A great smartphone with a fantastic value. December 12, 2012
UPDATE!! AT&T has just recently released an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. If it isn't already installed you can check for updates by heading into Settings > About phone > Software update to manually check for Android 4.1. This update improves general speed and performance while adding Google Now features.(which you can access by holding the home key and swiping upwards).
For those of you who are upgrading or are starting a new line this phone is most likely priced lower than some of the top android phones currently out there, namely the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X+. Despite it's lower price point the Xperia TL is a very good phone capable of doing all the things other premium android phones can.
Whats in the box: 1 Xperia TL handset, 1 NFC Tag, USB Charging cable, power adapter, instruction manual.
The Xperia TL is powered by a 1500 MHz Dual Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus processor, the same as the one used in the Samsung Galaxy S III. It also has around 1 GB of RAM with 16 GB of built in storage that is expandable via a Micro SD slot that can hold a maximum 32 GB. Despite not being a quad core like some of the newer phones out there, the Xperia TL performs well with little to no stutter or noticeable lag with general use. Flipping though home screens and menus are smooth, internet browser is responsive and pages load quickly with both 4G and wifi. The camera is mostly excellent and takes nice detailed photos in the usual 4:3 ratio as well as widescreen 16:9. The only problem is taking photos in low light situations which results in grainy photos with a moderate amount of noise. Videos can also be recorded in 1080p HD though I have yet to test their quality. Another thing to note while viewing photos is Sony's Mobile BRAVIA engine, which basically enhances photos to make colors look more saturated. you can turn this off, but I suggest you leave it on as it generally makes photos look better.
Sony has used it's own Timescape UI over Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich and it does a good job without being overly intrusive with long animations that can slow down performance. The user interface is very light, modern and the Xperia widgets are the standard affair with an email widget, clock, picture gallery, internet bookmarks, and a pretty cool weather bar. With this phone Sony has decided to ditch the old capacitive buttons and uses the bottom row of the screen like some other phones running Ice Cream Sandwich. This system bar has three virtual buttons Back, Home, and Recent Apps and do exactly as their names suggest. Another new feature in current android phones is Near Field Communication or NFC for short. Basically this allows NFC capable phone to transfer files, music, etc by simply holding them together similar to the "bump" app on iphone. One of the best programs pre-installed is Sony's Walkman app which is basically a music player that I think looks very nice and professional. Album art is displayed nicely with matching ambient back lighting that adds a cool effect.
The Xperia TL is a very sturdy phone that gives it a solid and premium feel unlike the glossy plastic used in the Galaxy S III but it's still not as sturdy as the unibody One X. The front face is a typical black glass slab with slightly rounded corners, the top contains an ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, notification led, and a 1 mega pixel front facing camera. Around the back the phone has soft touch plastic on the top and bottom sections, a metal back with a plastic circle in the center for NFC capabilities, led flash and a 13 megapixel camera that slightly protrudes, though the lens is safely recessed. The TL is different than most phones in that all of its physical buttons are located on the right side including the volume rocker, along with the power and camera button. Holding down the camera button while locked will start the camera app which comes to life within 2-3 seconds. Finally the head phone jack is located on the top right corner and the speaker is near the bottom right under the Xperia logo. Speaker is loud and good for notifications and ringtones but for music you would be better off using your favorite pair of head phones. Another thing to know is that the battery is non removable but has a solid life that can last a full day with moderate use.
The screen I think deserves a separate section since it's the thing you'll be looking at 99 percent of the time you use your phone and the TL's is no slouch. It is a 4.55 inch TFT LCD multitouch display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels with a ppi of 323. The resolution is well into retina territory and matches most competitors, text is clear and sharp, colors are bright and not oversaturated like super amoled displays, but blacks are not as dark. The display is NOT PenTile so there isn't much pixelation in text. The one flaw is the viewing angles are bad. When looking directly at the screen everything is fine, but if you turn it 30 degrees to the left or right colors begin to get washed out. This isn't a major problem seeing as how most of us use our phones while looking straight at it but this can be a problem when multiple people are watching from the sides like while watching movie clips.
