Review: Sony NW-A805 – Sony's first video MP3 Walkman

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sony_nwa805.jpgThe propaganda

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.

The good

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.

The bad

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.

Geek Sheet

Capacity: 2GB

Audio formats: MP3, ATRAC, AAC (unprotected), WMA (unprotected)

Video formats: MPEG4, AVC

Battery: 30 hours audio, 8 hours video

Dimensions: 44x88x9mm

Weight: 53g

Overview

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.

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Related sites: Sony NW-A805

Will Head

3 comments

  • Hey I’ve gt one of these, only had it since may this year but the so called earphones have already conked out on me, and because they are not standard earphones I’m unable to find any replaceable ones at a decent price! Can anyone tell me the specifics of the earphones so I know which ones I’m looking for?

    Also the sony software is not very user friendly, and when it comes to pictures I want to delete on it, as you would do with a mobile phone, you can’t delete them like that! It is a lot more complex to use than my previous mp3 player, atleas my £6 earphones with that lasted me a year! Plus it was so much easier to just drag and drop files you want on that device and which you don’t.

    Finally my crappy mp3 player also had a radio and a voice recording device…would have been nice to see these features on the NW-A805. Plus why’s the name so dodgy? And just want to point out its hard to put the songs in particular folders, which also make life dfficult when you’re searching a particular song!!!! You can bookmark certain songs but it would be nice to name those folders.

  • Nice one, JJ.

    At last someone who can comment on a PMP without using the iPod as the single benchmark. Jacks at the top is dumb, and any “reviewer” should be able to review a product in isolation.

  • “The bad

    The headphone connector is also at the bottom, rather than the top, so you’ll have to put it in your pocket upside down.”

    This is a good thing so when you put it into your pocket and pull out it out, the controls are at your hand and you don’t have to put you fingers on the screen etc. This give the user less fuss and requires minimal movement. Think!!

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