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Sony Walkman Z review: ipod touch killer?

Welcome to TeCHeck. Today we have something special for music lovers, no we are not giving away Music CD’s instead we have a music player with us. We are talking about Sony’s latest release, Sony Walkman Z.

Walkmans have a long history and they have been in the market since people started listening to music on portable players. They are well known around the world and don’t need to be introduced. Please note that in this review we will be comparing Walkman Z with Apple’s latest ipod touch.

Let us begin with the hardware. The Sony Walkman Z runs on a 1GHz Dual core processor coupled with 512 MB RAM which on paper is far more better than Apple’s ipod touch which has a 800Mhz processor and a mere 256MB RAM. But we aren’t talking about being good on papers, are we? In terms of user experience we never found the ipod touch lagging and it handles multitasking well too so does the Walkman Z. The dual core processor makes it fast and it is really a device for multitasking.

The 4.3 inch True LCD screen with resolution of 800×480 on Sony Walkman Z is nice with sharp and vivid colors but Apple’s 3.5 inch retina display with a resolution of 960×640 is a bit superior in terms of viewing angles, brightness and overall experience. Walkman Z really needs the mobile bravia engine Sony uses in Xperia Arc and Arc S.

What’s different in Sony Walkman Z from the previous Walkman is that it runs on Android 2.3 which means you get access to all the applications from Android market and of course the Android experience with the device.

Now, let’s come to the most important feature of a music player, ‘Audio quality’. The one area where Walkman Z thrashes the ipod touch is the audio quality. With more than 8 different sound processing features such as S-Master MX plus, the Walkman Z is a great leap forward in the audio department. The sound quality is mesmerizing and you can clearly hear every single beat on your Walkman. You even get premium quality headphones in the box, which enhance the overall audio experience.

There’s an HDMI slot too, but alas there was no Micro-SD expansion slot. You don’t even get a micro USB for charging instead you get Sony’s proprietary charging port, just like the ipod touch which uses Apple’s very own 30 pin connector.

There’s no camera on Sony Walkman Z as the company says its only focus is music but rival Apple’s ipod touch does have a front facing camera and a 0.7 mega pixel rear camera capable of shooting 720p video.

Walkman Z comes with 3 different storage options: 8GB, 16GB and 32GB which are priced at $249.99, $279.99 and $329.99 respectively, ipod touch is priced at $199, $299 and $399 for 8GB, 32GB and 64GB. So, the ipod touch has a bit of an edge in the pricing department.

So, if you’re looking to buy a music player which one should you buy? The ipod touch or Sony Walkman Z?

If you’re only bothered about quality music, don’t trouble yourself and just pick up Walkman Z. If you’re looking for overall multimedia experience (games, apps and videos) the ipod touch still holds the edge over any other music player in the market.

The battery life on both the devices is fine with Walkman Z offering 20 hours of music and 5 hours of video playback and Apple claming 40 hours of music playback which is a bit suspicious. Anyway, both the players will at least offer you 20 hours of music before you start looking for a charger.

If you love the Android experience and are looking for a ‘quality music player’ with some games and apps to keep you busy you should try out the Walkman Z but I’ll still recommend you to get yourself an ipod touch as although its not as good as Walkman Z in terms of audio experience the overall experience is better than Walkman Z.

If you’re only buying an audio player for the sake of listening music, well get yourself a decent Smartphone and an extra SD Card and I can guarantee you’ll never miss portable audio devices.

In the end, I’ll give Sony Walkman Z, 4 on 5. It’s one the best portable Audio devices in the market when it comes to music quality but Sony must rethink their strategy if they want to uproot Apple’s ipod touch. Lack of expansion slot, no cameras and similar pricing will definitely not help them in beating a product which has immense popularity when it comes to portable audio playback devices.

Personally, I feel Sony is a bit late in reviving the Walkman Series. They should have done this 2-3 years ago. Anyway, it’s still not too late and with some minor tweaks and upgrades this product can give the ipod touch a run for its money. We are definitely looking forward to the next version of Walkman Z.

We leave you with a little video of Sony’s Walkman Z with Brian from Sony Walkman Z explaining everything about the product.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2GOOlvy4E0[/youtube]

  • Hacknaman

    NO CAMERA so i’ll go for ipod touch

  • Noname

    the device looks nice

  • Myname

    I will say that its too early to say that this device will uproot the iPod touch. Lack of camera and in turn face time capability and also the price difference makes iPod touch a much better device. I agree camera quality isn’t the best but still face time and Skype experience is good.
    Given that its just the start one can expect the Walkman to get much better and in turn compete with the iPod touch. Nice review.

    • D2

      Thank you. Like I said in the review, anyone willing to buy a portable audio player with multimedia capabilities should consider the ipod touch, Sony and their Walkman have a lot of walking to do before they get into ipod’s market share.

  • Teeheehaa

    This player has MUCH better audio then the ipod. It’s supposed to be more of an audio player, the ipod is for people who aren’t as concerned for music and more so for games and apps..etc.

    • D2

      Exactly what I said. If you want quality music with time-pass gaming, Walkman Z should be your pick. The Audio quality is way better than any ipod. 

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