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Sony Walkman NWZ-W252
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#1
[Image: 112454_intro.jpg]

[Image: 112454_design.jpg]

[Image: 112454_water.jpg]

[Image: 112454_stand.jpg]

[Image: 112454_outro.jpg]

The previous Sony MP3 player we reviewed was the NWZ-W202, which had a unique design that allowed you to wear it around your head like a pair of behind the neck headphones. With the latest version, the W252, Sony has made the player waterproof.

At first glance the design looks nearly identical, but on closer inspection you will notice minor aesthetic changes. I think it looks better than before. It comes in multiple colors as before, but the choice is now limited to three colors (Black, White and Pink) compared to five on the previous model. Some of the images on Sony's website also show a green colored model, but for some reason it is not mentioned in the list of available colors.

To make the W252 water resistant, Sony had to make some design changes to the previous mode. The USB port is now no longer open and is concealed under a plastic flap. The sliding Shuffle mode switch is now a push button on the bottom edge. The older model had a jog dial for switching between tracks and play/pause the music. The new model replaces it with a toggle switch, which in my opinion is far better.

Apart from this there aren't any other major changes to the design. The size of the player is roughly the same and just like before it cannot be customized. Unfortunately, I still found them bit uncomfortable to wear after a few minutes of usage.

Sony claims the new W252 is water resistant. Although we did not test this claim the website shows pictures of the player being worn by people in rain and even held under running tap water. Considering the fact that the speakers are still not completely covered (they would be when you wear the player), I wonder how one could hold the player under a tap without the danger of the water going into the speakers.


The W252 comes with a stand to place the player on, which also has a built-in USB connector, which goes at the bottom of the player. This is the only way to connect the player to the PC as there is no standard USB cable provided with the player, although you can use one with it. The stand is slightly different from the one on the older model in terms of design. It's solidly built and very stable, but to be honest I preferred to use my USB cable instead of propping it on the stand every time as it was more convenient. The player supports Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) only and not mass storage, but you can still drag and drop songs into it. It also shows up in Windows Media Player, so you can sync your songs with it. On a Mac it shows as an external drive.

Using the player is still simple enough. Once you wear it, you have to press down on the play/pause button, which starts the music playback. You can use it to go to the next or previous track. If you press and hold the FF or Rew button, then the player would jump to the next music folder or playlist. You can use the Shuffle key to randomize the track order.

The Zappin function plays the first four seconds of a track and then moves to the next one, which lets you recognize the track. This is supposed to compensate for the lack of a display to show you the track title. When you are done listening, just join the two parts together, which will clamp magnetically and the player will turn off. The player comes with a small case that holds the two parts together, so they don't come off while carrying it in your bag.

The audio quality of the player is just like the way it was before. It still sounds very good, thanks to the use of high quality speakers. It is one of those few music players that sound great out of the box. Of course, there is no way you can change the speakers on this player. Which is why it is good to know that it comes with a pretty good pair by default.

With the W202, Sony claimed a battery life of 12 hours. In our testing we got around 14 and a half hour of playback. On the W252, the official battery life figure has dropped down to 11 hours. In our testing the W252 gave us 13 hours of playback, which is quite respectable for such a small player.

The Walkman NWZ-W252 that's priced at Rs, 4,990 is not a big leap ahead from its predecessor. The biggest improvement is the water resistant design, which will be very convenient during the monsoons as you don't have to worry about damaging the player. The controls are more user friendly this time and the design looks bit better as well. The capacity of the player has not gone up though, which is understandable as no one would want to store too many tracks on a player with no display.

The player is still not very comfortable to wear for extended durations and the size may not fit everyone perfectly. The battery life has gone down a notch, which is a bit of a bummer. Overall it is a mixed bag but I would still recommend it to those who want something to wear while exercising in the gym.

techtree
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#2
Sony rocks forever Smile
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