By July 27, 2008

SanDisk Sansa Fuze review


This is the third MP3/Media player from SanDisk that I’ve reviewed. The first was the Sansa e260 over a year ago and the second the Sansa View was about 6 months ago.

The most impressive thing about the entire range has to be the battery life. Using the e260 for about an hour each day for example it’s almost a month between charges. The only downside to that is the risk of loosing the power cable between charges!

The SanDisk Sansa Fuze
The SanDisk Sansa Fuze

As with other models the Fuze comes in a very small package – with just a carton inside holding the mp3 player itself, connection cable and earphones. Take a look at our unbox video for a more detailed look at the Sansa Fuze.


SanDisk Sansa Fuze specification:

  • 2GB internal flash memory (4 & 8GB model available)
  • 1.9" 220 x 176 Colour TFT screen
  • FM Radio
  • Built in microphone for recording
  • Expandable MicroSD/SDHC card slot for additional storage
  • MPEG4 and WMV video support
  • Battery Life: MP3 playback 24 hours, Video playback 5 hours
  • 1.9 x 0.3 x 3.1 in


The Fuze is a very compact MP3/Media Player that, to be honest, looks like an iPod clone. Taking a look at the front of the Fuze there’s a small, 1.9" display. The display is quite low res at just 220×176 pixels. There’s also a jog dial that rotates as well as working as a d-pad style navigator. There’s also a simple HOME button on the front.


Sansa Fuze Front View


On the left there’s a microSD card slot which is, fortunately microSDHC compatible. Below that is a simple MIC which means you can use the Fuze as a voice recorder.


Sansa Fuze Left Side


The right side is fairly bare, just a simple two-function switch which serves as a power switch and a hold switch.


Sansa Fuze Right Side


On the bottom there’s a 3.5mm headphone socket which will allow you to use any standard headphones. The bottom is where you’ll find the proprietary sync and charge socket. I know I frequently moan about proprietary connectors almost all player manufacturers have their own connector type.


Sansa Fuze Bottom



Once again SanDisk have used the same interface as on previous models. The scroll wheel suits the interface perfectly – and much better than the latest non-touch iPod. The main menu is icon based, but changes to text as we go deeper into mp3/video lists.

The main menu consists of Music, Photo, Voice, Video, Extras and Settings, all selected with the scroll wheel.

The music library filters are pretty standard to both Sandisk players, and players in general, with Play All tracks starting us off at the top, along with Artist, Album, Songs, Genres, My Top Rated, Recordings, and Playlists as options. On the playback screen, you get thumbnail album art, track info, and a time-elapsed meter. Pressing the select button takes you to a neat graphic-level meter, full-size album art, and the next song.


Sound Quality

The sound quality of the Fuze is once again on-par with it’s predecessors and still far better than the iPod Nano. Comparing the same MP3 track and using the same headphones the Fuze beats the Nano hands-down. While I don’t have the equipment to demonstrate this with fancy graphs the Fuze simply sounds better and more full-range and compression artifacts seem a lot less noticeable and the audio is a lot more pleasing.

There are various EQ modes and sound level adjustments available in the menu too which will help get the sound perfectly suited to various audio devices.



  • AMAZING battery life. Seriously, I hardly charged it. I’ll try and add the SanDisk quoted figures later today, but take it from me – they are good.
  • Massive storage. 16gb. The Nano doesn’t even attempt more than 8GB, so another 1-up for SanDisk
  • Price point. These aren’t expensive, and like everything in this industry, its price will only drop.


  • Not an iPod. this might sound a bit sad but everyone that’s seen my Fuze thinks it’s an iPod knock-off!
  • Poor low-res display.
  • Memory Capacity. The model on review is only 2GB and while there are models that have up to 8GB and each can be supplemented with microSD memory to give a maximum of 16GB this works out quite expensive compared to other 16GB native products.





Once again SanDisk have done a good job with this Media Player. If you want a small unit with excellent battery life and you wont be rejected by your friends for not having an iPod then the Fuze is well worth considering. This is the sort of MP3 player that you can set playing, stick in your pocket and then forget about.

Unfortunately the screen that SanDisk have put in the device is really only adequate for using the on screen menu. It’s far too small and low-res to be useful as a video player.


Review by: Matt

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Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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