Sony has a very peculiar way of making MP3 players where they have a basic standard they build upon for every release. The players in the later years started with the 1st gen Sonic Stage dependent S600 and A800 series which were updated to use MTP with the S610 and A810. Now we’ve reached generation 4, but the basic layout of it all is still more or less the same as the S600 and A800.
The design is different, there are themes available, SensMe was added and there’s a podcast feature. That’s pretty much it and doesn’t exactly scream for any Sony user to upgrade. The question is if these new features are any good and if the player generally has the same old Sony quality. Read on for a full review.
We already saw the E430 series a few days ago and the rest of the new Sony players have now been announced at IFA. The new player lines feature a higher capacity version of the E430 which will take over for the S610 and S710 series and a new USB stick type player.
The S630 and S730 series’ are almost identical in design to the E430 series, in fact the only difference I can see is that the S630 and S730 looks to be a bit longer. The specs are almost identical as well, with the same format support for both video and audio and an FM tuner. Compared to the players they are replacing the battery life is slightly improved with 40 hours of music and 10 hours of video and the new players also seem to be UMS and not MTP like their predecessors. Judging from the pictures the menu seem to be either skinable or at least support wallpapers now, something I know some people have been missing in Sony players. The S730 will be the noise cancellation version of the two new players, a feature I tested on the S710 and found to be rather useless with the earbuds that came with the player (and no other NC earphones are available for it). The S630 and S730 will come in 4, 8 and 16GB sometime in September. Update: Gizmodo reports that the S series will feature a mood sensing technology where you select the mood you’re in from a list of 11 moods and the player will choose music that fits the mood. Sounds weird but also interesting.
The other new player announced was the B130. Originally there was supposed to be a new USb stick player released months ago but we haven’t seen anything of it, so hopefully this one will actually be released in our part of the world. The B130 does however not hav a color LCD or the fancy interchangeable face plates the other player had. the battery life is equally unimpressive with 16 hours, but at least it has a fast charge technology that gives you 90 minutes of listening time from 3 minutes of charging.
[GenerationMP3 | Gizmodo]