I've had the F806 for several days now and thought I'd make a few observations.
Packaging is quite simple, nothing fancy, so I won't really go into any unboxing photos (never much cared about huge photo-documentations for just removing an item from its packaging anyway). Like the X1060 (which I'll be drawing many comparisons with), the F806 is very well built. It's not as quite as heavy as the X, but still feels very solid. There's no hint of squeaky chintzy plastic here. The finish may be a metallic finish plastic, but it's very solid, with good heft for the size. It compares very close to an iPhone 4 in length and width (narrower by a couple mm), and is thinner. The edges are beveled inward toward the back of the player which will help prevent the volume rocker and lock button from accidentally getting bumped. I transferred my entire music collection in about 25 minutes-- fairly quick, but I don't have the largest collection at something like 17gb, in mosly 320kb files. So I was up and running in short order. The player functions as drag/drop, so couldn't be any easier to get music put on.
Wifi works great my home, with browsing easy and quick (depending on connection of course). The keypad is intuitive and easy to use. It flips horizontal quickly just like my iPhone. Battery initially drained ridiculously fast, but I realized that wifi needed to be switched off to have any semblance of the Sony quoted duration. With that off, and the player on airplane mode, it lasts reasonably well. Keeping the screen brightness down helps too. This being my first Android device is proving to be quite a change from Sony's normal menus, and it's a learning curve compared to the simplicity of the X's layout. I find it takes a couple more steps to get back to your music playing than the X did. Especially if you run a third-party app like Poweramp. I like using that over the Sony player, for the level of controls and tweaks you can do. Also, it allows the F806 to do gapless which is a real treat after being conditioned by the momentary breaks in continuous tracks that previous Sonys make you endure.
So how about sound? I've spent multiple sessions listening with both DAP's, to get familiar with their sonic differences. The new Sony most definitely eclipses the X in sound quality, which makes the purchase worth it alone in my opinion, since the X was already an awesome sounding player. The F is more open and spacious, with a bit more detail to the highs. These aspects combine to allow hearing deeper into the music, with a touch more distinctness to instruments. All of Sony's expected clarity and dynamics are there and more so than with the X. By contrast, the older DAP sounds more confined to a smaller space, and a tad more congested... not as sparkly. I wish I had access to the Z1060 and A865 so I could see which player this new F sounds more like, since both of those share the S-master MX internal amp. I have a feeling it may perhaps be the Z from impressions I've read of both players by members whose opinions I highly trust. The headphone out seems more than adequate to power lots of demanding earphones, and some mildly so headphones even. But it feels about on par with the X. At some point I'll get around to trying out my modded Fostex T50RP's with it to see how it drives those, since they're pretty power hungry! The line out is a little bit quieter than the X's, and when using an amp I find I need to up the volume slightly to compensate for that. But the sound quality improvements over the X still show through the line out.
- No 64gb option, or card expansion (of course, what else is to be expected of Sony?)
- number of steps to get back to your music from other screens
- Android not as intuitive as Sony's menus
- Power/lock button on upper edge is hard to reach sometimes when needing quick access to player, such as pausing music, due to beveled edge
- Lack of external buttons besides the volume rocker, home button on side, and lock button
That's about all I have for now. More thoughts and observations coming as I keep using it.
General info, online reviews, impressions, etc:
turokrocks F and Z series impressions:
honeyboy's comparison of F and Z series:
h1a8 impressions and measurements:
Firmware Update / version 1.10:
A few images: