Sony Xperia T review

Sony Xperia T review

T3 4
  • The new superphone, the Sony Xperia T, has a big screen, great camera and is carried by James Bond. What’s not to like?

    Sony Xperia T review

    Love

    • Amazing 4.6in display
    • Slick styling
    • Great 13MP camera

    Hate

    • Only Ice Cream Sandwich
    • Timescape not great
    • Average battery life

    Smartphones are getting brainier, and slimmer. So while the new Sony Xperia T isn’t as svelte as the iPhone 5, it beats Apple’s flagship for camera resolution, screen size and features like NFC.

    Taking over from the Sony Xperia S as the brand's top-of-the-range Android handset, this phone has a lot going for it, though the absence of the very latest edition of Android is noticeable.

    Even so, Ice Cream Sandwich is very good and Sony’s skin is well-executed (though some may feel TimeScape, which aggregates social networking updates and more, leaves something to be desired). And Bond fans will be delighted that it’s the handset of choice for 007 in Skyfall.

    Sony Xperia T: Build

    It picks up on the curved back of the popular Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, with a pleasantly tactile matte finish. A silver, brushed metal effect version is also available. The concave back is a matter of taste, but the phone feels good in the hand, comfy and not oversized.

    Sony Xperia T: Features

    There’s a standout camera on the Xperia T. Its 13MP resolution is way above most snapperphones which max out at 8MP (except, of course, for for the 41MP Nokia 808 Pureview).

    Sure, megapixel count isn’t the only important feature in a camera, and it you want to shoot at full screen width, you drop resolution to 10MP, but there are plenty of extra features to make things interesting, like red eye reduction and smile detection.

    And it has panorama – a feature taken directly from Sony’s dedicated compact cameras. The latest iPhone software included this for some models, too.

    Sony’s skill with music on a phone is evident here with a simple interface and decent sound quality. More than that, there’s the Sony Entertainment Network which offers music for £10 a month and movies to rent. You can even play PlayStation games on this phone thanks to PlayStation Certification.

    Unlike the iPhone, the Xperia T has NFC so you can connect it wirelessly with other gadgets, which is cool.

    Sony Xperia T: Screen

    The screen is big – 4.6ins – so only beaten by a couple of handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One X, for instance. The screen resolution is 323 pixels per inch, as close as dammit to the iPhone’s Retina Display.

    And since this is a Sony, it uses some of the company’s Bravia TV technology to make things look bright and vivid.

    Sony Xperia T: Performance

    There’s a decent-speed dual-core 1.5GHz chip at the heart of the Xperia T. Though there are faster processors out there, this is more than enough for everyday use, with signs of slowdown rare.

    Sony Xperia T: Battery

     

    To maximise battery size, Sony has sealed the cell in. So it had better last you through the day, as you can’t swap it out for another. Fortunately it does, though battery life is good rather than exceptional, and you’ll need to recharge nightly. Which is true for people, too, of course.

    Sony Xperia T: Verdict

    It’s slim and light, it feels good to hold and it has a lot of power under the bonnet. If you fancy the styling, this is a great choice of Android handset. Sure, it doesn’t have the latest Jelly Bean version of operating software, but the Sony wrangling of Android is mostly neat, with elegant icons and cute extras like the Sony Entertainment Network and PlayStation certification.

    Battery life is no more than average and performance is fast but not blisteringly so. But factor in the 13MP camera and huge, bright, detailed display and Sony is on to a winner.

    Sony Xperia T release date: Availble now

    Sony Xperia T price: £400

  • The Sony Xperia T promises "the ultimate HD experience" but does it actually deliver or is it simply blagging it? We find out...

    Sony Xperia T review

    Love

    • Amazing 4.6in display
    • Slick styling
    • Great 13MP camera

    Hate

    • Only Ice Cream Sandwich
    • Timescape not great
    • Average battery life

    While Apple's iPhone 4S and Samsung's Galaxy S3 have grabbed the smartphone market firmly by the balls, Sony has struggled to match their success - even with its Xperia range of handsets - boasting a mere 4 per cent share of the market.

    But that could all be about change. Introducing the Xperia T, the all-new stylish, lightweight and glossy blower in the firm's popular Xperia line-up. It may look the part, but does it have the innards required to make people care?

    Sony Xperia T: Build

    Tweaking the traditional Xperia S look for a new design which shares a little with the Samsung Galaxy S3 -  large and lightweight at 139g, curvy rather than sharp edges.

    The Xperia T has gone glossy too. In the hand, the Xperia T feels light and more rugged than previous models - the flimsy back cover of the Xperia S is gone and the Xperia T genuinely feels like the most rugged phone Sony has produced to date.

    Weirdly, an Xperia TX model offers identical innards and a tweaked body, which looks more toy-like.

     

    Sony Xperia T: Features

    A dual-core 1.5 Ghz processor and 13megapixel camera lead the way - alongside clever if unreliable NFC tap gestures (several attempts were needed) to pair with a new range of NFC enabled headphones and docks.

    Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is supplied as standard though a Jelly Bean update is promised but the slow roll-out of updates for previous Xperia phones means it probably won’t make the scheduled autumn launch.

    16GB of memory means that there’s no big reveal of new technology or custom features like the White Magic mode of the Xperia P.

    Sony Xperia T: Screen

    Another jump for Sony - a 4.6 inch display with a 1280 x 720 resolution. At first glance, it’s instantly impressive, rivalling the Galaxy S3 when flicking through the fast photo album and viewing movies but it is highly reflective and prone to fingerprints - exaggerated by the amount of lights and grubby hands during our IFA 2012 hands-on. Pinch and swipe gestures were responsive and fast, however.

    Sony Xperia T: Performance

    The processing power easily meets the demands of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich - menus and demanding apps aren’t a noticeable step-up from the Xperia S (it’s the same processor) but remain super fast during our first few minutes with the smartphone.

    The Exmor camera is as fast as ever and the 13 megapixel shots look great on the new screen - again, it’s a minor step-up from the 12 megapixel Xperia S but it’s a superior camera in all ways to the iPhone 4S and once again the front runner for ‘best camera on a smartphone’ against the HTC X.

    Sony Xperia T: Verdict

    Rugged, powerful with a tweaked design, the Xperia T is a modest upgrade of the impressive Xperia S designed to appeal to people considering the Galaxy S3.

    The screen and camera are the real stand-out features but we would have liked to have seen some new custom Sony technology and a bigger amount of memory - a 64GB version perhaps.

    As it stands, it is the best smartphone Sony has made but in the rapidly changing and fickle market of super-powered phones with unique features, it faces fierce competition before the Autumn launch.

    Sony Xperia T availability: TBC

    Sony Xperia T price: TBC

    Words:
    Richard Melville

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    • Sony Xperia T Hands on at IFA
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  • Sony Xperia T

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