Sony Xperia T2 Ultra Review
Interface and functionality
Sony's Xperia UI is one of the more basic Android overlays, but on the T2 Ultra it has features for easier one-handed operation, along with some multitasking options.
As any other popular Android smartphone manufacturer, Sony has its own, custom Xperia UI user interface, running on a version-old Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. It doesn't go as far in repainting Android, as HTC Sense, or Samsung's TouchWiz, but is an OK overlay. In order to achieve differentiation, Sony bets on a few branded apps, like the Walkman music player, or the Timescape social aggregator widget, and that's about it. All of the essential apps like Phone, Contacts, Messaging and so on have been customized, too. They are quite simplistic and straightforward, which isn't a bad thing.
Unfortunately, this Xperia UI doesn't offer extra multitasking functions like Samsung's Multi Window, or LG's Dual Window modes, which are very useful on a phablet. Sony, however, still offers its Small Apps suite, available when you hit the active tasks key at the right of the home button icon. By default there are five apps in the bar, like a calculator, or a browser window, and you can add more apps or widgets either from the tablet, or from the Play Store. They hover on top of anything else you are doing underneath, and you can fire up to five such resizable windows, which is a decent way to multitask on the 6” phablet, if needed.
As any self-respecting phablet maker, Sony has also added interface options that help you use the T2 Ultra with one hand. These include the usual “scooching” of the keyboard, dialer or calculator left or right, so you can supposedly reach them with your thumb only, when holding the phone with one palm. Moreover, Sony lets you pull down the status bar by double-tapping the on-screen home button, and thus read your notifications there without having to prop the phone with the other hand, and then scroll the bar downwards. It helps, but the effort you make for simply balancing the phablet with one hand is still significant.
Processor and memory
A midrange Snapdragon processor makes for an adequate, but not silky smooth performance.
A 1.4 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU is what powers the T2 Ultra, with an Adreno 305 graphics crunching unit. This chipset occupies the lower midrange realm of Qualcomm's mobile silicon line, so don't expect any performance wonders, moreso when Sony has paired it with 1 GB of RAM. This combination simply does the job - the interface behavior is adequate, without choppy movements or annoying lag, but it's not buttery smooth either. The T2 Ultra comes with 8 GB of internal storage, of which only about 4 GB are user-available, but you have a microSD card slot on the left for memory expansion, covered with a protective flap.
Quadrant Higher is better
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 9785.6
Sony Xperia Z Ultra 18158
HTC One max 12067
LG G Pro 2 19490
AnTuTu Higher is better
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 19422.3
Sony Xperia Z Ultra 29732
HTC One max 26320
LG G Pro 2 28615
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 582
Sony Xperia Z Ultra 1153
HTC One max 762
LG G Pro 2 1269
Vellamo HTML 5 Higher is better
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 1923
Sony Xperia Z Ultra 2937
HTC One max 2558
LG G Pro 2 1692
Sunspider Lower is better
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 1408.4
LG G Pro 2 818.3
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 4.1
LG G Pro 2 8.9
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 447
LG G Pro 2 1050.6
Internet and connectivity
The T2 Ultra flaunts a dual SIM Active option and Asian LTE bands, which sounds like a recipe for success there.
Sony uses Android's default Chrome browser on the T2 Ultra, whose performance is adequate when it comes to panning, scrolling or zooming. The pixel density is a minor annoyance, compared with all those 1080p displays, as the text here looks less detailed and legible when zoomed out, and a tad jagged even when zoomed in.
The phone offers up to 42 Mbps HSPA+ download speeds, but its modem doesn't have support for the 1700/2100 MHz AWS spectrum of T-Mobile in the US, for instance. In addition, we get hexaband 4G LTE connectivity, which again eschews American carriers for European/Asian frequencies, as that's the dual SIM phone's target market. We get a dedicated SIM card management app, which lets you assign a primary one, rename the two cards, or set roaming and data download preferences for each. The T2 Ultra is a dual SIM active device, meaning that it comes with two transceivers, letting you receive calls on both SIM cards. The handset offers a full set - Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, and DLNA connectivity, throwing in NFC, and even FM radio with RDS for a good measure. Wired connectivity is supplied via the MHL port at the right side of the handset for TV-out purposes.
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1280 x 720 pixels
13 MP (Single camera)
1.1 MP front
- Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, 1GB RAM
- Storage 8GB, microSDXC
- Battery 3000 mAh
Android 5.0 Lollipop