Sony reveals Android-powered Walkman Z

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CNET Editor

Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

Those of us resistant to the charms of converged devices and who prefer our phones to be our phones and our media players to play media will be delighted by the official unveiling of Sony's new Walkman Z. Everyone else will wondering why they bothered.

The new Sony Walkman Z running Android Gingerbread.
(Credit: Sony)

The new Walkman Z will run on the Android Gingerbread (2.3) platform and will sport a huge 4.3-inch WVGA display with three storage variants (16GB, 32GB and 64GB models), with the big daddy option expected to fetch ¥43,000 (about AU$540) when it hits stores in Japan in December. Pricing and local release dates have yet to be announced.

Impressively, Sony will pack an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz processor into the Walkman Z, which should mean it will play HD videos with ease and be capable of handling the best 3D gaming titles on the Android Market. There's no 3G option for the Z, but there is Wi-Fi with DLNA media-sharing compatibility and a micro-HDMI port on the side of the unit. An FM radio will complement an excellent array of audio codec support, though the video file recognition is less impressive, with support for MP4, H.264 and WMV only.

We love the look of this new Walkman, with its curved battery cover and familiar square front-facing profile. If Sony can keep its premium pricing down, it could definitely give the iPod Touch a run for its money in the eyes of everyone who hasn't bought a smartphone, or for those who did and want to save its paltry battery life for calls and messages.

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ShivneetS posted a comment   

can not wait, wish the prices are like the ipod touch :)


gregory.opera posted a comment   

You nailed it in the last paragraph Joseph - usage times.

My Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY ("PlayStation phone") has pretty impressive usage times by smartphone standards - I can get up to half a day of HEAVY gaming - but unless I optimize the settings (turn the brightness right down, turn of most of the wireless functionality, etc...), I'll never get more than that... Of the two dedicated Sony Walkman devices we have in our house however, one can get up to about 15 hours of heavy use, and the other can get up to about 35 hours (playing video content is a different story, however)!

Yeah it's an extra device to lug around, but if I can achieve 15 hours of music playback, it's worth every cent...


JasonM2 posted a comment   

FLAC support?

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