|+ Stylish, slimline design||- Just 8GB of onboard storage|
|+ NFC, 4G and microSD support||- Display is only 720p, not full HD|
|+ Solid mid-range spec||- Sony's software is becoming increasingly bloated and intrusive|
"A good looking slimline smartphone that borders on a phablet. It's got a mid-range spec and assuming its price reflects this then the T3 could a very good buy."
Not content with just the Xperia Z2, Sony has now announced the Xperia T3, a handset with a premium design and bigger screen than its flagship but lower specs overall. It’s a curious mishmash of high end and mid-range, so how does it stack up overall? Well, these are our first impressions.
The first thing that will likely strike you is the size of the IPS LCD screen, which at 5.3 inches even edges out the 5.2 inch Sony Xperia Z2. But while it’s bigger it’s also lower resolution coming in at just 1280 x 720, for a pixel density of 277 pixels per inch.
That’s not bad at all but it’s nowhere near as sharp as the 424 ppi Xperia Z2 or other high end phones. But combined with the size it’s still good for enjoying media on and it’s sharp enough that you can read and web browse comfortably.
Being IPS LCD it’s also quite bright and by making use of TRILUMINOS technology and Sony’s Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 you can also expect it to have rich colours and good contrast, so this could be an ideal phone for media lovers on a budget.
The overall look of the Sony Xperia T3 is a lot like the Xperia Z2. It has a metal frame that gives it a premium edge, but while the Xperia Z2 has a glass back the T3 resorts to polycarbonate there.
Still, in some ways it’s even more of a looker than its high-end sibling, because at just 7mm thick it’s incredibly slim, though like the Z2 it has quite large bezels, leading to an overall footprint of 150.7 x 77 x 7mm. Along with the angular design that large size means it’s not going to fit in the hand all that comfortably.
There’s no high end power here, but with a 1.4 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM the Sony Xperia T3 should be able to perform reasonably well, even with that big screen.
You’ll have to wait for our review to find out exactly what performance is like but we’d expect it to be able to cope with navigating Android, web browsing and video watching with ease, especially as it runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
Along with the screen and the super slim build Sony seems to be pushing the camera as a big feature of the Sony Xperia T3. It only has an 8 megapixel sensor, but it leverages Sony’s camera expertise in the form of Exmor RS for mobile, which should theoretically allow it to take great photos even in poor lighting.
It should be incredibly easy to use as well, thanks to Superior Auto, which is an advanced autofocus feature which can recognise up to 36 scene types and turn HDR on and off as needed, so the Sony Xperia T3 should make for a solid point-and-shoot camera.
The Sony Xperia T3 only has 8GB of built in storage but that’s backed up by a microSD card slot, while NFC and 4G LTE mean it’s well connected and its 2500 mAh battery will hopefully be enough to keep it going for a good long time, but we haven’t had a chance to test that out yet.
The Sony Xperia T3 is due to be released at the end of July. There’s no word on price yet, but given the specs we’d expect to see it come in at around £350-£400, in which case it could be a great upper mid-range option for anyone who wants a big screen.
Dimensions : 146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9mm
Screen size: 5.3 inch IPS LCD touch-screen display
Screen Resolution: 1280*720 pixels
Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 277ppi
Processor: Quad-core 1.4GHz processor
Battery capacity : 2500mAH
Onboard Memory: 8GB (microSD support)
Camera : 8 megapixel camera (1.1 mega-pixel front facing)
Operating system: Android KitKat (4.4.2)
Ultrafast / 3G / 4G LTE : Yes/Yes/Yes
Bluetooth / NFC / DLNA: Yes/Yes/Yes
FM Radio: Yes
Colours : Black, White and Purple
Launch Date: July 2014
Price : TBC
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