LAS VEGAS —
Sony company is joining Archos, Samsung
and Philips in adopting Android as the OS for portable
media players that are able to download
apps and games, much like an iPod
Like the Samsung and Philips models,
the Sony Z-series Walkman Mobile Entertainment
Player downloads app from the
Android Market. The Archos models access
the AppsLib market.
The Sony player will be available in
three memory capacities: 8GB, 16GB and
32GB priced at $249, $279 and $329, respectively.
They’re tentatively scheduled to
ship in early March.
Like other Walkman players, the Z-series
player is focused on quality audio reproduction,
said product manager Brian Pancarik,
and it accesses Sony’s Music Unlimited
music-streaming service via Wi-Fi.
The player, however, also performs all
of the same types of functions as an iPod
Touch, including app downloads, video
playback, game playing, and — via builtin
GPS and downloadable apps — as
a portable navigation device that navigates
from the apps’ onboard maps.
In the future, the Z-series Walkman
will get an update to play the PlayStation
Suite of select PlayStation games
designed for use on PlayStation-certified
Xperia Play smartphones from Sony Ericsson.
Key features include Android 2.3 OS, 4.3-inch 800 by
480 display, 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor, micro
HDMI video output to display content on
an HDMI- connected TV, and DLNA
certification to send audio
and video via Wi-Fi to
other DLNA devices
It also features
and FM tuner.
A dedicated W button on one
side launches a music mini player to
control play/stop previous/next when
listening to music while another app
is in use or when the phone is locked.
The partial-screen mini player interface,
which appears on top of whatever
app is in use, also displays metadata
and album art.
The device uses display technology
used in Bravia TVs to eliminate an air
gap between the LCD panel and glass
to make the display non-reflective, improve
brightness and contrast, and ensure
blacks remain black when viewed
at an angle.
It also features FM tuner and G sensor
but no video camera or video chat
Proprietary SensMe technology categorizes
stored tracks by mood, enabling
users to select music for playback
They also access Sony’s streaming music service,
now called Music Unlimited, available to network-
connected Sony TVs, Blu-ray players,
HTiB systems and PlayStation3 game console
as well as for any PC.