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on November 8, 2012
I have the Sony S-Series, E-Series, A-Series and now the F-Series Walkman; I also own the Cowon S9 and have a Samsung Smart Phone. All of my devices play music and video but space and battery life is what drives me on my purchase decisions. To put this in perspective, I tried to use my phone to listen to music or watch a video while traveling (airline travel is boring lol) but I realized I was constantly needing to recharge and that's not good. The phone is used for calls, email and text and yes, I do have a car charger and the phone is integrated into my car via Bluetooth. My PMPs are also integrated into my car via an auxiliary jack or I can use Bluetooth) I won't use my phone for anything else outside the above three reasons (I have built-in GPS in my car as well) except on rare occasions so that's the reason for battery life; now for space issues.

Exercising and completing DIY projects is much better when jamming with tunes (I'm sure we've all been there). The S-Series has 2GB and a very small screen...OK for tunes but not much space and the screen was too small for videos. The E-Series has 16GB but the screen was too small for videos as well. The Cowon S9 is an excellent device but IMO, too bulky to slip into my gym shorts while exercising or just working around the house (I dislike arm bands or cases when exercising or completing DIY projects because they don't feel right too me and get in the way). The A-Series Walkman is a pristine device (I mean I love that device for the gym and watching videos) but memory was capped at 16GB and I almost filled that with tunes. The reason for filling the space up was due to the album art and custom art I attached to each song (I use a program called mp3tag pro); the A-Series screen is excellent and I enjoy looking at the art. I took a chance on this device due to limited reviews and it took me a few days to get used to it but now I'm totally into the system.

The F-Series is running Google's Ice Cream OS but my main reason for purchasing this system was the 32GB option (If Sony ever brings a 64GB Walkman to the States, I would purchase that as well). I have over a 120GBs of tunes so no, I won't ever put all of my tunes on one device nor would I want too. This system has the same control over sound, e.g. equalizer, virtual sound space, etc. and the tunes/videos sound and look great. I wasn't sure about the Android IC OS but I have no issues connecting and checked out most of the apps, e.g. email, YouTube, location, app store etc. and I'm digging it. Why? I set my phone on vibrate and know that I have that area covered (email, calls and text) and I can play hard with this device. I also love the design, e.g. slimness (slimmest Walkman to hit the shelves so far) and screen size and the variety of options to view your media (One cool thing is the user selectable screen visualizers that match the rhythm of your music for a unique visual experience; similar to a screen saver.) The one thing I thought I would miss from the A-Series was the physical buttons to control your tunes, e.g. access your tunes and adjust volume or advance to the next song. Actually, I almost cancelled this order when I realized that this system didn't have the physical buttons for advancing tunes (there is a volume button) but after playing with it for a few days, I'm totally comfortable with it. The F-Series has a 'W' button that lets you access your tunes immediately even if the screen is locked and that's good for me; little music player app appears on the screen that allows advancement to the next tune and displays album art.

In short, if you really like your media but need a rock solid communications system for work, then the F-Series should be on your short list. Your phone can be used for work/family issues (I get almost three days of use from a single charge) and I can play long using this device. BTW - when I'm at the gym, I don't accept any calls nor will I read/respond to any emails/texts (I don't even bring my phone into the gym).

A couple of other things worth mentioning. The included buds are excellent but if you're like me, you own a few top shelf buds to jam with. I use Sony's flagship set of buds, Sony MDREX1000 In-Ear Headphones and Etymotic Research ER-4PT MicroPro Noise-Isolating In-Ear Earphones. These buds can make a world of difference for sound but I'm not diminishing the sound from the included buds (I started with Sony buds, 300, 500 and 700 series and always enjoyed them) and the included ones are the 300 series; definitely OK to jam with. Comparison to the IPOD series isn't something I'll comment on. Why? I use a MacBook Pro for work and my kids have all the Ipods, Ipads, etc. They're all beautiful devices but I prefer the Walkman sound; my Cowon rocks too but the system is not on the same level as the Walkman IMO.

