Sony Xperia T review
|Review: September 2012|
In a nutshell: The Sony Xperia T is Sony's flagship phone, featuring a 4.6 inch HD display and an amazing 13 megapixel camera with full 1080p HD video recording.
Sony are being busy bees in 2012, releasing a swathe of Xperia Android smartphones onto the market. The Xperia T is their latest flagship device, picking up where the Xperia S left off.
The Xperia T is perhaps more conventional-looking than the S, lacking the clear plastic strip below the screen. But it also has an attractive curved back, reminiscent of the SE Xperia Arc S. It's approximately the same size as the Xperia S - just 1mm thinner. The back has a rubbery finish, which makes it easy to grip. But just in case, the screen has scratch-resistant glass with a shatterproof sheet on top.
The phone features a slightly larger screen than the S - a generous 4.55 inches - with the same HD resolution (1280 x 720 pixels). It's an impressive display, with pin-sharp images and smooth HD videos thanks to Sony's Bravia Engine and the dedicated Adreno 225 GPU. Although it's not quite the biggest screen available, it's virtually a match for the HTC One X or Samsung Galaxy S3.
The handset is available in Black, Silver or White.
The Xperia T is not an earth-shattering phone. It's very much an incremental development of the Xperia S, which after all was released just six months earlier. While the S shipped with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), the T comes with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Not Jelly Bean (4.1) you'll note, but Sony have never managed to get the very latest release of Android into their phones right away. An update to Jelly Bean is promised in due course.
If you've used a Sony Android phone before, you'll know that they come tweaked with a bunch of enhancements to the user interface. The home screen can be customised with widgets, shortcuts, folders, themes, wallpaper, and you can flick left and right to access four home screen extensions. The Timescape app puts all your messaging into one place - email, texts, facebook and twitter. You can also view your photos here. Tapping the Infinite button lets you branch out to related info, such as finding all the communications with a particular contact. The virtual keyboard allows for some user customisation, which is a nice feature.
The camera and video are very impressive. Equipped with Sony’s Exmor™ R for mobile CMOS sensor, the Xperia T has the highest resolution yet of any Sony phone, with a massive 13 megapixels plus 1080p HD video recording. This is one of the best camera phones we've seen, with a large f2.4 aperture lens and equipped with a full set of advanced features - face recognition, touch focus, image stabilisation, red eye reduction and more. The phone also comes with an Album app for managing photos and videos. And it's worth mentioning the dedicated shutter button, which is such a handy feature.
Musically, we have a strange sense of deja vu. The Xperia T comes with a Walkman app. Back to the Future or what? The app is simply used for managing playlists. But no complaints, because this is a great music player, with graphic equalisers if you're a fussy audiophile, or xLoud loudness enhancement for the rest of us. An FM radio with RDS is also included. You can send your music out through the 3.5mm audio jack, or stream it via DLNA.
Plenty of memory is essential in such a product, and the phone comes with 16GB of flash memory - 2GB for downloaded apps, 11GB for data, and 3GB for the system. You can also add a microSD card up to 32GB. A full 1GB of RAM is available too, so there's no reason for apps to misbehave.
Hey - we haven't yet mentioned that the phone has a mighty 1.5GHz dual-core processor to power it along. Sony haven't yet embraced the power of quad-core, but nevertheless the Xperia T zips along perfectly fast enough with the help of the dedicated GPU. If dual-core is enough to power full HD video and a HD screen, what need is there for a faster CPU?
As befits a modern smartphone, the Xperia T will connect with anything. Equipped with 3G HSPA giving a theoretical download speed of an extraordinary 42.2 Mbps, you can also access data via Wi-Fi and use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for connecting other wireless devices. Old-fashioned Bluetooth and USB are here of course, and as mentioned you can connect to devices around your home via DLNA and HDMI. The phone also comes with an implementation of NFC, which lets you share photos, music and other content with other NFC-enabled phones just by holding them next to each other.
All modern smartphones struggle with battery life. There's just so much going on. The Xperia T has a larger battery than most, rated at 1850mAh, and it should give a similar battery life to the Xperia S. You should get a full day's use out of it, but heavy users need to watch out and maybe keep a charger at work.
