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Most MP3 players are hard-drive based, meaning the amount of storage they come with is all they’ll ever have. The SanDisk Sansa View is different, it comes with a microSD card slot which lets you upsize your storage as needed. We check out whether this could this be the future-proof MP3 player of choice.


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For a media player that comes with a large screen, 35 hours of music playback, voice recording and FM functions, and a microSD slot, Sansa made sure that affordability will not be an issue. Right now, users can purchase an 8GB View for $277, while its 16GB View will cost $367. Its microSD card slot lets you buy a memory card of whatever size you need (currently you can buy microSDHC cards in sizes of up to 12GB, but in time companies will be releasing microSDHC with larger capacities) and add it to the player to increase its music, video and photo storage capacity.

The Sansa View has a mobile phone look and feel because of its large, candy-bar design. The 2.4-inch screen takes up half of the player, while a thumbwheel (that works similar to Apple’s scroll wheel), centre button, and home button can be found right below it. Users can also find a built-in microphone as well as a hold and power switch on the left spine, while a microSD card slot can be found on its right spine. A 3.5mm headphone jack is located beside the proprietary connector port and are both found at the bottom of the player.

 


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One can transfer music from the PC to the Sansa View using the drag-and-drop method or using Windows Media Player 10 or 11. The Sansa View supports MP3, WAV, WMA, secure WMA, and Audible audio file formats, as well as MPEG-4, WMV, and H.264 native video formats. For other formats not supported by the player, users can download the Sansa Media Converter to transfer photos and videos without file conflicts.

The main menu consists of large icons (Music, Videos, Photos, More, and Now Playing), which made it easy for us to select the desired function. The sub-menus, although significantly smaller than the main menus, were clear and displayed everything up front.

The Music sub-menu consists of Play All, Recently Added, Artists, Albums, Song List, Genres, My Top Rated, Playlists, Podcasts, Audiobooks, and Recording options, keeping all your audio files organised. The playback screen shows the artist, album, track title, album art, and time elapsed, with the equaliser, larger album art, and next song being displayed as soon as the centre button is pressed.

A feature we like about the Sansa View is its ability to automatically shift to landscape mode when viewing photos or videos. With this, we were able to maximise the 2.4-inch screen and look at our files without much squinting.

 


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Users can also listen to various FM stations with the built-in FM tuner on the View. However, Sansa does not stop there: it has also added an FM recording function that can record any radio show or chart-topping song with a single touch of a button (saved to a WAV file). The amount of time you can record depends on how much storage you have, but there is no limit to what you can record and playback.

We played various tracks to test the audio quality of the Sansa View and found the player to be average. It was able to deliver highs and mids, but struggled to produce low frequency sounds. Using your favourite headphones may improve the audio quality, but then again, it wouldn’t help as much as improving the engine altogether.

Battery life was impressive as it lasted a total of 35 hours during our audio playback and around 7 hours during video playback.

Overall, the SanDisk Sansa View is a great portable media player — it can play music, videos, photos, and audiobooks, is easy to use, comes with a microSD slot for memory expansion, and has an attractive price point to boot. This media player is recommended for those who want more value for their money.

See page over for specifications and final rating.

 

 Sansa View Specifications:

Music
– Supports most audio formats, including MP3, protected and unprotected WMA, WAV, DRM-free MP3 downloads
– Digital FM radio with 20 pre-sets
– Audible audiobook support

Video
– Video compatibility with MPEG4, WMV, H.264
– Additionally, the Sansa Media Converter supports a large number of other video formats, including DivX
– Smooth video playback at 30 frames per second (fps)

Photos
– Photo JPEG viewing capabilities

Other Specifications:
– Slim, thin and lightweight design for easy portability – 8.8mm at the slimmest part
– Vibrant, 2.4″ TFT color screen with 320×240 resolution
– Rechargeable, long-lasting lithium polymer battery for 35 hours of audio or seven hours of video
– Voice recorder with built-in microphone
– MicroSD/SDHC expansion slot for additional memory capacity and content portability

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SanDisk Sansa View | $367 (16GB) $277 (8GB) |  | www.sandisk.com

For: Large screen; Intuitive interface; Photo, Video, Music support; FM tuner with recording; Voice recording function; Battery life; microSD card slot
Against: ‘Big’ for a media player; struggled with low frequency sounds
Conclusion: A media player that is well-featured, but struggles with some aspects of sound reproduction.

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