I'm sure the price will drop soon but I really enjoy this device and for me, was worth purchasing to bring a little joy into my life. Hope this review helps you and feel free to ask questions.

Update - Note on transferring music and video files to the Walkman. I use Media Go (included software) to transfer music because the app analyzes the songs and places them in a category, e.g. relax, morning, upbeat, energetic, etc. You can select a category and only play songs from that area similar to playlist. For videos, I use an outstanding program named Aiseesoft Total Video Converter. I convert my videos (TV, Movies and Music Videos) into Sony's format, MP4 video, and then drag and drop using Windows Explorer; I do not use Media Go for this function.

2nd Update - The unit has an update to v1.10. This update is required to facilitate the use of playlists on the unit. I use playlists all the time and like having the ability to add a tune to a selected or new playlist on the fly.

3rd Update - I ordered the case for this unit and learned something. I was reluctant to order from a merchant directly but came across Amazon.UK and ordered there. All my info was available for billing/shipping and the case should arrive in 2-4 days with expedited international shipping; How cool...Update: received the case four days after ordering from Amazon.UK...very impressed with shipping and the case itself.

4th Update - I recently took a business trip and wanted a case to hold my Walkman (I already have a case on this), Sony Earbuds and USB adapter; I have a Compact Premium GPS Carrying Case for Garmin Nuvi 255W 4.3" that was no longer used and that case was perfect for holding/protecting my PMP and accouterments while traveling, e.g. keeping everything together/protected in my suitcase; have to interact with clients sometimes and doing it with buds in my ears would lessen the professional appearance lol.

5th Update - I have been putting this device through various config options including exploring more Android apps and comparing to my other PMPs. Being objective, this player rocks; music/video sounds full and rich and much better than my other players.

6th Update - OK this is cool. If I connect my Walkman in my car via the auxiliary jack, I cannot advance tunes using the controls on my steering wheel. I found out last week that if I connect my Walkman via Bluetooth, I CAN advance tunes using the controls on my steering wheel. This is a major help as I was using my Cowon and A-Series in the car but I don't have to anymore. This player is becoming my go to player for almost everything (I still prefer buttons when sitting in the dentist chair hence the Cowon or A-Series lol).

7th Update - I recently upgraded my phone to a Droid Razr Maxx HD and very impressed with the specs particularly the battery life (reason I went with the Droid). I could easily say that my phone can take care of all my needs but for one caveat - size. This Walkman is the largest size I would slip into my gym shorts, jacket pocket, etc. without feeling too cumbersome. So, the Walkman still gets top billing from me for entertainment (tunes/video) and my phone can now be used for a few more things than previously, e.g. Internet is not an issue any longer due to battery life.

8th Update - I just purchased the JayBird BlueBuds X Sport Bluetooth Headphones - Midnight Black and this is a major change. The buds sound great and most importantly, pair with multiple devices that can be used simultaneously. To understand this, I paired these headphones with my phone so I can accept calls via the buds (the buds have controls for this and more) and paired with my Sony Walkman so I can listen to tunes/watch videos. Everything is smooth on connectivity and as long as I'm not riding my motorcycle and/or scooter, I'm very pleased. I did provide a review of the JayBird buds if you want more information on that.
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4444 comments| 58 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 9, 2013
Let me begin by making two things clear:
1. I don't intend on writing a well structured review. If you can get through it, you may find some things that are useful to you.
2. I hate proprietary cables/connectors. Hate them. Oh, and I hate them, too.

Now to my thoughts:

I'm coming off of my 4th Cowon device (outgrew 3 of them, broke the last one) and was looking for a new dedicated music player. Two of my requirements were FLAC and bluetooth (for car). This does both. The coup de grace was being able to listen to Google Music (or pandora, slacker, spotify, youtube, whatever else you're into)

I considered a couple of Cowon's android devices, but I couldn't stomach paying that price for the hardware specs/android version offered. That led me here. As far as what I bought it for (music/flac/bluetooth), this does its job. It does them well. Do I miss BBE? Yes. Surprisingly, though, not as much as I thought I would. This walkman holds its own and sounds great in its own right.

