Creative ZEN X-Fi3 Review ~ Creative Labs Zen MP3 Players Sound Blaster Card
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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Creative ZEN X-Fi3 Review

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creative zen x-fi3

What is the Creative ZEN X-Fi3 ?
Ok, I got a ZEN X-Fi3, its the latest Creative ZEN mp3 player. Its a 2 inch screen tiny, pocket friendly mp3 player which look like the ZEN Style M300. Its not really a predecessor of the earlier ZEN X-Fi2. Its look and function is very different. I would say it look like the ZEN Style M300 and its more powerful.

The ZEN X-Fi3 let you connect wirelessly to any bluebooth devices such as headphone, speaker so that you can listen to your music wirelessly.

I will be showing you lots of photos and videos of the ZEN X-Fi3.

Microsoft® Windows® XP (Service Pack 2/XP 64-bit), Windows Vista®, Windows 7®
USB port

Content Package
Creative ZEN X-Fi3 Player
Quick Start Leaflet
Premium Creative EP-630 Earphones (in-ear)
USB Cable

Let's have a quick look at its specifications




8GB / 16GB / 32GB

Expansion slot:

microSD/microSDHC support
(up to 32GB)

Device Class:

Mass Storage Class
(Removable Drive, maximum up to 8000 files, mixture of Videos + Music +


2" TFT with 262K


Capacitive Touch buttons


Bluetooth 2.1 (supports aptX™, AVRCP & A2DP)

Audio Playback

FLAC, non-protected AAC
(*.M4A) from iTunes Plus® , MP3, WMA(DRM9), WAV(IMA-ADPCM),
Audible Format 4, Audible AAX

X-Fi™ Audio

Adjustable Crystalizer /
Expand effects

Video Playback

Playback on

WMV9: (up to 512 x 384, 1Mbps & 30fps, Stereo)

AVI (MPEG-4, DivX4/5/Xvid): (up to 640 x 480, 1Mbps & 24fps, Stereo)


WMV: up to 512 x 384 / AVI: up to 640 x 480

Video / Audio out:

PAL or NTSC / Stereo (via
A/V cable sold separately)

Photo Format



Mono (IMA-ADPCM, *.wav

FM Radio:

32 preset stations

Built-in Speakers:


Battery Life4:

Up to 20 hours of audio

Up to 3 hours of video (based on video with 320 x 240 @ 1Mbps, Stereo)


Clock / Alarm


English, French,
Portuguese, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Norwegian, Danish,
Finnish, Hungarian, Swedish, Greek, Russian, Czech, Korean, Japanese, Simplified
Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Thai, Turkish.


Built-in rechargeable
Li-ion polymer battery

Power Charging:

Power Adapter (sold separately)


46.5 x 63 x 14mm


1 Availability may differ in different regions.
2 Non-protected AAC (.M4A) from iTunes Plus®. Supports FLAC of up to 1.1Mbps.
3 This product is not certified by DivX Inc. and may not play all DivX 4 and DivX 5 files. XviD encoded files are playable if they are encoded as standard MPEG-4 Simple (SP) or Advanced Simple Profile (ASP) without GMC and QPEL support. Appropriate codecs must be preinstalled.
4 Actual battery life and playtime will vary with use and settings. Battery has limited recharge cycles.

There's not many accessories at the moment, but you can get some of them from Creative.

Design / Build Quality
It is made of plastic and does look quite thick, in fact, it is thicker than the ZEN Style M100/M300. Though it is made in plastic but the back of the ZEN X-Fi3 looks polished and shiny. It is squarish in shape, pretty small and sit nicely on my palm.

The screen is small 2 inch wide (diagonal) TFT screen. It has capitative touch-responsive navigation which means that you navigate the features of the player easily with intuitive touch keys located around the display screen.

User Interface
The Creative ZEN X-Fi3 uses the ZEN patented interface and it is very easy to use. If you have a older ZEN, you will be familiar with the navigation and will not have problem using this mp3 player too

This stylish MP3 player features responsive touch keys around its display border for easy navigation of functions like play, pause, skip and album/track selections. I find these handy as I can quickly navigate around very easily.

Transferring Media
Transferring media is easy via USB cable and no Creative Centrale or any conversion software is required. As long as they are the supported formats as stated in the technical specifications.

The Creative ZEN X-Fi3 is plug and play ready. When connected to your PC or laptop, you will be prompt to 'mount' your ZEN X-Fi3 just like a removable thumb drive, select this option and your windows will pop out a message to let you view the files in the ZEN X-Fi3. Choose the folder you want and start transferring your media by dragging and dropping them.

Micro SD Memory
The Creative ZEN X-Fi3 has a Micro SD card slot where you can upload your content. Thus allowing you the flexibility of accessing more music and movies directly from your microSD card. And allows you to expand your space capacity.

