Sony announces two new Android-powered Walkmans: NW-ZX1 and NW-F880

by XB on 3rd October 2013

in News, Videos

Sony Walkman NW-ZX1_1Convergence has been a key word this year for Sony, especially with the ‘One Sony’ mantra. Whilst much of the focus when talking about future Xperia smartphones is normally around the imaging side, we know a number of you would love to see Sony introduce some dedicated audio chips to improve the audio performance.

Last week Sony announced a couple of new high-end Walkman devices to show exactly how good it gets. This includes the flagship NW-ZX1 with 128GB of flash storage and the NW-F880 that comes with three storage options (NW-F885 with 16GB, W-F886 with 32GB and NW-F887 with 64GB). See more detailed information on each Walkman below.

Sony Walkman NW-ZX1

The Sony NW-ZX1 has a 4-inch Triluminos display for mobile with 480 x 854 pixels and runs Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean. Specs include the S-Master HX digital amp, NFC and support for a number of formats including FLAC, WAV, AIFF, Apple Lossless, MP3, WMA, ACC, HE-ACC, ATRAC. USB Audio is also supported (192kHz/24bit). The device is beautifully crafted in machined aluminium alloy reflected in the price point of 74,800 Yen (around $760). This flagship Walkman has only been announced for Japan so far, but fingers crossed it will see an international release too.

Sony Walkman NW-ZX1 Press Photos

Sony Walkman NW-ZX1

Sony Walkman NW-ZX1

Sony Walkman NW-ZX1

Sony Walkman NW-ZX1

Sony Walkman NW-ZX1

Sony Walkman NW-ZX1

Sony Walkman NW-ZX1

Sony Walkman NW-ZX1

Sony Walkman NW-ZX1

Sony Walkman NW-ZX1

Sony Walkman NW-ZX1 Hands-on Photos and Videos

Sony NW-ZX1_Hands_1

Sony NW-ZX1_Hands_2

Sony NW-ZX1_Hands_3

Sony NW-ZX1_Hands_4

Sony NW-ZX1_Hands_5

Sony NW-ZX1_Hands_6

Sony NW-ZX1_Hands_7

Sony NW-ZX1_Hands_8

Sony NW-F880

The Sony NW-F880 is the Walkman that will see an international release. The good news is that the spec-sheet for the NW-F880 is very similar to the more expensive NW-ZX1 detailed above, although you don’t get the 128GB flash storage option. The NW-F880 will be available in storage options ranging from 16GB to 64GB.

Specs include the latest S-Master HX digital amplifier, DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) HX technology, Clear Audio+, NFC for easy Bluetooth pairing. The NW-F880 also has a 4-inch Triluminos display for mobile and runs Android 4.1.1. You don’t get the metal chassis from the NW-ZX1, instead the NW-F880 will have four (plastic) colour options including Black, White, Blue and Vivid Pink. The Sony NW-F880 will retail for £259/€329 in Europe.

Sony NW-F880 promo video

Sony NW-F880 press pictures

Sony NW-F880_4

Sony NW-F880_1

Sony NW-F880_2

Sony NW-F880_3

Sony NW-F880 hands-on video

Sony NW-F880 hands-on photos

Sony NW-F880_Hands_1

Sony NW-F880_Hands_2

Sony NW-F880_Hands_3

Sony NW-F880_Hands_4

Sony NW-F880_Hands_5

Sony NW-F880_Hands_6

Sony NW-F880_Hands_7

Sony NW-F880_Hands_8

Sony NW-F880_Hands_9

Sony NW-F880_Hands_10

Via Sony Europe and Sony Japan.

Hands-on images via Digital Grapher and Head-Fi.

  • the first one is a MONSTER

  • gunboat_d

    put a cell radio in the ZX1 and i’m sold! don’t need a camera, just a nice Walkman Phone.

  • solidpig

    Man, he ZX-1 looks so damn good, even with the hump and all.

  • Based, Sony is doing well! Congrats and please sell in the fu***ing US your stuff!!!!!!!!!

  • @atWidget

    No micro USB… Sony… come on… stop wanna be Apple.

  • Hakan Mutlu

    Speakerphone in the logo. Great idea! :)

  • Rene Pedroso

    This is exactly why they will not put the S-Master in Xperia devices, ughhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

  • Mike Gonzalez

    i like the interface, a mix of Google JB and Sony launcher

  • lunkz

    Why only an 5 Band Equalizer?

