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danielclark691

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Quote-start

A Creative MP3 player.

Quote-end
24.02.2012

Advantages:
Well laid out, designed to last, simple operation, well priced .

Disadvantages:
Some features are not necessary, lack of mains adaptor .

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Sound Quality

Ease of Use

Look & Design

Range of Features

Value for Money

Video QualityQuite Helpful / Understandable

DurabilityExcellent

37 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (18%):
  1. AnneLorraine1
  2. MrBrightside1987
  3. xxfoxyredxx
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very helpful by (82%):
  1. cha97michelle
  2. K2705
  3. catsholiday
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First impressions

At Christmas I like to treat myself aswell as my family and close friends. I don't count them as Christmas gifts as such, but I buy myself items I want, making sure I don't write them on my list to Santa of course! I were on the lookout for a new MP3 player for my summer holiday as there are always bargains around at Christmas, so I gave one of my old players to my dad - I suppose you could say to 'justify' the purchase. Anyway, onto the player I bought. This is the Creative Zen Microphoto 8GB. Priced at around the £80 mark I managed to pick mine up for £55 online, so I thought it was reasonably good value.

Finished in a stunning red colour and reasonably compact (1.7cm x 5.1cm x 8.3cm) it easily fits into my pocket or bag whilst on the go. To the front of the player is a fair sized screen, though in all honesty the proportions are quite stingy. However, I find viewing the screen simple and I don't have problems reading the menu's, though if you didn't have such clever eyesight you may well find this a drawback of the Microphoto 8GB. The buttons for controlling the menu's, scrolling, and the typical play/pause and forward/backward buttons are all present and pose me no problems as they are generously sized in comparison to similar units I have come across in the past.

Overall I find the design of the Microphoto 8GB is one of a modern and attractive look, incorporating the large buttons very well for ease of use and a clean finish to the lines. You really wouldn't think this model had been around since the 'mid-noughties'. It is also worth noting that whilst this isn't priced as a 'cheap and cheerful' player, it easily looks better than apparently more superior models in its class. Creative are not a completely new company on my radar, but I wouldn't be able to say I have a vast experience of their wares.

Useability and features

One of the main reasons for buying this MP3 player (and to justify its purchase!) was the fact that it is really a four-in-one device. I can store images on it (perhaps hence the name of this model) and use it as a voice recorder. It also has an FM Radio and organiser, the latter isn't something I ever use on any device - my life simply isn't busy enough! Once you begin using the Zen Microphoto you will realise you don't need to justify the purchase or the price tag. Saying that, you can now buy this player for under £35 online right now. With technology moving so fast the prices of 'old' tech is ever falling.

If you are a novice to electrical items such as an MP3 player then the Microphoto 8GB may be the one for you. I find music is effortless to upload to the player, though I do have past experience of carrying out such a task in the past. The instructions are sufficient however, so even beginners will find the process a lot simpler than they may have anticipated. The software is easy to install and the instructions will guide you through the uploading process of digital media and also the day-to-day operation of the device. Creative really could show some of the larger technology companies a thing or two when it comes to user-friendly text. In short, I found the user manual didn't contain much of the jargon that other manufacturers use superfluously.

Listening to music once uploaded to the MP3 player is a real joy. Operation is easy to control and as there are just 6 buttons on the front of the device there is little to go wrong. The first button is Play/Pause, then there is a button for Skip/Forward and also Skip/Backward. The fourth button is the Menu button, then we have the Scroll Bar and finally the Return button. To the top of the player is the On/Off button, this also allows you to 'lock' the player, an important feature for those wishing to use the player on the go.

I find the menu easy to navigate, and control of the music library, photo's and radio, for example, is really simple. There are a few handy features including the ability to be able to sort songs by genre and how popular they are to you. The photo album feature is a bit of a mystery, as there is no camera. I think the idea behind this is to allow you to upload images to the player so you can keep a personal picture album with you on your travels, which is a neat idea, though some may find it pointless/useless.

Storage capacity

The Creative Zen Microphoto 8GB obviously has a capacity of 8 Gigabytes. You may be wondering how many tracks this can store, though this cannot be answered simply. As different tracks are of various lengths there is no exact answer, though rough ideas can be given. Assuming a 5MB file size we are looking at around 1,600 tracks. It also depends on whether you wish to use the memory capacity for image files. I have stored just over 400 tracks on my Microphoto 8GB, taking up just under a third of the total capacity. From my experience I cannot imagine needing more capacity than 8GB, though if you use your MP3 player on a daily basis you might want more capacity so as not to limit your options.

Charging capabilities

Battery life is a function I also have no problem with. I have never considered it to be poor, though it needs charging a couple of times a week with heavier use. The package includes a simple USB charger. If you don't own a great deal of technology within your home you may not have a socket USB adaptor, though these can be purchased online for a few pounds. I have a few of them in my house, so I didn't mind the lack of power socket charger, it is done to save on production costs.

Sound quality

The main reason anyone would look to purchase an MP3 player is for its ability to play music. The sound quality is often very much down to the earphones used, but the player itself plays a very important role in the sound quality, too. This MP3 player gives a high quality sound, meaning that the player will make the most of even the high-end earphones on the market. I haven't had any complaints as far as sound quality is concerned, and I am most impressed with just how clear the sound is. Saying all this, I don't use the supplied set of earphones. I found they were far too cheap feeling and looking, and they don't do the 'Microphoto' any favours at all. In addition to this they don't sit in my ears comfortably, and are basically just very poor quality. Using far superior earphones I have had more success at extracting the superb sound quality the Microphoto emits.

Final thoughts

I am struggling to find any chinks in the Microphoto's armour. Although I praised the design and simplicity of the Creative Zen Microphoto 8GB, I still don't personally see it as a beautiful piece of kit. There is simply nothing outstanding about the appearance, even though it does stand up well to its more expensive piers. There are a few additional features that you may not expect (or even use, for that matter), though these are not useful to me as I like my MP3 player to do what I bought it for - listening to my music!
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Comments about this review »

AnneLorraine1 25.02.2012 23:37

Exceptional

MrBrightside1987 24.02.2012 19:19

Superb write up :)

xxfoxyredxx 24.02.2012 18:11

Great review x

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

Be captivated, be spellbound. Creative ZEN MicroPhoto features a revolutionary, vivid OLED color display. Dubbed ZE...

System requirements

OS Required Microsoft Windows XP Embedded SP1 or later
Peripheral / Interface Devices USB port
System Requirements Details Windows XP SP1 or later - Pentium II - 350 MHz - RAM 64 MB - HD 170 MB

Battery

Battery Enclosure Type Internal
Battery Player - rechargeable - Lithium Ion
Included Qty 1

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Review Ratings »

This review of Creative Zen Micro photo 8GB has been rated:

"very helpful" by (82%):

  1. cha97michelle
  2. K2705
  3. catsholiday

and 28 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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