Finally we're pleased to report that as well as making a fabulous phone, Sony have got the pricing right too. At launch, the Xperia T is available free on contracts for less then £30 per month, putting it in the same price range as the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3. The HTC and Samsung might offer a quad-core processor and a slightly larger screen, but the Sony excels when it comes to the camera. In fact, choose any of these three phones and you'll be very happy with the outcome.
Sony Xperia T features include:
- 13 megapixel camera with f2.4 aperture, 16x digital zoom, autofocus, face recognition, smile detection and pulsed LED flash
- HD 1080p video camera with video light
- 1.3 megapixel front-facing 720p video camera, Google Talk with video chat
- Display: HD TFT capacitive touchscreen, 1280 x 720 pixels (4.55 inches), 16 million colours with auto-rotation
- Media player with album art, shuffle, smart playlists, TrackID and PlayNow
- xLOUD Experience, Clear stereo and clear bass, 3D surround sound
- FM radio with RDS
- MP3 ringtones
- aGPS with Google Maps, Street View and Latitude
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, email, conversations
- 3D games, motion gaming, PlayStation® Certified
- Vibration alert
- Internet: WAP 2.0, GPRS, EDGE, HSPA, WebKit web browser, RSS feeds, YouTube, voice search, accelerated Adobe Flash
- Processor: 1.5 GHz Qualcomm dual core processor
- Memory: 16GB flash memory plus 1GB RAM plus 32GB microSD card slot
- Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, HDMI, DLNA, NFC, WiFi hotspot support
- Quadband GSM (850/900/1800/1900) plus 3G UMTS/HSPA (850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100) - up to 42.2 Mbps downloads
- Size: 129 x 67 x 9.35 mm
- Weight: 139g
- Battery: 1850mAh
- Talktime: 7 hours
- Battery standby: 450 hours
Sony Xperia T user reviews
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Average rating from 16 reviews:
Reviewed by firstname.lastname@example.org
from india (noida)
on 10th Oct 2014
Reviewed by Racent
on 8th Feb 2014
Avery good product machine... but i hate on the battery side way too poor
Reviewed by junior
on 7th Dec 2013
Its a very robust fone, tried galaxy s3 and the Sony beats it every time, my first one Broke so . Bought another one
Reviewed by Jimmy from England on 6th Sep 2013
The best smartphone I had, but battery life poor, everything else is top class!
Reviewed by Ali from Wales. on 27th Aug 2013
Ignore my last review. This phone is terrible. Had two faulty ones. Camera is good. Everything else terrible. Battery barely lasts half a day.
Swapped my second one for a Note II. Now that's a good phone.
Reviewed by Ali from Wales on 1st Aug 2013
Fantastic phone, the battery isn't something to pick on as all smartphones today struggle with battery power, and the fact you cannot remove the batter either is not much of a problem, just get yourself a portable phone charger!
Initially I found the bottom on the screen slightly irritating as it takes a bit from the screen due to the on screen keys, but soon after you realize it doesn't really get in the way at all. There is still plenty of screen to use.
The camera of course is SUPERB. Taking photos in the highest resolution will of course take it down from 16:9 to 4:8 but of course look great. Images in the second highest quality are also fantastic and in 16:0 ratio. Video camera is also excellent, the sound; well it's not bad or incredible to say, but it's your phone not an ACTUAL camera. Brilliant job none the less.
Apps run well, and the 16GB of internal storage is modest, of course a little bit more could be nice but it gets the job done. You will want an external SD though, at LEAST 8GB.
Typing with the phone is quick and slick with the 'swype' feature (I don't think it's actually called that) and browsing is fine. Nippy and good to read from.
Recommend the phone. You might want to download an app to monitor the battery and be sure to keep the brightness down when you don't need it. Phone is meant to be sturdy and supposedly has a scratch and shatter proof screen, though you still might want a case and a screen protector.
Reviewed by Andy from England Uk on 9th Jun 2013
Well this is my first smartphone. Screen and pics are amazing!. I downloaded a free sat nav app called waze which was recommended by a friend. And its superb. But 2 things i have been very disappointed with. First off the quality of e mail video messages. Very poor quality. Much worse than older and current upto date smart phones. Seeing as the camera is great on this phone its not good and slightly annoying. And also when using skype no one can see me. I can see them, The sound is fine, but i am not able to be seen. And i know its not my settings. Now these two issues kill this phone for me as i actually use these 2 a lot. Especially skype!...Anyone who uses skype could maybe comment on this!....Therefore 3 stars is more like it for me. Good but not great!
