Pros - Absolutely unbeatable value for build quality, versatility and sound quality!
- Seamless integration of micro sd memory as if part of the built-in flash memory!
- Long battery life in music mode.
- Amazingly crisp video given the small screen size.
Cons - Operating system a little clunky when you've got a thousand or more mp3's to search.
- Video conversion software doesn't give size and quality of video options.
Note: "Cons" are only minor and not worth overlooking this great little player.
Summary I've owned somewhere around 10-plus mp3 players. Archos, (other) Sansa, Creative, Sony, Insignia and so on. For the money, which in my case was under $100 for the 8gb version, I have never owned a better mp3 player ever!
First and foremost, sound quality is of the utmost importance. There's nothing worse than a mediocre-sound-induced headache from a marginal quality mp3 player. That won't happen with the Sansa Fuse. The sound is crisp, clear and customizable with a built-in 5 band equalizer option.
Secondly, Sandisk has integrated expanded memory seamlessly with on-board flash memory. Add an inexpensive microsd card and you can't tell the difference between mp3's or movies on the internal memory or the microsd memory. This is a big deal. Other players I've haven't been able to shuffle in on the expansion card or can't bookmark your place in a movie from the expansion card. It may sound trivial but when the expansion memory acts like a completely seperate device it gets very tiresome very quickly and ultimately defeats the benefit of expandable memory. With the Sansa Fuse you can't detect which mp3's or videos are on the built-in memory or the expansion memory. Add a 16gb microsd memory card for about $50 and you get a total of 24gb of memory. That is ton of flash memory! 24gb gives you somewhere around 3,500 mp3's and 15 or so full length feature movies!
Also of note is the video quality. The screen is on the small side at just under 2 inches but it is crystal clear and the video is very watchable. I currently have 10 full length movies on mine and watching movies anywhere is really something I've become addicted to. To get movies onto the device you have to download the free Sansa Media Converter from the Sansa website. Drop most any video format into the conversion software and in minutes its on your player. The only negative here is that the converter does not give you options as to the size and quality of the video. I prefer smaller video files than the conversion software gives you but it's hard to complain when you see the quality of the video once on your Fuse device. The average 2 hour movie takes roughly 500mb of memory using the converter. (If you don't have a way to copy your dvd's to avi files or similar mobile device files, it's very easy to find software available to do that. I use "Pocket DVD" which is available online for about $30. There are also free programs available but I haven't tried any of the free programs.)
Lastly, the build quality and interface are top notch for such a relatively inexpensive device. I currently own 3 Fuse players, an 8gb for myself and 2 2gb players for my kids. They all three work flawlessly. I've added memory cards to all three players and have what would have otherwise cost me a small fortune if I'd have gone the ipod or zune route.
My only realm complaint is that the size of video files is on the large side for my taste, but that is balanced out by the quality of video you get from the Sansa Media converter. Again, the video looks great for such a small screen. Also, the operating system gets a little tedious when searching through a thousand-plus mp3's for a particular song or artist. Ipods and other players are definitely a little faster when it comes to searching through thousands of songs. And lastly, the headphones that come with it aren't bad but I prefer my Sony and JBL headphones to the ones that came with the device. None of the "cons" are really notable when compared to the many, many upsides to this great little device.
My advice, buy the Fuse! Buy several! They're that good.
"Excellent Player"on by sippinjoes
Pros compact, intuitive GUI, drag-drop, good sound, good quality, good picture, Micro SD
Cons video conversion required, earbuds uncomfortable
Summary For what the Sansa Fuze is, it is an excellent player. Easily syncs with Windows Media Player or just drag-n-drop you songs using Windows Explorer. Video does require conversion software, but it is easy to use and works with your videos you have (did have an issue with .avi files, have yet to troubleshoot).
The GUI (graphic user interface) is clean, simple, and intuitive. I generally look back to the manual when I can't figure something out, no need with the Fuze, the basics are intuitive and make for a short learning curve.
Sound is good, radio is clear, video good, pictures look good.
If others have to mention the Sansa specific 30pin connection to find something bad to say, you know it's good.
If you are looking for a compact portable device to listen to the radio, mp3's, keep some pics, play some vid and not be limited to proprietary software (i.e. itunes)...then this IS the player for you. It looks good and plays good.
Pros screen protection, radio, voice recorder, scroll wheel, build
Cons non-customizable interface
Summary My cousin just threw the black fuze over to me after getting an iPod and I honestly don't know why he would do that since this is more capable than an iPod.
I really like the build of it, how it has a nice shiny but not reflective face and a brushed metal back, it feels sturdy. I also loved the scroll wheel. I just like the sound of the wheel when it turns for some reason and there's a nice ring of light around it.
I don't mind the screen size for photo and videos, since for me 1.5 is the minimum for those so it was pretty good. Viewing angles were pretty good, too, and the quality was great.
Audio quality was good, too, although it's not the best, but it's pretty decent. Can't say iPods can do better.
I also liked how they put protection on the screen, it really didn't get any scratches, even when it was sort of a hand-me-down from my cousin. It wouldn't scratche no matter where I put it so that's a really good sign.
The radio and voice recorders are good extras, to me, at least. I like listening to random music once in a while and I really need voice recorders in my mp3s or else I'll die.
The half-a-star I didn't give it was for the non-customizable interface. I'm one of those people who like to play around with it and maybe change the background picture, but I guess it's ok. Maybe it was just the style I didn't like.
But overall, I really do recommend this. You get a lot for a great value and you're really paying for what you get.
Cons This device is not built to last. I've had 2 devices in 15 months. The first device failed about six months of regular use. The USB interface stopped working. I waited 2 months to send me a replacement. Replacement died after 6 months of light use.
Summary I've been buying MP3 players since the Diamond Rio 500 with 64MB of memory. I've purchased the Ipod Nano which is comparable to this player. My son accidentally left it in his pocket and it went through the washing machine. The Nano still worked when it dried!!
I've had two Sansa Fuze players in a little over a year. Both failed after 6 months of light use. I did everything to protect my player. I even bought a hard shell plastic case. This player is typical "MADE IN CHINA" junk. It's a sealed unit because they don't expect it to last more than the warranty. Spend the extra $50 and buy the IPOD.
By the way: My Diamond Rio 500 from 1998 still works.
Pros I use it for podcasts and audiobooks and find the resume function to be better then most players. The price and body design are also better then average.
Cons Ive had two of these and the headphones didn't last a month. Within two months the control disk broke on both. Connecting to my laptop was also a serious problem for one of them.
Summary If you are willing to buy a two year warranty and return to the store every few months for a new player, this is a good product at a great price.