Sony Xperia T2 Ultra Dual detailed review
Sony did quite well with the Xperia Z Ultra, even though it was quite large at 6.4 inches. Well, now we have another device getting the ‘Ultra’ treatment and Sony has placed it in the mid-range price bracket. The Xperia T2 Ultra is the latest phablet from Sony for the ones who love having a large device at an affordable price point.
- Display: 6 inches IPS panel with 1280×720 resolution (245ppi)
- Battery: 3000mAh
- Storage: 8GB
- Camera: 13MP rear with LED flash, 1.1MP front
- SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
- CPU: 1.4GHz quad-core
- GPU: Adreno 305
- RAM: 1GB
- Operating system: Android 4.3
- Connectivity: 3G, W-Fi, Bluetooth, Dual-SIM
BODY AND DESIGN
The T2 Ultra follows Sony’s straightforward design and looks like a big slab of glass, reminding us of the Xperia Z Ultra. It is quite large with a 6-inch display, although it manages to have a slim profile with thickness of just 7.7mm. One-hand operations are just impossible on the large display, although there is a one hand operation mode through which you can access the notification bar from the bottom of the display rather than the top. The display is however quite responsive and readability under the sun is surprisingly good. Above the display we have the 1.1MP front camera, the Sony logo, the notification LED and a bunch of sensors. There are also two slits on either sides of the display which look like speakers, but they are essentially just for the earpiece and mic.
The back has a plastic finish which is very glossy, which means that it is prone to fingerprints, smudges and also scratches. The device has a uni-body design so the back panel cannot be removed which means that the battery is not user replaceable. Other than that, we have the 13MP camera with an LED flash, an NFC logo pointing out the fact that the device is NFC enabled, and a large speaker grill at the bottom.
The left side has the microUSB port and the microSD card slot covered with a protective flap. The right side has the 3.5mm stereo jack, two microSIM card slots which are again protected by a plastic flap, the round power/lock key which is now on every Sony smartphone, the volume control keys and the camera shutter key. The bottom and the top edges are clean and empty. The two SIM slots contain flimsy trays to put in your SIM cards, one has to be really careful with them as they feel very fragile and losing them would mean that you need to buy them from Sony.
The T2 Ultra has a simple looking design and Sony, like always, hasn’t compromised on the finishing or on the materials used. However, we didn’t like the fact that the whole device has a glossy feel which leads to less of a grip on the device and, to be honest, the device is just too big.
Compared to the HTC Desire 816, the Xperia T2 Ultra is quite big
UI AND PERFORMANCE
Running on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, the Xperia T2 Ultra has Sony’s familiar Timescape/Xperia UI. We personally love the UI as it isn’t heavy on customization and runs smooth. You do get the option of Xperia themes and a bunch of wallpapers to personalise the look on the phablet. The phablet also comes with all the standard Sony goodies like Bravia Mobile engine 2, Sony Select, Socialife News, PlayStation Mobile, Walkman, xLoud, Clear Phase, and, of course the Stamina mode. The homescreens also rotate if you have your auto-rotate display mode on, which makes it convenient to use the phablet in landscape mode.
The OS is quite stable and everything works well. All apps, even the memory hungry ones, didn’t show any signs of crashing or lagging. The only issue we found was that using the phablet with one hand is painful. Day to day performance and user experience was great and we were quite satisfied with how the T2 Ultra got the job done.
Running on a Snapdragon 400 chipset, the T2 Ultra is not a power house when it comes to the performance department, although it does feature decent hardware. The benchmark results showed that phablet is a bit slower than its direct competitor, the HTC Desire 816.
Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
HTC Desire 816
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
Smartbench 2012 (Productivity)
3D Mark Ice Storm
Graphics intensive tasks like playing full HD videos and gaming is handled well thanks to the Adreno 305 GPU. All high-end games that require a lot of power, ran seamlessly and didn’t give us any issues. And with such a large display, it was a joy to watch videos and play games.
Playing music is a charm on the Walkman app as the audio enhancement settings on almost all Sony smartphones is brilliant. However, we weren’t impressed with the quality of the loudspeaker as the volume was very low. Audio output via the stereo jack is impressive and quite crisp.
The battery backup is excellent on the T2 Ultra as we managed to get a loss of just 10% after playing a full HD movie for one hour. This equates to 10 hours of non-stop video playback. On a day-to-day usage the phablet can easily give you a full day charge and if you add the power saving stamina mode, you can get about 2 days of battery backup.
For a sub-25k smartphone, the T2 Ultra comes with an excellent 13MP camera. The app is fast, there isn’t a lot of shutter lag and the focusing is quite smooth. You get all the nice new features that we have seen on the Xperia Z1 and Z1 Compact including modes like Superior Auto, Manual, Social Live, Timeshift Burst, AR Effect, Pictures Effects (filters), Sweep Panorama, Background defocus and more which are downloadable from the Play Store. You also get a bunch of scene modes, all of which work on the highest resolution, unlike the Z1 and Z1 Compact where they could only be used at 8MP resolution.
Pictures in well-lit conditions come out quite well although the auto-white balance is not too accurate. Colours and contrast is well balanced and even the noise is well under control. When shooting in low light, pictures aren’t all that grainy but there is some loss in details. Overall we were quite happy with the camera capabilities.
Check out some camera samples (click on images to open them in new window):
The Xperia T2 Ultra is too big for our taste, but it won’t disappoint those who crave for a large screened device. For the price it is being offered, you get a great camera, good display quality, and a decent performance package. If you want an extra bump in performance, try the HTC Desire 816 or if you fancy other brands, try the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 or even the Moto X if screen size is not your priority.