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Meizu Mini Player review: Meizu Mini Player

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The Mini Player is chock-full of features. Unfortunately, support for protected music isn't one of them, so if you buy music online, make it from eMusic. It does natively play back MP3, WMA, WAV, and Ogg Vorbis audio files, and it supports JPEG, BMP, and GIF photos as well as slide shows, for which you can adjust the various settings, including nifty transition effects. You can also play back AVI videos, and Meizu includes software (and--gasp!--instructions) that will help you convert supported video. There's also a built-in mic for voice recordings and an FM tuner with Autoscan and 50 presets. Meizu even throws in a calendar, a stopwatch, and a calculator. We're disappointed to note that the Mini Player doesn't support album art, as it would look great on the big screen. In the box, you get a handy dust shammy, a USB cable, a pair of earbud-style headphones, and a protective cover.

Put to the test, the Mini Player proved that it has the potential to attract a loyal following. Music pumping through the player with the included earbuds sounded slightly hollow, though there was still plenty of detail and clarity and a surprising amount of bass. When we swapped in our Shure E4cs, tunes sounded notably deeper and richer. All in all, we enjoyed a pleasant listening experience, and the Mini Player gets loud enough to hurt your ears (so be careful). Videos ran smoothly, and images were clear and bright on the ample screen--it's big enough that you wouldn't mind watching short clips on it (30 minutes or more), but we're not sure about a full-length movie. There was one instance where the unit froze; if this happens to you, try pressing and holding the Enter key. The battery is rated for an impressive 20 hours for audio and 6 for video (check back for our lab test results).

Overall, this flashy import (which should be in the United States shortly) is a decent alternative to the iPod Nano (it costs less for more features); those who like to throw video and OGG into the mix should definitely consider the Mini Player, which seems to have excellent support behind it.

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