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-   -   Fuze+ Review: The worst user interface ever (http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=66081)

NicholasV 10-17-2011 09:57 PM

Fuze+ Review: The worst user interface ever
This review was written about the original firmware, as Rockbox is not ported to it yet.

I have used many mp3 players over the years: A Rio Volt 150 CD Mp3 player, a Cowon Iaudio x5, a Grundig Beezz RCD 6800 DEC(boombox), a Ipod Nano 4th gen, a Sansa Clip+ and now a Sansa Clip Zip. The Fuze+ is the first and only device I could not comfortably figure out how to use. The programmers who made the firmware and UI should be in a hall of shame. When you "lock" the player so accidental button depresses aren't possible, a large picture of a lock is constantly affixed on the screen so that you cannot see well what song is being played or where in a song you are at! Navigating your audio collection is also frustrating as the programmers tried to mimic a faux 3d perspective to file browsing instead of just using a file list. You have to hit the hit the middle of the touchpad to turn the retard faux 3d perspective into a file list, but that is an annoying extra step that you will often forget. Another problem is that I constantly lost my place in an album I was listening to, especially when I toggled it on/off, it played audiobooks I had out of sequential order, etc. The UI also didn't organize my music well.

The whole touchpad is another mistake, I cannot imagine trying to use it while driving as it lacks tactile feedback, so you need to look at the unit or how you will use it during night. The trackpad also didn't allow you to fast forward in a song or navigate up and down many files nearly as fast as an Ipod click wheel. Another strong caveat is that the unit is oversized, it is about the same size as my clamshell bare bones cellphone, which for me is too big. When you have that thing in your pocket and a cell, it is not comfortable, and when you add a wallet in the mix you just look like a shoplifter! I was also disappointed that I could not just download a 360p mp4 off of Youtube and watch it either, like on my former Ipod Nano 4th gen(which was released back in 2008). Conversion is another step, I would rather not go through. The player also takes way too long to shutdown and turn back on.

For all these weaknesses, I have to say this is the worst mp3 player I have ever used. Even after 10 days, I still didn't feel like I knew how to use it, so I returned it to Bestbuy. If anyone is reading this, don't ever think about buying this turd online. Why try to save a maximum of $10 or less for a unit you may want an easy return option with at a local retailer. Even when Rockbox comes to this player, it will still be quite bulky and the trackpad needs too much attention. When I did the return/exchange I got a Sansa Clip Zip yesterday. Already I am fully comfortable using it, and the much slighter size is relieving after using the Fuze+.

FreeZ5 10-17-2011 10:42 PM


Originally Posted by NicholasV (Post 580031)
This review was written about the original firmware, as Rockbox is not ported to it yet.

Which release of the Original Firmware? Did you at least update the firmware to see if Sansa had fixed any of the issues?


NicholasV 10-18-2011 09:18 AM

I was using the latest firmware listed here: http://forums.sandisk.com/t5/Fuze/Sa...01/td-p/226238
which is 02.37.01

It was still buggy crap, and words cannot describe how awful the UI is, my review fails to do that justice. It is a frustration you have to experience yourself to empathize with. Even with a looming Rockbox release there were other major issues I did not like besides the software.

IDvsEGO 10-18-2011 09:34 AM

I have tried going back to mine several times and always end up tossing it back in a drawer. I like having it for those times when i don't want to expose my good equipment to "danger".

NicholasV 10-18-2011 05:13 PM

IDvsEGO and others who cannot return, you can try to offer it as a trade on a site like Craigslist(for those outside the US: a site that mimics newspaper classified ads, but is free for most uses) for another item you want of a similar or greater monetary value. That way you can get rid of something you don't want for something you do. Not too long ago using that method I traded a new Osprey hydration pak that cost $47 for a Yakima car roof rack setup worth over $200!

I just emboldened the part of my review about how you should not buy this item online instead of a brick and mortar store with a good return policy... So many are unhappy with it, even on Sandisk's official forum there are lots of frustrated people complaining that it is not very usable.

musichound 10-18-2011 06:11 PM

Yeah, I gave the Fuse+ a test run at BB, and it was a horrible experience at best. IMO they failed miserably on this.

epithetless 10-19-2011 06:38 PM


Originally Posted by Celestial Being (Post 580310)
The Rockbox developer is working really hard at porting this over.

He's got a working interface that is NOT laggy. The bootloader is done IIRC. And he recently got audio to work. :)

I wouldn't give up on the Fuze+ yet.

If the Rockbox port is good, I may buy one.

Heh, me too. But mainly because I'm a Rockbox junkie. I wouldn't be caught dead with a Fuze+ otherwise. :D

NicholasV 10-22-2011 02:30 PM

Even with Rockbox I would give up on it. IMHO, the hardware design is undesirable no matter what firmware you have on it, too bulky + bad trackpad paradigm.

Audie61 11-24-2011 01:57 PM

Bought one used for $20 just to play with. I agree the touch controls are a TOTAL FAIL . Updated to the latest & greatest software 11-22-11. I tried to like it, everything other than the controls are wonderfull.
Going to gift it to a friend, and try a sansa clip.

skip252 11-24-2011 02:27 PM


Originally Posted by Audie61 (Post 585536)
Bought one used for $20 just to play with. I agree the touch controls are a TOTAL FAIL . Updated to the latest & greatest software 11-22-11. I tried to like it, everything other than the controls are wonderfull.
Going to gift it to a friend, and try a sansa clip.

