Sunday 29 November, 2009

Zune HD - Up Close & Personal

Don’t ask me Why did I choose Zune instead of an IPod..because the choice wasn’t mine.So i am not going to stack up why Zune is better than IPod touch(there are renowned blogs who have skinned them both and reviewed extensively.) Instead I will tell you what’s good & bad in Zune HD.


In terms of design Zune HD comes closer to the IPod touch than all other existing PMP’s (portable media players).

The brilliant OLED screen with HD resolution is the best of all PMP displays in the market.(like Matrix I cannot explain how good it has to see it)

I have used the Iphone and the touch interface in Zune is almost of the same quality (sometimes its too touchy.. especially while scrolling)

The metallic back finish gives a nice feel while holding it and it not too big it fits in your palm quite nicely. however if ur not using a Smartphone the Zune will be bigger than your mobile.Zune Originals lets users to personalize their Zune not just by engraving their name but also with cool tattoo like designs & patterns.

Image0207I wont get into detailed specs, but the following are the things which has changed my attitude towards Zune..(and i didn't get these from any of the tech reviews i read)

Zune Software – This is really cool….iTunes does not even come close…the look, feel, navigation is mind blowing with its awesomeness..Quick play history, Smart DJ mix, exploring music using Music Mix view (i listened to album previews from the net with just a click), fresh hits list ,automatic syncing etc etc

Best of all is the is the Zune pass content, where the software pulls info from the web about the song , singer ,photos and displays in the backdrop as a cool slideshow.This is also transferred to the Zune so it works offline too

Image0202 notice the text just above the taskbar

I strongly recommend to music explorers like me to give it a try (Zune player is not necessary for using Zune software)

Audio Surf Tilt : Even though Zune has very little apps for it, this game is a killer app which has made even apple fan boys to imagedrool. Basically its a game where a space jet moves along the track and one has to hit the colored beads and stay clear from the speed bumps…but what really cooks the noodle is that , the track is designed based on the song you choose, the bumps,pace of the game etc are based on the song pattern.

PGR-Ferrari Edition : Nothing unique abt the game per se, but the Tegra chip in the Zune brings out the finest details & textures of this Zune version of Project Gotham Racing which is very close to the PSP (in display i mean) which shows the potential of Zune as a great gaming device ( heard rumors abt a spl Zune version of Gears of War..yay!! :D)

Okay, now the bummers ..

  • The headphones are good ..that's it… not great
  • Zune marketplace does not work in India.. although you can see the content you cannot buy it free Zune pass(14 day trial) has gone to waste
  • Charger not inclusive , have to buy it separately (of course.. you can charge using the USB PC cable)
  • The web browser isn't as great as i thought it wud be..but yeah it has wi-fi and wireless sync support.
  • India has no HD radio so no point in flaunting that Zune supports it (The Radio feature works like breeze though :) no complains there)

image ZUNE HD from Microsoft Click 4 CNET review

Funny thing is I had always studied that Apple is for niche and Microsoft aims at this case its a role reversal…I am sure Zune is a rare thing in Bangalore with a mystic aura while iphones and iPod touch have lost their niche factor…

for that reason alone i am happy it is a Zune HD and not an IPod :)