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A sleek music box

The second iteration of Sony’s Walkman churns out great sound and is waterproof. Read on.

tech reviews Updated: Jul 27, 2010 14:47 IST
Ashish Koshy

The Apple iPod has been known for its style and features. But Sony, too, has shown that their MP3 players can have a touch of class. They might not sell as much as the iPod, but Sony’s new W252 is worth a look.

Design
There’s no real change in the design from the previous W202. It’s portable, which means that you can take it off and hang it around your neck without any problem. But carrying it in a bag can be quite a hassle as the player switches off only when both magnetic ends are locked together.

Sony provides you with a plastic case which holds both ends together. But sadly, the design of the case is such that once it is closed, both ends don’t really lock. In terms of functionality, you have the volume keys, the jog lever and the mini USB port covered with a rubber flap on the right piece, while the left piece has a button to activate. Shuffle playback or play from a playlist. It has the same in-ear headphones which help cut out noise.

Features
Surprisingly, there’s no feature that’s different from the previous one. It comes with the Zappin feature where a small part of the song is played to help you to locate tracks quickly.

Transferring songs is easy; thankfully you only have to drag and drop them. The player comes with a Content Transfer User Interface to help you sort your playlists. Its 2 GB capacity is enough to keep you entertained for train journeys, and one charge will give you eleven hours of playback. The sound is clear, the treble doesn’t pierce your ears and the bass has the heaviness that sets your feet tapping.

Smart Upgrade
What is different about this player is its water resistance. Though it’s not meant to be dunked in a bucket of water, you won’t have to worry about tucking it away just as it starts to drizzle! Which means you can become good bathroom singers while keeping on the player in the shower.

Verdict
This player is definitely a good buy for those who might be contemplating buying an Apple iPod shuffle. With an eye-catching design, some good features (its resistance to water is arguably its best asset), good sound quality and a good amount of playback time, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go for it.

If there’s one thing that Sony might have to change, it definitely should be the plastic case that comes with it to prevent the player from opening by itself when not in use. But overall, a price tag of Rs 4,990 is a good deal for those looking for a good quality MP3 player with most of the features.