"Stylish and sleek, but the quality is questionable."3.5 starson by Beccix
Pros: Stylish exterior, good quality music, removable battery, flexible interface, user-friendly.
Cons: Battery life is short, voice recorder is of a bad quality, screen is hard to view in daylight, hardware failures.
Summary: I have owned this player for about 5 months and overall, I'm satisfied with the performance of the Micro Photo 8GB player.
It's beautiful and stylish (loving the blue light) and has a touchpad that can be toggled in sensitivity. The controls themselves may take a short time to get used to, but it is quite easy to navigate around once you get the hang of it. Most commands can be controlled with one hand; the Zen Micro Photo is convenient to use and pleasant to look at. The size itself is great for the amount of music it stores and it feels solid, smooth and clean.
The system itself is flexible and many options can be changed. The audio settings can be adjusted to suit your needs (may use out your battery more though, if you crank all the settings up). It also provides useful information about the player itself and the player settings (you can play around with themes, contrasts, display timers and menu configurations etc). Photo, clock and language settings are also adjustable.
I love the fact that the battery is removable - one of the things that Ipods fail in. Its less hassle to simply remove and replace the battery when needed; it's also easy to reboot the player in this fashion.
Importing media into this player is generally user-friendly and efficient (although can be tiresome if you plan to import over 500+ songs each time ... unless you have a music synchronizing program). You can also import image files that can be set as your background.
I've found the quality of the Zen Micro Photo music to be good, overall. Extra bass can be added to improve the bassline. The earphones that come with the mp3 have not failed me thus far (but the foam parts will eventually fall off after a short while). I've had no problems with the earphone jack so far, either.
However, about 3 months into the purchase of my player, I experienced a hardware failure. Checking up the website, I subsequently learned that the Zen has a good reboot/clean up/reset mode within it but -isn't- effective if you have a hardware failure. A few of my other friends who own Zen Micro Photos have experienced this same problem, too. Luckily my warranty had not run out and I brought it to be fixed. I expected it to take about 2 weeks to repair and/or replace, but within a week they managed to ship it back, all new.
Another thing I have to moan about is the battery life. Boasting a long battery life on the package, I got a lot less than I bargained for. This is because the player, whilst turned off, is still 'on' until it steps into the 'cold shut down' mode [where it does not use battery power, but takes longer to start up from a 'cold' shut down]. From the stanby mode to cold shut down, it takes about 24 hours -- that's a lot of battery life. However, the newer Zen Micro Photo players have the latest drivers and now it takes only 4 hours to get from standby to cold shutdown. Also, I would take the earphones out of the jack when not listening as this also was a contributing effect to the draining battery life.
The voice recording is, sadly, terrible. Yes, this is probably the least used feature but it can also be useful. It's also hard to record and have the earphones connected to the player at the same time as it can cause a lot of static.
The screen is hard to view in daylight. Though this really isn't a big deal at all, its just a minor setback in a waterfall of positive features the Zen Micro Photo provides to the user. I recomemnd this player, but I'd also treat it like a god because it can break quite easily.