While it’s tempting to focus on the top of the range phones a lot of interesting things are happening in the middle of the range too, as highlighted by the Sony Xperia T2 Ultra and the Nokia Lumia 1320.
Both phones have large, phablet sized screens, which until recently were reserved for top end handsets. Yet the specs and pricing for both of these phones are rather more mid range. The question now is, which is most deserving of your hard earned cash?
At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking the Sony Xperia T2 Ultra was a high end handset. At 165.2 x 83.8 x 7.7mm and 171.7g it’s surprisingly small, slim and light for a phablet. It also has the same stylish aluminium power button as the Xperia Z range. However the bulk of the phone is clad in plastic rather than metal or glass.
The Nokia Lumia 1320 looks slightly less interesting. It’s eye catching thanks to its brightly coloured shell, but it’s made from plastic and quite plain. At 164.2 x 85.9 x 9.8mm and 220g it’s also quite a lot heavier and thicker than the Xperia T2 Ultra.
The Sony Xperia T2 Ultra has a 6 inch 720 x 1280 display with a pixel density of 245 pixels per inch. That’s not an amazing resolution but images are fairly crisp, rich and natural thanks to the phones mobile BRAVIA engine 2 technology and Triluminos display.
The Nokia Lumia 1320 has an identical 6 inch 720 x 1280 display with a pixel density of 245 pixels per inch and it uses ClearBlack technology which improves the contrast of the display and reduces reflections. Overall there’s little to choose between the two screens, but we’d say that the Xperia T2 Ultra edges it for image quality.
The Sony Xperia T2 Ultra has a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM, which makes it pretty powerful for a mid range device. Expect it to perform well even when given quite demanding tasks.
The Nokia Lumia 1320 has a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, making it slightly less powerful, but on the other hand Windows Phone 8 requires less power to run well than Android so performance will be fairly similar.
The Sony Xperia T2 Ultra has a 13 megapixel rear camera with an LED flash and a bunch of scene modes including HDR and panorama. It’s also got a 1.1 megapixel front facing camera and can shoot 1080p video at 30fps. For a mid range handset it’s pretty great, even giving some top end phones a run for their money.
The Nokia Lumia 1320 has a 5 megapixel main camera, can shoot 1080p video at 30fps and has a 0.3 megapixel front facing camera. It’s a lot less impressive overall and 5 megapixels feels a bit low end even at this price point. Neither phone is likely to replace your compact but the Xperia T2 Ultra at least comes close.
The Sony Xperia T2 Ultra has a 3000 mAh battery, which Sony claims can power it for up to 24 hours of talk time, 93 hours of music or 1071 hours of standby, which is well above average.
The Nokia Lumia 1320 has a slightly bigger 3400 mAh battery which can keep the handset going for up to 672 hours of standby time, 98 hours of music playback or 25 hours of talk time, giving it similar battery life overall, though a much shorter standby time.
The Xperia T2 Ultra has a mere 8GB of built in storage but it also has a micro SD card slot allowing you to expand that by another 32GB. The Lumia 1320 has an identical 8GB of built in storage and again has a micro SD card slot, but this time with support for cards of up to 64GB.
The Sony Xperia T2 Ultra supports Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G LTE, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0, while the Nokia Lumia 1320 has all the same connectivity options with the exception of NFC.
These two handsets are similar in a lot of ways, not least the fact that they have the same size and resolution screen, but the Sony Xperia T2 Ultra manages to stand out as the best. It has a better, more stylish build, a marginally higher quality display, a far better camera and it supports NFC, which the Nokia Lumia 1320 doesn’t.
In the Lumia 1320’s favour it does support bigger micro SD cards than the Sony Xperia T2 Ultra and in practice it’s about as powerful, even if it’s less powerful on paper, but that still leaves it trailing behind in a lot of areas.
On the other hand, when it launches in April the Sony Xperia T2 Ultra is likely to cost a rather steep £339, putting it within spitting distance of high end handsets, while the Nokia Lumia 1320 may sell for as little as £260. That’s a tidy price difference and taking that into account the Lumia 1320 becomes the better prospect.
The other differentiating fact is their operating systems, as while the Sony Xperia T2 Ultra runs Android 4.3, the Nokia Lumia 1320 uses Windows Phone 8, leading to very different experiences across the two phones. For many that will be a deciding factor, but operating system aside the Lumia 1320 is far better value for money even if the Xperia T2 Ultra is a better phone overall.
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