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on 22 April 2014
I switched to this unit after using an Xperia P ‘Walkman’ phone as my MP3 player.
The Xperia was loaded with JetAudio music app (the software used in the highly rated Cowon players) and MP3’s ripped at 320kps to give a reasonably high quality sound. The main limitation was only 16Gb storage.

After some weeks with the NWZ, my evaluation is:

Sound Quality. Stunning! I did try installing JetAudio (was surprised that the Sony software permitted it) but the stock NWZ software gives better sound quality. No need to play with the various equalizer settings. Just leave it on ‘ClearAudio’ alone and all is stunning.
Android OS. I was initially skeptical, however, the similarity to mobile phone OS, ability to surf, install apps, read mails etc is welcome. Also very easy to load photos and use 3rd party apps to view them.
Touch screen + easy to use (in a pocket) physical buttons for volume, track forward/back and pause/play.
Load media and sync via the Sony GoMedia software. This is an exceptionally good and simple and free install to your PC, and can be used with almost any Sony phone and media device. Puts the rubbish software from other companies (Nokia, Samsung etc) to shame.
Did I mention sound quality?
Plays even low bitrate files well. I have some old MP3’s ripped at 64kps that the Xperia made sound horrible. They sound great on the NWZ. MP3 at even medium quality is very good and at 320kps is fabulous. Going up to ultra-high quality FLAC etc will amaze you, but it is the rule of diminishing returns (and diminishing storage space).

32Gb isn’t enough. Especially if you start using high quality/bitrate FLAC music files rather than MP3. 4 CD’s can easily eat up 1Gb. A micro-SD card slot would be welcome!
Battery life isn’t stunning. 15 hours typically. And I am careful to switch off WIFI and Bluetooth when not in use to minimize battery drain.
Stock headphones. I have not even tried these because they have the standard fatal design flaw : uneven cable length to each earpiece (i.e. of the common design where the left hand earpiece cable is shorter ). Why oh why do manufacturers do this?!?! It makes the left hand ear piece more liable to keep getting tugged out, and assumes that you always want the device in some left-hand pocket or place.

Overall, it is a stunning general media machine (not just music) and the Sony software and Android make it super easy to load or download and use media, as well as general cross-platform connectivity (eat your heart out Apple!).
Buy it as a music player, buy it as a media device, you won’t be disappointed. Provided that you have carefully considered your storage space requirements, and budgeted for decent headphones.
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on 11 November 2013
(Updated 1st March 2014)

You may find the SONY HELP GUIDE for this model useful at ... (internet address deleted by Amazon here but can be found in my comment 28th Jan 2014 by clicking on "Comments" below this review.

There is now a 128GB version NWZ-ZX1 available direct from sony dot co dot uk for 549 pounds - does not yet appear to be on Amazon.

COST. As promised, I have deleted my review of November 11th about pricing. I decided that with the apparent supply problems, I would buy it from Sony at 259 rather than wait for the Amazon price to come down to that level or below. Sony appeared earlier this week to have sold out their new UK stocks in just a couple of days again, but now I see it there in stock for just 239 - oh the cost of impatience!

SET UP. Anyway, it arrived and my delight lasted about 20 minutes. I had difficulty getting it up and running despite quite a lot of experience on similar items. More by luck than judgement I think, I eventually managed to get things working after a couple of frustrating hours, despite the Walkman repeatedly being referrred to as a phone on the set up. I really did think I would be sending this device back. I am inclined to be generous to Sony now (unlike when I was in despairing torment), since I seem to have a knack of messing things up on new devices. The important thing is the performance over time.

APPEARANCE. So, it's working. I think we can take the sound quality for read, but I now have to investigate whether things are really all working as they should. The screen looked great for a few minutes - a glistening sinister sleek black glass slab - until it got its first smeary fingerprints on it. The edges around the sides of the very screen are thin and slightly raised, feeeling rather as if they should either be less prominent or more substantial.The black volume rocker and forward/back/pause buttons on the right side of the body are handy and inconspicuous.
I did buy a case/screen protector. See my review at http://www.amazon.co.uk/iGadgitz-Silicone-NWZ-F880-NWZ-F886-Protector/dp/B00H7EOGPM/ref=pd_sim_nm_2iGadgitz if interested.

