Sony has announced new Android Walkmans, the NW-A300 and NW-ZX700. Yes, it is, W.Arkman, Sony’s legendary music player brand that has been around since the 1980s. Apple may have given up on the idea of a smartphone-adjacent music player when it recently ended its iPod Touch line, but Sony still makes Android-powered Walkmans and has been doing so for some time. . The first was his NWZ-Z1000 with Android 2.3 Gingerbread back in 2012, when it looked like Sony had removed the modem from his Xperia phone and marketed it as a music player. Since then, Sony has designed with more dedicated hardware, and today his entire line of Android-powered Walkman music players is out there. Sadly, it looks like these newer ones are currently only available in Japan, the UK, and Europe.
We’ll start with the NW-A300, the most consumer-friendly of the two. This basic design debuted in his NW-A105 in 2019, but it shipped with Android 9. This is an upgraded version of that device with an older version of Android, a newer SoC, and a scalloped back design. His 32GB version in Sony’s home country of Japan is 46,000 yen (about $360), while in Europe it’s €399 (about $430).
The NW-A300 is a tiny device at 56.6 x 98.5 x 12mm, pretty close to a deck of playing cards.and really just look in these pictures. Sony may not be the electronics giant that it once was, but it still has a great product design department. I don’t use stand-alone music players, but both Walkmans are cute and I’d like to have one.
The front is dominated by a 3.6 inch, 60 Hz, 1280 x 720 touchscreen LCD. It has 32GB of storage and the device supports Wi-Fi 802.11AC and Bluetooth 5. That’s all Sony wants to talk about official specs. It advertises “longer battery life” but doesn’t mention how big the battery is, only promising “36 hours* of 44.1 KHz FLAC playback and up to 32 hours* of 96 KHz FLAC hi-res audio playback.” Is not … Perhaps it’s all with the screen off.
For detailed specifications, please see the Walkman Blog. A great site that is serious about this little music player. In October, the site found that in his A300 documentation he listed a 1500 mAh battery. The system-on-chip in his old NW-A100 model was the NXP i.MX8M-Mini. This is a very slow 28nm SoC with just 4 Arm Cortex-A53 CPUs and 4GB of RAM. You could say “it’s just a music player”, but it’s really not because it runs full Android with an app store and everything. A Geekbench score says this has some sort of new quad-core Qualcomm chip with 4GB of RAM, but I don’t know the model number. That would explain a lot of the promise of ‘battery life’.
Since this is a music player, of course there is a headphone jack on the bottom of the unit. There’s also a spot for a lanyard, a high-speed USB-C 3.2 Gen1 port for quick music transfers, and his MicroSD slot for storing all your music. Buttons on the side of the device also provide all the music controls you need, including hold switch, previous, play/pause, next, volume control, and power.