SanDisk Sansa Fuze MP3 and more 

After my last review of a SanDisk unit this came – initially – as a disappointment, in fact more than a disappointment. I was sent a replacement unit and that had the same problem, so once solved I have put it through a thorough and rigorous set of tests to see that it did not occur again.

sandisk sansa fuze 2g black mp3 player
click image to enlarge

This is a MP3, Video, Photo, FM Radio and Voice Recorder. It measures 4.5x75x.5cm and weights just 30 grams. It comes with 2GB of internal memory but it can also accept a micro SD card.

The left side is where the Micro SD card can be inserted and beside this is where the pinhole microphone is. The right side has slider for on/off, however if you are the energetic type slide it the other way to engage the hold control. The base has the proprietary USB connection and a 3.5mm earbud socket. The back and top have nothing so that leaves the face.

This is dominated by a 4x3cm TFT screen, below this is the ubiquitous five position joystick with an outer wheel that changes applications. In the north east position is the home button.

As with the previous Sansa product I reviewed the MP3 player is excellent and I have used it frequently when testing various portable speakers that have recently come my way. The sound output through earbuds or speakers is excellent. If this were just an MP3 player is would be excellent.

The FM Radio is okay but of course with the earbuds as the aerial the quality depends on how well the cable is extended and of course the reception of that station in your area. The display is again excellent here using either the left or right button on the five position control to move up or down the waveband. You of course need to know the frequency of the station you require but this is shown clearly on the display, for example 105.40 in large black numerals on a light blue background. This stays on for ten seconds with the lower part of the display showing the waveband from 87.5 to 108 and an indication of where you are on the display. Most unusually for one of these units it is possible to have presets.

Next let's look at the Photo option, as few people carry photos in their wallets. A screen show can easily be displayed on the TFT. It is also possible to still have the radio or MP3 function working while you display your photos. The inner wheel allows you to select a special photo from twelve that can be displayed as thumbnails.

Videos are much the same (but of course without the radio or MP3 by default) the same drop down choices. Perhaps best of all when you return at a later time to a video the option is to restart or continue when where you left off.

Voice recordings are just a click on the home button and a turn of the wheel away. The three options are record, replay or delete a recording. When you make a recording you are told on the screen the amount of time you have available and as soon as you stop recording you are given the ability to replay it. There are lots of options available but here you do not seem to have any the recordings are done at 384kbps in WAV format thus using something like 3MB a minute.

Settings let you change things like the background, wallpaper, power options, language and of course date and time. There are also options within the separate modules, items such as display times for each image in the screen show, video brightness and speed of reading for audio books. The one missing thing as far as my extensive tests show is the option to vary the recording rate for voice .WAV recordings.

There is a reasonable Quick Start Guide with the first 12 pages in English. When you connect to a PC you get two icons in My Computer the first for internal memory and the second for any micro SD card you may have inserted.

Without my initial problems I would probably have considered this for a highly commended but with that nagging at the back of my mind I have not. Doing my Internet searches found the Sansa Fuze at a best price of £42.46 including shipping from the first link below: 

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Comment by woodface7, 25 Nov 2008 6:12

"...when you return at a later time to a video the option is to restart or continue when where you left off"

Does this also apply with MP3?  And can you FF and REW at real speed through a track? This is essential for talking books / radio recordings.

Does it handle other audio formats - WMA, WAV, AAC etc?

And is there a limit to the capacity of Micro SD card you can insert?

PS What does "Do not include and HTML. You may inlude URLs (http://...)" mean below the Add Comment box?

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