New Sony Walkman music players feature stunning good looks, Android 12

Sony has a pair of new Android Walkmans out, the NW-A300 and NW-ZX700. Yes, that’s right, Walkmans, 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 killed the iPod Touch line recently, but Sony still makes Android-powered Walkmans and has for a while. The first was in 2012 with the Android 2.3 Gingerbread-powered NWZ-Z1000, which looked like Sony just stripped the modem out of an Xperia phone and shoved it onto the market as a music player. Since then, Sony has made designs with more purpose-built hardware, and today there are a whole series of Android-powered Walkman music players out there. Sadly these new ones seem to only be for sale in Japan, the UK, and Europe, for now.

We’ll start with the most consumer-friendly of the two, the NW-A300. This basic design debuted in 2019 with the NW-A105, but that shipped with Android 9. This is an upgraded version of that device with a less-ancient version of Android, a new SoC, and a scalloped back design. In Sony’s home of Japan, the 32GB version is 46,000 yen (about $360), while in Europe, it’s 399 euro (about $430).

The NW-A300 is a tiny little device that measures 56.6×98.5×12 mm, so pretty close to a deck of playing cards. And really, just look at these pictures. Sony might not be the consumer electronics juggernaut it used to be, but it still has an incredible product design department. I have no use for a standalone music player, but both of these Walkmans are so pretty that I just want to hold one.

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