I have used the Sony Xperia Z2 for a few weeks and felt that it is among the best flagship phones in the market at the moment, primarily due to its camera and battery. But there is no denying the fact that the Z2 is not for everyone. This is where the new mid-range Sony Xperia T3 is going to make an impact. Is this actually the Z2 on a budget?
Specs: 5.3-inch Triluminous (1280x720p) display | Qualcomm 1.4 GHz Snapdragon 400 | 1GB RAM | 8GB internal memory + 32GB external | Micro SIM | 8MP rear camera with Sony Exmor sensor, 1.1MP front camera | 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4, NFC | 2500mAh battery | Android 4.4 KItkat
Price: Rs. 27,990 (including Sony SmartBand SWR10 worth Rs 5,990 and premium case worth Rs 2,490)
Design: I have not used the Gionee Elife S5.5, so for me this is the thinnest smarthone around. The phone is just 0.26 inches thick (S5.5 is 0.22 inches) and this gives the phones a great head turner value. It also has a stylish design with a stainless steel frame on both sides and a unique matte finish rear flap. The buttons are made of metal too. The SIM and SD cards go inside a flap that is neatly concealed under the metal frame.
Screen: As always Sony’s HD screen is impressive. With a stunning wallpaper people would think this is a full HD screen. The phone has good speakers too and combined with the display it will is a good experience watching videos on this one.
Performance: On paper the phone has mid-range specs by today’s standards. However, the phone is by no means a pushover. In fact, in the week I used the phone it did not crash or stall even one. There is no noticeable lag on any of the apps or why playing games. It is also cool that the phone does not heat up at all.
Camera: The 8MP camera is good, but there is no way you can compare it with the Z2 which is much superior on all counts. To its credit the camera does decently in low light and has a powerful flash too. However, it seems to be a bit slow at times and you have to wait for the click to go through. The camera packs some of the apps that were first featured in the Z2 clicker.
Storage: This is one pain point with the phone, especially gives its price. A lot of users might feel the 8GB storage short of their requirements and will need to buy an SD card if they choose this phone. Out of the 8GB users have 4.5GB free and even a lot of that will be used up by the first download of apps.
Software: The UI is very similar to that of the Z2 and means a minor tweak of the stock KitKat to showcase Sony’s Walkman and camera widgets. The only issue here is the contact app, which like on the Z2 seems to have a major bug. There has been a software update for the Z2 to fix and hopefully the T3 will get one too.
Battery: This is among the biggest assets of the this phone. It seems Sony has cracked the formula of running a 2500mAh battery for 36 hours. Yes, you heard me right. The battery last me well into the second day on a full charge with full use. For example, if you leave the phone at night with 35% battery, you will wake up in the morning to see that it is still at 33%. That is because, the phone shuts of updates when the screen is locked and pulls in stuff only when it has been woken up.
Connectivity: No issues with connectivity.
Verdict: The Sony Xperia T3 is a good phone for the regular user, if you overlook the fact that it could have used 16GB storage considering its price. There is also the impending threat from the new much cheaper mid-range phones, which makes the T3 seem too pricey. But Sony has thankfully softened the blow by bundling its Smartband and a case with the phone. It seems like a reasonable deal if you look at the overall package.