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July 18, 2012

Sony Walkman F800: an iPod Touch challenger?

Sony’s previous Z-series portable media player pumped out great sound and looked good but didn’t really cause a dent due to the steep price tag and its competitor’s huge popularity (mainly Apple’s iPod touch).

Well, seems like Sony isn’t giving up. The Japanese home entertainment giant has just revealed its new Walkman F800 PMP which runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and boasts a 3.5-inch touchscreen display, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, web-browsing, access to Google Play and a couple of Sony-exclusive features such as the S-Master MX Digital Amplifier, Clear Audio Technology, a built-in xLOUD speaker system that — according to Sony — is said to “cut distortion and unpleasant clipping for clearer listening”.

Sony’s products often sound good in paper like always but how does it really stack up in real life? Against Apple’s uberly popular iPod touch?

The iOS app store is a serious contender against Google’s Play Store and the F800′s gaming and app availability obviously relies on the latter so it’s pretty much up to the consumers. Pricing is also a big player here, if the F800 will sport a price tag of around $199 it might just stand a chance against the similarly priced iPod Touch (Php11,490 Apple store Philippines) BUT anything higher than that? The F800 will surely end up in limbo the same way Zune did.

Sony hasn’t even revealed the processor that’s ticking under the F800′s hood, and given Sony’s track record on updating their Android devices… we’re not even sure if this thing will get Jellybean.

It’s worth noting though that Sony’s portable media players often set the standards when it comes to audio quality — something that the F800 will surely possess.


17 Responses to “Sony Walkman F800: an iPod Touch challenger?”

  1. wreek888 says:

    Why buy this when your smartphone also serves as media player.

    • SpiderWak says:

      Sound quality is supposedly better but yeah I feel you

    • pabs says:

      long time ago I owned a few walkmans but now it seems impractical to buy this when your smartphone can do much better…

    • oobermensch says:

      The answer to your question is simple, to be honest. Some people aren’t foolish enough to put all of their stuff into their phones and then complain about shitty battery life.

      Other answers are superior DACs, better sound quality, bass response, etc.

    • Matt says:

      I couldn’t agree more. If I have extra cash I’d rather buy another smartphone that this one.

  2. Jay19 says:

    I’ve read that for an 8GB model, it will be priced at $279.. quite high for a media player.

  3. InfoBoy says:

    According to CNet.com it packs a tegra 2 dual core processor, and 16GB ($269) and 32GB ($299).

    One thing I don’t like with Sony is they always provide/make in-ear earphones, which is not for everybody like me.

  4. InfoBoy says:

    According to CNet.com it packs a tegra 2 dual core processor, and 16GB ($269) and 32GB ($299).

    One thing I don’t like with Sony is they always provide/make in-ear earphones, which is not for everybody (like me).

  5. Sumatori-kun says:

    If it had a Wolfson or equivalent DAC (like the one in the Samsung Galaxy S), the price may be negligible for the sound quality.

    • Name: says:

      That’s why I miss the earlier Ipods. They have better sound quality. They used to have Wolfson chips. Now, Generic na lang yata to save on cost. tsk tsk

  6. Guest says:

    iPod Touch is very popular but when you compared the sound quality of this to a device with S-Master MX, the iPod Touch sound is a meh. The only thing that drives the iPod is because it is Apple.

    And the author pointed out that Sony is bad at Android updates? Seems like the author commingled SONY altogether with SE products especially the X10 fiasco. Tsk tsk.
    Please be aware the SONY and SONY MOBILE are different entities. SONY only has three android powered device currently (two tablets and the walkman z). And they already updated their tablets to ICS faster than other OEMs.

    The iPod Touch is a toy that gives you smartphone-like experience. But it is nowhere near to the sound experience of Walkmans. It is given that Apple eclipsed SONY in portable media players, why? Because of marketing.

    • Kevin Go says:

      Hi, this was posted when Sony has revealed the F800 a few hours ago, they haven’t mentioned the processor during that time. I’ts set for editing now thanks for pointing that out.

      I’m not a biased writer, I’ve pointed out the strengths of the F800 as well. I’m also aware that the iPod touch has an awful sound quality as I used to own one and if you haven’t noticed, the only thing I’ve mentioned up there for it is the iOS store and cheaper price. Nothing more.

      Sony has only started prioritizing updates of their devices due to their tarnishing reputation when it comes to software support, they’ve only recently acquired sony ericsson and appointed Kunimasa Suzuki as the CEO of its mobile division and the company is now undergoing restructuring/reorganization to make sure that everything gets smoothed out.

      I’m being realistic here, Sony really lags when it comes to updates compared to Samsung, Motorola and the likes there’s no doubt about that why would I lie to our readers if that is the truth? Yes Sony’s improving but only time will tell if they can keep up with all the promises.

      Thanks for reading.

    • Guest says:

      Point taken :)
      The article is good actually as most people will choose an iPod Touch.
      I just pointed out that Sony android and SE(now Sony) android devices are handled by different entities (Vaio team for the tablets if I recalled it correctly).
      And the X10 super long time transition from Donut to Eclair during that time, it really tarnished the whole SONY name.
      When it comes to updates this time around,you cannot really say they lag compare to others. Sony Mobile is one of the promising android OEMs that uplifted their 2011 phones to ICS (sans Xperia PLAY) as compared to Samsung’s SII and Note as of the moment.

  7. audiophobic says:

    What most people here don’t realize is the fact that the Sony F800 will outclass the current or next ipod touch model in terms of core functionality– a music player, that plays good music. Unlike the ipodtouch, the player possesses far superior sound quality and noise-cancelling technology. It’s also bundled with high-grade earphones, which makes it a far better value than most other pmp’s out in the market. As a bonus it can play flac files now. For sound, you get what you pay for. Unless of course you decide to get a sansa clip plus, which should be an equal contender for audio quality. peace.:)

  8. Mr. Audiotech says:

    Ill buy this for sure, cant wait for its release date.I love sony walkman, no smartphone can surpass its sound quality but unfortunately, this is not for everybody..this is for people who knows music..more power to sony! nice product as always!

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Kevin is a blogger, avid gamer and always keeps himself updated with the latest trends in technology. He's still a bit shy so no Twitter and Facebook link here.

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