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Sony Walkman Z 1000: Android-powered portable music players

Given Sony’s portable audio pedigree, we’re surprised that we haven’t seen an Android-powered Walkman before. Sure, there’s been the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman and Mix Walkman. But those were Android phones, the forthcoming Walkman Z 1000, part of the Walkman Z Series, is a pure music playing device.

Every inch a premium device, it’s a cut above Samsung’s previous Galaxy Wi-Fi effort. The Sony Walkman Z 1000 boasts a large 4.3-inch screen and comes with access to Sony’s Music Unlimited streaming service pre-installed. We’re not totally sure yet if this just means that the app is already installed or free access to the £10 a month platform is bunged in for the year.

The Walkman Z 1000 features S-Master MX noise reduction technology and the xLOUD speaker system that we’ve seen in previous Sony Ericsson phones.

Clear Bass, Clear Stereo and DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) are also on board and the included EX headphones look set to provide a high quality listening experience.

So many acronyms

Common files like MP3, WMA, AAC are supported, with Sony promising easy transfer of files from iTunes and Windows Explorer; anything DRM-encrypted won’t work though. There’s also support for uncompressed Linear PCM files. No mention of FLAC support on the spec sheet. Then again you get access to the Android Market from where you can download FLAC-compatible players – hopefully the Walkman Z 1000 will play ball with these.

Sony’s SensMe mood interface is installed (another throwback to the Sony Ericsson W Series heyday) providing neat visualisations and flick through your music collections.

Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chip comes along for the ride, bringing 1GHz dual-core goodness to the table. This gives the Sony Walkman Z Series some gaming creds as well – it’s basically an Android phone with no radios. From the press images we can tell it’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread, albeit a heavily skinned version. Ice Cream Sandwich would be nice obviously, but we can live without it.

Available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB versions, the new Walkman Z 1000 from Sony will be available from late February. We’ll update with prices as and when we hear them.

Source: Sony Press Centre

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