STORAGE. Initial indications are that the device only has 26.5 GB storage for music, and presumably that will decrease if Android apps are installed. According to my online investigations that will allow you to have 190 hours of music at 320kbps or 37 hours at CD quality 1,411 kbps - I have opted for the former as the best balance of quantity/quality for my purposes, but others may prefer the best quality with fewer hours of music. Perhaps if you are braver than me and prepared to buy from the Far East you might find the slightly more expensive 64 GB version more appealing. (Update 11th December: I see today there is a review for a Sony Android Walkman NWZ-ZX1 on whathifi dot com offering 128GB storage - although expensive, this higher level of storage might better suit many readers here and the screenshots and features seem similar to those of the NWZF886. (1st March 2014 - this 128 GB version is now available from sony dot co dot uk for 549 pounds). I think I personally would have been happier with high storage and quality audio in a pure old-fashioned Walkman music player without the internet and Android fussing and their added battery-draining complications.

BATTERY. The battery life will be enhanced by not having the wi-fi and bluetooth constantly connected, the screen display not too bright (in "Settings") and generally using the device as a music player rather than an Android device. Having the USB charger connection to a computer makes the music player (and photo / video viewers) unusable, which is not ideal. The battery is supposed to last for 35 hours music of music playback, but this depends on exactly what else is switched on at the same time. (This compares with a supposed playback time of 77 hours on the non-Android 16 GB NWZE585.) The recharge is supposed to take 3 hours and the battery is meant to be rechargeable about 500 times. I tried recharging the battery with a mains USB adaptor I got with a Nexus last year, and to my relief the Walkman did not burst into flames but simply recharged - whether this is to be recommended I don't know.

SOUND SETTINGS. There is an annoying tinny click sound when you are navigating around, but this can fortunately be switched off. In fact the number of sound feature options is one of the major positive aspects of this player. Bluetooth, NFC, ClearAudio+, Equalizer (custom or presets), various types of surround sound (studio, club, concert hall), Sound Enhance (recovers compressed high tones apparently), Dynamic Normaliser (keeps volume levels constant across different tracks) and Clear Stereo. I think you should be able to find a sound you like - if you have the patience to experiment. However, it appears (correct me if I'm wrong) that selecting ClearAudio+ deselects all the other sound settings (surround sound, equalizer etc.).It plays FLAC and aac-lc quality soundfiles as well as standard mp3 and WMA files. It has digital noise cancelling to combat ambient noise you want to cut out (various settings: Bus, Plane , Office and more sub-settings) - but this works only with some earphones, such as those supplied - it would be nice to know what these earphones are since there are no useful markings on them to identify them. The internal loudspeaker (the silver W on the back) is loud enough to play music as background in a small study, but obviously it will not be a hi-fi experience with such a tiny loudspeaker in a very thin body.

SOUND QUALITY. How good is the sound? It is very revealing. With the earphones provided and playing with the various settings, I listened to a 2012 classical recording of Misuko Uchida playing a Mozart Piano Concerto and found myself aware of breathings, rustlings, scrapings and creakings in the orchestra. I am also aware of these when listening to the CD on a reasonably good full-size hi-fi system. This machine will reveal in detail whatever was recorded. Music which is more densely textured, such as the jazz and modern pop samples on the machine, does not suffer as a result of this extreme (excessive?) clarity. The foregoing refers to listening on the earphones provided. As an experiment I swapped to a large set of open-back Sennheiser HD595 headphones which were regarded as the bee's knees, the cat's pyjamas and the dog's doodahs 5 or so years ago and I achieved a much more mellow sound with less obvious or intrusively distracting noise. In-ear earphones are of course going to be brighter and less forgiving of unwanted noises. Some might argue that the large headphones are offering a duller, less transparent version of the recording and losing the very clarity and quality of sound the Walkman can offer. I have elsewhere on Amazon bemoaned the revealing harshness of modern equipment compared with the smooth warmth of older machines. I think we tend to underestimate how important the role played by the loudspeaker/earphones is. All I know is that for me personally and certainly for much classical music I don't want too much detailed clarity. But I still believe that the better the electronics in a machine, the better, the more convincing, the music will sound.

FLASHING LIGHT. The Walkman symbol (bottom right on the front of the device) flashes when you switch the machine on or alter the volume settings. If that is of any interest to anyone.

CAMERA. There is no camera, Apple users! But this device is 80% about the sound player, it is not a true multiple purpose device.
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on 24 December 2013
I received this on amazon's evening delivery tonight 24th Dec 2013 by City Sprint! I have always been a massive fan of Sony's exceptional build quality. I had a Hi-MD MZ-NH1 player plus an NWZ-Z1060 32GB and more recently before this one a Sony Xperia Z neither one never let me down! I decided to ditch my Xperia Z in favour of a separate dedicated audio device which is the NWZ-F886 of course! I do class myself as an Audiophile only over the last few years and I will always be one from now on.

