The Sony Xperia T is preloaded with Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) out of the box, and Sony tells us there will be an upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean coming soon. Of course, the Xperia T, like most Sony smartphones, comes skinned with Sony's custom Android user interface, a far departure from Google's vanilla ICS operating system.
That's not to say we don't like it. Sony's user interface (UI) is a lot less intrusive than the one on older Xperia phones. With five home screens, and no option to remove any, the UI might be a bit confusing for first time Android smartphone users, but each home screen has handy features that we think add to the overall experience of the phone. These include Sony's Walkman music player, Sony Music and Video services plus Timescape, which although it is a little clunky, is a nice way to keep on top of your social networks.
One of our favourite features of the user interface is Overview mode. While this doesn't sound all that exciting, it allows you to pinch out from the home screen to display all of your open widgets with a neat floating effect. Tapping a widget will take you to the home screen it's on, which - while saving you little time - is a nice touch.
Another nice touch is the included Swype-like keyboard, which lets you drag your finger from letter to letter rather than punching out text on the onscreen keyboard. This, paired with Sony's excellent predictive word function, makes for a pleasant messaging experience, one of the nicest we've tested recently.
While on paper the Sony Xperia T's dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor doesn't sound quite equal to the processor in the quad-core Samsung Galaxy S3, we noticed no issues when putting the handset through its paces. However, it didn't quite match up to its Samsung-branded rival when we ran the Antutu benchmark test, scoring 8,013 compared to the S3's score of 12,123.
However, the Sony Xperia T proved much faster than the 2GHz Intel-powered Motorola Razr I, which scored 5,828, despite Motorola's claims that the phone is faster than its dual-core rivals.