Despite the endless tricks of some more recent media players, Sony’s NWZ-A845 shows that less can still be more. Not that it’s over simplified, but it sticks to its job without bothering you with half-baked attempts at aping a smartphone.
So it won’t play Angry Birds, won’t surf the web and won’t give you updates from Twitter or Facebook. However, that also means it won’t take ages to start up, won’t baffle you with a choice of five substandard music-playing interfaces and won’t frustrate you with a twitchy touchscreen – because it doesn’t have a touchscreen.
Eye of the Tiger
No, the A845 is a survivor from the previous generation of media players that just wants to play your music and videos (including downloaded iPlayer content), and do it well. Which it does.
Mac users are excluded from this Windows-only drag-and-drop party (and frankly, who wants an invite to one of those?) which still bemuses us. Like we said, it’s from a bygone age...
Beaten but not defeated
It’s outshone in various areas by any iPod you care to compare it to, but aside from Apple’s players there are scant few portables that can stake a claim to your pocket these days. For sound quality and simplicity alone, the A845 is worth a look, especially if you can get one at a discount.