(Pocket-lint) - Sony's answer to creating a digital voice recorder is to slap a digital camera on it so you can create visual tags within your recordings, but do you really need it? We get recording to find out.

At first glance the compact ICD-CX50 looks more like an electric shaver than the latest in digital voice recorders.

The digital voice recorder is made up of three main areas; the controls, the colour screen and a rotating digital camera at the top.

Controls are mostly found down the right hand side and its here you find the main playback features including something called a V-UP button which promises to balance the audio to a well-balance level.

Turned on and Sony says that inaudible low-level parts of a recorded message are amplified so that the overall recording is adjusted to the optimum level. In tests however all it seemed to do is make everything louder.

Where the unit differs from most is the small 1.2-inch colour LCD screen hidden under that bit that looks like the electric shaver. The sliding motion activates the screen and its here where you can easily manage your voice files and view those images you've taken.

Below this is the capture and record buttons for both the voice recorder and the camera. Once you start recording voice files you can capture digital images at the same time creating those visual tags we mentioned at the beginning.

Inside and the recorder offers a 1.3 megapixel and an internal 256MB flash memory drive although no option for external media. In real-terms that means at the lowest settings you can record 93hrs 30mins of voice recording and capture 4094 images, while at the highest settings you get 1341 image and a 11hours 20 minutes.


The visual tags are an interesting concept and for those who need reminding of what they are talking about during perhaps a tour of a show stand or an interview with multiple people then we can see this being a really useful addition over your average digital voice recorder.

However, if you are looking for a straight forward digital voice recorder this isn't it.

It's better than that and for that reason, along with a high price point it is likely to scare most people off.

If you feel that visual tagging within your voice recordings is something that you need then this will do it in spades.

Writing by Stuart Miles.