Sony's IFA 2012 announcements were primarily about the bigger picture, both in terms of the company's One Sony strategy and in the literal sense that the Japanese giant showed off its first 84-inch 4K TV. Still, almost out of habit, Sony also refreshed its Android smartphone lineup with a trio of new handsets: the Xperia T / TX, the Xperia V and the Xperia J.
The distinction between the two versions of the flagship T device is actually bigger than Sony would have you believe: The Germany-only Xperia T has a dual-core Qualcomm processor, clocked at 1.5GHz, is thicker than the Europe-wide Xperia TX, positions the power button differently, and has a slightly less unified design. The specs are otherwise a total match, including the 4.6-inch 1280 x 720 display, 13-megapixel Exmor R camera, and Android 4.0 OS.
Solidly built and solidly specced, but not really ruffling any feathers of excitement
Both handsets take inspiration from Sony's successful Xperia Arc smartphone of 2011, including the subtle concave curve of the back (now even subtler), though they upgrade the back cover with a new soft-touch matte surface that feels a lot better in the hand than the glossy plastic of the Arc. Alas, Sony couldn't restrain itself from injecting glossy sheen entirely, and there's a reflective strip wrapping around the sides of the Xperia TX, framing the display in an unnecessary sliver of glitz.
Overall, the Xperia TX feels solidly built and solidly specced, but it's not really ruffling any feathers of excitement. Then again, unlike more ambitious launches from Samsung and LG recently, the TX and its T sibling will be on sale within the next couple of weeks. They'll be joined then by the Xperia V and Xperia J, with the V being essentially a T series phone shrunken to 4.3 inches and enhanced with water resistance, while the J aims for the budget-minded with a much more trimmed-down spec sheet.