Sony Xperia T review

Reviews Paul Briden 15:44, 26 Sep 2012

We’ve recently got to know the Xperia T and all its foibles. Read on for our verdict on Sony’s latest offering

Rating: 
4
Pros: 
Excellent HD Bravia display, Fast processor, Premium build, Slick design, Good camera, MicroSD slot, Good battery life, Android Ice Cream Sandwich
Cons: 
Sony UI not to everyone's tastes, Some performance issues with Sony UI widgets, Low onboard storage for premium model
Verdict: 
An excellent media smartphone with a fantastic screen, along with decent power, camera and battery life. Let down by interface performance issues and low onboard memory

We've examined the Sony Xperia T and you can now read our thoughts on the curvy-backed Bond phone.

Form

The Sony Xperia T seems to be quite a divisive handset when it comes to visual design – around the KYM office people seemed to either love it or hate it.

The device follows on from some of Sony’s more recent budget Xperia models, such as the Xperia Tipo, in being a very angular and squared-off shape and in using the same slightly grainy, slightly rubbery textured matte finished material.

It is a little different, however, as it uses a unibody design and also draws inspiration from one of the company’s earlier Xperia models built under the Sony Ericsson brand – the Xperia Arc.

This is where it gets its concave back panel from, which lends the nice contrast of a sweeping curved line against the otherwise blocky silhouette.

The edges are at a halfway point between the Xperia S’s chunky, flat and easily graspable surfaces and the original Xperia Arc’s slightly-too-thin tapered sides. They’re broader than the Xperia Arc’s but still contoured to make things look neater, while being markedly less substantial than the Xperia S’s.

Sony’s done a decent job with the details here, the port, audio jack and solid button controls along the sides of the phone all have brushed silvery metallic accents which compliment the black bodywork.

The bezel around the display is also very thin, which lends a premium look, while the solid controls have a soft click to them which gives a nice feeling of just the right amount of feedback – it feels in-line with what you might expect from other Sony top-end electronics.

The camera port protrudes very slightly from the unibody shell by a couple of millimetres, while the bodywork itself slopes up to gently to make everything look neater. Meanwhile, the lens itself is recessed into this slight bulge, meaning it’s less likely to get smeared and scratched.

This latest offering from Sony doesn’t feature solid or capacitive buttons, instead it relies on Android’s built-in onscreen controls which first appeared in 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The build quality is fairly typical of what we’ve come to expect from Sony’s recent devices. That means it feels solid in the hand and the materials used seem to be of a reasonably decent standard.

Being a unibody phone the MicroSD and MicroSIM slots are hidden under a flap in the side. It seems Sony hasn’t cracked the problem plaguing most phone manufacturers of how to make this design less flimsy, as it’s only held on by a couple of thin strips of flexible plasticky material. On the opposite side is a recessed MicroUSB port.

The Xperia T is clearly a well-made phone, but aside from the curved back panel there’s not a lot of character to its overall aesthetic and it comes across as fairly bland.

Display

Sony has equipped the Xperia T with a 4.55-inch multitouch LCD running with the company’s own Mobile Bravia engine.

It also features scratch-resistant, shatterproof glass and a 1280x720 pixel resolution, giving a pixel density of 323 pixels-per-inch.

That’s quite impressive quality as the display pixel density is virtually on a par with the iPhone 5’s while the glass panel is almost an inch larger.

Things are further enhanced by Bravia, which Sony has carefully honed to improve clarity, colour depth, contrast, blacks and dark colours compared to standard LCDs.

It’s really a very rewarding screen to use for pictures, webpages, apps, games and video.

Video and games in particular remind you that this is a Sony display you’re dealing with – holding the phone in landscape mode it’s rather a lot like having a miniaturised Sony widescreen HD TV in your hand. An appealing prospect to be sure.

Specifications

Typical Price Free on contract
UK Launch September 2012
Frequency Quadband
Phone Style Touchscreen candybar
Thickness 9.4mm
Length 129.4mm
Width 67.3mm
Weight 139g
Built-in Memory 16GB
Additional Memory MicroSD card slot
High-speed Data HSDPA
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Screen Size 4.55-inches
Screen Colours 16 million
Camera 13-megapixels
Designer Lens No
Camera Resolution 4128x3096 pixels
Zoom Yes
Flash Yes, LED
Video Resolution 1080p@30fps
Ringtones Yes
Music Player Yes
Music Formats MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV/Flac
Radio Yes
Speaker Yes
Internet Yes
Browser HTML
Games Yes
Battery Standby Up to 410 h
Talktime Up to 7 h

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