First spotted earlier this month Sony has taken the wraps off its new nano challenger.
Like most players on the market these days the 'NW-A800' series has a number of features not supported by Apple's desperately-in-need-of-an upgrade-midranger. For a start the A808 comes with a 2in QVGA screen, video playback (with support for Mpeg4 and H.264 encoded formats) and a massive 30 hour battery life.
On the downside the design keeps with the company's obsession with loads of buttons and bars of soap, it's one third fatter than a nano (91mm v 65mm) and 25 per cent heavier (53g v 40g). Furthermore the pricing seems uncompetitive surprising at best with 2GB (NW-A805), 4GB (NW-A806) and 8GB (NW-A808) editions costing £119, £149 and £199 respectively. That works out as £20 more than the nano at each matching capacity... not good when trying to compete with a company which dominates the market – extra features or not.
Also sticking its head above the under fire parapet that is Sony HQ is the photo-less NW-E010 series, a compact low end player with Direct USB connection, FM tuner and 'Quick Charge' functionality that provides three hours of music playback from a three minute charge (I wish Sony didn't have an exclusive patent on this technology). A full tank of juice will power the E010 series for 30 hours.
We'll see A800s (possibly staying) on shelves from April with the E010s arriving a month later. Most importantly, when did Sony suddenly decide it could charge the earth for everything?!