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Sony's new flagship Walkman music player joins ICS party

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July 23, 2012

The F800 Series digital media players feature a 3.5-inch multi-touch LCD display, an S-Mas...

The F800 Series digital media players feature a 3.5-inch multi-touch LCD display, an S-Master MX Digital Amplifier, and include Sony's Clear Audio technologies

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Summer in the northern hemisphere this year has so far been a bit of a disappointment. Mobile music lovers can at least look forward to a new batch of Walkman digital music and video players from Sony while we wait for the sun to shine. The new additions include three 7-mm (0.275-inch) thin models and new flagship series players that run on the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) flavor of Google's Android operating platform. Two feature Bluetooth technology for wireless connection to headphones or speaker docks, and there's one that benefits from noise-canceling circuitry.

The new flagship F800 Series players come in 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB models and are all powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 2 dual-core processor and run on Android 4.0 (ICS), which means a host of pre-installed apps including email, maps and media gallery and full access to Google Play. There's built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a 3.5-inch multi-touch LCD display and they can handle MP3, (non-DRM) WMA and AAC-LC, HE-AAC, Linear PCM and FLAC audio files (sadly no OGG showing) and MPEG4, AVC (H.264/AVC), and (non-DRM) WMV9 video files.

Sony has unveiled some new Walkman media players, including a new flagship model which run...

They feature an S-Master MX Digital Amplifier, and include Sony's Clear Audio technologies for the promise of deep bass, crystal clear highs, and reduced leakage between stereo channels. The company also claims that such sound-enhancing wizardry can also restore some sonic detail in heavily-compressed audio files.

The F800 Series battery is claimed to be good for 25 hours of audio or 4.5 hours of video playback and takes about four hours to recharge. These players come bundled with MDR-EX0300E in-ear phones.

The S774BT's onboard battery should be good for 36 hours of audio or six hours of video pl...

The 8-GB S774BT has the same audio file support as the F800 Series players apart from HE-AAC and FLAC, and the same video format support, but the onboard battery should be good for 36 hours of audio or six hours of video playback between charges. This model is just 7 mm thin. It has a 2-inch QVGA LCD display and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. This model is supplied with MDR-NWBT10 Bluetooth headphones and MDR-EX083E in-ear cans.

The E570 Series is available in 8 GB and 16 GB flavors, and a red or black finish, but doesn't benefit from Bluetooth. They have the same size screen, thickness, audio and video format support and playback time as the S774BT but come with noise-canceling circuitry that, when combined with the supplied with MDR-NC033E noise-canceling headphones, is claimed to reduce background noise levels by 98 percent.

When combined with the supplied with MDR-NC033E noise-canceling headphones, the E570 Serie...

The introductory level 8 GB E474 has the same thickness as the S770BT and E570 Series players, and the same feature set and format support as the latter players but doesn't benefit from noise-canceling technology. This model comes bundled with MDR-EX083E in-ear phones

All of the new models are compatible with Sony's E473K portable speaker dock and its Music Unlimited subscription service.

The full range is available in Europe from this month, with the F800 and E470 Series enjoying a Stateside release in August. The 16-GB F800 Series will retail for US$269.99 and the 32 GB will cost $299.99. The E474 is priced at $89.99.

Source: Sony

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
4 Comments

Only 32gb? Come on Sony, you can do better than that. Memory is cheap!

Wiseguy
23rd July, 2012 @ 05:41 am PDT

This seems like an odd product, or a product from a couple years ago (MP3/4 player).

It is an Android phone except minus the cellular telephone function. Therefore I suppose it is an Android tablet, but with a cell phone screen rather than a 7" tablet screen.

I like the maps function but does it have a GPS chip? If it had a GPS chip it could serve as a decent GPS - many cell phones and tablets have this.

Does it have a port to plug in micro SDHC memory expansion? Unfortunately manufacturers are looking for ways to stratify their product offering, but people don't want that anymore. Nobody wants to pay $300 for a 32GB mini Android tablet that can't be expanded. We want the $90 mini Android tablet with an expansion port that we can stuff a $25 32GB memory chip into. But for $90 we also want GPS and a replaceable battery and a decent camera and a USB comm/charger port.

If Sony wanted to do something cool, and by the way here's the convergence device that I want, they would make a series of bluetooth/wifi expansion parts for this device: I'm talking a 12v backup camera for the car and a 12v radar detector, things like that. The Walkman would have a quality GPS chip and would be a direct replacement for their Nav-U GPS that they had unceremoniously EOL'd awhile ago. Speaking of which, the last map update they had done was 2009. Sony?

This new Walkman they have produced, well it looks to be merely a Sony-branded, Android-powered version of my Samsung YEPP P2 that I've had for so many years. By the way, the P2 has a cool feature in that I could link it to any cheap bluetooth cell phone, and use the P2 as the cell phone. Cool in the sense of, wow that was pretty cool -- a few years ago.

Grunchy
23rd July, 2012 @ 09:59 am PDT

Personally I love Sony MP3 Players, but Damn, why are MP3 Players still stuck with just 8, 16 and 32 GB models. Come on now. I bought a Sony Vaio 40GB MP3 Player like 7 years ago. By now we should have nothing less than 32GB

WACO
23rd July, 2012 @ 08:20 pm PDT

But hey! At least you can drop it and be fine (the memory at least) and have noise cancelling technology (hope you don't use this in traffic).

Fretting Freddy the Ferret pressing the Fret
30th July, 2012 @ 03:55 am PDT
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