  • sfordesign

    the zx1 looks weird but HOT and durable! have been sticking with walkman for a few years. love the superior sound quality but the lagdroid part.. i mean it really lags like shit… hopefully jelly bean will fix all

  • Christian Maiwald

    Come on guys – are here just Sony fanboys/girls?

    Look at this price. It is absolutely hilarious. Addiotionally there is no micro-USB port. And u are telling me Apple has too many restrictions and is too expansive?

    Ahh ich forgot mention: I do not own any Apple devices ;)

  • Mac

    Damn.. I went all exited when I thought it said Sony announced two new android powered smartphones!
    I was like, yeah finally Z1 mini and maybe ZU mini! but sheea.. man we want ’em s-master chip sets in your phones not in another large ass device having 2 carry around like another mofo. expensive as hell as well.
    C’mon! One Sony huh, make me believe it is going 2 be all high quality parts from Sony in one awesume device, now believe that!

  • Cerunnos

    I think people are forgetting that this isn’t a mass market product. This is specifically targeted at audiophiles who have don’t blink at paying $500+ for a pair of headphones. There is such a market, though its very small. $700 for a player is nothing, this isn’t competing with iPods or smartphones, this is in the league of iBasso, Cowon, Fiio, etc dedicated players/amps that feature high quality components, head phone amps and such. It isn’t a surprise they won’t be able to fit such items into an already crammed smartphone casing, unless you are willing to sacrifice battery life, even larger bezels, or thickness. Plus, most people are perfectly fine with smartphone grade audio. To be honest, since most can stand streaming music (~128 bitrate mp3/aac) and free earbuds with phones and players, there is really no reason to focus on audiophile-grade audio on smartphones. If you find yourself laughing at the price, you are not an audiophile (I am not either, but I understand there is such a market).

    To put it into perspective, a good quality sound card on a desktop costs $100 to $200 (and you can go higher). People still buy them even though integrated solutions have drastically improved. This is the same scenario. Cell phones have “acceptable” quality, but this last leg to “perfection” is going to cost you.

  • Micro

    so you can hate it :/

  • Micro

    you really never had any Sony’s high-end Walkman, did you..?

  • Sami Mrabet

    The first one was really ugly :S but the second international one is beautiful!!

  • Micro

    Did you ever hear about WM-Port dude? ;) It has dedicated digital audio output/input line, standard usb have only 2 serial data lines + 2 power lines. It still supports standard USB though… just the device connector is different, not to make people complain, on other purpose.

    This is extremely high end device, perhaps you didn’t know about this port.. I had one so I know why wm-port. This is not an disadvantage. Google it ;)

  • Micro

    …and once it comes out you won’t buy it saying it’s “too expensive”. Come on mate, this costs a lot to do that.

  • vivftp

    Very hopeful this rubs off on Sony Mobile and they at least offer larger capacities in their cell phones. I love the Z1 and will get it, but if they offered a 128 gig variant I’d get that in a heartbeat, even though it’d cost an arm and a leg on top of the arm and a leg it already costs. So in effect I’d give up both arms and legs for a 128 gig Z1!
    … dunno how I’d use it or anything… but I’d cross that bridge when I come to it.

  • Micro

    lol ;D
    I actually like the idea, but I would modify it to take some troll and cut his legs and arms for it, yours would be a waste :D (don’t worry, they will come soon.. lol)

  • I want that blue one :P~

  • Can any of the iPods atleast play FLAC? No? stfu about it being over priced. This is in the high-class audio player unlike iPods. This is up there with the Cowon, Fiio, etc.

  • sreenamboothiri

    First Pics taking me to the memories off Sony Ericsson K800i Cybershot days :D

  • yep, I agree with you, but even the lower models of Walkman still sounds way better than any iPod out there

  • philippe sun

    wow, zx1 got a really sexy design, why not put that design into xperia line?

  • Frode P. Bergsager

    In my opinion it is reversed, the first one looks good, the second one looks like a cheap plastic copy of a Xperia.

  • sealplayerz

    and don’t forget about the abilities drag and drop file in Windows Explorer anywhere you can without mandatory software like iTunes and MediaGo itself is not required for transfering file ;)

    android UI in my walkman nwz-f805 is on par with iPod for the fluidity and the sound quality is better than iPod

  • sealplayerz

    my lowest walkman model nwz-b173f sounds way better than newest iPod Shuffle that my friend owned and my friend agrees too ;)

  • sealplayerz

    well, you forget it doesn’t have microSD slot so it can’t be expendable but 128 GB is enough for me

  • sealplayerz

    well, it’s not plastic at the backside and it’s metal because i have older f series

  • Micro

    Wi-Fi direct can do this now ;)

  • Micro

    correction – z1 have micro sd slot ;) max 64gb sdxc, but it have ;)

  • KaJa San

    Like sony fans will never see the PlayStation Phone happen. Now Sony is nothing but a coward, So disappointed!

