Portable player that packs in the features
Much like the Archos 18 Vision, the Creative Zen Style 300 is a portable music and video player that tries to offer lots of features for just £40.
While it is a slight improvement on the Archos model in some respects, we found it lacking in other areas.
It's an odd-looking device: while it is certainly small and has nice rounded edges, it is quite chunky too – we certainly wouldn't call the design sleek.
The 1.8in colour screen was poor. The quality of pictures and videos was disappointing. Both appeared blurry or blocky, which rendered the player's photo and video features redundant.
And, confusingly, the player doesn't have a volume button: in fact, changing the volume in a song or video is impossible unless you navigate back to the screen that displays the song being played, and change it there.
One of the buttons also has the sole function of turning on the built-in speaker, which was unnecessary. The quality of sound from the speaker was poor and even at maximum volume it was hard to hear much without holding the device up to your ear. In general the buttons were on the small side which made it fiddly to use the Zen Style 300.
Sound quality from the supplied headphones was better than from the speaker, although they weren't very comfortable and as is the case with almost all portable music players we've reviewed, we would recommend buying a better pair (one exception was the iRiver B30).
The device also has an FM radio receiver and a microphone for recording. The radio took a long time to tune using the auto-scan feature, but the microphone was impressive: we were surprised at the quality and clarity of the recordings it made.
Overall, the Creative Zen Style 300 suffers from several oversights. The tricky controls and an overall cheap and plasticky feel make it poor value compared with the Philips Gogear 4GB or even a more expensive player such as the iRiver B30.
Read more reviews
A cheap music player with lots of features but annoying controls
Lots of features; decent sound quality; good microphone
No volume buttons; fiddly controls
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