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Old 11-28-2012, 01:03 AM
Roboturner913 Roboturner913 is offline
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Default Fuze+ Rockbox review - by request

Long story, but I ended up buying a Sansa Fuze+ despite many bad reviews regarding its control scheme. There are precious few media players with a relatively large high-resolution display, expandable memory and ability to install Rockbox. In fact, as far as I can tell the Fuze+ is the only currently produced player to meet these criteria without costing more than $100.

Reviews for the Fuze+ have been almost universally negative, and for good reason: the original firmware is just a hot mess. Unresponsive, convoluted, and just plain stupid. But then again, I never had any intention of using the original firmware.

HOWEVER, with Rockbox it is a much different player and a great value. I was happy to get the 8 GB version for $50 on an early Black Friday sale, but I see the 4 GB versions going for around $30 on ebay and such.

Pros:
-Big, bright, high-resolution screen. A major improvement over the original Fuze which was a great player but had an awful display.
-MicroSD slot, self-explanatory
-With Rockbox navigation and control is very easy. Just tap the proper sector of the touchpad and it will work exactly as you would think. It's not 100% perfect all the time, but neither was the original Fuze's scrollwheel.
-The ability to Rockbox is a "feature" in itself as far as I'm concerned, both for sound options, gapless playback, customization and the ability to play just about any file type that exists.
-Sound quality. Much hubbub was made about the sound quality of the original Fuze and the various Clips. That has not changed. It's a great sounding player without any need for processing gimmicks like the Philips, Sony, etc. players out there. Rockbox makes it that much better.
-Build quality. This thing is solid.

Cons:
- The control is still a touchpad. As such, it is difficult to operate in the dark. A little backlighting would have been nice.
- MicroUSB connector, do not like. It's too flimsy. Why is this becoming the standard? MiniUSB is so much sturdier and easy to insert and disconnect. Or a 30-pin. Something, anything besides a micro USB. Seriously.
- Rockbox is almost a little too responsive sometimes. Would be nice if there was an adjustable sensitivity control. Nothing major.
- Battery life is not great. I charged to 100% earlier today, listened to two albums at work. Battery is now 68%. Huh?

Summing up, if you liked the original Fuze and Rockbox, the Fuze+ will serve you well. With Rockbox and a 64 GB card, it is an iPod killer for 1/3 the price.
However, if you don't want to use Rockbox, stay away from the Fuze+. It is practically worthless with the manufacturer firmware.
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