Sony Xperia T2 Ultra Review
Last year marked the time when phablets ganged up on the 6” display diagonal barrier, and the barren at the time market niche, suddenly started teeming with competition from every major manufacturer, like Samsung, HTC, LG and Nokia. Sony outed the jaw-dropping 6.4” Z Ultra phablet then, cramming top-shelf specs in an ultrathin, waterproof body.
This year, Sony is on a quest to conquer the midrange in the category, with the Xperia T2 Ultra - a 6” handset with a more affordable price tag that features a 720p screen, and a Snapdragon 400 processor, but sweetens the pot with a 13 MP camera, and a large battery. Can this price-to-specs combination make the T2 Ultra take the phablet universe by storm? Let's find out...
In the box
- In-ear stereo headphones
- microUSB cable
- Wall charger
- Warranty and information leaflets
There's no going around how big the T2 Ultra is – it is a 6” phablet. Thankfully, it's also thin and light.
There's no escaping the fact that the T2 Ultra is a giant handset, like the rest of its fellow 6-inchers. It is about the size of the HTC One max, and is taller, but less wide than the Lumia 1520. These phones' dimensions make the 5.9” G Pro 2 appear acceptable, for instance, and LG's phone is by no means something to carry around comfortably. Sony, however, made the phablet the slimmest of them all, at 0.3” (7.65mm), and comparatively light for such a big device, at 6 oz (172g), so at least lugging it around won't be a literal burden. You can forget about one-handed operation, though, this thing has to be held and managed with both palms the vast majority of the time spent with it.
The phone is all around plastic, with the side rim trying to imitate metal with limited success. There are two speaker grills at the front, but only the top one houses an earpiece, while the bottom grill just hides the main microphone, which is aided by a second one on the back, for noise-canceling purposes. The back cover is not removable, and the 3000 mAh battery is sealed inside. That same back cover is made of glossy plastic that is a fingerprint and pocket lint magnet, attracting every piece of thread thrown at it, so it has to be wiped often. We have the white version, so we can only imagine how the back of a black T2 Ultra will look like after some time spent with the handset. The T2 Ultra isn't waterproof like the Z Ultra, but Sony kept the protective flaps over the card slots for a more uniform look on the sides. We have the dual SIM version, so on the right are the two microSIM card slots, covered with a flap. Further down below are the power/lock key, the volume rocker, and the two-stage camera shutter key, all of which feel a bit cheap and flimsy, with shallow tactile feedback. The left houses the memory card slot, as well as an open microUSB port up top, which makes the phablet a bit uncomfortable to use with the charging cable plugged in.
What the 6” screen lacks in pixel density, it somewhat makes up for in color presentation, brightness, and viewing angles.
The screen is where it's at with those 6-inchers, but the 720x1280 pixels of resolution on the Triluminos display of the T2 Ultra would be disappointing for some. The panel is with a 245 ppi pixel density, which would be deemed decent just a year ago, but now is somewhat aging. Small detail and zoomed-out text in the browser appear jagged, and not as discernible as on a 1080p display. It's not that bad, though, as you'd be looking at the T2 Ultra further afar from your eyes than, say, you would do with a 5-incher, so for the general user this resolution would be fine – if not with small text, then with pictures and video.
We measured the screen's color temperature to be 7071K - pretty close to the reference 6500K, so the whites appears right on the spot and not cold. Color representation is slightly off on the phablet, predominantly with the greens, which appear a tad oversaturated, but overall the display looks good, and only a picky eye would notice. Another strong point is the screen's brightness, which we measured as 508 nits – on the high mark for a good LCD display. Unfortunately, the panel's coating is rather reflective, so outside under direct sunlight you may have too much light bouncing back to your eyes if you don't hold it at the right angle. The viewing angles are a bit more narrow than on the best IPS-LCD panels, but still very good, and a far cry from the poor ones on the Xperia Z or Z1.