Creative Zen X-Fi2 (32GB) review

This multimedia player may represent good value, but while Apple's around, its performance is just mediocre Tested at £0

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The X-Fi2 2 represents decent value, but nothing more. There’s definitely room for improvement, even at this price


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    large colourful menu system

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    long battery life


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    Sluggish touchscreen

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    music lacks clarity and detail

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    cramped screen when watching video

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With Apple around, it can be difficult for other brands to get noticed, but compared to its rivals, the Creative's apparent value seems obvious.

That said, while the X-Fi2 is relatively cheap, it feels it too: its 3in touchscreen is somewhat small, and very frustrating to operate.

Your finger has to work overtime to scroll through menus, and it takes a very firm prod to select the icon you're after.

On the plus side, the 32GB of storage is expandable via a microSD card, and the Zen will support MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV and FLAC music, plus WMV9, MPEG-4, DivX and JPEG video files.

Other features include an integrated FM radio with 32 presets plus a built-in voice recorder.

Struggles with audio and video
However, while the supplied headphones deliver decent weight and force, the cloudy presentation subdues any sonic sparkle, even after upgrading to a better set of in-ears.

The X-Fi2 struggles with video too, due to the cramped confines of the small screen. Colours appear reasonably judged, but overall the image suffers from a lack of clarity.

Yes, Creative should be afforded a little leeway given its price, but its performance and operational flaws still add up to a mediocre player.

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What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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