Sony S-Series Walkman Second Generation – Cut Down On Price And FeaturesMP3 Players — on December 9, 2009 at 4:55 am | 5 Comments
Sum and Substance:
One of the cheapest portable media players, you can rent and purchase video from Amazon, great audio quality, superb battery life, features like FM tuner and FM recording rock!
Features have been cut down to make it cheap, it doesn’t have noise cancellation feature or upgraded headphones.
Inside the Trunk:
Included accessories – earbud headphones, USB cable, flip-out stand.
The Whiz Kid Speaks:
The Sony S-Series Walkman second generation has a 2.4 inch display, with resolution of 240 x 320 pixels, supported audio formats are AAC, WMA-DRM, L-PCM, MP3. Supported video formats are WMV, AVC, MPEG-4. There are 2 external speakers at the either side of the display. 8 GB internal memory.
The device comes with four built in equalizer jazz, pop, unique, heavy. There is FM tuner with 30 station storage memory. There is a choice of colors – pink, black, violet, red. Other feature include voice recording, FM recording, etc. Lithium ion rechargeable battery has life of about 42 hours.
The exterior of the second generation Sony S-Series Walkman is the same as the first generation device, but it has a bit of plastic feel which makes it look cheap. You get a choice of black, pink, violet and red. It is very much thin, as it is just a MP3 player and not much hardware is required for that.
Sony makes one of the best devices when it comes to MP3 players. We put Sony’s players in the list of elite which has big names like Apple and Cowon. Sony has been a trusted name when it came to music because we are still in awe at those music systems that Sony made in the 90s and it delivered awesome sound.
Well, Sony is here with a new PMP, the second generation Sony S-Series Walkman and it was disappointing to find out that it has cut down on a few features that we were fond of. But there is a trade off, all this decreases the price of the player making it one of the cheapest players in the market.
This player is a bit bigger than what we got in the first generation. While this may not go well in the pocket you get a bigger screen which will give you better video viewing. The screen is 2.4 inch QVGA LCD and it has the same great quality. There are also speakers put up on the two sides of the display which was not found earlier.
A PMP is not supposed to have a lot of buttons below the display and Sony doesn’t have much either. There is just circular navigation button, there is a key in the centre which is for play/pause. Other than this there is a power off/option key and the home/back key on the two sides of the circular button. The set up of the navigational button and the 2 button on the sides looks like face of Mickey Mouse. We don’t know if this is done intentionally by Sony but the resemblance is uncanny. But this setup cannot beat the sleek and sexy click wheel that we found in iPod nanos.
There is a volume rocker on the sides on the phone and there is also a switch which locks the buttons against accidental presses when you put it in your pocket. The player has speaker, so there is a switch which toggles between the ear phone and the speaker phone. Other than this there is the 3.5 mm head phone jack and USB port.
We have already said that the price of the player has been slashed down and so are the features. This player doesn’t come with noise cancellation feature and you don’t get upgraded headphones in the package. Podcast support has also been discontinued and features such as SensMe Channels and smart playlist creator are also absent. Integration of Rhapsody DNA is also not there but we can do without it.
When it comes to playing music second generation Sony S-Series Walkman can play formats like WMA, MP3, AAC, Linear PCM which is Sony’s own version of WAV. You can store photos of JPEG format on the player but we were turned off by the fact that you cannot set these photos as wall papers. For video playback there is support for purchasing and renting videos from Amazon and the formats accepted are AVC, WMV and MPEG-4 but again you have to go by the player’s requirements of frame rate, size, etc.
The one feature where this device scores above Apple’s iPod is the FM tuner and it can store up to 30 stations. You can record directly from FM to the memory of the device. You can also record with the built in recorder in the device and there is an alarm feature with which you can set up the device to wake you up with a radio station or with the tracks stored in the player.
Another feature of the device which still is very much rocking is the sound quality of the PMP. The device absolutely rocks in sound quality and definitely is better than any player that we have seen. The battery is long life with rated audio playback of 17 hours and video playback of 5 hours. If you think Sony has cut down on the features to make it a deal breaker, it emerges from the ashes like a phoenix with great sound quality and battery life. The music quality will be even better if you ditch the bundled ear phones and buy a separate set of ear buds.
The player was next tested for video and photo quality and it came out with flying colors. Videos look crisp though a bigger screen would have made viewing a better experience. FM reception too is good.
If you are already an owner of Sony S-Series Walkman there is no reason to upgrade. We will recommend this player to people who have stiff budget. But be warned, this device doesn’t have features that you might expect from it. People who don’t mind splashing their money around will prefer sticking to the first generation of the Sony S-Series Walkman.