An FM radio is included, along with the expected array of auto-preset detection and FM radio recording. You can't do the radio pausing trick of the iPod Nano, but at half the price, who's complaining?
A separate main menu section for audiobooks is included, provided that you have any loaded on the device. Podcasts are lumped into this section as well, which isn't necessarily intuitive, but sure beats searching for your favorite podcasts within your music library.
SanDisk also includes a basic voice recorder. The audio quality is suitable for memos or a hastily thrown-together grocery list, but probably not our first choice for dictating our memoirs.
Finally, as a gesture to all you fitness fanatics, a basic stopwatch has been thrown in.
The Sansa Clip Zip has no business sounding this good. Don't ask me how SanDisk did it. You would expect an MP3 player at this price to sound only slightly better than hot gravel in your ear.
That said, in the grand scheme of things, the Clip Zip isn't the best-sounding device out there. These things are subjective, of course, but don't go in expecting it to sound like a Sony X-Series Walkman. There are a few EQ presets, along with some manual EQ adjustments, but the default flat setting is about on par for quality with what you'd hear from most Android smartphones, with a little extra headroom for the maximum volume.
Chances are, though, you're not going to buy a $49 MP3 player to hold it up to audiophile scrutiny. If all you want are some sounds to shove in your ears to distract you from the monotony of flailing around on a treadmill, the Clip Zip delivers beyond our expectations.
We're also happy to see that the Clip Zip's rated battery life holds to the 15-hour mark set by the Clip+, in spite of the larger, color screen. That's a good week of casual use before a recharge is needed. SanDisk's decision to go with a Micro-USB port instead of the mini ports used on previous models means that you can probably use your phone's charger to juice this up. Little details like this can really cut down on cable clutter and lighten your load when traveling.
The Sansa Clip Zip further solidifies SanDisk's reputation for delivering low-cost, feature-packed MP3 players. The addition of AAC music support now means that even fans of Apple's iTunes store can plug the Clip Zip into a Mac or PC and transfer over their DRM-free tunes. So if you're looking for a way to enjoy your music without risking your precious smartphone, the Sansa Clip Zip is one of the best values around.