Channel 5

Sony Xperia T

Wednesday 03 October 2012


Rating of 4

The basics

The Sony Xperia T is the Japanese gadget giant’s latest flagship smartphone, and the direct heir to the Xperia S’ throne. This time round though, it’s packing a larger 4.55-inch HD screen, and resurrects the curved stylings of last year’s Arc phones. It’s running Android 4.0 out of the box, and is fuelled by a nippy dual-core 1.5GHz processor; around the back there’s a beast of a 13 megapixel camera. But is it enough to kick it with the latest efforts from Apple, Samsung and HTC?

Read our full HTC One review here

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The good

The Sony Xperia T is one of the very best smartphones out there for multimedia. Its HD screen is huge and absolutely gorgeous, with wide viewing angles and bright colours: it also takes up most of the entire front face of the phone as Sony’s sensibly worked the Android navigation buttons into the display, as Samsung did with the hit Galaxy Nexus phone.

Its 13 megapixel camera is no slouch either, and while it may not hold up quite as well in low light as the snapper on the iPhone 5, it holds its own thanks to a convenient, dedicated shutter button you can press to launch the app and focus too.

Yes, the version the Sony Xperia T runs is last year’s Android 4.0 rather than this year’s 4.1 “Jelly Bean”, but the company says an update is coming, and it has one of the best track records for providing Android upgrades of any phone peddler - so we wouldn’t worry too much about that.

Sony’s take on Android 4.0 also has some neat little flourishes, best of which are its “Small Apps”, desktop like widgets you can place on the multitasking screen. It’s a really handy way to make quick notes or do sums on a calculator, and something we’d like to see other developers take advantage of.

The bad

While the Sony Xperia T sports one of the absolute finest displays you can find anywhere on the planet right now, it’s let down by a rather uninspiring casing otherwise: the 9.4mm profile is rather chunky (particularly disappointing when the battery doesn’t last quite as long as rivals) and the matte finish picks up fingerprints like a crime scene investigator. And like the Xperia S before it, leaves you with the impression that you’re holding an unfinished prototype.

Sony has a strange attitude towards open source Android: on the one hand, it realises that it’s best to tinker with it as little as possible since Google got its design act together. On the other, it’s perfectly happy to stuff its phones full of software you don’t need and worse, can’t delete, just for a quick buck.

The Sony Xperia T here is a case in point: you’ll find apps that duplicate ones Google already provides (Video Unlimited, Wisepoint for navigation), as well as shortcuts to apps that aren’t even installed, clogging up your menu. And you will never be able to remove them. That’s tough to swallow when Apple and Android rivals don’t play this game with third party bloatware.

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The bottom line

Sony’s always left us with the impression that it’s playing catch up with its rivals in mobile, and while the Sony Xperia T is a perfectly decent device, it’s lacking the little flourishes and bleeding edge bits and bobs that really make it stand out. And in a world where the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 exist, that’s not quite enough. If you’re a Sony fan, you’ll be right at home, but otherwise it pays to look elsewhere.

Sony Xperia T review unit kindly provided by Three

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User comments (12)

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YOU GUYS NEED TO GO TO DOCTOR AND HAVE YOUR BRAIN TESTED. I phone is nothing but junk and look like chunky bread and Samsung galaxy s3 is nothing special open your head and go to doctor.

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i do agree with some of the comments about the style of this phone and the apps you cant remove they just take up valuable space but its still a good phone it does have plenty of storage for extra apps but i would recomend getting a memory card though

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James Maxwell

I have had the Xperia T for a couple of months now, and my friends all have the rivals iphone 5 s3 etc and they all agree that my xperia t is better than them. It is a fantastic phone and if you want the battery to last all you need to do is turn off your internet when not using it and you will be fine, i.e. ive wen to work leaving it in y locker at 99% battery and came back up 4-5 hours later and its at 97%. The only problem i would have with it, is that the android market is worse than app store on apple but that is my only problem with it

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I have the Sony Xperia T, and i think it is brilliant the pictures were better than my Fuji film S200 exr which is a 14mp SLR camera and the Xperia t being 13mp, the new features like you can alter the picture size scrolling through your picture using the standard app, The music can automatically get you your album art and it changes colour of the background on each song, People say its chunky but it is not at least its thinner than a iPhone bigger as well by a Massive inch, battery life: Hard use just over a day, Medium Use you could almost squeeze 2 days and low use definitely 2 or 3 and a half days use do about your standard android phone battery life. the speaker is great and loud the bass is amazing with a equaliser, and the call quality is great with background noise eliminator and the microphones are so good great quality and works very well when using Google voice search or Evi (basically siri for android), the display has so vibrant colours and so much clarity and detail, it doesn't weigh that much but at least you can feel the weight of it unlike the iPhone 5, Yes there is allot of competition but if you want great sound quality a stunning display, great quality microphones, Walkman sound that you'll only get from Sony, and easier heard calls, plus overall brilliant Quality the Sony Xperia T is the phone for you. Thank You For Reading.

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I personally love the Xperia T, I cant fault it apart from the battery life, but to be fair its because I'm constantly on it- literally. Im almost always using it from the moment I wake up for various things which often include the internet which is draining on most phones so the fact that it lasts until late afternoon at least is fantastic. Perfection, wouldn't swap it for anything as of yet.

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Gavin Davies

It's a grate phone. Got mine for ₤20 a month with All you can eat data, which is a bargain. A well it supports DC-HSDPA, which is amazingly fast getting speeds of 15 Meg. Camera is also very good, as is screen and phone call quality. Also sends to get better reception than my old Motorola Razr I. However is a little bulkey and battery is not s good as my old phone, but lasts a day easily.

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richard France

The iPhone 5 camera was actually manufactured by SONY your review is very poor, just like iPhone 5 is, it's ios belongs in a museum. And Samsung amoled screens burn out and incidentally, the Xperia t is possibly the phone with the least bugs, mine runs like a dream

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I have a sony xperia T and ive owned it for 3 weeks and already ive noticed the battery life is poor and the phone its self is faulty, the speeker at the back doesnt play media outloud, however i know the speeker works because when i change profile from vibrate to loud it makes a noise

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