Pure style and sophistication are probably the two words that come to mind when looking at the Sony NWZ-S616, with its controls ergonomically placed and sensitive to the touch. This along with a good menu system makes this player user friendly and also easy to find an individual track from the most complete audio collections without ease.
In terms of file transfer, the speed is quite good. However you must install the supplied software before hand if you wish to transfer and view videos on the player. The entire process was relatively straightforward and easy to perform without any complications. Although its display screen is of reasonable size, it is still no ideal for watching videos for long periods of time. When viewing photos on the display screen, there was quite a good quality and contrast. The player is constructed robustly, meaning it is capable of withstanding the occasional knock or drop without substantial damage.
When using the supplied headphones, the sound quality isn't great and could be much better. Upon using an additional pair of headphones, it produced a more rich sound with less background noise. It addition to the bog standard features, the player also has radio capabilities, sadly it does not give you the option to record live radio directly onto the player.
Its battery stamina is quite exceptional, on average providing up to 40 and a half hours of continuous audio playback and around 8 and a half hours of continuous video playback. A good set of instructions that are easy to understand are also included.
The first thing you'll notice about this player is its size- it is one of the smallest portable video players on the market. My second thought was how could such a small screen display enough information?
Well, the 1.8 inch screen is fully utilised: the display is much like a mobile phone: a grid display for a menu- the up/right/left/down keys to navigate and the centre 'play' button acts as the enter key. This interface will be familiar to most people so it should be relatively easy to master.
Video playback is fairly good, the 320 x 240 screen is just slightly too small for my liking. Another problem with the video is that only MP4 videos are recognised; this will mean a lot of your files will have to be converted.
The FM radio is fantastic quality. The receiver is extremely sensitive- it even picked up my infamously poor reception local channel! It is also very easy to tune automatically or manually.
The battery life is a great asset; although I haven't tested it yet, the box claims that this will last 33 hours music playback and 9.5 hours of video playback- far better than any iPod can do.
Overall, this is a neat device with some great features, although the video playback lets it down slightly.