SanDisk Sansa Fuze Flash-Based MP3 Player
At a Glance
SanDisk Sansa Fuze (4GB)
A low price, deep feature list, and ultra-compact design makes the Sansa Fuze a very worthy Nano competitor.
On the outside, SanDisk's flash-based Sansa Fuze MP3 player looks like the iPod Nano; on the inside, however, it packs a lot more functionality.
The Fuze makes a great first impression. I tested a sleek black 4GB model priced at $100--about $40 cheaper than the same-capacity Nano. (The Fuze is also available in 2GB and 8GB versions, for $80 and $130, respectively.) At 2.0 inches wide by 3.1 inches tall by 0.3 inches deep, it fits nicely in your hand. The illuminated jog wheel is a nice touch on this good-looking player, too.
The robust feature list includes support for subscription services such as eMusic, Napster, and Rhapsody To Go. You can display video and images on its 1.9-inch screen. The player also has an FM tuner (with 40 presets), a voice recorder, and microSD expandability.
The Fuze performed very well in our audio-quality lab tests, delivering sound comparable to that of both the Nano and the iPod Touch, two of the best-performing flash players we've tested.
Video playback is less impressive, though: The screen has a 220 by 176 resolution, and it isn't as crisp as the Nano's 2-inch, 320 by 240 display. In addition, you must convert all video files to a proprietary format using SanDisk's bundled software.
The Fuze is a worthy competitor to the Nano--and an even better choice if you're looking for a flash player with expandable memory, an FM tuner, and a lower price tag.