Did you rush out to buy the latest Sony smartphone? What's that, you forgot Sony had a mobile device department? That's fine, so did everyone else. Hoping to change your, and everyone else's mind, Sony has released the Xpreia TL exclusively with AT&T for the U.S. market.
In June of 2012, Sony launched the Xperia ION, also exclusive to AT&T and the results were lackluster to say the least. The device was launched with an out of date Snapdragon S3 processor, an old Android OS and poor image quality despite its vaunted 12MP camera. Overall, it was a bust, and probably should have signaled a strategy change at Sony, if not the total demise of that division of the company. Its only saving grace was its budget price, starting out the gate at a mere $99 with a new service agreement.
Following the poor showing of the ION, Sony has introduced the TL, a new and improved version of the same series. The specs aren't going to blow you away, or make you suddenly interested in the future of Sony development, but they're solid, and that's more than could have been said for its predecessor.
- 1850mAh battery
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
- 4.6-inch 1280×720 TFT HD Reality Display
- 1.5GHz dual core Qualcomm MSM8960 Andreno GPU
- Up to 16GB Internal Storage
- Up to 32GB Expandable MicroSD
- 1GB Ram
- 4G LTE
Hoping for a little big screen credibility push, the Xperia TL will be the phone used by Daniel Craig in the new James Bond movie, Skyfall. With the tie-in, users should expect plenty of pre-loaded content of the Bond variety. Backgrounds, ringtones, novelty apps, etc. The phone is priced just the same as the ION, starting at $99 with new service. In fact, the ION and TL are currently priced the same, despite the major differences in hardware quality.
The TL is a solid phone, and it will undoubtedly sell better than the ION, if only because of the movie tie-in. What it's not, however, is a true change in direction for Sony Mobile, and it certainly won't convert any users to their camp. It would be great to see additional competition in the market from another household brand, but unfortunately this just isn't it.