Tl;dr (too long;didn’t read) For $50, you are being robbed. If you have standards for MP3 devices, then they took your kitchen sink too. Find a different MP3 player. This one works, and it’s durable, but you can probably get the same from a $20-25 non-branded...
Tl;dr (too long;didn’t read)
For $50, you are being robbed. If you have standards for MP3 devices, then they took your kitchen sink too. Find a different MP3 player. This one works, and it’s durable, but you can probably get the same from a $20-25 non-branded unit.
The waaaay in depth critical review:
(Just warning you, I get pretty specific)
First off I bought this because I wanted an MP3 that doesn’t need to be recharged 1-2 times every work day in the office as my knock off iPod Nano from Japan does. SanDisk is typically reliable and there were tons of good reviews vs bad ones, and the bad ones mainly complaining of faulty units. So from the specs, at almost x8 the battery longevity, high overall durability and potential to upgrade space... $50 sounded like a good deal... here is where dreams are shattered by reality.
This model doesn’t have an SD slot. Wasted money on sd card and I’m out of space after adding about 12 albums and a handful of personally remixed songs. Sure I’ll take some blame in not reading the “technical” fine print. Chances are I might have mixed up reading one of the answered questions about SD card expansion because people posted the answer for all models instead of specific ones. But even then I find it pretty odd that a company known for their memory cards wouldn’t include a port to use one in an MP3 they made. The irony? The SD card I was going to use with this was also made by SanDisk.
Battery is not prepped. Instructions tell you to fully charge and discharge 3 times before regular use. Also not a giant issue. I typically want to use devices at full charge anyways and it isn’t dreadfully important keep charged all the time... but this hints that limited quality control has been done for the device itself and possibly why some devices may come “dead on arrival” or “dies young”.
Shuffle function randomizes the song order again if you decide to skip or playback the last song or turn off and on the device and then letting it finish off the current song. (It does remember where you last left off in the current song) So if you play song A in shuffle mode, the play list is shuffled once after the song finishes and goes to song X... say you had 400 songs and you decide to go back to song A because you just gotta hear it “one more time.” You press the play back button twice, once to start the current song over, twice to let the player know you want to go back a song...*Gasp!* You didn’t get song A, you got a different song!
...and the order is re-shuffled again.
So (sarcastically) good news is you don’t have to wait for a whole 399 songs to get song A again in the same play... but in the same way you got a 1/400 chance of getting it again if you press skip, playback last song, or turn your device on again and letting the current song finish. At this point you are better off going back to menu, choosing the song you want and then use the repeat function until you are ready to move to the next song. Speaking of which...
Interface navigation is unintuitive and if anything, frustrating. Example navigation:
Menu> folder> music> artist folder >album> song name, if I press the back button at ‘song name’, it brings me back to ‘menu’, not ‘album.’ Only slightly helpful thing is it remembers the last folder you accessed in that directory, so you just have to press the center button multiple times to go back to the same folder you were in. This is especially frustrating unless you know exactly where a song you want is. Ripped from discs featuring several artists? Or how about those bonus “track ##” soundtracks that came with your limited edition games? Or a song from a CD of several that you bought in the last trip to a foreign country with a language you don’t read? Good luck finding the specific song you wanted on the first try.
***Update: after several months, turns out if you press the back button once from the “current song playing” screen, you can use the left and right keys to navigate in and out of folders easier. Wish I knew that earlier, but accidentally pressing the back button in the directory still brings you back to main menu. With smart devices nowadays, that back arrow is more synonymous with “previous page” than “main menu”... so small learning curve for tablet and device users. Even with this update I’d still say stars stay as is***
There is a noticeable delay in response if the screen light is off when you choose to play/pause, skip, playback. And oftentimes there will be a “sound chop” when you turn on the screen even if not using the above actions. (Think of it as if someone hit the pause/play button x2 really fast) This can be noticed when you want to say check on a song’s title or use the quick menu to add the song to a quick playlist or even change the volume (while the song is playing). It is a pretty minuscule gripe to many but if you played games and you experience a sound disruption/action latency of 0.16 of a second to even as much as 0.25 of a second, (each time you wake up the screen for the device) you’d probably be pretty annoyed, especially when you didn’t intend to stop listening to it.