At the discounted price the Xperia TL is a very good phone that performs just as well as phones twice it's price. If you're looking for a phone for general use including web browsing, email, texting, playing music, playing games, and taking pictures this phone will not disappoint. The timescape UI is light and unobtrusive, performance is smooth and Sony has promised an update to Android Jellybean in the near future which will only enhance fluidity and responsiveness. If you're looking to upgrade and can't get yourself to shell out $200 plus activation fees, the Xperia TL is a great alternative.
Awesome Phone at an Awesome Price January 20, 2013
I purchased the xperia TL about one week ago for my son. This is an awesome phone. The thin design, curvature, and anodized aluminum back give it a great feel in the hand. The phone is very solid, has a great display and its 13 megapix camera takes stunning photos and video.
AS far as the power button and volume buttons all being on the right hand side, yeah, it is a minor annoyance. Holding the phone right-handed, I can use my thumb to access the power on/off button and to adjust the volume. With the phone in my left hand I can access these buttons okay this my ring finger. The phone has a 4.5" screen, bigger than my iPhone 4, yet I can hold it in one hand and reach any part of the screen with my thumb, an important feature for me.
We have pretty much been an Iphone family, my wife and I, and this is the first non iPhone we bought for our 16 year old son. I must say I'm jealous he's getting the Xperia and I'm stuck with my iPhone 4.
I bought it for $29.00 with two year contract, and price was the main reason for going with Xperia over Iphone or the S3. Now I see the phone is free with the two year contract through Amazon. This phone is every bit as good as the Samsung S3, IMO, even better with its metal construction an superior camera. With the S3 going for $200 with a 2 year contract, it's a no brainer for me, the Xperia TL is the phone to get.
Can't believe it's free! (on contract) January 31, 2013
Reviewer: Psycho Fox
This has the same internals as the high-end phones (Dual-core SGS3, HTC One X, EVO 4G LTE, and Motorola RAZR Maxx HD), so it is by no means a mid-range phone. The screen is amazing for videos and pictures. The 13mp camera is great (however I prefer the 10mp setting). The UI is pretty nice and light for a proprietary one. Smallapps is pretty handy, and you can download more apps for it. The ability to change the theme/color is really cool too (I believe HTC does this too, but haven't seen on anything else). The external speaker is pretty awesome, especially with the xLoud program (think Beats on HTC phones). I also love the shape, and the dedicated camera button. This is also the first Android device I had that DOESN'T have screen separation issues.
My only gripes are that the battery is internal and not exactly the longest lasting. The buttons could have been placed in a better... place. The screen will wash out everything after a darkened "loading" screen appears which is common in almost all apps, but it corrects itself after a second or so. This is probably the Mobile BRAVIA Engine that is used for movies and pictures, so it's not a defect. The home screens are always reloading themselves, but that's a fault with ICS, not the phone.
I've had many android devices over the few years that Android has been around. I've experienced devices from HTC, Samsung, Acer and Motorola. Each of them had screen separation issues. I was amazed that this one didn't. HTC was my favorite, with Motorola being my least. I think Sony has taken the new favorite spot for now. Great external speaker, amazing screen, not too big and not too small, really fast and buttery smooth (can't wait for JB 4.1.2), and nice shape. Nobody has said anything strange about the voice calls, and the caller sounds fine. The AT&T bloatware can be disabled, which can help with battery life.
I just wish that Google Wallet supported this phone. :(
(Came from a Galaxy Nexus and I don't plan on going back.)
::EDIT:: Reason - Battery is INTERNAL, not external.
Good phone, I like it. November 25, 2012
Reviewer: Dixie "♥"
I have upgraded from MOTOROLA Atrix 4G, I am happy with my SONY Xperia TL since it works much faster and has stylish features. SONY adds a smart interface to ICS, e.g. Easy access to Setting from notification bar. If you are upgrading from Fryo or Ginger Bread, you won't be able to tell that which features are from ICS or SONY original though, you will just love it.
