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X-series versus iPhone, part I

X-series versus iPhone, part II

Oh dear...

Let's just zoom out a bit...

Enter it slowly now

Scroll, scroll, scroll your boat

Noise be gone

Can I have some crackling?

Sparkle, sparkle little star

The not-Cover Flow

Videos anywhere

Go, go, stop

We take a closer look at what makes the Sony X-series Walkman both great and horribly frustrating. Now if only we could get inside the heads of Sony's pricing department.

Take a look around, the profusion of iPhones and iPod Touches should tell you that touchscreens are the hottest things right now. Much hotter, in fact, than the proposed

Caption by / Photo by Sony

It's not as apparent in the photo as it is in real life, but at this angle the X-series' display remains clear, legible and burst forth with brightness and colour, while the iPhone is teetering on the edge of being a washed out mess.

Caption by / Photo by CNET Australia

Size-wise the X-series is to the iPhone what Tim Cahill is to Peter Crouch. That said, it's still bigger than the rest of the current Walkman range.

Caption by / Photo by CNET Australia

What's that sir? You wanted to visit a normal website, one that isn't optimised for mobile devices, well forgedaboutit. The web browser, supplied by Access, can't even render Wikipedia properly, so it's little wonder that drifting over to

Caption by / Photo by CNET Australia

If you're lucky enough to find a page that renders correctly, zooming out will give you this amazing array of dots.

Caption by / Photo by CNET UK

Entering URLs via the mobile phone-style keypad is tedious. Doubly so because the browser demands that you prefix every address with "http://" lest it throw a hissy fit, charge up stairs, slam the door shut and vow never to speak to you again.

Caption by / Photo by CNET UK

Flicking through stations looks neat, but scrolling from one end of the spectrum to the other is a large dose of tedium sugar coated with pretty pictures.

Caption by / Photo by CNET Australia

The X comes standard with digital noise cancellation, but this only works with the supplied EX headphones which have built-in microphones to sample the background noise. Great if you like the 'phones, a waste if digging into your ear canal makes you more squeamish than watching an anti-smoking ad.

Caption by / Photo by Sony

The crackled granite finish around the edges does little for the X-series' looks but does make it very easy to hold.

Caption by / Photo by Sony

Black with sparkle effect makes a nice change from straight piano black. The large Hold button on the back is simple to operate too.

Caption by / Photo by Sony

Scroll through your album covers vertically on the X.

Caption by / Photo by Sony

Thanks to the OLED screen washed out blacks and colours are a thing of the past when you watch video on bumpy, unreliable public transport.

Caption by / Photo by Sony

Sony has included a set of play/pause, forward and reverse buttons along the top edge, allowing you to operate the X without looking.

Caption by / Photo by CNET Australia
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