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Review : sony Xperia T

With just two announcements at CES and two more at Mobile World Congress, Sony hasn’t exactly buried us in new smartphones this year. But considering that the company enjoys big showcase events at tech trade shows, I am also not surprised that it used IFA  to introduce a few more.

Joining the Xperia Tablet S on the Berlin stage were the new Xperia T, V, and J  Android handsets. Though the devices look largely alike, they run the gamut in power and features, with the T out in front, the V in the middle, and the J bringing up the rear. As such, it’s the T that’s the most exciting of the three and the one I’ll talk about here. Oh, and by the way, Sony played a clip from the upcoming James Bond movie “Skyfall” when presenting the Xperia T. No, the phone won’t open a safe or shoot a poison dart, but it will play a starring role in Daniel Craig’s hand.

Design
On the outside, the Xperia T breaks from recent devices like the Xperia P, Xperia U, and Xperia S (you have to wonder if Sony will eventually hit all the letters of the alphabet) by ditching the lighted band at the bottom of the handset. In fact, it’s more akin to the Xperia Ion, but it’s just a vague resemblance.

As simple as it is, the candy bar phone has a trim profile with clean lines and slightly rounded corners. It won’t stand out in a crowd, but it’s not unattractive. The 4.6-inch HD Reality display runs on Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine. I haven’t held it in my hands personally.

Otherwise, there’s not much to say about the Xperia T’s style, though I may feel differently once I get it in my hands. I’m just hopeful that a high-end phone like this will come in aluminum rather than plastic. It will be available in black, silver, and white versions.

Features
Inside there’s a bigger story to tell. The star attraction will no doubt be the 13-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video recording and a second 720p HD front-facing shooter. Sony says that the camera will be able to go from sleep to snap mode in just over a second. Other features include a media player, PlayStation certification, and the ability to connect to an Xperia TV Dock for viewing photos and videos on an HDMI-enabled television.

The promised near-field communication (NFC) features should also win some fans, provided that you have other NFC devices. Though mobile payments have developed as a popular NFC implementation, the Xperia T also will focus on wirelessly transferring media back and forth. A pairing with NFC-enabled speakers could be one use. By pairing the handset with a set of Sony speakers you can play music on the speakers without a wired connection.

Deep inside there’s a respectable 1.5GHz dual-core processor to keep things running. Sony says it will deliver “improved battery life, fast performance, and ultrasharp graphics,” but we’ll have to see how it fares for ourselves. The Android OS is 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, though the company says it will be upgraded to Android version 4.1 Jelly Bean following launch. That’s all I got, so I trust that Sony will keep its users in mind when planning that schedule.

Specifications

This is a listing of Xperia T’s main features and functions.

Camera and video

  • 13 megapixel camera with pulsed LED flash and auto focus
  • Sony’s Exmor™ R for mobile CMOS sensor
  • 16x digital zoom
  • HD video recording (1080p)
  • Sweep panorama
  • Image playback, supported formats: BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WBMP
  • Image capture, supported format: JPEG
  • Video playback and recording, supported formats: 3GPP, MP4
  • Front-facing camera (1.3 megapixel, 720p)
  • Face detection and Smile detection
  • Aperture f/2.4
  • “Album” app

Connectivity and communication

  • USB High speed 2.0 and Micro USB support
  • WiFi and WiFi Hotspot functionality
  • DLNA Certified
  • aGPS
  • WebKit web browser with Pan & zoom
  • Bluetooth technology
  • Native USB tethering
  • NFC
  • HDMI via MHL support
  • Synchronisation via Exchange ActiveSync, SyncML, Microsoft
  • eCompass™
  • Smart Connect

Memory

  • RAM: 1GB
  • Flash memory: Up to 16 GB
  • Expansion slot: microSD™, up to 32GB

Entertainment

  • TrackID music recognition
  • xLOUD Experience – audio filter technology
  • FM Radio with RDS
  • 3.5 mm audio jack for headphones
  • Audio playback, supported formats: MP3, 3GPP, MP4, SMF, WAV, OTA, Ogg vorbis, FLAC
  • Audio recording, supported formats: 3GPP, MP4, AMR
  • PlayStation™ Certified
  • 3D and Motion gaming
  • Timescape with Twitter integrated
  • Sony Entertainment Network (selected markets only)
  • Clear audio and clear bass
  • Headphone surround sound
  • TV launcher
  • Facebook with Xperia
  • “WALKMAN” app
  • “Movies” app

Display

  • 4.6″, 1280 x 720 pixels 16,777,216 TFT
  • HD Reality display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine
  • Shatter proof sheet on scratch-resistant glass
  • Capacitive touchscreen with on-screen QWERTY keyboard

Pre-loaded applications

  • Google Voice Search
  • Google Talk application
  • Google Mail
  • Google Maps with Street View and Latitude

Networks

  • GSM GPRS/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900
  • UMTS HSPA+ 850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100

 

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