Not the way I would do that. I would only gift a Fuze+ to an enemy not a friend.:D

Seriously though, the Rockbox port is making progress. There's never any telling where that will wind up but if all you paid is $20 it might be worth hanging on to see how well that works out.

The hardware is decent. It's tough to get more for the price. It wasn't decent enough to make up for wanting to take a hammer to it at least twice a day.:mad:

econnofoot 12-26-2011 03:38 PM

Whoever engineered this thing is on crack!
I'd asked for one of these last year, and ended up with a Clip...which was ok aside from the audio jack developing a short...anyway got the + which I didn't want anymore but what can ya do when it's a gift but fake it. Man this thing sucks....just horrible all the way around, still can't get SD cards to recognize, navigation is awful, it constantly picks up movement and changes tracks(can't make it lock either to avoid this for some reason), I liked older sansa products but this will be the last one I ever try.....epic fail.

Audie61 12-29-2011 12:57 PM

Actually, I've ended up buying several used ones for gifts. Dirt cheap, my non tech savvy friends & nieces don't care about the interface. If they only last 6 months, that's ok also. It's kind of an introduction to mp3 players and personal tech. and it sets the bar low so their next device oughta knock their socks off.:)

rskipk 01-09-2012 01:40 PM

I LIke My Sansa Fuze+
I keep wondering what I am missing or did I get the wrong player because I am having none of the problems with the Fuze+ that others are talking about. I upgraded to the latest firmware and I find the player a good , decent sounding, easy to use mp3 player. I was prepared for the worst after reading all the negative responses and I don't doubt the claims but I think it is a pretty easy player to get used to. The menu's are clear and easy to navigate, the music sounds good with the built in eq, and I just added a 16gb sd card so now I have 20gb worth of music to listen to. I use WMP to manage my music( I don't care much for Rhapsody) and I am a happy camper.:) I feel bad that so many are having problems and I almost didn't buy a Fuze because of what I was reading but overall I am really glad I did. The sound is very good and for around $50.00 for the 4gb model you just can't beat all the features and having the ability to add more memory makes it even better. Sorry for all the negatives but I would gladly endorse this player to a friend or family member!

skip252 01-09-2012 02:07 PM

I believe that part of what accounts for the reports of a terrible UI is that different people have different expectations and use patterns when it comes to DAPs. What may be acceptable to one can be intolerable to the next.

If you are a "start it and forget it" user the UI won't seem too bad. A little wonky maybe but tolerable. If you're like me and change between playlists, start and stop playback frequently and are looking for easy one hand control, the Fuze+ just doesn't work. Any player that requires I stop, concentrate my full attention and use both hands to make a change in what's playing just isn't for me regardless of it's other features and price.

bruceg 02-11-2012 07:01 PM

Gotta agree with Audie61. Might be my expectations are low (I had an ancient no-name MP3 player, then used my phone as my MP3 player). Updating the firmware was a non-event. Copying my songs over was a non-issue. The user interface works just fine for me (I did read the online manual first).

Not knocking other peoples reviews. Their experience and their expectations are there own. But for me, I just select an Album, an Artist or a Genre and let it shuffle through. Did 4 or 5 hours of British Invasion Genre while catching up on cleaning around the house today. Just put it in my pocket, scrubbed away. 4 or 5 hours later the house was sparkling and I was smiling having listened to a LOT of music. No touching anything (other than to start it). I couldn't mess with it anyway, I was too busy scrubbing.

I really like my Fuze+, and stopped giving longing glances to my wife's and my son's brand that can not be named. Tomorrow is Rockabilly or Surf and yard work. Once again, I'll just select the Genre, set it to shuffle, stuff it in a pocket and let it go for a couple hours.

Marvin the Martian 02-18-2012 11:22 AM

I just got one of these.....no card installed. The touchpad is sensitive, yes....but since I have a couple of touchscreen players, it was simple enough to get my settings in place, and now that I have some music on it, it works just fine as a shuffle player.

I did briefly install Rockbox, and after a few minutes removed it....I couldn't get the touchpad to cooperate at all! I'll give it another shot at a later date, but for now, as strictly a shuffle player (I didn't load entire albums, just preferred songs, so I'll rarely need to skip tracks) it works fine and sounds good as the Sansa players always seem to.

epithetless 02-18-2012 11:59 AM

Marvin, for a shuffle player, what made the the Fuze+ your top candidate? :confused:

WalkGood 02-18-2012 12:07 PM


Originally Posted by musichound (Post 580169)
Yeah, I gave the Fuse+ a test run at BB, and it was a horrible experience at best. IMO they failed miserably on this.

I did the same and wasn't impressed, even tested several headphones on it that I had with me. If your just going to press play and listen, I can not say the sound is bad, because it's not. It's such a shame they release an inferior player when the old fuze and the clips are such great players, even the last two clips :/

The DarkSide 02-18-2012 01:05 PM

Let's just hope he fuze+++champipple edition is better implemented. I mean, the sq was great, and the overall design quite good, but that damn touchpad & sluggishness killed it!!!

Marvin the Martian 02-18-2012 01:10 PM


Originally Posted by epithetless (Post 599487)
Marvin, for a shuffle player, what made the the Fuze+ your top candidate? :confused:

I didn't buy it at a store.....I traded one of three Clip Zips that I had for it. I knew that Rockbox was being worked on for it so I figured it had potential....and I had two identical Zips that I kept confusing and grabbing the wrong one.

It's a 16GB model, so when Rockbox is in better shape, I could drop a 32GB card in it and have a 48GB player in theory...but for now, the 16GB internal is fine.

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