Last year we reviewed Sony's B143F Walkman player. We liked its small form factor, the built-in USB design, good audio quality and excellent battery life that's common to all the Sony Walkman players. This year Sony has taken that model and replaced the push button navigation with a rotating dial mechanism, and added some new colors to come up with the NWZ-B153F.
Visually the B153F is identical to the B143F, save for the colors. But on closer inspection you would notice the new dial. You twist the top and bottom sideways to move through the menus and go through the songs. We found this method unnecessarily complicated because at times you don't know which way to turn to go down or up and end up turn the wrong way. The dial also felt a bit loose and had a fair amount of play. We preferred the simplicity that the up-down buttons offered on the B143F.
Another thing we had an issue with on the B153F was the USB cap. On the B143F I remember the cap used to fit snugly, but on the B153F, after closing the cap, it tends to move about a bit. It seems Sony has cut corners on build quality on the new models. We did like the new colors though and the gold colored model we received looked quite nice.
Apart from that the designs are completely identical. The two line display is tiny and there is still no clip to attach the player to your clothes while, say, jogging. On the top you have the recording button, volume control and the bass boost button, which also lets you change the play mode when pressed and held briefly. On the bottom is the hold button. On the front are the back and Zappin button.