The screen displays pictures, movies web pages very smooth and clear. But it's not Gorilla glass, you really need to get a screen protector before start using, otherwise you will notice a lot of minor scratches on the screen, that occurs by touching.
The battery doesn't last long to use applications. You better bring a charger.
The power button is placed on the right bottom, upper the volume button. This is very weird and confusing. I concern that adjusting volume on the phone, I may hang up by pressing power button accidentally.
I give 4 stats because not Gorilla glass and weird power button layout.
Great value for an Android smartphone January 10, 2013
Reviewer: GManMi (Detroit) -
I recently upgraded to the Xperia TL from my 2 year old Samsung Galaxy on ATT.
Combined with a 4G LTE data plan, this phone performs very well.
It cant be compared to the latest quad-core speed monsters out there, but for $49 this phone is a deal.
After a couple of days use I am impressed with the build quality and feature set.
Compared to the HTC One X, performance is about the same or slightly better.
I prefer Sony's sleek minimalist UI and design to the HTC's richer and more colorful look.
I haven't had much chance to try out the 13 MP camera yet, on paper it looks like a strong performer.
In conclusion, I really like the phone. Its a great alternative to the HTC/Samsung smartphones.
First-time smart phone user March 24, 2013
As a first-time smart phone owner/user, this is a lot of phone for the money (which is kind of a joke, as it was free). I'm a Sony fan from way back, so when it came time to upgrade, I looked for another Sony phone. In the past, I mostly used my phones to make calls, share pictures, text and play games. Needless to say, this one does a ton more than that! Keep in mind that I'm a total novice at smart phones, so this is purely subjective.
Pros: 1) Really, really good camera. Pictures are wonderfully sharp, it's easy to focus on the subject, and I can use the touch-screen to zoom in. It's also easy to share pictures, either in emails or texts.
2) Calls are clear, it gets good reception, and is compatible with the bluetooth connection in my truck (my husband still hasn't gotten his Motorola phone to sync).
3) While I really hate onscreen keyboards, the keys on this phone's onscreen keyboard are just a little larger than other phones I looked at when in the vertical position. I can also turn it horizontally if I want the keys to be even bigger. A nice feature is that I can use the microphone to speak my search term. This is cool since I don't have to use the keyboard. Supposedly I can also use this to compose text messages, but I haven't gotten around to trying it yet (I don't really do texting).
4) Apps! Something I never had with my old phone (Sony 580i).
5) Looks. This phone looks cool.
6) The display is nice, bright and big enough for my aging 55-year-old eyes (sometimes even without my glasses). Exactly what I expect from Sony. So the size issue really belongs to both Pro and Con categories.
Cons: 1) The battery life is dismal. I haven't even made it to 6 hours yet without having to charge it. By the time I play one game with good graphics, the battery is down 50%. My 580i lasted 3 days (sometimes more if I didn't play a whole lot of games) on a single charge. I turn off the wireless/data feeds, but it hasn't helped much.
2) Bloatware. Lots of uninstallable bloatware. For example, it comes loaded with Nook, but I have a Kindle and I can't uninstall the Nook software. Oh, and the NFC tag it comes with is preloaded with a bunch of (uninstallable) James Bond stuff. Fortunately, Amazon came to the rescue with a set of inexpensive ones.
3) It's big, almost too big to fit in my pocket. I was used to a really small phone, so this is taking some getting used to.
4) Something I haven't seen in other reviews: this phone gets really warm. I had it in my pocket right after I first got it, and it got almost too hot to touch. I had turned off everything I could think of before putting it in my pocket, so I don't think anything was running that could cause this. It gets warm when I've been playing games for a while, too, but hasn't gotten as hot since that first time.
5) Again, uninstallable bloatware that all wants personal information. Which I'm trying really hard not to give.
My rating is really 3 and a half stars. I'd recommend this phone, with reservations.
