The Sony Xperia T is by all means an impressive phone. The dual-core Krait does a great job of competing with many other flagships not only on its home turf, but in the quad-core arena as well. Add to that a display that pushes out an impressive amount of pixels without issue, and a streamlined Android ICS interface that introduces some nifty features and optimizations not offered by other OEMs, you have a package that is very well put together.
However, when it comes to looking at a complete package - particularly one involving a flagship - it's important to take the price tag into account. At the time of release, many manufacturers promote their flagship as their technological pinnacle and tend to hike the price up accordingly, so it's important to see just how much bang you're getting for your buck.
Currently, the Xperia T can be found for €550 in most markets, which is rather steep, especially considering that certain quad-core smartphones can be had for less.
One such candidate is the HTC One X, which currently retails for around €100 less than the Xperia T. Besides the upgrade to a quad-core 1.5 GHz Tegra 3 chipset, it gives you the same 720p resolution screen, except slightly larger by about 0.15 inches. There's also double the internal storage of the Xperia T, a higher Bluetooth version, and an upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean allegedly coming next month is an added bonus. You'll be sacrificing some camera resolution with the 8 MP camera (down from 13 MP on the T) although it is still capable of 1080p video recording, and 720p on the front-facer is there, too. The HTC One X does not have a microSD card slot though.
Like the One X, the Samsung Galaxy S III brings some quad-core muscle to the show at less cost. The Super AMOLED on the S III is also of 720p resolution, but boasts a bigger 4.8 inch diagonal. You're getting an impressive set of features, including some really neat (and exclusive) tricks at the expense of some rear camera resolution. You'll also enjoy some more uptime with the 2100 mAh battery, and there's microSD support as well. The 16 GB version of the Galaxy S III can be had for about €480 in most markets.
Finally, with another flagship looming on the horizon, all of these top droids will be given a real run for their money. The LG Optimus G doubles up both the internal memory and RAM of the Sony Xperia T, and features the first quad-core Krait processor. The Optimus G chipset made easy work of the competition and put devices like the Xperia T in a rather awkward position. Just arriving to the market and they are already offering only half the performance of best in business. The Optimus G also boasts a larger 2100 mAh battery, but no microSD support. It will go on sale for around €600, or just €50 more than the Sony Xperia T.
While we've looked at devices which are much better than the Xperia T on paper, we can't forget to factor in build quality and design. The Xperia T feels sturdier and more solid than both the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III (with the glaring exception of the poorly-designed microSD/SIM card cover), and the curved back panel not only makes holding the Xperia T a more pleasurable experience, but also separates it from a design template that currently dominates the market.
And while the Android experience is something that has largely been the same across different OEMs, Sony has struck a great balance between great-looking apps and features on an optimized Android core that looks fresh yet familiar. True that while the Xperia T may be behind in the numbers race, the software package that it delivers is truly among the nicest we've seen.
Sometimes it's not enough to simply have the best around - you want to make a statement. Where some makers let the numbers talk, Sony are trying to appeal to emotions with the Xperia T's top notch design and feel. We're happy with the meal, but we guess there's room for dessert. And we sure hope Jelly Bean doesn't take too long.