The battery capacity is modest. Supposedly goes up to 18 hours on full charge. Which is supposed to be one of the reasons a person would use this as opposed to a smartphone device or a cheaper MP3 player. After about a couple months, I get about 12-14 hours on a full charge. My guess is batteries last longer if you leave it playing undisturbed. But checking on songs, fiddling with the menu on occasions, turning it off and on when you do and don’t need it, probably burns the battery significantly... or poor quality controls failed to spot a battery life dying faster than it should. Oh and to turn it off and on, you hold the center button. It goes to standby off screen, then turns off on its own if it does nothing for a while. I don’t remember this in the manual and figured this out after a couple weeks of use. (I just let it turn itself off when I started using it)
***Update: it doesn’t take “too long” to charge. A couple hours and it’s almost 100% from nothing... (like 60-80%?) but the power drains from the status are based on estimated use. For example, the battery reads at 30% and I saw it go down to 20% indicating low battery as I was fiddling with the screen. Then I went back to work. Couple hours later, it shows I’m back to 40% (I’m not charging it.) So be careful with long term menu fiddling if you want to maximize battery life.***
The screen is definitely tough, I’d probably have to put intent or purpose behind a force to crack it. That being said it is EXTREMELY prone to scuffs and scratches. The screen gets imperfect fast, but doesn’t hinder the playability of the item nor has it gotten so scratched up that it cannot be read from. (Depending on your eyesight) That being said, keep it away from hard objects that can cause any minor abrasions such as keys, coins, plastic card edges and punched text, scrubby side of the sponge, etc. The screen is thick enough where if you scratch it, you can look at an angle to see behind the scratch.
The clip is not good at holding onto things that are “thin” like ribbon lanyards. To put simply, the spring causing the clasp to grip firmly is not very strong, and requires something like a collar or sleeve to grip sufficiently with the “tooth clasp”. The weight of its body + bouncing from jogging is enough to pull itself off on its own if not secured to something using the “tooth” or something thick enough to challenge the metal coil spring. Overall the plastic looks and feels “toy-like”. (“Cheap”)
It has a Bluetooth function but I have yet to successfully connect any of my earbuds this way. They aren’t premium brands like Sony or Bose nor are they proprietary like air pods but rather cheap store brands off the grocery store. Yet my Apple devices are able to pick those up with ease.
Bottom bottom line, if you give it to a kid, don’t worry, they won’t really know the difference unless they are audiophiles that previously owned a better player or technophiles that know what a standard MP3 player should be capable of doing. They will be glad to have anything that plays their songs and it’s tough to withstand casual use by children. As long as they don’t lose it, “lend it to a friend” or try to teach it how to swim...it should last with them for a long while.
If you are an adult and want a reasonably competent music playing device for your money, look elsewhere. Comparing this to a 500 yen (less than $5) iPod nano knock off I got from japan... the only things this player beats the knock off at is: the battery capacity, higher overall durability and features like option to “repeat” a song or use “shuffle” (flawed as the shuffle is, having it as an option is technically better than not having it) or to add songs to a playlist without using a computer to do so. The knock off beats it at response time, ease of navigation, on/off switch, SD card slot (has no memory on its own but cards are cheap), weight, material quality (thin metal casing and it never fell from the same lanyard once whereas the SanDisk fell over 3 times in my last few jogs from the parking lot.) So physical durability isn’t an issue if it never falls on the ground from jogging. (Knock off isn’t water resistant though) I’d have rather bought 3 of those “knock offs” and just cycled them for work or anything else.
One good point that I cannot deny is the earbuds that came with it. The cable is ribbon like and thicker than most so it feels like the build is solid and geared to last. It is less prone to tangling but still possible to get a knot here and there. With the costs of basic earbuds out there, I’d be willing to buy this for up to $10 by itself.
I expected better from SanDisk. I expected much better actually. I weighed my needs along with reviews and answered questions so it felt like a worthy purchase. With this you are probably better off buying a cheaper $15-25 MP3 player with SD slot, $5-10 on a decent pair of buds, and with the left over money either buy an SD card to expand or get more songs to play on the player that isn’t this one.