Whenever a new PMP comes to the market it is more than often compared with the iPod range. Although this holds true that iPods have created the portable music and video revolution, but there are other PMPs that also offer good sound and video.
Today, we review the recently launched Sony’s E-Series Walkman player, the NWZ-E440 (E443).
Package contents include the music player, earphones, USB cable, dock adapter and user manual.
The E440 is a simple looking PMP which is graced by a small 2-inch screen and music controls on the front, hold and volume buttons on the right while the bottom comprises of a 3.5mm headphone jack, mic and proprietary USB port for data transfer/charging.
I started by copying the music files on to the player. If you’re like me who has a mammoth music library collection in iTunes, you’d be happy to hear that Sony Walkman’s content transfer application supports transfer from iTunes library. However, this happiness was short-lived as I started transferring from it. The transfer application takes lot of time to copy each song. No wonder it’s a nifty feature but when you have got a library of more than 1,000 songs, drag-and-drop is the way to go.
Using the E440 is a no-brainer. Fire it up and here you’re looking at a bland UI. Maybe usability over UI aesthetics was preferred for an affordable do-it-all PMP. Anyways, it’s a 9-icon grid menu that offers options from music, voice recorder, video, FM radio, images and more.
On the music front, the E440 supports MP3, WMA and AAC formats. It also integrates few audio enhancements like Clear Bass/Stereo, Dynamic Normalizer and 6 equalizer presets to enhance the audio listening quality. The audio with a little bit of tweak in the presets did improve the sound quality. However, we found it to be at par with the competition with its price range.
If you’re bored with your existing music library, the built-in FM tuner comes to the rescue. Users can save up to 20 FM stations for quick access and interestingly, can record songs with the help of its recording function.
Moving to video, the E440 supports MP4, H.264 and WMV files. Content transfer application handles all the conversion, which again takes considerable amount of time to convert. Watching videos is not a soothing experience as much as listening to audio on this device. This is primarily due to its small 2-inch display that kills the excitement over time. Watching short length videos is ok but viewing full length movies is something we would not recommend on this.
Other things you’d find with the E440 are podcasts, playlists support, voice recorder, alarm and timer functions.
Sony claims an audio battery life of up to 30 hours. In our test, the E440 managed to run for about 25 hours, which is not at all bad. As for video, it claims 4 hours of playback but we got around 2.5-3 hours, enough to watch a single movie.
E440 comes in two variants – 4GB and 8GB, and is priced at Rs. 5,990 and Rs. 6,990 respectively. If you consider the price/feature ratio, there’s nothing really wrong in the player. But when you’re looking as a whole PMP experience, the small display makes it lacking.
Pros: Price, Sound Quality