OLED Walkman Way of The Future

There’s lots to like about the Walkman X MP3 player with its OLED screen being but one bright spot

By Charlie Brown

Sony’s latest Walkman offering is a nice little number with a few bits of technology that stand it in good stead.

Consumers tend to get caught up in frenzy that surrounds the iPod and its many incarnations, which means other portable music players get left in its wake. Sony’s Walkman X, while having a few things that need attention, certainly offers up some interesting functionality that will give the perennial favourite a run for its money.

First thing to catch my eye is its 3-inch OLED touchscreen. Sure it doesn’t handle smudges well, but it’s nice and bright and gives off good detail, which in turn makes it easy to read the display. This in turn makes navigation easy. I think Sony will soon be putting this technology into most of its products that need screens – whether it be phones, laptops or TVs, maybe even the PSP.

The unit comes in either a 16G or 32G configuration and is about the size of a large bar phone. It fits snugly in the palm of your hand, or pocket, while its granite shell – although adding a little weight to the unit – gives it a coolness factor that previous renditions lacked.

It’s noise-cancelling technology works fine, even at relatively low volume, which is ideal for those who use public transport, or like to get lost in the moment. It helps that the earphones fit snugly in the ear, which at times have been a bugbear of mine. However, I did notice a distinct lack of bass, even after turning the bass up, but am not sure if it was the earphones or the unit itself that was the problem.

Downloading tunes is via USB, while a hold function allows you to move around without accidentally knocking the player onto another setting.

Finally, there is the micro-charging, which means a little charge time equals a lot of playing time. I didn’t have time to check the battery life, but I had the unit on and off for several hours over two days, and it was only during the end of the review period that the battery light began to flash.

Other specifications:
Built-in Wi-Fi; FM Tuner; access to an internet web browser and other features such as direct podcast downloads and YouTube streaming; the ‘Content Transfer’ software supplied with the Walkman X allows you to transfer non-DRM music files from online music services such as iTunes to the Walkman through ‘drag and drop’.

Pros: Micro-charging; OLED screen; noise cancelling; cool shell; easy to navigate; no distortion at high volume

Cons: Not enough bass; screen gets smudged easily which is annoying for a touchscreen device; price could turn a few people off

4 Shacks out of 5

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