Sony Xperia T2 Ultra review

The best of Sony, only bigger.

Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Big screen
  • Strong multimedia offering

Cons

  • Uncomfortable in the hand
  • Mediocre specs

Bottom Line

Some of Sony’s best technologies find their way into the T2 Ultra, including its displays, camera and software. There’s value here for multimedia enthusiasts, but everyone else with a spare $500 should consider Sony’s Xperia Z1 Compact, Google’s Nexus 5 or the Motorola Moto X.

Would you buy this?

Multimedia enthusiasts will appreciate the T2 Ultra most. The smartphone has an almost-ostentatious screen at 6-inches. Sony’s recognisable design language is at work: flat facades, a coat of glass, a bespoke power button and a touch of black. But masking that much screen takes more than a slimming paint job.

Ambitious design

Sony has endeavoured to make the T2 Ultra comfortable in the hand by shrinking down the bezel and giving the ‘phablet’ a thickness of just 8mm. The sides are somewhat rounded for a more comfortable fit in the palm. But even though the T2 weighs a relatively light 170 grams, the fact remains the large-screen smartphone will strain the hands of even six foot men.

The T2 Ultra manages to deliver a great experience without breaking the bank

The 6in LCD screen has a high definition resolution of 1280x720 and a subsequent 245 pixel-per-inch (ppi) density. Only the most nit-picking of users will be able to discern individual pixels. Watching Iron Man 3 on the six inch screen was reminiscent of consuming multimedia on a small sized tablet, partly because the picture quality is fantastic, but also because the rear speaker matches it in performance.

Note that there are higher resolution screens and more capable speakers on smartphones, but the T2 Ultra manages to deliver a great experience without breaking the bank.

Read more: Showdown: LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

13MP pics, Full HD vids

Resting slightly pronounced on the back of the T2 Ultra is a camera capable of 13 megapixel photos and Full HD videos. A single LED flash offers it support in low-light situations, while a range of software modes enhance what it can do at any time of day.

It will prove ideal when it comes to recording fleeting memories

Overall camera quality is good. Colours are rendered faithfully and, more often than not, full resolution photos don’t suffer from much image noise. Dimly-lit situations ramp up the brightness at the expense of clarity. Some night photos, however, will suffer from enough image noise to deem them unusable on a big screen.

Captured with the T2 Ultra
Captured with the T2 Ultra
The lack of an HDR mode, along with a poor landscape mode, really hurts the T2 Ultra's camera.
The lack of an HDR mode, along with a poor landscape mode, really hurts the T2 Ultra's camera.
Captured with the T2 Ultra
Captured with the T2 Ultra
Captured with the T2 Ultra
Captured with the T2 Ultra

Videos recorded on the T2 Ultra are impressive as they’re characterised by a quick autofocus, vibrant colours and clear audio. Pop in a memory card and the T2 Ultra will prove ideal when it comes to recording fleeting memories.

The T2 Ultra has a 1.1MP front facing camera that records videos in HD.

Mutlimedia savvy, Nippy hardware

Sony's photo gallery; the music player; and the notification bar when you double tap the home icon.
Sony's photo gallery; the music player; and the notification bar when you double tap the home icon.

Few manufacturers have a knack for multimedia like Sony. The image gallery, music player and video player are amongst the best available on any smartphone, and the T2 Ultra has the visual and audio prowess to back them up. The smartphone runs Sony’s rendition of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, but with a few alterations intended to get the most out of the large-screen form factor. For example, double tapping the home button brings the notification draw down to the bottom half of the screen — what a great idea.

Read more: Sony's AX100E 4K camcorder (preview)

Some of Sony’s best technologies find their way into the T2 Ultra

The 17cm tall smartphone has a 1.4GHz quad-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. The multimedia focus of this smartphone warranted more storage — at least 32GB — but this can be appeased through expandable microSD memory. Powering the large screen smartphone is an equally large 3000 milliamp-hour battery.

The T2 Ultra does not have the latest and greatest hardware, but it does achieve a healthy balance between silky performance and a low price.

Read more: Sony SmartBand SWR10 review

Sony makes two versions of the T2 Ultra: a 4G single-SIM variant and a dual-SIM version called the T2 Ultra Dual. One of the SIMs in the dual-SIM version supports 3G, while the secondary SIM will only support 2G networks. Good Gear Guide tested the 4G, single-SIM T2 Ultra.

Otherwise both T2 Ultras are identical. Each of them support dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and NFC connectivity.

Final thought

Some of Sony’s best technologies find their way into the T2 Ultra, including its displays, camera and software. There’s value here for multimedia enthusiasts, but everyone else with a spare $500 should consider Sony’s Xperia Z1 Compact, Google’s Nexus 5 or the Motorola Moto X.

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Read more on these topics: 4.3, 4.4, Xperia, T2, Dual, ultra, Android, jelly bean, sony, KitKat
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