Sony’s Android Z Walkman is heading to the US of A and E of U

Z1000 black front c Sonys Android Z Walkman is heading to the US of A and E of USony’s Android-driven Z series Walkman which we talked about earlier is finally ready for launch in the western world.

Some hardware and software specs sure are a bit of a letdown – no MKV or subtitle support for video, no FLAC/Vorbis for audio, only 20 hours audio and 5 hours video battery life, no SD slot, no camera, no GPS, almost no tactile buttons, and so on.

On the other hand, the 1 GHz dual-core Tegra 2 in the X series should be beefy enough for demanding apps, and the included official Android Market makes sure you get said apps as easily as possible onto the device. All is fine on the connectivity front as well, from Wi-Fi B/G/N over Bluetooth 2.1+EDR (A2DP, AVRCP, OPP) to HDMI-out. The Z series sports Sony’s usual S-Master amp and tons of sound enhancements and EQ presets. Let’s hope those are global settings, like on the Cowon D3, so any 3rd party app can access them as well.

Considering Sony’s competition in the Android non-phone market, ranging from various inexpensive Archos devices to Samsung Galaxy Players, the price of the Z sure isn’t the biggest bargain, with the 8 GB model going for $250, the 16 GB one for $280, and the 32 GB bigwig for $330. Remember: no SD slot available.

On a side note, I wonder how that “Eurphoric” typo managed to sneak into Sony’s official press image on the right… I would recommend MP3Tag for future press shots.

[Sony press release (with full specs sheet) via Engadget]




26 Comments

Al luna on January 10, 2012 7:12 PM

It’s the “no microSD” that reeeeally bothers me. How much of the 32g’s are really for storage? 27g? 25g’s? How can I get the Japanese 64g version?

digi_owl on January 10, 2012 7:15 PM

Now i hope it also makes it to Europe, tho i wonder about how long Sony will keep updating the firmware.

Martin Sägmüller on January 10, 2012 7:19 PM

Al Luna, good point – I totally forgot that Japan got a 64GB version… and it’s definitely no surprise that Sony doesn’t offer that capacity in the EU/US.

Digi_Owl, the press release is from the European Sony site, so I’m sure it will arrive sooner or later.

Marvin the Martian on January 10, 2012 7:33 PM

A James LaBrie album art to promote your new flagship player? The sound of his voice would make me run far away!

Koshitak on January 10, 2012 8:00 PM

You’re kidding, right?
He has an absolutely amazing voice. But I guess you prefer Justin Bieber :D

kiyu727 on January 10, 2012 8:30 PM

With that CPU you can easily watch MKV with Rockplayer or MXVideo app, can’t you.

Martin Sägmüller on January 10, 2012 8:34 PM

I’m not sure software decoding can handle 720p/1080p HD video overly well, even with that Tegra 2 (not to mention the additional impact on the already low battery life) – but let’s hope I’m wrong.

gojjjira on January 10, 2012 8:36 PM

for that price i would get me a cowon x7 from amazon. 160gb and flac get me. On the downside the x7 does not have any apps support or the multiscreens and the android “goodness” though im a symbian user and im used to tweaking. back to the sony player i think it’s too expensive and coming in too late to the android pmp fight. And im already used to the lack of support i used to have a red z series 16gb player. For the price on an android pmp i would go either the samsung 5 or the archos 70b w/250gb.

tds101 on January 11, 2012 1:17 AM

No 64GB!!! WTF!!! Sony can STILL KMA!!!

Ed Summers on January 11, 2012 4:22 AM

lol@ The Darkside :D

lagoo56 on January 11, 2012 5:38 AM

I paid $265 for my SGP.5.0+32GB MicroSD card, 8GB for $250? Sony is known to be premium but I wouldn’t pay that much for this. It should be down to the same price as the SGP 4.0,that would be a good price around $199

Soren Siim on January 11, 2012 12:46 PM

Flac, Alac etc. support is easily fixed: Install Poweramp or Neutron player. Done. If the 64gb version was $300 I would consider one, but the price, the need to import from Japan, the lack of physical buttons and the poor battery life makes me stick with my Cowon X7. At least until the Ibasso DX100 is out…

Phredreeke on January 11, 2012 3:40 PM

European of Union?

