Sony has a couple of new Android Walkmans, the NW-A300 and NW-ZX700. Yes that’s how it is, Walkman, Sony’s legendary music player brand from the 1980s. Apple may have given up on the idea of a smartphone-adjacent music player when it phased out the iPod Touch line recently, but Sony still makes Android-powered Walkmans and has done it for a while. The first was in 2012 with the NWZ-Z1000 running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which looked like Sony had just taken the modem out of an Xperia phone and brought it to market as a music player. Since then, Sony has made designs with more purpose-built hardware, and today there is a whole series of Android-powered Walkman music players. Sadly, these new ones appear to be on sale only in Japan, the UK, and Europe, for now.
We’ll start with the easier to use of the two, the NW-A300. This basic design debuted in 2019 with the NW-A105, but it shipped with Android 9. This is an upgraded version of that device with a less-old version of Android, a new SoC, and a scalloped design. In Japan, Sony’s home, the 32 GB version costs 46,000 yen (about $360), while in Europe it costs 399 euros (about $430).
The NW-A300 is a tiny device measuring 56.6 × 98.5 × 12mm, much like a deck of cards. And really, just Look In these photos. Sony may not be the consumer electronics giant it used to be, but it still has an amazing product design department. I don’t need a separate music player, but these two Walkmans are so cute I just want to hold one.
The front is dominated by a 3.6-inch, 60Hz, 1280×720 touchscreen LCD. There’s 32GB of storage, and the device supports Wi-Fi 802.11AC and Bluetooth 5. That’s all Sony wants. talk about the official specs. It touts “longer battery life” but doesn’t say how big the battery is, promising only “36 hours* of 44.1KHz FLAC playback, up to 32 hours* of 96KHz FLAC Hi-Res Audio playback “. Presumably, that’s it with the screen off.
For more specifications, we can visit The Walkman Blog, a wonderful site that takes these little music players very seriously. In October, the site found documentation for the A300 with a 1500 mAh battery. The previous NW-A100 model’s system-on-a-chip was the NXP i.MX8M-Mini, an extremely slow 28nm SoC that has just four Arm Cortex-A53 CPUs and 4GB of RAM. You might say, “This is just a music player,” but that’s not really true, since it still runs full Android with an app store and all. Geekbench scores show it to have a new quad-core Qualcomm chip of some kind with 4GB of RAM, but we can’t be sure of the model number. A newer chip with smaller transistors would likely account for much of that “better battery life” promise.
This is a music player, so of course there is a headphone jack at the bottom of the unit. You’ll also find a place for a lanyard, a speedy USB-C 3.2 Gen1 port for fast music transfers, and a MicroSD slot to store all your music. The buttons along the side of the device also give you all the music controls you could want, like a standby, previous, play/pause, next, volume and power switch.