Review: Creative Zen Style M300

Product: Creative Zen Style M300

MRP: Rs 3499 (4 GB); Rs 4999 (8 GB)

Smile Offers Bluetooth connectivity
Sad smileControls suck; Poor audio quality; The screen will make your eyes bleed; Poor stock earphones

Operational Difficulties
Ok, so maybe I don’t feel that bad trashing this thing. The M300 comes with basic touchscreen controls. Actually, more like punch screen controls. I have touched, groped, poked, scratched, stepped on, and even peed on the controls, but they simply wouldn’t respond properly.

While the up and down arrows worked after two firm pokes, the Play \ Pause and Menu buttons were infuriatingly unresponsive. I would often tap away furiously at the Play button and after about six to eight taps, the player would respond. The Menu was a bigger task: if you tapped too fast, the menu would disappear and you’d have to try again. Ironic that the promo images have a feminine, well-groomed, Caucasian finger erotically touching the screen. That faceless woman has betrayed me with her misleading ways.

Oh yeah, you can add pics to the player to enjoy on its 1.45″ inch screen. Isn’t that thoughtful? Imagine the long hours you will spend squinting at your screen trying to tell your mom apart from the large vase she is standing next to. With a large sigh, I added some random images to the Pictures folder.
For the sake of the lulz, I added a pic of my cousin, who recently married a girl who looks exactly like him (Read: Sister-esque). The Zen did a wonderful job of turning them into one big mirror image. The pixellation pretty much gave them the same face, and I had a hearty laugh. I couldn’t tell them apart, which is exactly what I wanted. The next image, however, made me shriek in terror.

Ack! I was surfing through the menu when I saw Videos on the list. It surprised me. Are you serious, Creative? I can barely see the menu properly and you tossed a video player in here?!
So it turns out, they need you to convert your videos to the SMV format before you can watch it on the M300. What the hell is SMV? Too small to watch? I went to the official site of the creators of the SMV format and found that the site was up for sale. Nice. Anyway, watching videos on this tiny screen was truly embarrassing. Maybe Creative should ship a small magnifying glass along with the Zen so we can actually watch the videos.

What really made me lol (“laugh out loud”, for you internet cavemen) was the sample video that Creative added with the player. The voiceover on the video has a man speaking with a heavy lisp. I burst out laughing here. It really seemed like a crazy, unreal prank that Creative was pulling off at this point. I played the video many times over because I’d never seen a professional video that used an artist with a lisp to do voiceovers. That’s just hilarious.

Yo, anybody can be a DJ with da Creatize Zen, boom! You know what this DJ thing is? It’s that Shuffle \ Repeat \ Play All control that they forgot to add to the Music menu. So they decided to turn you into a DJ. Not very Creative.
FM Radio
The radio started scanning as soon as I clicked it. It pulled up 24 presets. When did Mumbai get 24 radio stations? The radio was pleasant enough. But then, I find radios pleasant anywhere. It’s that noisy, static- y, walkie-talkie-ish, barber shop feeling that I love most about local radio, and the Zen delivered. Achievement unlocked.
The Bluetooth Business
Well, I suppose this was the USP? It makes sense. A wireless player is really a fantastic idea, since you can use it in places like the gym, or with your car system, if the latter supports it. With Bluetooth earphones, using it in the gym could be fun, but forget about using it while driving. Considering its unresponsive controls, you’ll probably pull a Salman and crush some bystanders while you’re furiously tapping away at the player. I suggest singing loudly by yourself in the car instead of using the M300.

The EQ
This one made me giggle, too. Oooooh, the player has EQ. How damn cute of it.

Of course it doesn’t work

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