However, things do start to diverge, and a swift glance at the specifications suggests that the Meizu Mini is the more accomplished player. For starters, it has a considerably larger 320 x 240 2.41in screen than the nano’s cramped 2in display – and this is in a package that’s not much larger either (it’s 78 x 46.5 x 7.3mm – WxDxH, if you’re interested in the raw figures). On it you can watch Xvid format video at 20 frames per second – you’ll have to convert footage using the supplied software, but it’s no different to most pocket flash media players. What is different is the quality. It’s super bright and sharp, and makes up for what seems like a relatively slow frame rate. In practice it’s perfectly feasible to watch TV episodes and even short movies on this screen without giving yourself a headache.
Music file format support is also very impressive. In fact, aside from the highly impressive iAudio 7, the Mini has the broadest format support of any pocket-sized flash-based player I’ve come across. Not only can you play back MP3 and WMA files, but also OGG, APE, and the lossless formats WMA Lossless, FLAC and WAV. This is truly a player for the music aficionado, though in a slightly disappointing turn, there’s no AAC support and, as a consequence, anyone looking for spoken word support is also going to be disappointed – there’s no support here for the Audible Book format.
On the plus side, the Mini can be switched from MTP to MSC mode, so you can also play DRM-restricted WMA files if you’ve been foolish enough to purchase any. Battery life is impressive too, quoted at 36 hours of continuous audio use, compared to the Apple device’s 24. And there’s the usual selection of extras, from games through to utilities such as a stopwatch, calculator and calendar, plus a microphone for voice recording. The UK player’s FM tuner has been disabled for import tax reasons, but can be reactivated with a firmware update (though doing this, according to the advancedmp3players website, will invalidate your warranty).