Flash-based, small and feature-rich—that’s the Zen V Plus. The trendy colour combination adds to its appeal. The 1 GB Zen V Plus is available in black or white with orange highlights; the 2 GB model has green highlights, and the 4 GB version comes with blue accents—ditto the 8 GB version.
The device is well-built and feels very sturdy. The controls are easily accessible and the buttons well-placed; opinions differed about the joystick. FM radio and video playback round off the features list. The Zen V Plus interfaces with you via a bright, 1.5-inch, 128 x 128 OLED screen.
A good software bundle comes along, and the device syncs with WMP 10 and above to transfer music and videos.
It supports MP3, WAV, and WMA audio formats. Then there’s the excellent line-in recording feature that allows you to record to MP3 at 128 or 160 kbps.
Videos such as those in the DivX and AVI formats are transcoded to the Zen’s proprietary format; however, the resolution at 128 x 96 @ 12 fps doesn’t really cut it. Audio quality is the Zen V Plus’ forte. It delivers rich highs and decent vocals. Bass is good, but not deep enough to be classified as excellent. On the default headphones, the Zen V Plus sounds similar to the iPod nano. Actually, the right set of phones will allow you to experience the full output range the device is capable of—we attest to this!
With the feature set and user-friendliness on offer, the Zen V Plus is one attractive package. We don’t think the lack of good video playback should matter; think of it as an added feature. Creative has other products in their portfolio that handle video very well indeed. If you want a great-sounding, feature-rich MP3 player that’s on par with the iPod nano but much smaller, the Creative Zen V Plus is the way to go.