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MP3 Players

Sony Walkman S203F and S205F Sport: Stick with it

What's that stood before us, stick-like and proud, a shining example of how all design should be? It's Sony's surprising, but oddly likeable, new MP3 player

You can scold Sony for its miserable inability to write decent software for its MP3 players, but you can't fault it for design. Just when we were ready to cry over the discontinued Bean, the Japanese giant has launched the NW-S203F and NW-S205F Sport. The iPod may have the market sewn up, but look at the shape of this player! Concealing it from muggers using the Christopher Walken method would be no problem.

Making jealous eyes at the Nike + iPod kit, both players come with pedometer functions, and are 1GB and 2GB respectively. There's also a built-in FM tuner -- something that no iPod offers. We expect a launch date around September and the players will retail in the £70 range (TBC).

Sony may be phasing out its quirky old designs, but it's a relief to see it replacing them with quirky new ones. -CS