Sony Xperia T Hands-on (video)

We had a chance to play with the upcoming Sony Xperia T — also known as the Bond Phone — at a media briefing today in Toronto. While it maintains the HD display and LTE connectivity of its ion predecessor, the Xperia T has a design sensibility that harkens back to the curved contours of the Xperia arc, and it’s all the better for it.

Preloaded with Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, the Xperia T utilizes a few of Sony’s new brands to excellent effect: WALKMAN is back, showcasing a new audio player that combines with Music Unlimited for local or streaming music playback; Movies combines a gorgeous new media player with Video Unlimited, the company’s movie  and TV show ecosystem; and Album showcases Sony’s new Android Gallery software, complete with DLNA or HDMI sharing through MHL and a new feature called SensMe, which creates music based on your mood and pairs it with a moving slideshow.

Underneath the hood, the Xperia T has a 1.5Ghz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 SoC with an Adreno 225 GPU, 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage (plus a microSD slot) ,a 13MP camera sensor on the back and a 1.3MP front-facing camera, an 1850mAh non-removable battery, LTE connectivity and NFC. The 4.55-inch screen is utilizes the Mobile Bravia Engine and has a resolution of 1280×720. The phone feels extremely comfortable in the hand and is a light 139 grams despite its all-aluminum body. From my limited time with the device, the screen seemed extremely sharp, and the handset felt more compact than other top-tier Android phones from LG, Samsung and HTC.

One of the selling points of the phone, besides the Bond branding and included promo material, is the 13MP camera. Sony has included a dedicated shutter button on many of their high-end devices, and the Xperia T ups the speed at which you can wake up the phone and shoot a photo. We tested the feature and found it to be significantly faster than the Xperia ion, and we look forward to testing it against other high-end devices in the coming weeks.

The phone comes with a bunch of preloaded content, both from the associated carrier and Sony itself. Most of it is useful stuff, like shortcuts to PlayStation Mobile (this is a PlayStation Certified device, of course), but there are the requisite game demos and other bloatware that we wish could be deleted.

At 9.4mm, the Xperia T is numerically thicker than many of the top current Android devices available, but you’d never be able to tell. The device slims considerably in the middle, and the curve accommodates the hand far better than some of the boxier choices out there. The aluminum finish makes the phone feel very premium, but after a few minutes with the Xperia T it was clear that the slate finish will be a fingerprint magnet.

We’ll be getting our hands on the Xperia T in the coming days, and will do comparisons to some of the more popular phones out there. Check out a few more photos of the device below.

The Sony Xperia T is coming to Rogers, Bell, Mobilicity and MTS on November 14th. Pricing will be released in the coming days by each carrier.