Reviewed by John H from United Kingdom on 13th Apr 2013
Got the phone just over a week ago and still wont work on any map related app despite store & sony instructions.
Store offered another T and this wont work either.
Back to store AGAIN tomorrow for a resolution!!!!
Everything else superb but this stops it being usable - very disappointed. Can only give 1 star because this cannot seem to be sorted.
Reply by John H from United Kingdom on 14th
Visited store again today (Phones$u - they are great) and even they could not get Nav / Map app to work - they even tried another Xperia from the shop. Walked away with a Motorola RAZR - it works and is so quick. Utterley disappointed a big name brand like Sont cannot get any of the phones i tried to work
Reviewed by Katie from UK on 28th Dec 2012
amazing phone, superb!!!
Reviewed by THEIN from BURMA on 19th Dec 2012
Got this phone just five days ago. Very impressive ! Works beautifully. Connectivity is very very fast and internet browsing is a lightning. Software update to Build number 7.0.A.3.195 just took some 25 minutes. Camera is really awesome with crystal clear images! Unlike S series, the extra microSD card is a great welcome. Now that Jelly Bean update is on the way, really looking forward to use this phone to its full capacity. Sony has done it again ! Bravo ! All 5 stars from me.
Reviewed by Pete from Ireland on 6th Nov 2012
Have it two weeks now. Moved from a Galaxy S2. Seems to be doing the trick so far. Bit slower than the S2. Screen is very clear. Camera is fantastic. Liked the feel of it with the matt finish on the back but this has started to wear away at one corner. Have it in a case now so its not a major issue but still....thought James Bonds phone would have been a bit more rugged!!! Its bang on for me as Im not a super power android user. Call quality a bit low but okay. 4 stars is enough!
Reviewed by Mindy from uk on 30th Oct 2012
I just bought this phone today, and wow, it's so easy to use! The graphics are second to none, and picture quarter is superb! The interface is easy and foolproof too. I highly recommend this phone to anyone looking to buy a phone hands down. 10/10 rating from me.
Reviewed by John B from Ireland on 23rd Oct 2012
This phone is a bit of a disappointment and there is very little improvement from the S. As far a Android phones go it is good and has an above par camera that is excellent but everything else seems to lag behind its competition. If you have come from a high spec phone I don't recommend this device unless your an avid photographer or if its your first mid range android I can recommend this device. Don't get me wrong its a good phone but its not a very high spec phone except for its camera. One other thing that got me frustrated was the phone seemed to collect dirt and dust to easily around the grooves on the perimeter of the screen and also this phone really show up fingerprints big time, so if these bother you steer clear. It is a good looking device and feels good quality in the hand.
Reviewed by Dave from UK on 22nd Oct 2012
Purchased this phone on it's release day and I have to say how disappointed I was. It is a nice comfortable size in the hand, however I felt the position of the buttons was a bit awkward. The phone runs smooth enough and is pretty fast but the screen is a bit of a let down compared to the Samsung S3 or HTC One X. On the plus side it does have a fantastic 13mp camera and a dedicated camera button for those quick snaps.
Reviewed by Jim from UK on 22nd Oct 2012
I have had this phone for two weeks and am pleased with my choice.
My main reason for choosing this model was the camera and I am not disappointed - the resolution really is exceptionally good and it takes better pictures than my previous phone, the Nokia N8.
I have found that the call quality is very good and have had no dropped calls.
I like how you can use the mobile as a Wifi hot spot and it effectively turns my Wifi only iPad into a 3G model.
I have never used Android before and have had no problems getting used to it.
The build quality seems very good and the screen size is just right.
Reviewed by john from uk on 15th Oct 2012
i had this phone for 3 days on and upgrade. i returned it promptly. the screen has that washed out look also viewing angle is poor. no where near the samsung 3 or htc one x. the buttons are in a weird place right where you hold it so your hand will always be on the buttons. its pretty fast and runs well but thats about as thrilling as it gets. no way would i call it outstanding sony are well behind when it comes to screen and cpu