Creative has just launched a new PMP as part of their Zen line-up, this time based on the Android operating system. We saw a similar move from Samsung with its Samsung Galaxy Player 50, launched at IFA 2010.
Offering a 3.2-inch screen, the Creative Zen Touch 2 runs on Android 2.1, with Creative promising at the launch event that it was working on an update to Android 2.2 for its new devices.
In the hand the Zen Touch 2 lacks the premium feel you get from the Apple iPod touch, the combination of plastics offering up a textured back. The display is resistive and on the pre-production device we saw it threw up a couple of problems, especially with scrolling up and down lists (final firmware and calibration may correct this).
Controls fall to three soft buttons beneath the screen offering the usual search, back and menu options, whilst home gets a physical button running across the width of the player.
In terms of connectivity you get Wi-Fi b/g/n as well as Bluetooth 2.1, with Creative suggesting the best use of the Bluetooth would be to connect to something from its range of Bluetooth speakers.
There will be two varieties of the Zen Touch 2, one offering a basic spec (in 8 and 16GB models, expandable with microSD) the other including a GPS chip, digital compass and FM radio. Without a data connection, however, you won’t be able to use a lot of location-based apps or maps, but if caching comes to Google Maps, or you decide to buy a mapping app, perhaps that won’t be an issue.
Prices start from £149, £40 cheaper than the cheapest iPod touch, but you also don’t get the same quality design, the App Store, or the high resolution display, but you do at least get the camera on the back.
Of course we’ll be putting the Zen Touch 2 through its paces when we get one in for review and we’ll see just how good it is as a music and video player, and general Android plaything.