Creative Zen X-Fi Style review - No Nano but still good

Creative-ZEN-X-Fi-Style-Portable-Media-Player-Black.jpgIn 2005 I bought a Creative Zen Touch, which has a small touch panel that allows you to scroll up and down. It’s not actually touchscreen… in fact it doesn’t even have a colour screen never mind a touchscreen.

But it was completely made of metal, it still works 5 years down the line, battery life is fantastic and the sound quality is still great. Back then it was a serious contender to the mp3 player throne with some saying Creative mp3 players were far superior to Apple’s range.

Since then Creative has stumbled and fallen way behind Apple in the pecking order. In fact, Creative’s range is so dated and poor compared to Apple’s that it doesn’t even bear comparison.

I’m looking forward to seeing, and probably purchasing, the Creative Zii Egg when it finally gets released but until then Creative are struggling.

Today I find their newest addition, the Zen X-Fi Style. This would compete with the iPod Nano range and I’m pleased to say it comes very close.

The Creative Zen X-Fi Style has a 2.4-inch screen, a TV out option and FLAC file support for playing back tracks with perfect sound.

It also claims a battery life of 25 hours of audio and five of video, an FM radio, and 8, 16 or 32GB of of flash memory to store all your media on.

The X-Fi comes in at £69.99, £99.99 and £139.99 for 8GB, 16GB and 32GB models respectively

Unlike my old Creative, this is made of plastic but it’s very solid while still feeling extremely light.

It also supports RSS feeds but quite frankly the fact that you have to download them onto the player without wifi or 3g means it’s a feature there more for novelty than actual use.

The setup is very very simple and the video and audio quality is quite good. The screen is clear and the viewing angle isn’t bad.

I’m not sure it’s worth investing in one of these over a Nano, especially as the Nano has a camera, but it’s cheaper and has better audio quality.

So those of you that don’t want to succumb to the Apple monopoly, this is deifinitely worth a look.

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:? I don't know... I would still go for an ipod - king is a king, who needs a thing if that is only almost as good. And the the question is price - then there are many other similar gadgets inthe market for much lower price.
I have a Zen Vision M, which I've probably had for over 5 years and also new ipod Nano. I absolutely love the Zen and use it every single day. The only reason I bought the Nano was so that I could use the Nike+ application when I go running and that's the only time I ever use it. I find Apple's monopoly on mp3 players really disappointing because I don't think they're that good and don't have all the features (other than a camera, but really who needs that on an mp3 player) of other players. Also having to use iTunes is a pain, as is syncing. I think the Zen Vision M is far superior to any ipod and am just waiting for a new Zen to replace it with.. although there is really no reason to do so because it's still working perfectly after 5 years!! I want to stay loyal to Creative, I just hope that they don't go out of business before my Zen dies!
I see so many people blasting this product because they claim their iPod or iPod touch blows it out of the water - enough already! I've always thought the iPod nanos were and continue to be overpriced for what they offer - namely marginal audio quality. Pricing is the key here - particularly if you simply just want a decent media player. Although I have not laid hands on one of these it seems to be a promising device. For those of us who just can't bring ourselves to drop the big bucks on an iPod touch with concern like breaking or losing such a device or because we want more storage capacity for the money (vice an iPod nano) this device could be an answer. It is currently at the top of my personal list for a truly affordable media player that promises good quality audio output - with that in mind the 16GB version of this product is a 8GB iPod Nano killer in my book - it's about time.
I have had the credit card size Creative Zen with the SDHC slot for several years and love it. The only failures in my opinion were inability to play videos larger than 320x20 and the inability to integrate the files on the SDHC card into the library. This new player fixes one of the shortfalls in that it is supposed to play video up to 640x480 without conversion. This is a tremendous BONUS. It is a big plus for anyone who wants a player that will handle much of the video on the Internet ... TV, movies etc. One major disappointment in this new player is the lack of the SDHC slot or at the very least a MicroSDHC which is a step backward in my opininon as this feature is a big plus over anything that Apple makes. I still look forward to having one of these new players to watch videos while on the bus during my commute and hope that Creative adds a SDHC or MicroSDHC slot to their players in the future.
smartphones make life so much easier... crazy to think of the times before we had them LOL
I want to know if i can turn the volume up and down, and change the songs with the keypad like in the first creative zen. Thanks
I have written a couple of travel themed top ten posts too, mainly about cairns and australia, I'd give my link here but then it would look like spam.