The SanDisk Sansa Fuze is designed to rival the Apple iPod nano.

The Sansa Fuze from SanDisk is the memory manufacturer's latest release of MP3 player. Measuring 50x7x78mm, the Fuze is clearly designed to rival the iPod nano and fills the gap between SanDisk's Sansa Clip and Sansa View players. It enjoys MP3 and WMA audio playback as well as video playback capabilities and an FM tuner.

Currently available only in black, the SanDisk Sansa Fuze features a sleek reflective facia complete with a mechanical click wheel that rotates rather than relying on touch sensitivity such as the iPod nano wheel. We were impressed with the durable rubber back of the Fuze.

Powered by an internal rechargeable battery, which SanDisk claims offers 24 hours of audio or five hours of video playback, the SanDisk Sansa Fuze is available in 2, 4 or 8GB versions and comes bundled with a proprietary USB charging cable, earbuds and music-management software.

Once we'd plugged in the SanDisk Sansa Fuze to our PC it was fully charged within two hours.

After opening Windows Explorer, you can drag-and-drop files on to the SanDisk Sansa Fuze. Songs are organised by artist, album, song titles, genre and order of ratings you've given the songs. It's also possible to sync the device with Windows Media Player, and therefore transfer any playlists you have previously created.

We love the SanDisk Sansa Fuze's bright blue interface (which can be changed for other colours) with its colourful icons, and the ability to display time remaining, graphic equaliser-style animation or album artwork when a track is playing.

The SanDisk Sansa Fuze also offers a GoList function, similar to the iPod nano's On the Go playlist. By pressing the centre button you can add the song currently playing to the GoList.

One added bonus, which certainly impressed us, is the ability to delete song from any playlist (and even the SanDisk Sansa Fuze itself) without having to sync the device with Windows Media Player – one function the iPod nano lacks.

The SanDisk Sansa Fuze also benefits from an FM Radio with 40 presets, which we found was capable to picking up both national and local radio station, with a clear reception. Other functions include the ability to watch videos at a maximum resolution of 220x176, although we had to convert files to SanDisk's own format using the bundled software. You can also view Jpeg images on the SanDisk Sansa Fuze, and it has a voice recorder.

SanDisk Sansa Fuze: Specs

  • MP3 and video player compatible with MP3 and WMA formats
  • available with 2, 4 or 8GB internal memory
  • 1.9in TFT display
  • FM tuner
  • micro SD card slot
  • MP3 and video player compatible with MP3 and WMA formats
  • available with 2, 4 or 8GB internal memory
  • 1.9in TFT display
  • FM tuner
  • micro SD card slot

OUR VERDICT

The SanDisk Sansa Fuze is a solid alternative to the iPod nano, with even more functionality.

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