I thought a bit more regarding the volume control issue whilst locked.
It's probably to do with how the Android Walkmans do handle their volume control. Standard Android phones have a ringer, notification, media (games, music, videos, etc.), alarm and sometimes system volume slider, whereas the Android Walkmans eschew this standard layout for a Master Control, on top of Media, Notifications and Alarm (system can still be tweaked via apps). The volume control keys only affect the master volume, whereas on Android phones it is context sensitive and will affect the Ringer when not in media and will control the Media volume when such content is being played.
Interestingly they do not work when the screen is off as you say and it probably has to do with this non-standard implementation. As for why it's like this, it's probably because of how standard Android normally apparently only comes with fifteen discrete levels of volume for media, and seven discreet levels for ringers and notifications. Using the volume control menu will reveal this - the media slider indeed has only fifteen steps, and notifications has only seven. Thus, the "master" volume control is likely to allow Sony to offer a much finer grained volume control (I'm guessing there's at least 30 discrete steps on the master slider) due to the Walkman's significantly higher maximum volume.
That said, it sounds silly of Sony to completely overlook the volume control while the device is locked, given that all other Android devices behave differently. However, coming from an older generation Walkman, it may not be strikingly strange - the Hold
functionality locks everything out on a Walkman, and that includes the volume keys.
Having seen the new colors I was originally apprehensive about just having a mundane black device, and indeed, the F806/B is pretty darn boring looking at first, but the more you use it, the more it becomes evident that it is a strikingly fine example of solid, understated industrial design - a pure black slab that feels great to the hand and is functional and nondescript, yet attractive.
I would however have liked if they'd retained the color splashes of older Walkmans, where the Walkman logo was a strongly contrasting color (e.g. how it was orange on the phones and is a bright gold on my S739F).
Planning to take nicer pictures later on.
Edit: yes, it's exactly the same physical dimensions as an iPhone 4 (not counting thickness, and so an iPod Touch as well)Edited by salanos - 11/2/12 at 1:46pm