All Zune HD review write-ups are asking one question – can the Zune HD compete with Apple iPod Touch? However, after reviewing the product, I felt that Microsoft is here trying to do something different rather than just making an alternative to Apple’s product. I see Zune HD as a evolution for the PMP concept and it is not essentially a trimmed down version of a smartphone. Every feature inside is made to absorb the media from HD radio to HD video output to the cool and redesigned UI.
Zune HD review says that the device is not a curved simple rectangular device having a screen like iPod Touch. Instead, it has resolutely luxurious, industrial, slim and angular chassis. From the visible screws to the angled back to the thin and long home button, this device is in the league of its own. For getting the best sound quality from this gadget, I would recommend you some kind of high end headphones set like Bose On-Ear headphones.
The rubberized, aluminum black glass and plastic body of the Zune HD feels solid and tough in the hand. The display is widescreen and is good for media but for other applications like Web browsing. Supported audio formats on this player include MP3, WMA, AAC, WMA Lossless and you can also play audio books files here. Zune HD will sort the music track by artist, genre, songs and album name automatically. This is seen in all major MP3 players these days so there is nothing to praise Microsoft about it. For best results, some high end audio set like the Bose On-Ear Headphones.
Supported video format files include H.264, MP4 and Microsoft’s WMV format. I was disappointed to see that other popular formats like AVI, DivX or MOV videos aren’t supported here. This means you will have to spend some time converting all the content before you can go ahead and load it on the player. Even Apple doesn’t support some of these files but then they have the iTunes store which has tons of movies, TV shows and music videos for viewing.
The rated battery life of the Zune HD is 33 hours for the music playback and video playback will drain the battery in eight and half hours. In my Zune HD review, my lab tests gave me battery life of about a little less than thirty hours which is less than what the manufacturer is vouching for but I was also intrigued to see that my Zune HD review model lasted for 30.4 hours with Wi-Fi turned on. Wi-Fi drains battery life faster but this device seems to be from a different world. As compared to this, the iTouch battery provides juice for 34.5 hours for audio and for video, it lasts eight and half hours both with the Wi-Fi turned on. If you ask me to choose one amongst the two devices, I would recommend you to go for the Zune HD since the video quality and screen is a bit better than the Apple’s product.