Resident Weekly

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The stunning design of the new Sony Walkman music player is Android 12

The NW-A300 and NW-ZX700 Android Walkmans from Sony are new. Yes, Walkmans, the renowned music player made by Sony in the 1980s. While Sony continues to produce Android-powered Walkmans and has for some time, Apple may have given up on the idea of a music player that could be connected to a smartphone when it discontinued the iPod Touch line recently. The first came in 2012 with the NWZ-Z1000, which was powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It looked like Sony had taken the modem out of an Xperia phone and put it on the market as a music player. Since then, Sony has designed products that use more purpose-built hardware, and there are now a number of Walkman music players that run on Android. Sadly, it appears that these new ones are currently only available for purchase in Europe, the UK, and Japan.

We’ll start with the NW-A300, which is the more user-friendly of the two. The NW-A105, which introduced this basic design in 2019, came equipped with Android 9. This is a newer version of that device with a scalloped back, a new SoC, and an older version of Android. The 32GB model costs 46,000 yen (approximately $360) in Sony’s home country of Japan, while it costs 399 euros (approximately $430) in Europe.

The NW-A300 is a small device that is roughly the size of a deck of playing cards, measuring 56.6 x 98.5 x 12. Moreover, just take a look at these images. Despite Sony’s decline as a consumer electronics powerhouse, the company maintains an outstanding product design division.

A 3.6-inch, 60 Hz, 1280 x 720 touchscreen LCD dominates the front. The device supports Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi 802.11AC. It has 32GB of storage. For the official specs, Sony only wants to talk about that. It promises “36 hours* of 44.1 KHz FLAC playback, up to 32 hours* of 96 KHz FLAC High-Resolution Audio playback,” but it does not specify the battery’s capacity. That ought to be all there is with the screen off.

Visit The Walkman Blog, a wonderful website that takes these little music players very seriously, for additional specifications. The website discovered documentation for the A300 in October, listing a 1500 mAh battery. The NXP i was the system-on-a-chip in the earlier NW-A100 model. MX8M-Mini, a 28 nm SoC with just four Arm Cortex-A53 CPUs and 4GB of RAM, is extremely slow. You could say, “This is just a music player,” but that’s not really true because it still runs full Android, complete with an app store. Scores on Geekbench indicate that this has a new quad-core Qualcomm chip of some kind and 4GB of RAM, but the model number is unknown. A lot of that promise of “better battery life” would probably be due to a more recent chip with fewer transistors.

Naturally, there is a headphone jack on the bottom of this music player. A MicroSD slot for storing all of your music, a quick USB-C 3.2 Gen1 port for quick music transfers, and a lanyard slot are all included. You also have access to every music control you could possibly want via buttons on the side of the device, including a hold switch, previous, play/pause, next, volume controls, and power.

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