Creative Labs has announced the release of a new portable music player based on Google’s Android operating system, the Zen Touch 2. The gadget is designed for a feature-packed media experience, similar to the iPod Touch and Samsung Galaxy Player.
What makes the Zen Touch 2 unique among the PMPs currently on the market is Creative’s inclusion of Bluetooth capabilities. It’s completely Bluetooth friendly, meaning you can hook it up to your favorite Bluetooth enabled headphones for wireless music on the go.
Creative has even gone a step further and introduced a new pair of Bluetooth headphones to compliment the Zen Touch 2. The Creative WP-300 Bluetooth headphones have a range of 10m and boast neodymium drivers and audio-video synchronisation from the built-in apt-X Bluetooth technology.
Besides connection capabilities like WiFi and Bluetooth, the Zen Touch 2 standard version has a 3.2-inch touchscreen display with resolution of 320 x 480 pixels (HVGA), Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, a 2 megapixel camera, microphone, speakers, composite video output, and a microSD card slot. The enhanced version comes with extra GPS capabilities, a digital compass, and FM radio.
The Zen packs tons of great features in an overall tiny package, but the screen size/quality simply isn’t up to par with its competition. Considering that the capacitive screen is the centerpiece of the device, Creative picked a bad area to skimp.
Creative went the extra mile to make the Zen an all-around solid media player. It includes support for MP3, AAC, WMA9, FLAC, OGG, ADPCM, MIDI, WAV, and Audible (audio), as well as H.264, MPEG4, WMV9 and AVI (video). The battery provides up to 25 hours of music playback, up to 5 hours of video playback.
The device will share a tiny market niche that currently only includes Samsung’s Galaxy Player, which also runs Android. However, the Galaxy Player will ship with Android Froyo (2.2), while the Zen will run Eclair (2.1). Why Creative didn’t include the most up-to-date Android experience on the Zen is a mystery, but in the long run it will probably be a huge mistake. If you’re looking for the fastest, smoothest, and of course, newest version of Android, the only PMP that runs it is Samsung’s Galaxy Player.
Still, Creative’s Zen Touch 2 should serve as an excellent, high end music player and a well-designed Android alternative to Apple’s iPod Touch.