It's a Sony--how could I go wrong... December 24, 2012
Reviewer: Marsbars (CT) -
This is my first smartphone. I really didn't want a smartphone, but if you want any kind of internet on your phone (which I do) you really don't have much choice. I wasn't interested in the I-phone, and while I love the Nokia brand, the Nokia Lumia 920 seemed too big for me (and Windows 8 is too new). So, I decided to check out the Sony smartphones. I love all things Sony, and the AT&T price was too attractive to pass up. Also, I wanted a phone supported by my carrier (AT&T).
I'm not crazy about the size (they are all too big for me), but I've learned to overlook the size, because you just fall in love with the features. I will say it takes some time to learn about the phone for it's finer points (think YouTube, forums, etc.) so be prepared. Looking forward to a gel case to snuggle this beauty.
The best phone for anything March 10, 2013
Reviewer: AndroidHoneyComb #XDA
I have bought the Xperia TL and I have to say, It's way better then flag ship devices like the iPhone or Samsung's S3. The new jellybean 4.1.2 update made the device even faster! The 13 Mega Pixel camera or if you enable HDR its 12, The camera is great when exposed to light. The device get's a 59 FPS in NenaMark2 Benchmark tool, which is great. The battery is a little issue but that is not a big problem. The quality of the screen is great when looking at image's or just watching videos. This device is really good and get it if you can
Jelly Bean 4.1.2
NICE phone January 5, 2013
Things I like: Fast and reliable, can handle anything I throw at it without delays, stylish, nice display, good camera with manual setting modes, dedicated camera button, NFC capability, and can handle LTE ! :-)
Things I dislike: Not the latest Android, Sony's Android UI is not customizable compare to others, speakers can be a bit louder, camera autofocus is slow, and phone doesn't come with damage resistance glass :-(
Awesome phone, best value April 26, 2013
Reviewer: Surf Traveler (Vienna, VA) -
This is a great phone
Made for and used by James Bond, this is a sturdy phone in a sleek design.
Not only does it have a beautiful design but also a beautiful display that plays movies in 1080 HD which you can connect to your TV.
Performance is top notch with crystal-clear reception, Android Jelly Bean OS, 13MP camera, 4G speed and excellent Walkman music player (after all Sony, invented the personal music player) and FM radio.
There is plenty of internal memory for all your apps plus an external memory drive (up to 32GB) for your pics and music.
Calendar is top notch as well as the voice recognition in any language.
Never again type a message or email, just speak.
Rivals the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5 at a third of the price (with contract).
A no-brainer for your pocket.
The Best Android Experience April 1, 2013
*** Disclaimer - This is completely subjective review things or features I like you may not like or vice-versa ***
I bought this phone and I was in love with this phone the moment I hold it up in my hand. I love the gorgeous 4.6" HS screen, vivid and dynamic color reproductions (Thanks to moile Bravia engoner). The swiping between the screen is as smooth as butter. This phone came with ICS with Sony skin on top of it, but on the same night I received Jelly Bean update 4.1.2 (Happy) and Not Happy Because I wanted 4.2.2. Anyways I will jump to pros and cons because a lot has been written on this phone. I have had this phone for week, but man I used it every day like there is no tomorrow. So here you go
1. Sony skin on top of android is very light weight and does not affect the performance (I had Nexus 4 so I can tell)
2. Design is very good with curved back which helps keep phone in hand without slipping it out of hand. (same point you will find in cons too, read ahead)
3. No cheap plastic, it high quality you can feel it.
4. Camera 13 MP it is a clear winner over Nexus 4 camera. Amazing picture quality. Very clear video capturing too.
5. Location based wifi (saves battery since it does not try to connect and find wifi all the time)
6. Power Management, very useful tool to save battery.
7. Best voice call quality (Common guys it Sony it has to be)
8. Very good Sound and speaker quality (again its Sony)
9. I like how sony allows you to rearrange the App tray with most Used or alphabetical and other options.
10. Small Apps, I like the idea of small apps a lot.
11. Google Now, its more to do with Jelly bean than phone but worth mentioning.
1. Battery Life is poor with LTE on. Its good without LTE. But when you have LTE on i barely makes through the day.
2. Design is very ergonomic but when you look from side ways its not very attractive phone. (Its just a personal choice and should not be a con as per say) (Xperia Z is the most beautiful phone I have ever seen)
3. No removable battery.
4. Phone does not come with sony earphones (which by the way I love) and the blame should go to AT&T.
5. Lots of AT&T crapware. I just hate it, only useful app is myAT&T.
I had nexus 4 before this phone, I must say This phone is stellar performer. Form my point of view this phone is better than iPhone 5, Samsung GSIII, HTC one X and Nexus 4. This phone I would recommend anyone at anytime infact any Xperia Phone higher than TL (including TL of course). I hope it gives everyone insight of the phone and its useful review. Cheers!!!
A great device from sony February 3, 2013
I got this phone for $399 without contract. It is a decent price for a phone like this. I mean, a no commitment Galaxy S3 is gonna cost you more than $600 and I do not see why it is better than this one. It has a dual-core processor, LTE support and high-sensitive screen with 720p resolution which my 15.6 inch laptop has nearly the same. Also, it has a 13 mp camera which I would say is one of the best among all the devices on market.
The battery could hold 13 hours under high frequency use. I expected more but I would say that is good enough.
at&t great service and great phone with flaws December 20, 2012
Reviewer: Bob C.
don't forget to charge for at least 30 min prior to activation why no clue since battery was 80%.
device works great screen is bright, on par with droid, lg, samsung. call quality is excellent, controls well laid out no complaints.
only complaint is when using blue ant bluetooth device the intial prompt for your voice input is at very low volume i have to roll car windows up, and turn down radio etc. once it is calling the volume is excellent, and call quality is also. I really think this is a blue ant issue not the phone.
updated 12-27-12 NOT BLUE ANT = PHONE
well I jumped the gun had to return the phone after 2 days. this phone has no built in voice command feature the phone must be paired with Bluetooth device to enable it. well the problem described earlier about no volume for voice command was just one of the problems you could not hear prompts when driving. then the phone would dial whatever it felt like if you could not get the phone/Bluetooth to follow your request. I live in California and requested it to call my home phone, it called a number in Ohio! not only that when it is in the process of dialing the wrong number you can not command it to stop. you have to grab the phone itself and hang up which is a real pain when you are driving.
p.s. it did it on two different high end blue ant devices so I did test it to make sure it wasn't anything but the phone. if you don't need voice command/Bluetooth it may be the phone for you
Awesome phone best bang for buck May 10, 2013
Reviewer: Lunatic 203
Some false advertisement. It actually runs the jelly bean , latest version. Very underrated . Fits perfect in my hand landscape or regular . Dual core and 1 gb ram u really don't need nothing more all those 300 hundred dollar phones are unnecessary this is all u need . Love this love don't need nothing else. Did a speed test and blew the iPhone out the water I highly recommend and if u get it for someone they don't kno a out technology. No use in a 1.5 ghz quad core with 1 gb ram. It's pointless it's useless to have extra of this if u can't tap into it. Camera is great interface is great u can take a picture while recording nothing u more. This phone wil hang for 2 years prolly longer.hoghly recommend.
sent it back June 16, 2013
Reviewer: Lisa Robson "Lisa Robson" (Florida) -
I just really didnt like this phone, it wasnt for me. I had trouble with it from day one, I ended up going with a blackberry z10, that worked alot better for me.it was alot nicer IMO
A waste of a good opportunity. June 15, 2013
Reviewer: John (Warrior, Albania) -
(Note, I am not from Albania... Amazon refuses to let me change my location to Alabama.)
I purchased this phone and enjoyed it for about 2 months before it started crashing randomly. I contacted AT&T customer service and they replaced it with another model under warranty. After 2 more months the new phone started doing the same thing, eventually crashing to the point of being unusable. Once again, AT&T replaced the phone under warranty, this time with a Motorola Atrix 4G.