Is it worth the price? That depends. It fit the niche I was looking to fill, but I don't feel like I got a bargain. If you're looking for a tablet-esque (is that a thing?) experience for games/movies/etc, I can't recommend this over an ipod touch, an off contract nexus 4, a nexus 7, or even a PS Vita (this list could go on) - obviously, at this price, most of those will fall short when it comes down to capacity. While it's a capable device with a fairly recent version of android, it will stutter if you push it hard. The processor isn't exactly bleeding edge and your money is better spent elsewhere if music isn't the primary reason you're shopping around. Also, I'm infinitely annoyed by the proprietary cable. Really Sony? MicroUSB wouldn't suffice? Yes, I know - Cowon has been guilty of proprietary cables, but their cables (that also annoy me because, in case you didn't know, I hate proprietary cables) offer functionality (that I never use) like video out. One (of many) things that deter me from ever buying Apple products is the proprietary cables/connections. At least Apple is ubiquitous. Walkman? Maybe in 1989. Battery life also leaves something to be desired. Some may complain about the plastic body, but if you're prone to bouncing your devices off of concrete from time to time (guilty), the plastic body will work in your favor.

Does anyone remember the ALF episode where Gordon Shumway wrote/performed that "You're the One That's Out of This World" song for Lynn? Me neither - just checking to see if you're still reading this.

So am I happy with my purchase? Mostly, yes. It fits the niche I wanted filled. For the car, this mount (iOttie HLCRIO104 Easy) is the perfect match.

Stupid proprietary cable aside, I'm satisfied with it. If you're looking to use this primarily as a music player (and as a secondary/tertiary device for fb/games/twooping) I recommend this device - stupid cable aside.

Oh, and the proprietary cable is stupid.
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on October 15, 2013
I got this little mp3 player as an alternative to Apple, which is a truly horrible corporation and I refuse to give them money ever again. The Walkman's interface is a little clunky at first but you get used to it and it can do everything an iPod can and then some. It runs Android, so if you connect to the internet be prepared to give sign your life over to Google. Android is nice because it has a lot of apps you can use on your device, so you're not sacrificing that. The audio is incredible (much better than iPod) and I LOVE that I can use FLAC. Battery life is about 6 hours of use.
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on October 2, 2012
I was looking for top-notch sound quality so that I could have mobile access to a large (60 GB) classical music collection. My music collection is extensively and very carefully tagged using other software (CATraxx). I was also looking for wireless connectivity. The NWZ-F806 certainly delivered on sound quality, including excellent ear-buds. It is really fantastic. And I am fussy. But the software really doesn't cut it. It is as if there are two separate systems: One is Android with WiFi connectivity, and the other is Sony's media management software, Media Go, which only has USB connectivity. Big disappointment: All music file transfer must be USB, not WiFi. Maybe there is an "app" to bridge the two, but it's not obvious. On the Sony software side, organization of music on the Walkman depends on Sony's "Media Go" software that must be installed on a PC. Media Go does a lot of processing, judging by the VERY slow transfer rates to the Walkman. The music on my PC is organized in a "flat" structure with each CD corresponding to a folder containing all track files (.wmv or .mp3). The organizational structure of the collection is inherent in the tagging metadata written into all the media files. But Media Go reorganizes the music on the Walkman into a hierarchical organization with top folders corresponding to artists. In this day and age with relational databases and tags, this is silly. Why not just copy the files into a flat structure, and scan the tags to build a local database?? Aha, thought I. When connected by USB you can see the music folder. Why not just copy my music folders (flatly) into the Walkman music folder and bypass Media Go?! That can be done (and the transfer is fast!), but the Walkman is not smart enough to read the tags and organize the collection or use cover art. Also, there were errors in the transfer by either method because the file name length limit on the Walkman is shorter than on the PC (64b Win 7). The error messages in Media Go were cryptic so it took a bit of head-scratching to figure out what was going on. The error log is also volatile - you lose information on which files didn't transfer when you close Media Go. Four other minor issues: 1) Why not supply a wrist strap? 2) Why not supply an AC to USB adapter? 3) Why does the USB cable have to be a proprietary connector? 4) Why is there no memory expansion available? I would be very disappointed were it not for the absolutely superb sound quality on this device.

