The Meizu E2 is a light (33 grams), compact device that combines an MP3 player, FM radio and voice recorder. It can play MP3, WMA and WAV files and comes with a cable for connecting to a PC's USB 2.0 port, wrist strap and a velvet carrying case.
It has a small LCD graphical display that has a multicoloured backlight that can illuminate the display in up to 999 different colours, which will probably make the Meizu very attractive to the younger end of the market. Each time a song is skipped or the volume is adjusted, the screen colour changes, which certainly gets the device noticed, especially in low light conditions.
The E2 has a small navigation joystick that can be used to skip forward, rewind or fast forward through tracks; the joystick can be pushed up or down to adjust the volume.
Navigating around the memory can be a little tricky at first. In order to search through the album folders, the joystick needs to be pressed and held down for a couple of seconds. If it is not held down the system menu appears, which allows you to customise the display, default sound mode and power management features.
The unit also has three multifunctional buttons. One doubles as an on/off switch and a pause/play button, the second switches the system between graphic equaliser modes while the third is used to start and stop the voice recording function.
With the joystick and other buttons protruding from the device, the E2 luckily has a hold switch on its reverse side. Use of the hold button is essential because simply sliding the device into a pocket or bag causes it to switch on and the battery to waste away.
The device comes with a graphic equaliser that contains eight preset levels including SRS, WOW and TruBass, plus one that can be manually adjusted by the user.
One of the E2´s outstanding features is its voice recorder, which acts like a high quality dictaphone and can be operated with a dedicated button. The quality of the microphone is excellent but the inability to connect an external microphone does let it down a little.
The E2's radio was a disappointment. The device uses the ear buds supplied to act as an antenna but tests found that reception was relatively poor when compared to alternative devices.
The E2 is powered by a single AAA battery, which according to Meizu can power the device for 17 hours, however we found that with the backlight on and under ‘normal´ usage, the device easily plays for a respectable 12 hours.
Oh yes, it does wish you a "Happy every day" before shut down.
The unit reviewed was the 1GB model which at May 2005 retails for AU$229. Two other capacities, the Meizu E2-256 and the Meizu E2-512, are available for AU$129 and AU$179 respectively.