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First Look: Sony's answer to the iPod TouchSony's Android-based Walkman Z media player offers a refined iPod alternative with an emphasis on audio quality.
Hey. I'm Donald Bell and this a first look at the Walkman Z from Sony. This is an Android base media player running Android 2.3 and price it around $249 for an 8 gigabyte model, 279 for 16 gigs and 329 for 32. Unlike many Android devices, Sony doesn't include a memory expansion slot on here, so choose your capacity carefully. I think it's fair to say that this is Sony's answers to the Apple Ipod Touch. So what does it offer that the iPod doesn't. Well, the first thing is obvious, it offers Android. You get the full Google experience here with the Android market, Gmail and GPS powered navigation. You also get the full Android market stock with video rentals, music, books, all that stuff in addition to the apps and games you're used to. Sony is also offering a nice 4.3 inch screen here which is noticeably larger than the iPod Touch. You get a built in HDMI output. High quality headphones are included. There's a speaker on the back. Volume rocker on the side and this interesting W button right here in the middle. This button calls up a mini version of the music player regardless of what's screen you're on. You can even access it from a lock screen. It's also a reminder that Sony branded this is as a walkman for a reason. The sound quality here is excellent and Sony includes an (impresses suite?), a sound enhancing settings to make your music shine. It only included Sony's music unlimited service which offers an all you eat selection of music for a monthly fee. There are some drawbacks. There are no cameras. No memory expansion. The screen brightness here is pretty dim and Sony forces a proprietary connection on here instead of a micro USB port. Still, as iPod alternatives go, I prefer the Walkman Z over the Samsung Galaxy player, I reviewed a few months back. So that's the Walkman Z from Sony. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell.