Hands-on review: Sony Xperia T3

It’s billed as a “fashion phone” but lets be honest, the Sony Xperia T3 appeals to everybody. I’d definitely recommend it for your teenage daughter or son, as an alternative to the more expensive Sony Xperia Z3. What you are getting for the price is amazing value.

Sony Xperia Z3 | DigiKids

In the looks department, the T3 looks way more premium than it really is. The secret is the screen (which is where many manufacturers cut corners to keep the price down in a middleweight phone). The 5.3-inch display is generous, and when browsing or taking photos, the colours are rich and the text is crisp.

Sony Xperia Z3 | DigiKids

And let’s face it, the primary reason your teen wants a phone is for social networking and selfies. With an 8MP camera, I found that the T3 takes fantastic images. Even the 1MP front-facing camera isn’t too bad (but could be better).

It runs on Android KitKat, and if your teen is older than 13 and has a Gmail address, they can sign in with that and get access to the Google Play Store, that now has more than a million apps available for download.

Sony Xperia Z3 | DigiKids

Because it’s a Sony product, if you have a PlayStation 4 at home, you’ll get some use out of the preloaded PlayStation app on the T3. It’ll display your PS profile, your trophies, send you game alerts, and you can even connect your Xperia to your PS4 and use it as a remote for the media centre.

Sony is calling it the “world’s thinnest 5.3-inch smartphone” (maybe that’s where the ‘fashion’ label comes in?). The T3 is 7mm thick, and it just-just slides into a jeans back pocket without threatening to fall out.

Be aware though, the Xperia range of smartphones has gotten a lot of publicity for being waterproof and shockproof. The T3 doesn’t come with these features, so be sure that you find have a protective casing for it!

The battery life is average: it should last most of the day before needing to be charged.

Sony Xperia Z3 | DigiKids

Overall, I was well impressed with the functionality of this sleek addition to the Xperia stable. It’s getting harder and harder to find mid-priced phones for your teens that still look cool when they whip them out in front of their friends, but don’t blow the family budget. The Sony Xperia T3 is just such a phone. In fact, this mom was quite reluctant to hand it back after the review period.

And as for the price, the cheapest we found it at was R3625 from Orange but it is also  available through various contract deals on Vodacom, MTN and Cell C.

Stacey Vee

Stacey Vee is one of South Africa’s top mommy bloggers, and a technology journalist who has written for Vodacom, Sports Illustrated, FHM, Incredible Connection, Girl Guides, Afropolitan, OnRoute, FNB’s internal magazine Siyasiza and more. She also founded the #iPadsforLionhearts charity, which encourages people to donate their 2nd-hand iPads to families... Read more

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