Here's an update on October 11, 2015. For some reason this device gets into a mode where it occasionally emits a loud single beep for no discernible reason. It took a while to isolate the device responsible in my pile of devices. This is really annoying, and is the last straw in my efforts to live with this device. Bottom line: This is a poorly designed device - slow, clunky software, insufficient memory. Next step - get it out of my life.
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on April 28, 2013
I've had my walkman for about a week and i'm quite happy with it.
First off the initial reason i bought this is that it would play various media types and since my media library consists of all types of different files this was a huge plus when considering buying this device. I had come across this when looking for a media player that would play FLAC in addition to my mp3's and WMA files and so far it has played everything i've thrown at it without the need convert my files into something else. The software is on the device and easy to install but you don't have to use it and can just drag and drop your files.

The design is nice and the size is perfect to slip into your pocket without any discomfort. I also like the plain black color.
As for the interface if you have had any experience with a smartphone you will be able to navigate easily as it runs on an Andriod os and has an interface like most android smartphones with the ability to download apps from the google play market.. another plus is that it has wi-fi and bluetooth.

the only downside is that the storage is non-upgradeable.

So far this is a great device with mutiple features and i would definitly recomend it to anyone who is looking for a new music player.
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on March 19, 2013
Been using it as an audio ebook and music player since I got it. Also using it with MW600 bluetooth headset so playing it wirelessly. Volume is loud compared to what I was previously used to in a phone. Some android apps somewhat lags in the player but that was expected. At least music player is smooth and without hitches which is my primary use for it anyway. Will use it as a android game player as well if time permits :D
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on March 6, 2013
This PMP is amazing. My songs are encoded in flac and the sound is crystal clear and it has plenty of sound shaing options. The internet is fast as well. Even though there are no physical buttons for music control except for the walkman button you won't miss them, the gesture control works great. I could not be happier. If you want a no holds bar music player with all the extras this is a must buy.
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on July 18, 2013
I previously owned a Sony Wallkman and used it daily for several years, so when I was due for an update I knew I wanted the latest version. The F-Series did not disappoint. This is an all around well built device, the music quality is superb, the screen is bright and vibrant, and the battery life is exceptional with proper settings. Those are the three most important things to me. The Bluetooth and WiFi are also both great. I use those features every day and I haven't had any problems. The last thing I would like to mention to any potential buyer is that Sony chose to include a FM radio player instead of a camera on their music playing device. I think it's a great feature and completely appropriate for a digital media player who's main purpose is music playing!
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on March 26, 2013
I really like my walkman f series. sound quality is great. Only problem I have with this
is i can't find any cases to protect it. its not just a music player so battery does drain fast.
all in all its a good sturdy product. if you want a good music player and some android on the side
I would definitely recommend this product. if you just want a good music player I would suggest
the walkman S-544. If you can still find them for a resonable price. about a year back I got one for
my wife and my brother and there still rocking out to them. they have great battery life. no android
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on June 29, 2015
Great little machine, the best part is that you can plug it into your computer using the USB and record direct using software like Replay Music and other music recording applications. Does slow down a bit when you load it up with thousands of songs but that is to be expected. If you plan on adding that much music, I don't recommend using it for wi-fi surfing or anything else cause that will slow it down even more. Very compact and easy to use on the Android platform!
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