  • Diazene

    where do they get all that money?

  • Diazene

    xperia z ultra mini?

  • P9

    combine this into xperia please, love u sony. :)

  • sealplayerz

    i mean the walkman series not z1 ;)

  • sealplayerz

    well, i don’t use wifi direct for transferring file to my walkman because i don’t how to use it. i just use wifi for internet and i hear walkman can do DLNA too but never use it.

  • Micro

    you really should try this, it acts exactly the same way like USB, only without this wire ;)

  • Micro

    k, my bad ;)

  • Amir

    amazing design for the zx1! i’m always impressed again and again with sony design. i REALY hope that sony will implement it’s design in one fo the Z1 successors, really impressive alternative to the omnibalance glass design!

  • sealplayerz

    well, i just transfer my file with usb because it’s fast and reliable but maybe i will give it try ;)

  • sealplayerz

    working and saving to buy it

  • Diazene

    I’m sure they can do better stuff with that money

  • Rizky Maulana

    Can i “jogress” it with QX10/QX100 ??? :D

  • Quark Gluon

    Can’t wait to try it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be jaw-dropping like $2000 Hi-Fi, but at least it should deliver much better quality than the current smartphone audio.

  • Quark Gluon

    Yeah. Like collecting Leicas.

  • Quark Gluon

    The F880 reminds me of Walkman phones, while the ZX1 looks like something Sony had not been producing for decades.

  • sealplayerz

    you know, it’s their hobby to be audiophile and it’s their money and not yours

  • sealplayerz

    i don’t know, maybe you can if you install Sony Play Memories from Google Play store and turn on the wifi because i haven’t test it in my older f series ;)

  • sealplayerz

    …and you will complain about it because it’s “overprice and too expensive” ;)

  • sealplayerz

    you can install other third-party music player on Google Play because it is Android 4.1 ;)

  • sealplayerz

    … and it will become too expensive and you will complain about the price ;)

  • Quark Gluon

    Haha.. For smartphones it’s OK. But for dedicated audio device, I would love to have at least 7 band equalizer and unlimited custom presets. It’s necessary I guess, since ZX1 doesn’t come with stock cans.

  • Micro

    for smartphones it is ok if those 5 don’t even work at all ;P
    imho, for a this class dedicated device, it’s actually not even necessary to have the equalizer at all. Audiophiles hate to ruin their sound with this (at least most of them) ;)
    This is like he buy hi-res audio class headphones (build to reproduce the sound exactly how it was recorded) and complain like “come on, why for this price they don’t even have mega bass!” – complete absurd, if you ask me :)

  • Micro

    I was lucky once to buy NW-S703F, probably the first device out there with noise-canceling built in to the device, not in to the headphones yet. Sony then tried to make this ATRAC3 format more popular.. at least tried. Horrible money at the time, left a huge moral hangover, but it was worth it. After many years no ipod, zen, you name it, can stand against it – and their owners admit it without any questions. Those devices simply are in different leagues.

  • sealplayerz

    yup, i don’t like to use equalizer because i like listening my music as my headphone and player sounds naturally

  • AHA

    Ugly as hell, thick and unwieldy.

  • Micro

    matter of taste

  • m sacha

    Sony’s hardware designers are just some of the most creative ive ever seen, there products are just so sexy!

  • Mac

    I just want a nice 4,5″ device with z1 specs plus IR blaster.

  • Mac

    actually I don’t care so much about s-master, I just want IR blaster, water resistance, camera button, s800, 2-3GB RAM, 16-32GB Internal, Sd-slot, 4,5-4,7″ thin bezel, and with the front in same color as the backplate. And yeah big battery, I don’t care if the phone is thick as long as the bezels are thin.

  • pixlas

    Please tell me it has video out capabilities! It could be the perfect media player with CEC control, charging cradle and good codec support. I’d love to throw out my boxee box

  • imparanoic

    wrong comparison,

    leica are overpriced yet not necessary high specced camera, they have perceived status as they are targeted to high end market, in other words they are the bang and olufsen of camera ( ie, all style, limited performance), even a mid range mirrorless interchangeable lens camera can outperform them
    much better comparison is the sony rx-1 or canon d1 mark4 , high end due to it’s high specification yet compact body, thus, high performance due to full frame size sensor, if this was a hifi, then it would similar to a Marantz ki signature cd player and amplifer, where it’s high end price is reflected in it’s high end performance

  • Diazene

    well, that would be the xperia z1 mini

  • Micro

    nah.. details ;)

  • Quark Gluon

    It’s more like a sarcasm, not a comparison.

