Sony Xperia T3 review
|Review: January 2015|
In a nutshell: The Sony Xperia T3 is a strange beast. Priced at the upper end of mid-range, it's an ultrathin smartphone with an enormous 5.3 inch display and some premium styling. But everything else is lacklustre, from the cheap-looking plastic back to the small amount of memory available. It's not a phone we can really get behind.
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Design & looks
The Sony Xperia T3 is a bit of an oddity. It's a mid-to-higher range smartphone with mostly mid-range specs, but with an absolutely huge screen. Is it a phone? Is it a phablet? Whatever it is, it's a device that seems to prioritise screen size over everything else.
That's not to say that there's anything wrong with its design. Sure, it's big. It has to be to incorporate such a big screen - 5.3 inches, by the way, which is bigger than Sony's flagship Xperia Z3 phone. But it's wafer thin, measuring just 7mm thick. The design is lovely in fact, with a stylish curved shape and stainless steel frame, although the plastic back gives away the fact that this is no premium model.
The IPS screen is a fabulous size for looking at photos and videos, browsing the web, and playing games. But disappointingly, the 1280 x 720 resolution gives a pixel density of just 277 ppi, which isn't sharp by modern standards. It's not awful, but we feel that Sony has pushed the screen to be larger than it really ought to be. Still, it's reasonably bright and with nice colour saturation.
The T3 runs Android KitKat 4.4 with minimal interference from Sony.
Quad-core CPU and mid-range specs
You'd expect a device with such a large screen to come with powerful hardware to match, but that just isn't the case. The processor is a quad-core Snapdragon 400 running at 1.4GHz and there's only 1GB of RAM. This makes the device much less capable than even the Z1 Compact from Sony. If you buy this device for the big screen and plan on using it for extensive gaming, watch out!
The built-in memory is a paltry 8GB, and microSD cards are limited to a maximum size of 32GB. This gives the device much less memory capacity than even many cheaper models.
8 megapixel camera
The camera isn't anything special either. 8 megapixels is OK for most purposes, and it uses the Sony Exmor RS sensor common to more expensive Sony models, but you could hardly praise this camera for being any more than average for the price. The camera can be slow to respond and complicated to use too.
A 1 megapixel front camera is available for selfies and video chat (720p HD).
We can't fault the T3 when it comes to connectivity. Everything we could ask for is here, including 4G network compatibility.
Battery life is quite good, with a large 2,500mAh battery and Sony's impressive Stamina Mode available to preserve battery life as far as possible. The phone needs it though, as that large screen is a power guzzler.
Light users will be charging every couple of days, whereas heavy users might need to charge daily.
Hmm. The T3 is in some ways a gorgeous phone. It has a huge screen. Its smart, ultrathin ergonomic design is a pleasure to hold and use. At the same time, it'll be too big for many people, and that cheap plastic back lets down the overall look. The HD screen could be a real bonus, but a display this big demands an even higher resolution to make it pin sharp.
Under the bonnet, the processor, memory and camera are all so-so, but then again, it's not the world's most expensive phone, so what did you expect?
All in all, the T3 is a real mixed bag. It's not a great all-rounder. It's not a phone that will suit most people. Buy this phone only if you can convince yourself that you will love its positive features and not be bothered by its shortcomings.
Sony Xperia T3 features include:
- Operating system: Google Android 4.4 (Kitkat)
- 8 megapixel HDR camera with 4x digital zoom, autofocus, scene recognition and pulsed LED flash, HD 1080p video recording
- 1.1 megapixel front-facing video camera
- Display: IPS touchscreen, Triluminos, BRAVIA Engine 2, 1280 x 720 pixels (5.3 inches)
- aGPS and GLONASS with Google Maps with Street view
- Processor: 1.4 GHz Qualcomm quad-core processor
- Memory: 8GB flash memory plus 1GB RAM plus microSD card slot (32GB max)
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi Miracast, Bluetooth 4.0, micro USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, DLNA, NFC, WiFi hotspot support, ANT+
- Networks: LTE (4G), HSPA (3G), GSM (2G)
- Size: 151 x 77 x 7 mm
- Weight: 148g
- Battery: 2500mAh
- Talktime: 12 hours
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Sony Xperia T3 user reviews
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Average rating from 1 review:
Reviewed by Erick Lamothe
from United Kingdom
on 8th Nov 2015
As an owner of this smartphone I can recommend it for its generous set of features and big clear screen. The camera is unsurprisingly excellent and battery life is exceptional. Now that the price has been reduced it is a very attractive multimedia device.