Look, we're not in the audiophile business. We don't cover music products that don't feature Android in some way, shape, or form. And running bleeding-edge software is not a prerequisite for quality sound. But seriously, Sony, if you're going to charge twelve hundred dollars for a device that runs Android, could you not load it with an OS build that's over two years old? Alas, such is the case with the Walkman NW-ZX2 announced at CES.
The NW-ZX2 is not a phone. It's more of a competitor to the iPod Touch, a device focused almost entirely on portable music that runs Android more as a means to an end than anything else. Its massive 128GB flash storage drive is the main draw, and even that is bolstered with a standard MicroSD card slot. It plays every digital music form under the sun at up to 192 kHz/24 bit quality, with an integrated HX digital amplifier. It can play standard MP3 music for 60 hours on a single charge (more like 30 hours for high-quality sound). It is, undeniably, an effective music-playing device.
But it's also an Android device, with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with proprietary LDAC sound encoding. It has a phone-style touchscreen (size and resolution not specified, but it looks like about 4"). It comes with the Google Play Store built in for adding whatever music app you want. And it runs Android Jelly Bean 4.2. Why, Sony, why?
The Walkman NW-ZX2 will go on sale this spring.
microSD (card not included)
High-Resolution Audio playback, S-Master HX Digital Amplifier, DSEE HX (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine), ClearAudio+, Clear Bass, Equaliser, VPT, one-touch listening via NFC and Bluetooth® connectivity
Compatible audio formats
MP3, WMA1, FLAC (192KHz/24bit), Linear PCM (192KHz/24bit), WAV (192KHz/24bit), AAC-LC2, HE-AAC, Apple Lossless (192KHz/24bit), AIFF (192KHz/24bit), DSD (2.8MHz, 5.6MHz)*1: Copyright protected WMA files cannot be played back.*2: Copyright protected AAC-LC files cannot be played back
MP3 up to 60 hours**(MP3 128kbps)
Hi-Res Audio 33 hrs**(FLAC 192kHz/24bit)
Approximately 4.5 hours
4.0 inch FWVGA (854×480) TRILUMINOS™ Display for mobile
Wi-Fi® (IEEE 802.11b/g/n/a)
Bluetooth® (A2DP/AVRCP/OPP/HID/SPP)Supported Codec: SBC/LDAC
Media Go (for Windows), Content Transfer for Mac (for Mac OS)
65.1×131.2×18.5 mm (WxHxD, excluding max. protruding section)
Weight: Approx. 235 g
USB cable, leather carrying case, spacer (headphones not included)