My wife also purchased the same phone at the same time and she has not experienced any crashing. She also does not use her phone as much as I do. I use my phone constantly to listen to podcasts, play games, for work use, etc. My phone is almost never just sitting, but hers is almost always just sitting around, usually with a dead battery. So for casual use, the phone may work fine for you. If you are a power user, try something else.
Specific negative points to consider:
1) The screen is not crisp. The colors are washed out.
2) The RAM is low and causes the phone to not be smooth at times. Feels sluggish.
3) Button placement is awkward. Volume buttons are too low and hard to discern which is which without looking.
Some positive points:
1) 16GB of storage is nice.
2) OS was updated to Jelly Bean (4.1.1) as promised by Sony (but seems to be the cause of the crashes).
3) The updated camera (with Jelly Bean) is very good. Snaps pictures quickly and does a good job.
I had high hopes for this phone, but it simply failed to live up to them.
wi-fi is almost useless May 21, 2013
The WiFi on this phone is almost useless. Where other phones show Good to Excellent signal, this one may show Poor or Fair at the best. Even if establishes connection, it loses it almost instantaneously. The phone I have now was received as a warranty replacement of another TL, which had exactly the same problems. The sound quality is rather mediocre as well.
great phone! wouldn't trade my iPhone back! April 27, 2013
Reviewer: A. Nobles "Athenia" (Decatur,TX) -
I was very torn between this and the S3. I compared and since I never remember my camera at sporting events etc, the camera was the deciding factor for me besides the price. I did like that it was metal verses plastic as well. I love this phone and wouldn't trade it back to my iPhone for anything. It has great volume on calls, I love the OS on it especially after using iOS for the last 3 yrs. The only negative thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars is the battery. It doesn't do it all the time but it does not have the life of any of the iPhones. If I am traveling around the metro buying supplies for my business I use a GPS enabled app to track my mileage and it eats up my battery. I am in the car so luckily I can charge it but it goes and goes quick once it decides to drain. Some days it seems nothing can drain it though so that why I gave it 4 stars, that and because I love this phone! Just wish they would have had another color besides black to choose from like white.
Good phone, terrible battery April 3, 2013
Reviewer: Christopher Nugent "HolleywoodsAl" (Shreveport, LA USA) -
This phone is now upgradable to Jellybean
Touch sensitivity is smooth.
The phones dual core and 1GB ram is plenty fast
The contour of the back of the phone makes it very comfortable to hold both in portrait and especially in landscape.
Screen resolution looks great when the brightness is high (kills battery however)
The 13 Megapixel Camera is comporable to iphone 5 and Galaxy SIII, but as an amatuer photographer you get alot of Wow shots either.
Battery life is absolutely terrible, and the battery is not removeable without phone surgery.
If you are a heavy user, then do not get this phone unless you carry a charger. For light users it will work. I got mine free with a contract and I would say it's the best of the free phones, but that's like being the king of poop mountain. You may be the best but who wants to where that crown.
False promises May 1, 2013
Reviewer: S. Drucker "ipod usermaven" (Nevada) -
Bought my Sony Xperia TL in November, 2012 through Amazon.com for one penny. Sounded like a great deal at the time.
The phone worked great until sometime in March when Sony put out an update.
Since then it shuts itself off and turns back on, all on it's own! Doesn't matter if it's fully charged, being charged, or turned on and sitting in a holster on my hip.
Sent the phone to Sony for repair, at a cost of $40 for Fedex!! After five days, Sony returned the phone to me with paperwork stating "no repair needed" and "updated software" (I had updated the software the day before I sent it in for repair).
First day I had the phone back, it turned itself off and on three times!
The phone is now back at Sony (another $20 shipping cost). Now, when I go on Sony's web site, chat service, they can't find the phone in the system. Email to Sony customer service is not being answered...what the hell, am I the bad guy here??!
ATT started offering a trade-in program today...going to cost me a couple of hundred bucks to get a "good" phone, but at least I'll be rid of Sony.