Sony Xperia T3 review: Wits and looks

Wits and looks

GSMArena team, 11 August 2014.

Album is your gallery

The Sony Xperia T3 comes with the custom Sony gallery, called Album. Images are organized into groups of thumbnails and sorted by date. You can change the thumbnails size by pinching.

Unlike previous versions there isn't a homepage that hosts all of your albums, instead you get the same swipe-able menu the app drawer is offering. There you can find all of your online and offline albums.

The gallery can connect to online albums (PlayMemories, Facebook, Picasa, Flickr) and also to other devices on the local network. Maps and Globe albums are also available, which use the geotagging info to sort photos by the location at which they were taken, and faces, which groups photos by the faces of the people in them.

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Albums app

Images can be cropped or rotated directly in the gallery. Quick sharing via Picasa, Email apps, Facebook, Bluetooth or MMS is also enabled.

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Viewing an image

There's a slide show using the SensMe brand and much like the music player feature, this one scans files and groups similar photos together.

A familiar video player crippled by the lack of AC3 codec support

The video playing app is dubbed Movies and it too has a great custom UI. It's connected to Gracenote, which helps you find additional information about the movies and TVs you have on the phone. It will even download posters for them and for movies, it will download metadata like genre, synopsis, director and cast.

Unfortunately, this doesn't work very well for downloaded TV shows - it doesn't recognize the S01E02 naming convention and won't pull info about individual episodes. It gets worse, Gracenote seems to be lacking info on TV shows in general, we couldn't find even popular shows like The Big Bang Theory.

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The Movies app

Unfortunately, there is more bad news - the video player does plays 1080p files hassle-free but the supported codecs are limited to Xvid, MP4 and MKV files. DTS and AC3 audio tracks are not supported, which makes the MKV compatibility pretty much obsolete. We know you can always get a proper video player app from the Play Store but it's a shame you can't just use the eye-candy default player for everything.

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Subtitle settings

On the positive side the video player supports subtitles, and you can customize their looks. Unfortunately, you cannot manually pick the subtitle file, it has to reside in the video folder to load up.

Walkman plays the music

The Walkman music player is part of the equipment of all recent Xperia smartphones. It features Music Unlimited integration and is not above trying to sell you songs, but you can hide the Music Unlimited stuff.

The Walkman interface is based on a hidden swipe-able menu that sort your music collection by Artist, Albums, Playlists, all songs and even the songs your friends are listening to (but you need to connect the player with your Facebook account). You can pop up the menu the same way you'd do it in the app drawer or the gallery - just swipe from the left edge of the screen.

The Music Unlimited stuff includes ways to discover new music - Charts, New releases and Channels. Those can be hidden individually (same goes for the artist/album/playlist tiles) or you can disable the service altogether.

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The music player

The Infinite button is available in the Now Playing screen (just tap the album art) - it will help you find the track's video on YouTube, look up info about the artist on Wikipedia and search for lyrics on Google. Gracenote is used here too and it can automatically download information about your tracks and album art.

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The Now Playing interface

The Walkman player offers a variety of audio settings - ClearAudio+ option is here, which determines the best audio quality settings depending on the song you're listening to. We liked how it changed the music and carefully accentuated various details. Dynamic normalizer evens out the differences in volume between tracks, which is great if you've mixed multiple albums from multiple sources.

The Sound enhancements contain yet more settings. There's an equalizer with presets and manual settings (including tweaking Clear Bass). Then there's Surround sound mode, which imitates the Studio, Club or Concert Hall experience. The Clear stereo mode enhances the perceivable stereo channel separation. Dynamic normalizer minimizes the difference in volume between songs (great if you're playing a shuffled mix).

Speaker settings include Clear Phase, which adjusts the quality, while xLOUD boosts up the internal speaker.

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Sound enhancements and EQ

FM radio with RDS and TrackID

The Sony Xperia T3 features an FM Radio with RDS. The app features multiple visualizations and integrates with TrackID to recognize the currently playing song. You can even directly send an "I'm listening to..." post to Facebook.

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The FM Radio

Audio output is good

The Sony Xperia T3 did fairly well in our audio quality test, demonstrating clean output in the two test scenarios.

As usual we did the first test with the smartphone connected to an active external amplifier and it produced some very good scores. The Xperia T3 showed no weak points to its performance, except for the volume which was disappointingly low.

Plugging in a pair of headphones causes a somewhat big spike in the stereo crosstalk and adds some harmonic distortion, but the latter is hard to detect outside lab conditions. The volume levels are once again the only problem with the output, although quiet but clean output are generally considered satisfactory in this price range.

And here go the results so you can see for yourselves.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Sony Xperia T3+0.12, -0.03-89.390.50.0054 0.012-85.6
Sony Xperia T3 (headphones attached)+0.02, -0.11-89.190.30.121 0.037-46.5
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra+0.02, -0.08-90.589.40.0057 0.014-92.2
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra (headphones attached)+0.32, -0.21-90.289.00.019 0.183-49.8
Nokia Lumia 1320+0.20, -0.09-89.189.10.0095 0.197-88.6
Nokia Lumia 1320 (headphones attached)+0.21, -0.06-89.189.00.115 0.198-58.5
Samsung Galaxy Note 3+0.02, -0.07-96.592.80.0035 0.0099-96.3
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (headphones attached)+0.01, -0.09-96.292.70.017 0.017-62.1
Oppo N1+0.14, -0.11-93.793.40.0036 0.076-83.7
Oppo N1 (headphones attached)+0.31, -0.26-93.292.40.0081 0.349-55.5
HTC One Max+0.14, -0.14-93.893.80.0009 0.015-94.1
HTC One Max (headphones attached)+0.26, -0.02-93.693.60.026 0.080-80.4
LG G Flex+0.02, -0.07-98.498.30.012 0.054-83.7
LG G Flex (headphones attached)+0.12, -0.02-91.992.00.045 0.070-66.5
Sony Xperia Z Ultra+0.02, -0.08-92.592.50.00580.011-90.7
Sony Xperia Z Ultra (headphones attached)+0.48, -0.11-87.887.00.0470.168-51.9

Sony Xperia T3 frequency response
Sony Xperia T3 frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

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