Flash based MP3 Players are a dime a dozen these days. With the number of options available, it can be hard deciding which to get. We look at the Sony NWD-E020F, the latest flash based MP3 player joining in the race.
The Sony NWD-E020F is an accessory disguised as an MP3 player. With its many customizable 'Style Up' panels, you can change the color and style of the player to suit your current outfit, allowing you to match your wardrobe for the day. Shaped like a stick and weighing only 23g, it is light enough to be worn around your neck.
With such a small footprint, it should come as no surprise that the screen is limited to a 3-line LCD display. This is more then adequate for browsing, though it can get rather confusing navigating through the menus at times. Nonetheless, once you get the hang of the display, it’s a breeze.
However, one flaw becomes apparent when swapping its interchangeable face panels. You'll have to be careful while doing so, as there is a high risk of smudging the LCD screen with your fingerprints. This is highly frustrating when you realize that you have to remove the panel again to clean the LCD screen.
Transferring songs from your PC to the player is idiot proof: it is as simple as drag and drop. To make a playlist, you create a folder on your computer and put the songs in it. The transfer speed too was speedy and up to our expectations. With a 1GB player you can store over 200 songs of 128 kbps each, though nowadays MP3 files are of higher bitrates like 256kbps. As one would expect from the Walkman brand, the audio playback quality is pretty decent. However, if that's not to your liking, you can always tweak around using the built-in graphic equalizer with five varying frequency bands and two equalizer presets to create your custom settings.
The NWD-E020F also utilizes Sony's Quick Charge technology, requiring as little as an hour to be fully charged for well over 20 hours of continuous playback. If you're in a hurry, charging it for just three minutes also gives the player three hours worth of battery life, which bodes well for those who are constantly on-the-go.
The sports shuffle function is a nice inclusion for joggers, allowing one to set a predetermined amount of playtime on top of the song shuffling on your playlist, thus allowing one to gauge the amount of workout for the day. Including an additional voice recorder as well as a MP3 recorder for the FM radio would have definitely made the Sony NWD-E020F a complete device and a great buy, but considering the petite nature of the device, the exclusion of these features are understandable.
While some music aficionados might balk at flash based MP3 players, casual listeners will find the Sony NWD-E020F an acceptable, if somewhat, simple player for their music needs. At an estimated retail price of US$69 for the 1GB version (US$79 for its 2GB sibling), it is a neat little package for consumers who are considering a rudimentary MP3 player.