Creative Zen X-Fi3 unveiled

pr zenxfi3 Creative Zen X Fi3 unveiledCreative unveiled their newest player, the Zen X-Fi3, at IFA Berlin. Resembling the ‘brick’ design of the iriver Clix or Cowon D2, it’s quite a departure from the looks of the older X-Fi and X-Fi2.

Being a bit late to the dying touch interface fad, Creative put some resistive touch buttons around the 2″ TFT screen, but luckily they didn’t forget about proper tactile buttons for volume control. Same as the older X-Fi models, the X-Fi3 comes with a MicroSDHC slot, making it possible to boost the internal 8/16GB capacity with an additional 32GB of storage space. The biggest complaint about Creative’s SD implementation in older players was that files on the card weren’t integrated into the database at all, they were only available via folder browsing. Time will tell if Creative fixed that flaw in the X-Fi3. Battery life isn’t overly great with a claimed 20 hours for audio and 5 hours for video, but it’s not too shabby either.

On the software side, the X-Fi3 is quite interesting. The best feature for sure is Apt-X Bluetooth audio connectivity. Apt-X can be either lossy (384kbps) or lossless (up to 24/96) – both being vastly superior sounding compared to regular A2DP audio and transparent to most people’s ears. Creative also added FLAC support to the usual array of audio codecs (MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV, Audible). For video it supports standard definition AVI/DivX/Xvid and WMV. Of course they’re also continuing to push their X-Fi Crystalizer sound enhancement technology. While it can’t really compete with Cowon’s BBE or Sony’s DSEE, it probably is better than nothing. FM radio, a speaker on the back, video-out (analog) and a voice recorder are present as well.

Thanks to Jbob182 for the tip. Official press release.


Jon on November 28, 2011 9:25 PM

Dying touch interface fad? Really?

Kids today with their silly code-based programming fads. We’ll be back to punch cards in no time.

Matt on December 3, 2011 4:04 AM

I agree with Jon. Seriously, capacitive touch is a dying fad? Are you out of your mind? It’s the best things to happen to computing interfaces in a long, long time.

Martin Sägmüller on December 3, 2011 12:27 PM

You do realize this player has no touch screen, but just touch buttons around the edge of the screen? This was a fad introduced by some Samsung and Iriver players, but both companies moved away from that awkward control scheme. Nowadays we still got the Cowon i9/10 and Sansa Fuze+ with an interface like this, but luckily they’re the minority. Other manufacturers either use tactile buttons or real touch screens, both of which make a lot more sense than this.

Rob on December 7, 2011 2:53 AM

Does anyone know yet if the micro sd card can be integrated with the rest of the database?

Mike on December 13, 2011 12:30 AM

Have read a lot of forums slaming creative for this. This is a sample.
Some claim why do this when we have smart phones? Smart phone batteries are terrible. I am not going to start using it for music as well or ill be charging it half through each day.
Why bluetooth? Cause I hate wires. I like that I can connect this to my car stereo without wires and do not need to worry about pulling the earbud out of my ear as I reach inside my jacket or turn my head.
Why FLAC? Thought this was dumb, may aswell be saying why do I want better quality transfer.
Micro SD integration? I just ordered this unit half an hour ago so I will find out soon enough?…not a biggy for me as my Iriver (which I adored) constantly forced me to do this as well as a million other issues.
All in all, for under 100 euro I think its a dam fine 8gb player and with reliable quality sound from creative as usual.
Ill get back when I have tried it out but delivery not expected until Dec 23rd-29th…praying its 23rd.

OU on February 3, 2012 2:41 AM

To Rob:
As the commit in Amazon, the music in sd card now shows in the same list with music in internal storage.

Neville on January 8, 2013 10:36 PM

I got a 32G replacement for my old X-Fi2 because it developed a cracked screen that creative wouldn’t sell a replacement for. I got the X-Fi3 because I really liked the sound quality of the X-Fi2. I purchased it as a package with the M300 wireless headphones. So far I have been disappointed in its performance. Initially it took so long to bring up menus that I ended up resetting it a couple of times. It is very very slow (as in a couple of minutes)to bring up its menus after charging or connecting to the computer. The sound quality doesn’t seem to be as good comparing it to the X-Fi2. The M300′s are the most uncomfortable things I have worn and don’t stay in place when walking, let alone using them for running as I had planned. The SD card isn’t integrated and you can’t make playlists that link to the SD card. The alarm sounds once for about 10 sec and then stops although it is very loud. Progressing through the menus is tedious as you have to scroll through every item to get to the album you want. I liked the X-Fi2′s alphabetical buttons, they made it easier to find what you want. The touch buttons on the edge of the player are accidentally activated at times if your fingers get near them when holding the player. At other times touching them gives no response which can be very frustrating (like the X-Fi2). When I need to get a replacement player it won’t be a Creative model!
PS. How does OU get to post in February when it’s still early January.

mahyar on March 25, 2013 6:12 PM

zen x fi 3 is really lovely. i had never heard a sound quality like this before. i like it and i love it too. its very smart and unique . from buying it until now im one of creative fans!!!!

in short its great

mahyar on March 26, 2013 4:21 PM

i cant believe zen x fi3 DOES NOT HAVE ANY FOLDER!!!!!!!!!
so i cant sort my audio and music. what is solution? what should we do with it? cant i really sort my audio books and podcasts? what should i do ? please let me know if you know the answer.

thank you

mahyar on April 1, 2013 10:52 AM

hi everybody. this is mahyar . a creative zen x fi3 user. i bought this mp3 player 8 days ago and i regret it. that’s a pity.unfortunately there is nothing good in this product. however there is nothing worst in this player!!!! because there are so many horrible things ! the touch scrren does not work most of the time ( i updated the firmware but still it is not working good)
the second thing is the annoying noise. it will bothers you all the time specially when the screen turns off when you are listening to music or an audio . i can’t understand what x fi sound tech really is!!!!it makes the sound worse !!!
another strange problem is zen x fi 3 does not have any folder so u wont be able to sort your files!!!! but the worst thing about an mp3 player is having no equalizer !!!!

by the way ! sometimes this player works without your fingers!!!!and during your listening choice another song for you!!! i think it is a new technology from creative!!!!

if you want to waste your money. if you are rich and still don’t know what to do with your money you can try this horrible mp3 player.

in short

user on July 7, 2013 10:15 AM

why did creative make this mp3 player??????

worst touch !!!! without folder!!! without equalizer!!! fully charge takes 3.5 hours!!!

hanging is usual!!! worst recording!!!

bad screen!!!! sad menu!!!!

a fake ipod is much more better than this!!!!

finally i want to ask creative!!!

why did you really make this? who was responsible in creative company to produce this worst player in the world?

do NOT buy ZEN X FI 3

angel on July 30, 2013 10:16 AM

a story from me… one day while i was out suddenly a saw this player in a shop and my got told me buy this!!!!so i went to the store and our story started…..
i paid about 100$ and took this home.
but when i copied some movie in it it did not work. also it had touch problems.and eq would not work!!!so several days later i gave it back and they fixed the problems! but when i brought it home i saw the exact same problems. so i returned this monster! to the shop and after a few days they gave me a new zen x fi 3… i was very happy but only on the way home!!!! when i got home the result was the new player had the exactly same problems!!!! and that caused me to hate creative brand. i have no idea about breaking
it up or just dropping in the wast basket!
when i found this website i say many people have the same problem…
i will never trust creative

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