Sony NWZ-F805 review

If you don’t want the expense of a smartphone or need a more portable alternative – the latest Walkman is a winner Tested at £200

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

If you don’t want the expense of a smartphone or need a more portable alternative – the latest Walkman is a winner


  • +

    Small but perfectly formed

  • +

    Fast Android OS

  • +

    Sharp screen

  • +

    Excellent sound

  • +

    Good value


  • -

    Screen is small for video

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The media player market may have taken a bit of a beating due to the all-consuming smartphone, but the likes of Apple, Cowon, Samsung and Sony still think there’s place for a more dedicated music and video player. Albeit one with plenty of trimmings: the Sony NWZ-F805.

This latest incarnation of the Walkman sports an Android 4.0 operating system no less, giving access to the full online experience, Google Play Store for music, movies, apps and books and, indeed, Sony’s own Entertainment Network, including Sony Music Unlimited, a streaming music subscription service.

Sony NWZ-F805 review: Build quality
A monthly tenner will get you a competitively large choice of tunes – and it syncs across all compatible devices, now including iOS and Android phones as well as Sony smart TVs.

There’s an 800 x 480 resolution, 3.5in screen and a Tegra 2 processor that promises to whizz you round the interface. The device is small compared with rivals, but feels well built and solid.

Sony NWZ-F805 review: Sound and video quality
Moving round the menu screens is a smartphone-style experience, with the clean and intuitive OS proving pleasingly fast and responsive. A decent 20-hour battery life will save you draining your smartphone, too.

The screen is small for watching video, but it’s good quality. Edges are sharp, colours are nicely balanced, and it copes well with fast motion. But the sound is the real star here – it’s dynamic and detailed.

Sony NWZ-F805 review: Verdict
If you’re looking for a small, portable device for music, movies and browsing, or something to share the load with your smartphone, then this is a fine choice.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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