Al luna on January 11, 2012 3:54 PM

And WTF happened to Atrac??!! I listen to classical music. I can actually hear the oboe and bassoon players fingering the keys on their instruments on my PSP. Something all my other players cannot do. I will also take clarity over loudness any day. BTW The Samsung GP is a close second.

originalgusbus on January 11, 2012 5:17 PM

This player makes me sad. The only Sony player I’ve ever had any interest in and it’s a flop. It’s looks like Sony took a bite out of Apple with no SD reader and the fact that it’s only got “20″ hours of music play back? What was Sony thingking? It might be a nice player, but not for this guy.

Martin Sägmüller on January 11, 2012 5:40 PM

Phredreeke – exactly. ;)

Originalgusbus, they sure want to please the Apple/iPod crowd, since they already boast about iTunes compatibility in their press release. On the other hand, that “Walkman button” seems more of an imitation of the one-button Zune gimmick.

asafg on January 11, 2012 8:51 PM

I don’t understand all these top-brands releasing such pricey devices with such inferior specs.
My $30 Chinese PMP plays 720P mkv, with subtitles support (admittedly wanting…), and supports almost any conceivable format including flv and flac AND has an SD slot.
Yes, the firmware is lacking like any other poorly supported Chinese device and it’s not android or touchscreen but the basic functionality is there. (and the Chinese are closing in on cheap android devices too)

What WRONG with these companies (Cowon, Sony)?

bachLover on January 12, 2012 3:57 AM

No 64GB option????? well I did a smart move this last december 16…. jumped the wagon into sony’s competition….

I bought an Apple iPod classic 160GB, the sound quality? superb, like sony or i say, better than sony’s (of course ditch crappy included Headphones and plugged my MDR-XD100) AND MP3′s @192 for classical music, sound too good to be tru on the 2009 classic

Musichound on January 14, 2012 5:58 PM

Pass! There’s no way this player can compete with Samsung’s Galaxy players. No SD card slot? Capacity only 32GB? Limited CODEC support? Only 20 hours of music playback? Gimme a break, this is destined to fail!!!

Uber-Ne on January 21, 2012 6:17 AM

Ugh when are these company’s gonna make something renovating in this department? Not only are they just copy and pasting from the galaxy players, they are leaving key features like longer battery life or an micro SD card slot. $300+ for 32GB? Its like Im just paying for the brand. Very disappointing Sony. In these hard times, give us consumers something worth the money, something I hate to say, but what Apple is offering. $300+ Im expecting something special, not just a name u.u

digi_owl on January 24, 2012 7:47 PM

End result is a tradeoff between external memory card (Samsung) and video out (Sony).

Where is the MHL support, Samsung?!

Martin Sägmüller on January 24, 2012 10:38 PM

Or you could wait for the Cowon Z2, which has both.

digi_owl on January 25, 2012 8:09 AM

Yea, just noticed that one today and i am drooling (even tho it is still using 2.3, not 4.x. But i guess it may come in time, somehow).

Design on January 29, 2012 5:44 AM

So far only thing this is really lacking is cameras. Since it’s on android can’t you just download apps that support the codecs that you need, so I don’t get why people are complaining. Battery life does seem short with only 20 hours of playback time, but from what I read the Cowon Z2 only has 22 hours of playback time…. It is on the pricy side, but if you see the hardware and specs compared, this device is way above what you have on ipod touch and Samsung galaxy player. $250 for the 8gb is a price I wouldn’t pay myself, but looking at the 32gb, which is $330, is only $30 more than a 32gb ipod touch(I know it’s currently like 275) which retails at $300 MSRP.
Also I think they reason why they didn’t go with mini-usb connector is probably because they plan to make docks for the device.
Hope price drops from the day they start selling it. Read that the 64gb one in Japan was discounted to 34000 – 37000 yen.

someguy on March 6, 2012 1:17 AM

Sony make some excellent sounding players but the EU volume cap is big problem for those in Europe, so I will have to pass and stick with either Samsung or Cowon.

Arie al An-Nur on March 13, 2012 4:36 AM

BRAVO SONY… SONY is the best

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