy expansion, storage is never a problem. Moving your songs from PC to player is simple, with drag and drop the easiet method.
Playback is also simple, whilst navigation is tidy and easy to find your way around. One criticism in terms of playback is the lack of playlists; whilst there is a 'Go List' to which you can add songs, there is no easy way of making separate playlists for separate occasions. Also, scrolling through artists can be time-consuming with a large library, as speed-scrolling isn't supported; for example, you can't scroll quickly through the different letters of artists.
There are loads of features bundled into the player however; the FM Radio is a bonus, although signal's not always great, and interference is apparent if you're not in quite an open area. The View also supports video playback, which, whilst not being top of the market viewing, is useful for those just wanting to share some clips with friends or family. Picture gallery support is also provided. The voice recorder, I have found, is of quite good quality, perfectly suitable for simple recordings of average length.
In terms of battery life, 35 hours is very optimistic. Perhaps on and not playing anything with no Micro SD card. With general music playback you'll get a good amount of time, in my experience, a charge is required after about 20 hours of listening, but it's difficult to time to be honest! Note that Micro-SD card usage will drain some power, as well as video playback and radio playback. Power-saver options are built in, with brightness and auto-shut-off features customisable.
Sound quality is fine in my opinion; it's not high-end, but for this price you can't expect it to be amazing. The headphones supplied are poor, I'd recommend purchasing some decent ones elsewhere, Sennheisers for example.
Overall, if you want to listen to music and you've got quite a lot of it, but don't want to splash out double the price for an apple logo, I'd go with this player. In my opinion it does everything you could want it to, but it's up to you how much you value the little glamorous extras that Apple does, admittedly, put into its products. It may lack that final finish, but just look at the price.
I bought myself a SanDisk Sansa View (16GB version) because I found my previous MP3 / Video player a bit too bulky and heavy (Creative Zen Vision M 60GB) to carry around. I figured I was hardly using any of the storage anyway so thought a 16GB alternative would suffice. I didn't want to be tied into iTunes to transfer music to the device so an Apple iPod was out of the question. This one cost me £103 from Amazon.
The Sansa View comes in 8GB, 16GB and 32GBcapacities. All have a MicroSD memory card slot so you could add some more memory should the need arise. Not sure if it supports cards of more than 8GB though. It has a good amount of storage without the memory upgrade, which can be used for music, videos and any other file with maybe a size restriction of up to 4GB due to the file system (the format the drive is structured to save files on the hard drive).
The device looks pretty attractive with its glossy front and rubbery back but the front does pick up fingerprints. The build feels solid enough. The size is similar to a chocolate bar shaped mobile phone but the Sanza View may just be a third slimmer. Not too dissimilar in weight either weighing in at 83 grams. It has two buttons and a wheel, which was probably influenced by the iPod's 'Click Wheel'. The wheel is nowhere near as sleek looking as the iPod's version and unlike the iPod's one, the Sansa View's one actually moves round and so doesn't have the Play / Pause, Next, Previous, etc buttons labelled, although they are there despite the lack of labelling. Unfortunately, this wheel looks a bit cheap and does seem to scratch and mark easily due to the rubbery material.
On a brighter note, when turned on and when navigating, the blue light around the ring looks nice. It also displays a Play/Pause, Menu and Home icons, which are not visible when not lit. When playing videos, which automatically plays in landscape mode, these lit up icons move to different positions and correct orientation, which I think is quite nice although it meant that they did have to exclude Next and Previous buttons to make room for this. Not labelling everything doesn't hinder the usage of the player though as it is very easy to navigate.
Sound quality varies according to what headphones or speakers you use but with a good pair of headphones, I think the sound quality is excellent. Saying that, I'm no audiophile so I wouldn't be able to comment further other than the audio is loud and clear.
With the video, the 2.4 inch (320 x 240 color TFT) screen is just big enough but the quality doesn't look particularly sharp. However, subtitles near the bottom of videos are readable for some of my videos that have them so it's acceptable quality. Video must be converted using software beforehand before they can be played. I've tried copying video files (AVI / MPG / MP4) straight to the device only for it to complain that they are in unsupported formats. The SanDisk Video Converter software is poor and doesn't work most of the time with the player still complaining about the format but I managed to find a free one online called 'Free Video to iPod Convert' by DVD Video Soft, which works a treat for AVI, MPG and MP4.
Battery life is excellent. I tried to drain the battery playing MP3s by leaving it running but it kept going and going. They quote 35 hours but it's probably something between 10 - 20 hours for music if you navigate around regularly. Video battery life is substantially shorter.
It also has built-in FM radio, which works great, and a voice recorder function. It seems quite easy to build a playlist by using the player itself rather than having to rely on software on a PC. It does, however, use a non-standard USB cable, which is included but if you want to use it to transfer documents, you would need to carry this special SanDisk cable around with you.
It also supports Chinese and Japanese characters if you happen to have MP3s with file names using East Asian characters. Lastly, it has other bits like the Hold switch and the ability for you to rate the music so that you can search for what you like most. can't seem to organise music by folders though.
- Nice design
- Good quality sound
- Big enough screen
- MicroSD card upgradability
- Drag 'n' Drop transfer of content
- Easy navigation
- Built-in Radio and Voice Recorder
- Cheap 'Click Wheel' replica
- SanDisk software is poor and you need to find an alternative
- Video quality isn't great
- Non-standard USB cable
It's a good solid player with good battery life and even has some nice extra functions. Video playback is not perfect but acceptable. Music playback is terrific and it's easy to use as well so recommended!
Thanks for reading!
When looking at the Sandisk Sansa View 16GB, it is clear that its sleek and slim design redefines the aesthetic appearance of the player. When inactive, the player only has one colour visible which is its piano black finish. Upon actually turning on the player, the player's blue led comes on, which then mesmerises you, without making the player look like a Christmas tree.
The player has a wide range of functions and features, which makes the player quite a good choice, if you want a few extras to use from time to time. Such as a built in radio which also the capabilities that allows you to record live radio. In addition to the existing memory capacity, a build in memory card slot, specifically a Micro-SD Slot can be used to increase the memory storage, if the space is insufficient.
In addition to the normal files, the player supports audible audio books. The display screen is quite large considering the size of the player, its quality is also quite good. However, when displaying certain photos, there might be a drop in quality.
When using the supplied headphones, the sound produces a reasonably well balanced sound and bass. Upon using an additional pair of headphones, there was a slightly noticeable improvement in the clarity of the sound. Its battery stamina is quite good, on average providing up to 35 hours of continuous audio playback from a single charge.
The file transfer process, is quite and simple. It uses a drag and drop function via Windows Explorer, which makes it effortless to copy music and photos onto the player.