Sony is looking to re-establish the Walkman brand with the digital generation and the NW-A805 is its first player that does both audio and video.
It’s available in a range of colours to suit, from conservative black or white to more adventurous pink or violet and it’s tiny too measuring just 44x88x9mm. The NW-A805 uses flash memory for storage and comes with 2GB – there are other models in the range offering 4GB and 8GB if you need more.
It’s certainly an attractive looking device and it’s very simple to operate. The menu is simple to navigate and Sony has supplied a range of applications for getting music and video onto it.
Format support is good – it can handle MP3, Sony’s own ATRAC format and iPod friendly AAC and Microsoft’s WMA, providing the latter two aren’t protected. On the video side it can play iPod compatible MPEG4 files and also AVC encoded movies.
Sound quality is very impressive – rather than opting for cheap headphones Sony has included a pair of noise isolating earphones that block out external sounds and create very good bass.
While you can’t fault it on the audio side of things, it’s a bit of a disappointment when it comes to video. The 2in screen is just too small for watching anything longer than short clips on.
You can rotate the video sideways, so it fills the full display but it still doesn’t do it justice. If you’re watching widescreen content, then you’ll still have to put up with black bars at the top and bottom, making the image even smaller.
The headphone connector is also at the bottom, rather than the top, so you’ll have to put it in your pocket upside down.
Audio formats: MP3, ATRAC, AAC (unprotected), WMA (unprotected)
Video formats: MPEG4, AVC
Battery: 30 hours audio, 8 hours video
If you’re just looking for a small flash based MP3 player then Sony’s NW-A805 will do the job admirably. If video is your thing, however, you’ll no doubt be disappointed by the small screen – you’d be hard pushed to sit through a whole movie.
It’s asking price of £119 is a little on the high side for a 2GB player – so unless you really can cope with video on a 2in screen you might be better off looking elsewhere.
Related sites: Sony NW-A805