I have learnt a hell of a lot about top quality sound and top notch in ears in the last few years. I cannot stand poor quality sound as I have always believed up until the last few years music should sound the way it was intended to be heard! by using a high end player and a high end pair of in ears! (Shure SE535s) If you haven't got this then your not getting the bigger picture on how good music can and should sound! I know some would argue that spending the sheer amounts of money is not worth it I disagree with you if you think that hopefully you will see my justification on why I believe this. Forget the well known fruit put it down and pick up a Sony!

I have had the player for a few hours now it's fully charged and my music is on it which was dead easy and very quick to transfer!. Firstly I have a pair of Shure SE535s and all my audio files are in FLAC loss less format and my golly does the player bring the best out of my shure's! the sound has been nothing short of breath takingly brilliant! I would advise leaving clear audio+ setting off as I have found it sounds better and no annoying volume limit out of the box either! I have the custom Equaliser settings all on full trust me you will be amazed with the sound on this level!

The build quality of this player is exceptional and it feels really solid!

Sony never fail to disappoint me!

UPDATE: 26TH DECEMBER 2013: I have had the player over 24 hours now and this is quality! I have been listening to some Queen and this player makes there music really come alive amazing! My Shure SE535s sound incredible and they come alive this player is definitely powerful enough to drive top notch in ears!! This player is the best sounding I have ever heard!
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on 7 December 2013
I give 5 stars for this product which is brilliant. Really super quality and super sound. Top class Sony!
I would love to give 0 stars for the ridiculous rip off pricing for this walkman on Amazon - ranging from £289.99 (amazon) to £512-18 (amazon seller) with every ridiculous price point in between.
It is on sale on Sony's website at £239 and at my local Sony dealer at £229.
So another 5 stars to Sony and really Amazon what's going on with the rip-off pricing?????? Disappointed!
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on 24 May 2014
Great sound using quality (using B&W H7) phones. Phones supplied are not Hi Res Audio. Definitely an Apple beating alternative.
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on 30 November 2013
Got this player early November at a great price £206 32g version. First & fore most i bought this player as a music player, I do how ever like Andriod interface over Sonys own in previous models. Wi fi & Bluetooth is a great drain on the battery & your best keeping it switched off. So far I'm really impressed with the sound quality, I'm hearing sounds on tracks with alot more clarity & you'll just have to take it from me, tracks are clean & crisp & at times You'd think it was a CD play back. If your a bit of an audiofile this portable player will do you justice, I have previous owned 3 Sony MP players & this is by far the best sounding machine.

Only Downside there is no case for the unit as yet or docking station.....
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on 11 November 2015
I have an NWZ-S739, which is a really nice, dynamic, clean and articulate sounding mp3 player. The 886 was supposed to be an upgrade to play better quality flac files, but I use the old mp3 version much more for these reasons:
1. The 739 battery lasts for ages, and doesn't leak power: I can leave it in a drawer for months with no noticeable battery depletion.
By contrast, the 886 discharges from full in a week or two - terrible.
2. The 739 starts up quicker.
3. The 739 has a very low battery use standby mode, and remembers where you left off, continuing to play from that point in your library; the 886 starts from scratch every time.
The 886 plays well enough, it's just cumbersome in use, and the leaky battery power is really poor.
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on 15 October 2014
EXCELLENT! I can't say enough about it! I really don't understand why Sony discontinued this product. First of all, I love the fact that it was made predominantly for music despite having so many other features that resemble the functions of an actual phone (without making calls). The sound is excellent! The earbuds do a good job but I would suggest you used headphones in order to feel the full effect of how powerfully it plays.
The only drawback I found is its little back. It feels like it's made of tin and it doesn't seem to be durable enough, you definitely need a case to save it from any unwanted accidents.
Overall, it is a great product and it is a great investment for music fanatics!
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on 10 September 2014
This is a quality bit of kit, shame they have discontinued it. Sound quality much better than iwotsits, but would prefer not having to upload Sony's own software.
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on 9 October 2014
As an mp4 player goes this is top rate, although the memory space lets it down a bit for being taken up too soon. It actually picks up social updates faster than a tablet, and as far as that goes it's rather special. Tabbing and open apps, it's very slick, music wise, as one of Sony's more elite models it's got a hidden depth most audiophiles would appreciate with the right earphones/headphones.
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