  • Mac

    not really but hopefully yes. The z1 mini is supposed to have a 4.3″ display and most likely we’ll never se the IR Blaster in European version. So by my conclusion, no that’s not the z1 mini.

  • zaimi

    you can make side income by trading forex

  • josesl16

    I guess they should make a collaboration with Sony Mobile to make an Xperia Walkman for those people who want it, even if it costs an arm and a leg…

  • Wondermega

    The closer Sony got to the PS Phone concept was with the Xperia Play, but then they gave up too soon. They’re willing to bet with this kind of niche product (Android-powered Walkman) yet they failed to release a more refined smartphone with dedicated gaming controls.

  • xperiafan324

    And I’m sure we all can do better stuff with our time and money than blowing $800 on flagship phones that are “mid-range” after 8-10 months.

    Point is, respect each others’ differences.

  • xperiafan324

    Wow, I can’t believe so many “Sony fans” don’t know about WalkMans. These aren’t iPods, these are audiophile-grade players.. smh

  • Diazene

    at least a smartphone is really useful, everything from playing games, to browsing the web, to reading ebooks can be done with a smartphone

  • dimos

    because fuck style, thats why

  • Jason

    I wonder if Sony could benefit sales wise by having 2 high end phones both with good processors ram etc. but both having specific features e.g.
    One xperia with really good camera
    And one with really good audio specs, really integrated Walkman stuff etc.
    Same design and all, but just different in some specs

    I’m sure if Sony integrated Walkman in their Xperias a bit more, it would increase customer interest.

  • Xperianer

    oiiiii sony, you should make a Sony NW-F880 with a phone calling/sms function…that would be mine
    i dont care thickness or any other stuff…..

  • Ghayyath El Masri


  • Rizky Maulana

    with qx100, it’s really monster

  • mode893

    Lol, you have absolutely no respect for others’ passion. Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. High end Walkmans can do all those things you mentioned as well except making a call, but it has superior audio quality, something you obviously don’t appreciate

  • BothNow

    I want a really good camera and really good audio on one device however,

  • Diazene

    hmm… look at their resolution

  • Redx

    Yes, i am in that “market” you are talking about. i have $400 headphones and all the walkmans, from the WM X,Z, and the F series, i have a good job so i dont mind paying. I ride the train everywhere in nyc. so my audio is my best friend and i do not blink a eye when it comes to music quality,

  • Babylonbwoy

    Lots of Z1 fans where crying for S Master MX (or HX) but they listen to compressed format like mp3 @ 128k! Nonsense. They should start by making lossless format compatible in smartphones

  • Babylonbwoy

    As long as they don’t owe you money they can do whatever they want to spend money…

  • Babylonbwoy

    you can use DS3 what do you want more ? Dedicated buttons won’t be as efficient as DS3…

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  • shangfan

  • ankit

    great post !!
    I bought a latest digital cameras and it is awesome in picture quality and picture resolution.

  • Wondermega

    I want to play on my phone while on the go, with decent controls (not with touch or accelerometers), and carrying a controller around isn’t handy. On a side note, that Xperia Play 2 mock-ups that circulated a while ago were really cool.

  • lunkz

    I’m going to buy the NW-ZX1

  • Cnote78z

    This (these) players are for people who have some disposable income (granted) and don’t mind dropping between $500 – $1000 for an MP3 player. I have a Sony NWZ-X1061 player and I have used it every single day since I bought 4 years ago. People ask me why I don’t use my Galaxy S3 as a music player and the answer is simple. My phone battery would be dead almost constantly and (more importantly) if anything happened to my phone I would be dead in the water. I can’t risk dropping my phone on the ground or in a puddle when I’m running – the more you use it – the more risk you encounter. Sony began to phase out Walkman MP3 players last year. Their selection of players available for sale on their website is scant so eBay is really our only outlet. The NW-F887 is probably the way to go. It has 64 GB of storage which is HUGE! and it has an FM tuner. The price is high but it’s still about what I paid for my current unit.

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  • jay chauhan

    lake of sony UI

    i hate stock android UI

    check out the battery and states bar icon as well as launcher icon

    dam sony not expected from you

  • Johan

    It is said in the text: USB Audio is also supported (192kHz/24bit)
    Does this means USB audio output?

    How to enable??

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