Is the Creative Zen Touch 2 PMP over-featured?

2 November 2010 No Comment Mike Evans

Meet the new Creative Zen Touch 2, a social media player from Creative that really really wants to be a mobile phone, but like the Scarecrow of the Wizard of Oz, hasn’t the gubbins to do so.

At its heart, the Zen Touch 2 is a PMP, capable of playing both music and video, which should be reasonably easy on the eye thanks to its 3.2″ touchscreen.

But when you look more closely at the features of the Zen Touch 2, you start to wonder why it’s a PMP and not a mobile phone.

Let me explain…

Features of the Creative Zen Touch 2

The Creative Zen Touch 2 comes with the following features:

  • 3.2″ touchscreen
  • 2 megapixel camera
  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi
  • Web browser
  • GPS
  • Compass
  • Accelerometer
  • FM Radio
  • composite video-out
  • microSD slot
  • 8GB – 16GB of internal storage
  • Android 2.1 (soon to be upgraded to 2.2)

Does that sound like a PMP player to you or a mobile phone?!
Creative Zen Touch 2
The fact that the Zen Touch 2 uses Android is the reason why it’s so overloaded with features. Out of the box, Android comes with a Web browser and supports all the other hardware features of the Zen Touch 2, such as GPS, compass, etc/, so once Creative had decided to use Android, it took very little work to include all the other btis and bobs.

Great features, or overkill?

But as an overall user experience, I can’t help but feel that it’s overkill. I already have all of those features on my mobile phone. The camera, in particular, is unlikely to be of much use, as it’s only 2 megapixels. Equally, I’m not sure I’d ever GPS from my PMP player when I have it on my phone (and maybe Creative thought of this, too, as you can buy a cheaper version of the Zen Touch 2 without GPS).
Creative Zen Touch 2 personal media player
Even more bizarre is the fact that you can’t use Google Maps (which the Android-based Zen Touch 2 comes with) without a data connection, but because it’s not a phone, that data connection will only come from Wi-Fi. So unless you’re near a Wi-Fi hotspot such as coffee shop, the only time you can use GPS is when you’re home or at work!!

It’s not cheap, either. There’s an 8GB version without GPS for £149.99, an 8GB version with GPS for £159.99, and a 16GB version without GPS, also for £159.99.

Those prices are very similar to a low-end Android mobile phone, which provides all of the same features, but also throws in the ability to make phone calls. Indeed, you can buy the HTC Wildfire for just £6.67 a month, and that comes wirth a 5 megapixel camera and HTC’s glorious Sense user interface.
Creative Zen touch 2 Android based PMP
So, although at fglance the Zen Touch 2 seems like a super-featured PMP, in reality the features aren’t needed and all they do is increase the price to make it less competitive than a more feature-rich mobile phone. Sure, the sound quality will be better than the phone’s but if all you want is good sound quality, it’s proably better to buy a good quality MP3 player with limited features and leave all the whizzy stuff to your phone.

[Source: Pocket Lint]


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