You can play your songs directly from your Micro SD card but this time, its integrated with your music library.

Wireless (bluebooth)
There is bluetooth support which allows you to connect to any of Creative wireless speakers so that you can play your music audio on those speakers.

Battery Life
The battery takes 4 to 5 hrs to be fully charge. And it can last up to 20 hrs of playtime.

Sound Quality
The Creative ZEN X-Fi3 is built to be small and economical, and since it is called X-Fi3, it is equipped with the unbeatable X-Fi performance which let you listen to your music in amazing clarity.

The Creative ZEN X-Fi3 version also comes with FM radio and you can tune in to your favourite radio station if you are ever tired of listening to your own songs.

There's no external speaker on this ZEN, maybe because its already too small to squeeze it in.

What is the differences between ZEN Style M300 and ZEN X-Fi3 mp3 player?
Take a look at the comparison chart below:



8GB / 16GB

4GB / 8GB / 16GB



White / Black / Red / Yellow

Screen Size




262k Colors

262k Colors

Screen Resolution

176 x 220 pixels

128 x 128 pixels


46.5 x 63 x 14mm

55 x 44 x 12.5mm




Video Playback



Music Playback



Photo Playback




Bluetooth Version

Bluetooth 2.1 (supports aptX, AVRCP &

Bluetooth 2.1 Wireless Technology (supports A2DP & AVRCP)

With Wireless LAN


Wireless Network


Built-in Microphone



Creative ZEN X-Fi3 with the X-Fi audio makes it unique and we like the capitative responsive touch keys, its cool.

The small screen 2-inch LCD is certainly clear and colourful but its too small to do justice to video and photo content, and to enjoy feature-length clips on the move. I would be using those ZENs with larger screens to watch my videos, such as the ZEN X-Fi2 and ZEN Touch 2.

File support is also very good here and the ZEN X-Fi3 is able to handle a range of audio formats such as FLAC, MP3, WMA, Audible Format 4 and AAX are supported. So no conversion is required.

The bottom line is the ZEN X-Fi3 is unique and has better audio quality all because of X-Fi audio. I like it, especially the audio and touch keys, I can still recommend the ZEN X-Fi3, it’s really pocket friendly and wallet friendly too!

Rating: 9/10

You can get the lowest priced Creative ZEN X-Fi3 and it comes with FREE shipping!

We want to hear from you, please feel free to let us know in the comments section below.


Anonymous said...

hardly see somebody using an mp3 player now a days. they are dead literally.

real life reviews

Anonymous said...

i have soundblaster usb with thx trustudio and paired with aurvana live. i think it is the best so far i have heard. i wun buy this player but i think those who need to go for in-camp training in singapore might want since their favorite camera smartphone are banned. i will be getting hn-900 soon. heard it is reasonable price and very good audio.

Jimmy Loh said...

with a mp3 player this tiny, its good to bring along when you go jogging or gym. and with x-fi audio, it is definitely better than listening from a ipod or iphone

Anonymous said...

Is there any way to protect content on x-fi3 by password?

Jimmy Loh said...

You should be able to password protect your folder. When in your folder select option button and there should be a protect option

Anonymous said...

This player does have a speaker. You can choose to use the speaker by using the menu button and choosing speaker.

Anonymous said...

here's an example why creative should sell everything to benefit shareholders: remember sim has been willing to face reporters now. he said he is now more assertive towards new products, especially sound blaster axx. he will tell engineers to axx this feature and axx that. and now you see sound blaster axx actually has more review sets given out than sold. and the reviews are generally average. average review products rarely sell well. sim can email creative labs to check over the past few days, how many sound blaster axx 8, 10 and 20 are sold, probably single digit for the whole of US, the world's largest consumer market! look at creative d100 speakers which was launched a few years back (the so called no intervention on product design by ceo then) and now it is the top 3 best selling wireless speakers in most countries. also the much hyped hanzpad is now down to hansvision tablet. remember it was sim himself that went to Beijing to woo the Chinese. for tech product to succeed eventually, you must be consistent and start from English base, not Chinese. hope sim understands that he has wasted hundreds of millions of shareholders fund and got a rebate of 50 mil. he can't afford to continue and shareholders should not let him, there's only 150 mil or so left. most shareholders are from a tiny island called Singapore and most of them are stuck with the shares bought at S$25.80 or so. ziilabs didn't spend 1 bil on R&D. but ziilabs uk together with ziilabs based in Singapore prob spent a couple hundred of mil on R&D. 1 bil is arrived after taking into account all the R&D since creative is founded. basically ziilabs uk has access to the patents, algorithms, source code, documentation, etc when they design the chip.

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