I have a Fiio M3k – small, cheap, sounds great, long battery life, but the UI is kind of a pain and lags far behind an iPod. I also have an old SanDisk Fuze which I flashed with Rockbox and like a lot – doesn’t sound as good as the Fiio but it’s a little more fun to use.
Anything you get will mean carrying around another device. Why not get a replacement cheap phone?
Maybe I am odd, but I never spend more than 100 clams on a phone. That way I never worry if it breaks or becomes redundant. (Old phones get recycled to Africa.)
Then I’d have two phones…
Check Rockbox compatible MP3 players. I dig this alternative firmware…
I would personally go for a little thing such as Sansa Clip or Kingbox: unbreakable, sdcard slot, small thing you can bring anywhere, battery that lasts for a long time…
I got a Fiio M6 - you can put a massive sd card in it and bring your whole (hi res audio) collection with you.
Sound quality is very good; much better than cheaper MP3 player alternatives though the M6 is cheap for a ‘DAP’. Has a few android music apps too, like bandcamp etc.
Only downside is battery life unless you develop a habit to charge every day or so. Processor power is fine for a big music collection library with cover art and tags. But not suitable for serious android apps.
I do far prefer a dedicated Walkman now rather than my phone. Particularly as a 256gb as card holds a lot. Having every obscure album and mix with you in your pocket is great when you are out and about and are in the mood for something you likely wouldn’t have happened to upload to your phone.
The sansa clip seems to be the best ‘new option’ so far. I’m not using it all the time, and for the office it seems to sit in the covers most bases bracket.
Archos 504? I know it’s well old, but 80gb storage etc